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Good News for Bad Hips

For a long time, surgical hip replacement has been the go-to procedure for dogs with hip dysplasia. In older dogs, when surgery is too risky, pain meds are often the only option. But now, a third alternative is rattling over the horizon. Mechanical engineering students at Purdue University are fine-tuning a canine exoskeleton, essentially a brace, that when fitted on a dog’s back relieves some of the pressure and pain off the hips.

In the process of unsuccessfully scouting for a photo, or better yet a video, of a demo-dog strutting her bionic stuff, I stumbled onto human exoskeletons. One device, created by a paralyzed engineer in Israel, may help people who have lost the use of their legs to walk. More evidence, we're all in this together.

Another, created for military use, practically turns soldiers into supermen. Yikes. Check it out:

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

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