[Turbo] is a disabled Chiahuahua who has brought in quite a bit of media interest after [Mark Deadrick] designed and 3D printed some new wheels for the pup.
He was born without his front legs due to a genetic defect and quickly became the runt of the litter, as the other pups prevented him from getting much food — at 4 weeks old he only weighed 10 ounces! The couple owning the dogs didn’t want to give up on the little guy but weren’t sure what to do — most veterinarian clinics they visited didn’t offer much support, until they found [Amy Birk] at the Downtown Veterinarian in Indianapolis.
[Amy], the manager of the clinic, had little [Turbo] examined and determined that the there was nothing physically wrong with the puppy, other than his missing legs — this meant [Turbo] could still have a full and happy life — with the help of some extra wheels. The only problem? Dog carts are generally built for their canine users when they stop growing — not much available for puppies — nor would it be cheap.
In a rush to get [Turbo] something to use, the employees at the clinic were able to hack together a makeshift dog cart using the wheels from a Fisher-Price toy helicopter, a few copper pipes and a ferret harness:
It worked okay but wasn’t the greatest — lucky for them, the original news story got shared so much, [Mark Deadrick] heard about the predicament and started designing his own 3D printed cart for [Turbo]. Since he wasn’t local he made some estimations about [Turbo's] size, and mailed the clinic two prototypes for [Turbo] to try out. They both worked quite well but still didn’t fit the dog just right. The clinic is now working on getting a cast mold of [Turbo] to send back to [Mark] for further revisions.
With all the media attention [Turbo] has received, the clinic is hoping to start up a charity for other disabled dogs in need — similar to E-nable group for people, it’s hoped that they can make a difference for handicapped animals too.