Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


College of Engineering


Dr. Scott Hazelwood

Advisor Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Congenital and developmental limb deformities in canines are rare and can occur as a genetic disorder or be caused by extrinsic factors. Without surgery to correct the deformity, conservative management can be implemented to manage exercise and restrict high-intensity activity of the canine. However, any alteration to the normal gait and locomotive biomechanics of a canine can have significant long-term effects on the musculoskeletal health and quality of life of the canine. To improve quality of life and provide an alternative and more cost-effective approach to surgery, a custom prosthetic was designed and developed for a canine born with a congenital right forelimb deformity. Since canine prosthetics that are currently on the market are limited and expensive, the goal of this thesis was to create a durable and inexpensive prosthetic to stabilize the gait of a canine. A 1-year-old German Shepherd was the single subject of this research project. The major results indicated that the custom-designed, 3D printed prosthetic parts, which included the foot and the body of the prosthetic, were strong enough to withstand the high-impact forces and stresses experienced during the gait of a canine. The results also indicated that the prosthetic was comfortable and did not cause any pain or discomfort to the canine, as well as the prosthetic leg and foot being the correct length to stabilize the gait of the canine and redistribute the body weight of the tripod canine to that of a tetrapod canine. This study also developed and outlined a feasible fabrication process that could be repeated and used to produce other custom prosthetics for canines with rare congenital or development limb deformities as an alternative to surgery. In a future study, fatigue testing, tensile testing, and impact testing should be performed to determine the failure points. Fatigue testing is a critical factor in determining failure of a part.