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Skyros: Artificial Leg for a Horse

An orthopedist saved a little horse in Skyros, in contrast to veterinarians who couldn’t suggest any solution other than euthanasia.
This is the first placement of an artificial body part to a horse in Greece. The horse’s name is Elpida, which means “Hope” and it was born two years ago on a farm on the Greek island of Skyros.
From the first moment it was observed that the horse had a problem on the bottom of its foot, which was immediately placed into a splint. However, after a month the leg presented a wound and the horse lost the lower part of its leg.
In these cases, horses are usually killed, but the owners of the horse decided to keep Elpida alive, against every advice offered by the veterinarians who suggested euthanasia.
In the two years that followed, they were trying to find a specialist to give them the joyful news that there is a solution to the little horse’s mobility problem, which could trot, but wasn’t able to walk.
The solution was finally given by a doctor from Thessaloniki, who has a company with orthopedic parts for humans. The doctor did the necessary preparations in Thessaloniki and arrived in Skyros in August 2013.
Some of the material needed was brought by plane and other material, such as liquids, whose transfer by plane is prohibited, was transferred by bus.
The doctor along with an assistant set up a makeshift laboratory on the farm and started making the artificial part, which was placed after a few hours, and now Elpida is able-bodied and taking her first steps.
The doctor donated the prosthetics and his work, which exceeded 5,000 euros and the owners thanked him warmly, with the hope that their example will be followed by other animal owners.
The Skyrian horse is one of the rarest horse breeds in the world. About 220 horses live on Skyros today and the small subsidy of 500 euros per year given by the state for every horse as an aid in the effort for preserving this rare breed, has stopped four years now. Now all the cost is borne by the owners.

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