The Savvy VetTech

3D Printing for Pets

by Lori Hehn - March 12, 2014 at 9:19 PM
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Recently, a feline "Cyrano," a 9-year old male neutered cat developed bone cancer in his left hind leg. He had radiation therapy and the cancer was cured. However, due to the radiation the bone deteriorated.

Because Cyrano was a large cat at 26 pounds, amputation for him was not a great option.

Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little at North Carolina State University w

ho has had more than 10 years of experience with 3D printing (also called additive manufacturing) took on the challenge of creating an implant for Cyrano. This is a way of making a 3-dimensional object from a digital model.

They chose to manufacture a cobalt chromium knee implant for Cyrano. This was a cutting edge option, as this type of implant or surgery had never been done before.


CT scans were taken of both hind legs to help get the images needed to produce the implant. A surgery team did 6 rehearsals to prepare for this surgery. The actual surgery took 6 hours and went smoothly. The implant was a good fit and Cyrano began rehabilitation and is currently doing well.

courtesy of NC State University 

Perhaps this procedure will open up many new possibilities for pets and humans alike.

in Case Studies, 3-D printing 0 Comments

About Lori Hehn

Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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