Tommy, a little donkey, has for quite some time struggled with walking normally, and as a result, his shoulder and back have started to become damaged.
Upon examination, it was determined that his spine was starting to twist! Ringwood-based prosthetics company Dorset Orthopedic saw this and couldn’t leave the little donkey as is. That’s when they decided to make poor Tommy a prosthetic leg.
The new leg was fitted to his weaker side, which was his right front leg. It was this same leg that gave him trouble every morning. However, after walking and working with the prosthetic for a while, an osteopath working with little Tommy made note saying he was “amazed” by the little donkey’s progress and improvements.
The managing director of Dorset Orthopedic, Matt Hughes, said little Tommy was “hobbling around” before being fitted with his new leg around a week ago.
“His walking looked very labored, because his leg, although it was there, was not in a normal position,” he added. “As he was standing and walking around, he was really dropping on his right-hand side and was twisting his spine.”
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Dorset Orthopedic was first founded by prosthetist Bob Watts in the year 1989. According to Dorset orthopedic, the success they’ve achieved has helped them expand and grow more and more clinics to help incorporate the entirety of the UK. They’ve achieved the leading prosthetic and orthotic provider in the UK with such success and reputation.
Christmas came early when Tommy could walk a little better utilizing the prosthetic leg. An osteopath and a farrier are likewise helping him to curb him into being “as balanced and as level as possible.”
'Wonky donkey’ gets prosthetic leg for Christmas ❤️
— Spotlight (@BBCSpotlight) December 23, 2021
Osteopath Tony Nevin said that he’d been “amazed” by little Tommy’s “fantastic” progress.
“Normal, healthy donkeys put 60% of their body weight through their front legs,” he continued. “Tommy was putting nearly all of that 60% through that left healthy front leg and that leg was beginning to show signs of failing. He was going over on it.”
He added that it was “essential” that the little donkey was assisted with spreading his total weight all around his body more equally.
“It was do that or wait for him to not be able to move,” he said.
It’s good to see little Tommy back on his feet and on the up and up, primarily since donkeys are mostly used for work. As I’m sure most are aware, they’re similar to their equine cousins, including zebras and horses, but tend to be stockier and have long floppy ears.
While Tommy may be little, there are actually three different types of main donkeys, which include feral, wild, and domesticated donkeys. Of all the donkeys, the smallest breed is the miniature donkey. They can grow up to around 36 inches from hoof to shoulder and weigh less than 400 pounds, which is pretty tiny when stacked next to the largest donkey – the mammoth stock. They can reach 56 inches from hoof to shoulder when fully grown and weigh around 950 pounds!