Disabled Chiahuahua Gets New Outlook On Life With 3D Printed Cart

[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!]



86 thoughts on “Disabled Chiahuahua Gets New Outlook On Life With 3D Printed Cart

  1. “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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

          3. 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.

        2. >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.

          1. 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,

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

    3. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. @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.

      1. 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!

        1. 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.

          1. 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?

    4. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    1. That sounds about right… we will become so obsessed with lawsuits, that soon we won’t be able to do anything meaningful whatsoever for fear of litigation…. every shop will have become a lawyers office… the legal equivalent of the Shoe Event Horizon… http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Shoe_Event_Horizon … nobody sill survive except those that can build pulse jet powered invalid carriages to escape from the carnage…

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. “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.

    1. Seeing as dogs born without front legs are rare I am glad we aren’t seeing a rush of people building these things. Do we really want hackers everywhere cutting the legs off of perfectly good dogs?

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. Human groups have “inbred for decades”. Millions of years, in fact!
    As an anthropologist, I very much want to meet and interview a specimen such as yourself and ask some questions about your perceived worth. Please reply!

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

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