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Chihuahua to get bionic paw

Tuesday December 11th, 2012

By DogTime Staff

A Chihuahua-Papillon mix from New Mexico who was born without one of her back paws will be able to start the new year on the right foot.

Albuquerque’s Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue has announced that their special pup Peggy, or “Peggy Leg” as she is known, will soon be the recipient of what is likely to be the smallest canine prosthetic in the U.S. Her bionic paw will be around the size of a human finger, according to a KOAT-TV report.

Specialists at North Carolina State University are developing the state-of-the-art prosthesis for the little dog who has overcome so much. Without the prosthetic paw, it is likely that Peggy Leg would’ve had to have her paw-less leg amputated.

“Enthusiasm-wise it’s running very high because we like to see Peggy running across the grass with four paws instead of three,” Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue’s Mary Jewell explained.

Peggy Leg’s new foot includes a bit of new technology in the world of prostheses. The prosthetic paw will include tiny electrodes that, when attached to Peggy Leg’s limb, will stimulate the Chihuahua mix’s nerves, helping it become a more functional part of her body. With the prosthetic paw, Peggy Leg will be able to run, scratch, and use that new paw as if she’d been born with it.

Specialists have already created molds of the Chihuahua mix’s leg and sent those molds overseas to France and Germany, where the innovative prosthetic paw will be created. The final product is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. just after Christmas, when doctors at North Carolina State’s College of Veterinary Medicine will perform the necessary procedures Peggy Leg needs in order to be fitted with her new paw. The university is generously covering the cost of Peggy Leg’s surgery.

Mary Jewell and the rest of the Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue are anxiously waiting for word that Peggy Leg’s bionic paw is ready to go.

“We are really excited,” Jewell tells NYDailyNews.com, “but we know things like this take time. We are impressed that the university is not going to settle for an almost-good prosthesis for Peggy.”

Jewell also hopes that the very same advanced technology that will be used in Peggy Leg’s prosthesis will be able to be used by those who develop new limbs for veterans.

“Together we hope not only to help Peggy, but promote a new type of prosthesis that will help our soldiers that are in need so much,” says Jewell.

While the cost of Peggy Leg’s bionic paw and surgeries is already covered, Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue still needs to cover the cost of transporting the Chihuahua mix to North Carolina for her upcoming procedure. If you would like to donate, please visit the organization’s website today.

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