Precious the Camel with a Prosthetic Leg

As I promised from the start of this blog, I said that on occasion these small town animal doctors work with some unique animals. In particular, every so often we work with a camel. Our local camel wrangler is Jeff Rueb, a really great friend of us at the Tyndall Vet Clinic. He has a whole assortment of unique animals in addition to camels, from alpacas to emus.

Jeff came to the clinic last fall with an interesting problem. He had a camel born earlier that year he named Precious. Precious was born with an underdeveloped left front foot. It made walking quite difficult for her. Jeff wanted to know if a prosthetic leg could be fashioned for Precious so she could walk better. His reasoning was that in addition to making things better for Precious, she could be an inspiration for people who have a disability; if a camel can work through it, so can they.

Precious the camel

Now we knew this was over our heads at the clinic, so we took the preliminary radiographs and contacted the closest thing we could find to a camel doctor–the local horse specialist. Up in Harrisburg, South Dakota, there is a great clinic called the Dakota Large Animal Clinic. The veterinarians up there are fantastic with all kinds of difficult horse cases, so we figured if anyone would have an idea on how to help this camel it would be them.

Jeff took Precious and the x-rays we took up to them and through a little trial and error they built a boot for Precious that functions like a new foot. Jeff has to take the boot off every night to give the stump some rest, but it really helps Precious walk better. She can even run now!

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I could tell you more about it, but seeing is much better in this case. So go over and check out this youtube video the shows Precious’ progress. It’s worth the watch.

-Jake

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