Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical and Veterinary Medical Sciences - Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Document Type

Restricted Dissertation


The objective of the survey study was to measure the level of knowledge and attitudes of the study groups with respect to the field of veterinary prosthetics. The objective of the implant study was to validate the biomechanical feasibility of two basic prosthetic implants for horses. The objective of the foot study was to virtually design a simple, inexpensive and accessible prosthetic foot for amputee horses, as well as biomechanically investigate it using finite element analysis (FEA) to define the optimal materials and dimensions. The survey study showed that there is not enough information available about veterinary prosthetics and student populations are more amicable to the field. The implant study showed that both implant designs were adequate in their abilities to withstand equine specific loads in axial compression, cycling and 4-point bending; the implant with and abutment performed statistically significantly better for axial loads and the interlocking screw implant was practically significantly better for bending loads. Using FEA, the most ideal dimensions, out of 0.5, 0.75 or 1 inch heel fillets and toe lengths, for an average-sized equine prosthetic foot were a 0.5 inch diameter heel fillet and 0.75 inch toe length at breakover for both midstance and heel strike. The most ideal material was found to be acrylonitrile butadiene styrene polycarbonate (ABSPC). The survey study indicates that collaborative efforts of different professionals is required to successfully provide veterinary prosthetics and produce more relevant information for advancement of the field. The implant study indicated that the implants, as they are, would best biomechanically resist the forces of small horses or ponies and that more research is required to assess the biomechanical potential of both implant designs together for average or large-sized horses. The prosthetic foot would likely perform better with a rubber heel and rubber lining the sole to absorb shock. It is entirely customizable to any amputee horse’s specific needs, 3D printable or machinable, inexpensive and accessible as an open source design with free permission to build on and modify as necessary.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Riggs, Laura M.