3-D printed mask helps pup heal from bite wounds

A 3-D printed mask is helping a 4-month-old puppy recover after she was bitten in the face by another dog and suffered a series of facial injuries. The female Staffordshire bull terrier, named “Loca,” is expected to recover from a fractured cheekbone and jawbone, but researchers at the University of California’s Davis School of Veterinary Medicine decided to aid the process with an exoskeleton mask, Fox 29 reported.

The efforts are being led by faculty members Drs. Frank Verstraete and Boaz Arzi and resident Dr. Colleen Geisbush, a press release said. 


“As soon as Loca arrived at the hospital, Dr. Arzi notified the BME students to be ready to print an Exo-K9 if a CT scan showed that she would be an ideal case,” the press release said. “Local was placed under general anesthesia for a cone-beam CT scan to characterize the extent of her injuries. The scan showed the extent of injuries to her facial bones, jawbone, TMJ, and also a small fracture in the vertebrae of her neck. A salvage surgery was then performed to remove bone fragments form her right zygomatic arch and right caudal mandible.”

Loca’s recovery included one month of no toys, bones or hard food, and her mask remained on at all times. Three months after her surgery, researchers report that the mask appears to be aiding her healing process.

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