Okay, some of you may remember the posts I've made on other threads about Griffin, my almost 3 week old Buff Pomeranian gosling who slipped a tendon. According to the LSU vet school, it cannot be successfully be repaired, but he is otherwise healthy (although a bit stunted). He has been able to hop around on one foot using the other mostly useless foot/leg for balance. I have been doing daily therapy with him (leg extensions, swimming, splinting) and his leg has retained just a bit of use, but not enough. I know that as he grows he will be unable to successfully hop about primarily on one foot and it would be cruel to make him do so. Before making the decision to put him down, however, we wanted to try one last thing. I have been doing extensive research of prosthetic legs and feet in birds. A rescue in Florida has successfully made prosthetic legs for several Sandhill cranes using pvc pipe. I've found stories where people have made feet for pigeons, eagles, ducks, and parrots. The common denominator though is that each of these animals has lost a limb through accident or amputation: My goose still has his leg. This means that I will have to provide a platform/support of the existing leg and attach the prosthetic under the leg by the knee. So, this morning I made my first prototype and he has been wearing it all day. It took him several minutes to be able to successfully walk in it without face planting. After a bit of practice though, he was able to reasonably traverse the front yard and go into and get out of the pond on his own. He is also able to lay down and doesn't look uncomfortable, which I was worried about. This first try is very crude and utilizes waterproof medical tape to hold it on, which naturally means after swimming it falls off and must have new tape put on. Once I finalize the design, I am going to use nylon or neoprene for the body (over the foam and plastic) and velcro closures. I have two sewing machines I may as well use one of them for something more than decoration...lol. I made this first one out of two 1/2" pvc "T" fittings and a small length of pipe in between. I used a miter saw to cut the top of the "t" fittings off so that they are now a little less than half round. I clipped the sharp corners off the top T and beveled the back to accommodate his knee joint. Then lined the inside of the top modified t fitting with some foam used to wrap water pipes for cushion and comfort (it was a little thick so I cut the thickness in half). I already see many improvements that need to be made in the design, but expected as much. I measured his lower leg and made sure the entire apparatus is the exact same measurement. However, after watching him walk with it see that it needs to be just a tad bit shorter, so will do that on the next one I make. On the next one, I also need to add a support that goes up the back of his upper leg. Additionally, I need to shift the center of the leg back just slightly to improve balance and may upgrade to 3/4" pvc as well. Also, I am going to modify the bottom and cut if flatter and shorten the ends of the T. I am thinking of getting one of those large flat rubber sink plugs and cutting a flipper/foot shape from it then somehow fixing it to the bottom of his pvc foot. Either that, or I will follow suit with the legs made for the cranes and use a small rubber sink stopper in the end of the pipe. Here is Griffin in the yard this morning wearing his new "leg". The first picture is of those awkward first few steps (wings extended for balance) and the second after he got the hang of using it a bit. Sorry for the picture quality, it was taken with my cell phone. He is putting full pressure on the pvc leg, but it is a tad bit too long so he keeps it at an angle. I just wanted to share. If this works out, I will post photos as we go.