Seymour was presented to Dr Jayne McGhie at UQ Vets Small Animal Hospital byhis rescue adopter Sonya, looking to investigate options for a leg that mayhave been broken for many years.

“When Seymour first arrived in my care he had many problems – including severeskin disease, serious dental problems, dry eye, bilateral patella luxationsand evidence of osteoarthritis in both elbows and in his right hind leg whichrequired surgical intervention,” she said.

In the absence of standard solution Dr McGhie engaged Professor Milan Brandt,Technical Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct at RMIT Universityin Melbourne, who, along with postdoctoral researcher Dr Darpan Shidid,donated his time and expertise to help.

Drawing on their current research on new generation implants for human bonedisease, they designed and manufactured a custom-made, lattice-based titaniumimplant for Seymour using 3D metal printing technology at the Precinct.

“After examining Seymour’s CT scans, we designed a robust lattice structurethat would support his weight and attached it to a custom-designed platefitted exactly to his misshaped bone,” Professor Brandt said.

“The lattice fills the bone defect to restore the femur to its normal lengthand alignment, while allowing growth of new bone as the femur heals –eventually the implant becomes a part of the healed bone.”
Once Seymour had recovered from his skin and dental diseases, Dr McGhie andher team performed the advanced surgical procedure to install the implant.

“To encourage bone growth into the lattice, a bone graft was harvested fromSeymour’s shoulder,” she said.

“This was mixed with canine demineralised bone and Seymour’s own platelet richplasma and then pressed into the lattice of the bone plate.

“The lattice and the plate were then placed into the bone defect of Seymour’sleft femur and secured in place.”

After his successful surgery, Seymour was sent home to recuperate with Sonyaand her family.

“Seymour is such a remarkable little dog and despite all the challenges he’sfaced, he’s never stopped being loving and happy,” Sonya said.

“He’s since had routine check-ups and – thanks to RMIT University and thespecialist surgeon team at UQ VETS – is clinically doing very well”.

“We’re so happy with his recovery ­– he can do his excited twirls for foodwithout a limp, and we can take him on walks with our other dog, Cash.”

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