A New Lease of Life for Infirm Animals: Veterinary Prosthetics Pioneer - Shimada Akio
Around the world, cats, dogs and other pets are an integral part of many families. But while improvements to diet and veterinary care have brought increased lifespans, they have also seen an increase in health conditions that affect elderly pets. Shimada Akio is Japan's first veterinary prosthetist, pioneering custom prosthetics and rehabilitation schemes that preserve quality of life for animals who would once have been beyond help, including pets, wild animals and zoo residents.
Shimada Akio created a prosthetic leg and harness for a poodle that was mistreated by a former owner.
Making prosthetics for small dogs is a particularly intricate task. Shimada works on a scale of millimeters.
He aided a northern rockhopper penguin with a lesion on its foot.
He also helped a raccoon dog that was taken to an animal hospital following a traffic accident.