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December 13, 2017

First-of-its-kind 3D printed mask helps puppy heal


First-of-its-kind 3D printed mask helps puppy heal

DAVIS, Calif. (KCRA) —A 4-month-old puppy whose face was severely damaged when she was attacked…



A 4-month-old puppy whose face was severely damaged when she was attacked by another dog is well on her way to healing, thanks to the smart minds and technology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Loca, a Staffordshire bull terrier, was bitten by another dog so severely that her right cheekbone and jawbone were fractured, in addition to multiple puncture wounds on her face and neck.

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Faculty members Dr. Frank Verstraete and Dr. Boaz Arzi, as well as resident Dr. Colleen Geisbush knew Loca’s surgery would be challenging due to the extent of damage she suffered, but they knew this gave them a chance to use a new face mask they developed with biomedical engineering students.

When Loca arrived at the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital, Arzi asked the biomedical engineering students to print a 3D exoskelton cast for dogs with jawbone damage — called the Exo-K9 Exoskeleton — since Loca was a prime candidate to use this new technology.

After a surgery to remove bone fragments from Loca’s jaw, the biomedical engineering students began printing the first Exo K-9 to be used on a patient. The mask was finished the next morning and delivered for Loca to try out.

Loca did “extremely well” during her three-day hospitalization, veterinarians said. She almost immediately began eating soft food and remained comfortable on her pain medication.

In addition to the Exo-K9, Loca was fitted with a padded neck bandage to help stabilize her neck fracture and limit her range of mobility during her healing.

For the next month, Loca was not allowed to have any toys, bones or anything else hard to chew on, and her mask and neck collar remained in place at all times except when she was eating or drinking.

Loca returned to UC Davis for a one-month checkup, which revealed new bone was forming, which was positive, but it also meant Loca would need to move her jaw by eating hard kibble to encourage the new formation to become a semi-functional joint.

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UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Loca and her team at UC Davis

She also had two new molar teeth that were malformed on her lower jaw. Upon a further review three months post surgery, the molars were removed.

However, a CT scan revealed her previous surgery sites healed well and the new bone formation was progressing nicely.

Loca continues to recover well from her injuries, and all indications show the Exo-K9 is a viable component to healing maxillofacial injuries, UC Davis veterinary officials said.


Source: First-of-its-kind 3D printed mask helps puppy heal

First-of-its-kind 3D printed mask helps puppy heal


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