#AceNewsReport – Feb.16: The koala, named Triumph, was taken into care in 2017 after being found with his dying mother on a property near Lismore in northern New South Wales:
‘New limb for Triumph, the Koala born with missing foot, thanks to Lismore dental prosthetist amazing says Kindness & Love ❤️’
ABC News: Posted 9h ago
Vets discovered Triumph’s missing foot was an inexplicable birth defect and that it sometimes caused him pain.
His rescuer and vet nurse Marley Christian from Friends of the Koala began dressing Triumph’s stump with dolls’ socks and booties and found that it relieved the sensitivity.
She then searched the globe for prosthetic limb makers but could not find anyone who had successfully made a device for a koala.
“We were told it had not been done and it could not be done,” Ms Christian said.
Trial and error
An American company that specialised in pet prosthetics took on Triumph’s case last year, but, after several attempts, could not manufacture a design that stayed comfortably attached.
Ms Christian mentioned Triumph in passing to Lismore dental prosthetist Jon Doulman who volunteered to try building a prosthetic foot himself.
“I take impressions of mouths, and all dentures are different, and it just dawned on me that I should have a go and see if I can manufacture something for him,” Mr Doulman said.
“People do manufacture prosthetics for animals. I’ve seen them done for ducks, dogs and cats … but no-one seemed to want to have a go with this little fella.”
Mr Doulman took a cast of Triumph’s stump and created a prosthetic boot-like attachment made from rubber and attached with velcro.
Triumph was recently fitted with the new foot and immediately began grooming, climbing and crawling while it stayed in place.
Ms Christian said Triumph’s entire demeanour had changed.
“He’s able to move a lot better, he’s a lot more active,” she said.
“It alleviated the discomfort from his stump, and it assists him with running, he can jump, and it’s stopped a curvature in his spine because he needed that extra length.”
For now, Mr Doulman is sticking with dental prosthetics but said he was pleased to have helped a koala.
“It’s a really good feeling to do something for him because he was in trouble,” he said.
“It’s a good feeling that something is working for him.”
Triumph will soon turn five but will spend his life in captivity at the Lismore Friends of the Koala care centre.
“He’s got a pretty good life here,” Ms Christian said.
“He treats me like a female koala … he bites me, bellows, and wees on me, but that’s part and parcel of the whole thing.”
#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Feb.16: 2021:
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