Disabled Chiahuahua Gets New Outlook on Life with 3D Printed Cart

Turbo the Two Legged Chihuahua

[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:

Makeshift Dog Cart

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.

[Thanks Bryant!]




  1. Jim Turner says:

    dammit hackaday, its too early in the morning for feels.

  2. Lars says:

    It’s not even stuffed with an arduino and blinky led eyes.

  3. yfhy says:

    “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”

    Nature designed a perfect system to deal with cases like that and then you come along and break it with some plastic crap.

    • Indyaner says:

      I see what you mean. Then again: Who here is wearing glasses? Nature made it that when your eyesigth was to bad to spot the saber-toothed tiger, you were takin out of evolution. Inventing glasses made it possible for people with bad eyesight to stay alive and reproduce. If only the strongest survive and the one with the book-knowledge had to die, imagine where we were today.
      So I understand what you are saying (and there is also a difference between dogs and humans) but I disagree with your argument that “Nature designed a perfect system” for us. We live in extremly prosperous times, where people have the tools and the time and the feelings to create things like that in the newspost.

      • Alan Kilian says:

        I read an article somewhere a long time ago (Using my -6.25 Diopter lenses) that proposed the following theory as to why nearsightedness may have been an evolutionary advantage:

        1) Men with good eyesight went on hunts, saw animals from far away, helped the group kill the animals, were rewarded for that activity be moving up the hierarchy of hunters. Eventually, they got killed by a boar.

        2) Men with poor eyesight went on hunts, were useless, were not rewarded with a higher place in the hunter organization, were left back at the cave to “Do women’s work” and mated all day while the hunters were out getting killed by boars.

        3) There were more nearsighted children in the next generation.

        Just a theory, but I LIKE IT!

      • Mark says:

        “there is also a difference between dogs and humans”.
        True, but are you implying that humans automatically have more right to survive than dogs?

        • hackliptik says:

          If you have to choose to kill some person you don’t know or your dog, if you pick the person because you love your dog, it’s morally wrong. I know, isn’t that weird? The thing is the person has friends and the friends will be very sad but in case of your dog, it’s just your friend, maybe your family loves him as well, but a person? There would be at least 100 people shocked/sad/heartbroken by the death.

          • efahrenholz says:

            Having to kill and choosing to kill are two different things. You will be handled judiciously either way. A nonhuman creature is treated with a specific gravity to its conditions. If it’s a threat, and you act in desoair for your life or others, it will be judged as such. That’s applies to humans and all living things. If you kill without justifiable cause, then killing a human will carry the highest penalty simply because we humans are a higher intelligence and have more to offer and more to lose.

          • Mark says:

            Both outcomes in that situation are morally wrong. “Friendship” is a human construct and can’t be used to justify the choice. If the person you killed had a dog, the dog would miss the person just as much as any friend would. All life is equally precious, none trumps the other. It is one of the greatest arrogances of mankind that it raises itself above all other species in importance.

          • Shannon says:

            It’s in the nature of social animals to be repelled by killing members of one’s own social group. It’s not an ‘arrogance of mankind’, it’s survival of our gene pool.

          • AP² says:

            What if the dog was Lassie?

        • Michael Lashinsky says:

          >are you implying that humans automatically have more right to survive than dogs?

          In human society… Yes! If it were a dog society it would probably be the other way around. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, I’m just pointing it out.

          • vonskippy says:

            In a dog society, that dog would have been left to perish, or become a little before dinner appetizer to a bigger dog. In fact I’m betting it was a human that removed it from the mom right after it’s birth to prevent the mom from eating it – which is natures way of helping the mom recoup some of the energy she spend on having an offspring that wouldn’t survive. Let me know when you see a bunch of dogs get together and build a little cart for their defective brethren,

      • efahrenholz says:

        Glasses were a later invention, well beyond the predation of humans. It would be ironic to spot a relatively dumb neanderthal with spectacles.

    • t-bone says:

      You’re one of those guys, aren’t you? Well, not everything can be done with a 555, perfect as it may be.

    • efahrenholz says:

      Take your darwinism and suck it. Evolution is relative, wouldn’t anyone else agree that this is an evolution in itself? Nature made humans intelligent, and a human enabled this animal to survive.

      • hackliptik says:

        True. Evolution was not created, evolution just happens, or doesn’t, depending on the conditions. Can destroy races as well as create new, evolution is change and we slowed down change so we have a stable environment to live in.

      • pcf11 says:

        If human intelligence is a product of evolution then how come more species are not more intelligent than they are? Some species have certainly had a lot more time to develop intelligence than we have. Our species has not exhibited what is called modern behavior for more than 60,000 years now. Before that our ancestors were little brighter than any other brute around them.

        In fact I am thinking impenetrable ignorance is shaping much of your world view right now. Put down the video games and pick up an anthropology book sometime. Our history, what we know of it today at any rate, is some fascinating stuff.

        • janostman says:

          I think the large problem is that they live in the US.

          You step on a poor dog and try to make the rest of the world belive?


        • Greenaum says:

          Everthing has it’s niche. Koalas have tiny, stupid brains compared to other animals of a similar size, because their life is based around living among, and eating, Eucalyptus leaves. The leaves aren’t particularly nutritious, giving barely more calories than it takes to pick and digest them. This means sacrifices have to be made, and in the case of Koalas it’s the brain.

          Fortunately, living up a tree all day shitting out strong mints isn’t an intellectually demanding pursuit. So they do well. Cleverer, stronger, faster animals would starve to death on such a crappy diet. So despite being “useless”, a Koala’s talent is to live on Eucalypts, something no other animal can manage. All those leaves, up on the trees of Australia, uneaten, so something evolved to take advantage of the niche.

          Intelligence is great, and it’s done us well through planetary history. But there’s other ways of getting the job done. Slugs are better at being slugs than a lion would be, so we have slugs, even though a lion could squish any number of them.

    • Granz says:

      yfhy, thanks for, so succinctly, pointing out one of the ludicrous aspects of belief in evolution. If we had been evolved, it would have been totally impossible to develop a sense of compassion. Compassion is completely against evolution! Anyone who claims to believe in evolution, and yet works for a doctor, a hospital, an anti-defects charity, or in any related field, should be arrested, charged with, and convicted of crimes against nature. That person is either a hypocrite, or is really engaged in activity to destroy humanity.

      After all, wasn’t Hitler just trying to purify the human race? Didn’t he want to perfect humanity into the “Master Race?” BALDERDASH! Hitler was guilty of crimes against humanity simply because of what he did, he was NOT truly trying to “clean up” the gene pool.

      • anescient says:

        Compassion is cooperation. Cooperation can be a powerful advantage.

        • Shannon says:

          Completely agree with this. Being incredibly social animals, we learn from each other in ways that no other animals can, we respond to threats in groups, we plan in groups. This means that other members of social groups are an evolutionary advantage.
          There’s actually a theory that we have people who survive into old age because they benefit our societies with their knowledge. Other animals don’t tend to survive past their reproductive years.

        • pcf11 says:

          Cooperation is for the weak. Those that have truly advanced humanity did it by themselves, despite all of the weaklings around them!

          • janostman says:

            That is just the reason why you get no support.

            At all.

          • pcf11 says:

            @janostman I do not recall asking for any support. I never claimed to be one of the select few that has truly advanced human kind either. In fact if such a being in my generation even exists I am presently unaware of them. So you could say that currently I am in very good company. Our species has been suffering through a dry spell lately when it comes to producing greats.

      • Me says:

        I’m probably just feeding a troll here but ok, I will bite.

        There is a common fallacy about evolution here. Natural selection does not mean that a species should evolves in such a way that every member will selfishly do “whatever it takes” to reproduce.

        The fallacy is to look at evolution from the perspective of an individual. It’s thinking that I need to reproduce as much as possible and give my offspring as much resources as possible [by taking them from you] so that they might live and also reproduce. Evolution does not work at this individual level because individuals do not evolve. It is genes that evolve, not people.

        Genes are shared by populations. Take yourself and any random other person, you share 99.9…% of the same DNA! Even if you gave your life before ever having children in order to save another group of people you would be doing more to propogate the vast majority of your genes than you would by living. On the other hand, if you killed everyone who you weren’t mating with in order to free up resources for your own children your line would be dead in a few short generations due to inbreeding.

        Clearly no population would get very far if every member was ready to commit suicide at the drop of a hat just to somehow do a small favor for their neighbor. However a population where every member is out to get every other wouldn’t survive either. It takes a balance. It should be no surprise that we have both serial killers and saints but most people lie in between. That is what works!

        • pcf11 says:

          So, you think what we’re doing today works do you? It must because we’re all here now right? What do they say on a stock prospectus, past performance is no guarantee of future results? Nothing lasts forever. I’ve a funny feeling we’re nearing the end of the line lately too. Our world is like a locomotive and for the past couple hundred years every human that could has eagerly been shoveling coal into the boiler about as fast as they can. Look at us go now! Yes, look at us go indeed.

          • garym53 says:

            He feels the piston scraping
            Steam breaking on his brow
            Old Charlie stole the handle and
            The train it won’t stop going

            No way to slow down.

          • Me says:

            What? Why are you here posting on HaD? Aren’t you supposed to be on a street corner somewhere shouting doom and gloom at whoever is unfortunate enough to get stopped at the light?

    • John says:

      I firmly sit on your side but having had diabetes for 25 years I am perpetually torn, my life is a conundrum.

    • static says:

      Human intervention is why there are so many breeds of dogs. Chances are pretty good the genetic defect is a result of human intervention, not sure why this additional intervention would be a problem. Highly unlikely he would be selected as a mate.

      • efahrenholz says:

        On the contrary, human assisted breeding is more selective than natural. Dog breeders select mates of higher qualities to ensure fewer genetic defects. This poor pooch just ended up with an unintended genetic mutation. Blame the cell phone towers.

        • John says:

          No, dog breeders intentionally inbreed their dogs, espectially deformed runts like chiahuahuas, in order to keep their “cute” or unique appearance. If people stopped buying pure-bred dogs and started demanding dogs with genetic variety then this little guy wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

          • Rob says:

            This. Damned back yard breeders need to all die in a fire. And the idiots who support them need to get a grip and start visiting the shelters instead. Makes me sick.

          • efahrenholz says:

            You are confusing proper breeding with people who are creating designer breeds, like toy size dogs or special varieties. Dogs of a long line have had deformities bred out, intentionally, to improve life span, appearance and temperament. Certain new breeds are prone to genetic issues, and in that respect you are correct to point out poor breeding on behalf of human intervention. But not everyone is a backyard breeder, many reputable breeders know the lineage of the dogs they are pairing.

      • L says:

        Human intervention is the sole reason that dogs exist. Dogs are not a “natural” animal, they are the result of thousands of generations of selective breeding.

    • Hirudinea says:

      Man created technology so he could tell Mother Nature to go f**k herself!

    • Nature also gave humans the ability to figure this stuff out. For any argument that says “Nature didn’t intend for us to do that.” you’ve already failed. Nature gave us the ability to figure out how to do pretty much whatever we want. It also gave us the ability to determine what’s a good idea and what’s a bad idea.

      Saving a puppy’s life? Probably a good idea.

    • Greenaum says:

      The solution is death. It’s a solution to almost every problem imaginable but it’s not usually the preferred one. Hence, you’re still alive. I’m surprised anyone needs this pointing out to them.

    • WallyBallzak says:

      Nature sucks and deserves to be controlled.

  4. Jan Arjen says:

    I had to hit a concrete wall to feel manly again..

  5. damik says:

    the age of cyborgs is here …

  6. Andrew says:

    Due to the lack of lawsuits that could be triggered by this sort of thing dogs will get better prostheses than people.

    Nice story though.

  7. Hirudinea says:

    “Come on boy, lets go for a roll.” Nice story.

  8. garym53 says:

    Video? I could easily get some support…

  9. dave says:

    Hack convertss dog into roller skate. Awesome.

  10. Alan Hightower says:

    Where is the ‘bark’ recognition, satellite nav, rate gyro, accelerometer, and HUD? I’ve very disappointed with this hack. Fix that dog’s disability already!

  11. xmega128a4u says:

    I think it would be better to use only two wheels for the Dog-Cart.
    This device is a little bit oversized for such a little dog.

    If he would fall into water this thing would possibly turn him down.

    With two wheels he could turn around and have more flexibility to move.

    If you care about the stability you can add to the two wheels one which can turn around 360° , so that he can stay on three points … but I don’t think that this is necessary.

    • efahrenholz says:

      With or without the wheels, this dog would still drown. If the wheels were printed and with a a half infill, and it was watertight, he might survive. Something tells me his owners won’t be taking him around water.

  12. John Spartan says:

    World’s most adorable skateboard ever

  13. David says:

    “It might turn over and in water and drown the dog, it doesn’t have this, or that.” I’m sorry I thought this was Hackaday, where instead of lamenting about what’s missing people just go build a better version!!! Great story, glad to see 3D printing used to help more sentient beings.

  14. Asshat says:

    So, now add some motors and a remote and you have a RC dog, that always goes where you want it without saying a word or be annoyed by a bad tampered dog.

  15. janostman says:

    Either people here don’t own a dog or they push mom or dad over a cliff when they get poor sighted or loose an arm.

    I think this is a great use of technical skills and proof for what it can do for humanity.

    • efahrenholz says:

      I agree. This is a great use of a printer, it improves the life of a creature who would suffer greatly without it. Printing all those upgrade pieces for your printer is just practice for puppy prosthetics.

  16. static says:

    The little feller is going to be the leader of the pack on downhill runs on pavement. Kick those tiny leg out the back and fly.

  17. vonskippy says:

    Chihuahua’s are yappy little pests inbreed for decades for their size and have a complete gene pool of defects. The guy should have 3D printed a little bucket, filled it with water and the legless yapper, and done the world a favour. One down, 20 million to go. As to all the comments about human defects – when the yapper evolves a opposable thumb, a brain bigger then a walnut, and cognitive thinking – then we’ll have something to talk about – until then, they’re inbreed ratdogs with little to no value on the evolutionary scale. Lets hope the cyborg yapper likes to roll around in the streets.

  18. Georg says:

    It only goes straight forward. How to drive arround a corner?

  19. janostman says:

    This poor puppy got a life thanks to some ingenious 3D-printing and thinking.

    You better wish someone thinks as good of you when you’re missing body parts.

    But as this is the world, you better lose your head before someone minds.

    If they do.

    • gw812 says:

      With tech like this and how far we have come in science we can safely say that there is no longer such as thing as a physical disability. We can darn near overcome anything with the right application of modern technology, creativity and ingenuity.

      Makes me want to wave a picture of Turbo in the face of most people who claim ‘disability’ in order to get income.

  20. Ken says:

    The posts turned dark quick! Lighten up people!

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