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The ‘Wizard of Paws’ Fits Prosthetics For Any Animal


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When an animal is faced with loss of mobility, especially when it comes to amputation, the impact can be devastating. Until recently, the chances of a normal life were slim. If only someone could find a solution, imagine the difference it could make in countless lives?

Well, someone has.

Derrick Campana, star of BYUtv’s Paw wizard, a pioneer in the field of animal prosthetics and orthotics, is something like what you’d get if you crossed Dr. Dolittle with the six million dollar man.

Since 2005, Campana’s “pet installers” Bionic Pets and Orthopedic Animal Care They have been building bespoke mobility devices for animals of all sizes and descriptions, from cats and dogs, to eagles, turtles, cows, foxes, camels, goats, and even a six-ton ​​African elephant.

In Wizard of Paws, with her winged dog Henry riding a shotgun, Campana travels the US creating custom-designed devices to help pets with a variety of mobility issues.

“It’s about making families whole again,” Campana said. People. “I can build these prostheses at their homes. I can experience the joy in the faces of animals and [those] faces of families as they walk again. “

At her base of operations in Sterling, Virginia, Campana spends much of her time making accessories and casting molds to create the shapes she painstakingly sculpts by hand; finish the devices with vacuum formed plastic and a variety of other materials.

Animal Ortho Care also ships casting kits worldwide. Compana hopes to expand its reach with advancements in cost-effective 3-D printing technology, and since each animal that approaches it presents its own unique puzzle, Campana is all about expanding horizons and seeking new solutions.

“It’s always interesting, never boring, and I’m constantly learning,” he said. VPM-News. “To be able to combine [my] the passion for building helping animals is incredible. I’ve created my own industry here, so it’s like living the dream. “

MORE: When prosthetic manufacturers said it couldn’t be done, the dentist gives the orphan koala a new foot

One of the most important parts of Campana’s mission is to educate both pet owners and veterinarians about new and emerging care options. He admits that when he started, he was rejected by veterinarians trained in more traditional methods who did not fully understand the potential benefits of orthotics and prosthetics for animal applications.

However, since then, he has constantly strived to demonstrate how these devices can deliver better results, including less post-surgical downtime and, in some cases, total elimination of the need for surgery. These days, the feedback you’re getting is pretty positive.

For Campana, it’s easy to be a cheerleader when you really love what you’re doing.

RELATED: This athlete could become the first American amputee to compete in the Olympics

“Seeing the dogs wag their tails; their eyes shine again, that moment in which they have not walked in the last years or maybe they had never walked before in their lives … You see them run and get up and those are the moments in which I believe I live, and for I do what I do, “he said VPM.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be helping animals around the world or even helping animals in general. It’s not something you think of as a kid because it never existed, but if you have that idea, go ahead. And if you are passionate about it, push yourself as hard as you can for as long as possible and you can make a big difference in your life and in the lives of so many. [others]. “

(LOOK the VPM video of this story below.)

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