The Amazing Applications of 3D Printing

3D printers have been around for a number of years now, long enough that everyday people have access to them at reasonable prices. Scientists have also developed a number of incredible applications for 3D printing.

7121138-3x2-940x627

Prosthetic leg! (Source)

In the human health world, 3D printing has progressed so much that it has been used to create living tissue, including parts of the skull and jaw bones, muscle and cartilage. It will be amazing to see how much more will be able to be created with 3D printing in the near future. 3D printing has already been used to create a rib cage and sternum, with many scientists expecting that organs will eventually be able to be printed too.

sternumimplant_front_credit-anatomics_2

3D printed sternum and ribs

In the veterinary/animal world, things aren’t so advanced, but hopefully we will catch up eventually. 3D printing has been increasing in prominence in the veterinary world since as early as 2014. 3D printed models are sometimes used by surgeons to give them a clearer idea of their approach to surgery, and therefore help with greatly with the surgical repair for animals. 3D printing has even been used successfully to create prostheses to help animals to walk again.

It will be amazing to see how much more 3D printing will progress!

 

Links:

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35581454

http://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2015/Cancer-patient-receives-3D-printed-ribs-in-world-first-surgery

https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/140701j.aspx

Advertisements

Boarding Kennels and Natural Disasters

Yesterday, a bushfire in South Australia tore through the north-east of Adelaide and some parts of the Hills. Fortunately, no human lives have been lost at this time, but devastatingly, the fire destroyed a boarding kennel and cattery, killing many of the pets staying there most likely while the owners were on holiday. I can’t imagine how all those affected are feeling – and those who have lost their homes. Amazingly, about 45 dogs were rescued.

This made me think about evacuation procedures in natural disasters and a hypothetical that I’m sure would never be allowed. I imagine the logistics would be a nightmare – having to somehow move all the animals in, likely a short amount of time; finding new shelter/homes for each of them; maintaining records of where they’re all going; all while ensuring legal obligations are fulfilled. This seems even more impossible when considering how quickly natural disasters can develop.

In my hypothetical situation, where legalities can be ignored, would it be better to free all the animals/unlock all cages and runs before evacuating yourself and your family?

In my mind, this might give the animals at least a chance of leaving and escaping the natural disaster rather than being trapped where they are as it comes.

Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence

Recently, I came across this fascinating but sad topic on the link between animal abuse and domestic violence. While the everyday person will probably never be in a position to recognise this (I would think vets, doctors, friends, etc. have more opportunity), it might be good to bring some awareness to this issue. You never know what you might come across.

Some terrible stats:

  • 71% of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims
  • 68% of battered women reported violence towards their animals. 87% of these incidents occurred in the presence of the women, and 75% in the presence of the children, to psychologically control and coerce them.
  • 25-40% of battered women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets or livestock should they leave.

See more stats and information at the American Humane Association.

On the vet side of things, a recently published study in Australia reported that there were 5 features of fractures that could be indicative of a non-accidental/abuse injury. These include fractures in multiple parts of the body, or at different stages of healing. Interestingly, these features correlate with fracture patterns seen in humans suffering the same ‘non-accidents’.

What We Can Do:

Encourage women’s shelters to add questions about pets and build kennels.

Encourage animal shelters, vets and rescue groups to establish foster care programs for the animal victims.

Links:

http://www.americanhumane.org/interaction/support-the-bond/fact-sheets/animal-abuse-domestic-violence.html

http://aldf.org/resources/when-your-companion-animal-has-been-harmed/animal-cruelty-and-domestic-violence/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090023313003948

Fundraiser: Shot in the Head and Left to Die – Can You Help?

Hey everyone,

I’ve been so busy that I’ve barely posted on this blog, but I thought I’d take the time to share THIS. (Click here) Please share this page/link and help out if you can.

This is how Licia was found.

This is how Licia was found.

This poor dog was found wandering the streets, and after being rescued and taken to the vet, they discovered she had been shot in the head. She will soon be having a CT scan to see where all the bullet and bone fragments are in her head. Funds are being raised for this and for the potentially complicated surgery/surgeries or treatments that may be required for this. Every dollar and share counts!

Don’t Anthropomorphise Animals

Anthropomorphism is attributing human characteristics and behaviours to animals and other non-humans. It’s so easy to do, and I’m sure I do it often with my own dog, but a study has found that using anthropomorphism in children’s books leads to less learning and influence their conceptual knowledge of animals. Using more realistic books leads to more accurate biological understanding.

Source: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/6434/20140325/anthropomorphism-in-childrens-books-leads-to-less-factual-learning-about-animals.htm

As well as this, misinterpreting behaviours in wild animals, or even perhaps pets you don’t really know, could potentially lead to serious consequences.

Heartbreaking! Giraffe Farewells Man with Cancer

I think this just goes to show how strong bonds can be between man and animal, not even domesticated species! (e.g. cats, dogs).

Giraffe says goodbye

The man, suffering from a brain tumour, had worked at the zoo for 25 years feeding animals and cleaning their enclosures.

It’s amazing how intelligent and seemingly caring animals can be.

Source: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/2014/03/21/12/28/giraffe-kisses-dying-man-farewell

It’s Raining Fish and Frogs

I was searching for weird pet(well, animal)-related news today, when I came across this article talking about animals raining from the sky:

http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/things-fall-sky/

While I have not experienced such a strange occurrence, there have been reports of fish, tadpoles, eels, worms, snakes, blackbirds, and even red meat falling from the sky.

Apparently it’s possible for certain thunderstorms and tornadoes to cause creatures to fall from the sky. The wind generated from tornadoes and the updraft from thunderstorms have the potential to pull in nearby animals and insects. Whether events like these caused the animals reported above to fall from the sky, I guess we’ll never know.