Doctors help a cheetah overcome arthritis

Arthritis can slow down even the fastest animals on land.

But there are ways to help them recover and they’ve figured out how in Rhode Island.

The summer crowd wants to see the animals: harbor seals, giraffes, and elephants. But only a sign greeted them at the cheetah pen, which said, “he’s got arthritis in his wrist.”

Togo, 15, has already lived much longer than he would in the wild.

Even sedated in the OR, he still has the sleek, sinister look.

A team of doctors fused Togo’s wrist to immobilize it using 20 steel pins. Less movement means less pain, and it only minimally limits the animals movement.

The explanation sounds simple enough. The doctors said cheetahs do most of their movement from the elbows.

But in the wild, anything that slows a cheetah, threatens its life. Cheetahs are dependent on their speed to capture their prey.

Togo will move gingerly for a few days in a smaller pen, limiting his mobility to make sure he will not over exert his wrist.

http://www3.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO55719/

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