Chihuahua born without a back foot to get tiny prosthetic paw

Peggy, a Chihuahua in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will soon be getting what is arguably the smallest canine prosthetic in the US. Peggy was nicknamed "Peg Leg" after she was born without a back foot. She has been officially accepted into a prestigious research programme at North Carolina State University.

"Enthusiasm-wise it's running very high because we like to see Peggy running across the grass with four paws instead of three," said Mary Jewell of Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue. Researches at NC State are working to develop a mini-size prosthesis that will be similar in size to a human finger. "Into the future this can transfer into human beings getting really sensitive feelings in their fingers, which of course will help our veterans,"

Jewell said. Researchers said Peggy will be the smallest animal in the United States to get a prosthesis. The plan is for the pup to ultimately be fitted with a full bionic paw, which will have electrodes connected to her nerves giving her full motion to run and scratch. Moulds of Peggy's leg have been sent to France and Germany where the bionic paw will be made.

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"We are really excited, but we know things like this take time," Jewell said. "We are impressed that the university is not going to settle for an almost-good prosthesis for Peggy." The bionic device is scheduled to arrive soon after Christmas. The NC State programme will cover the cost of Peggy's surgery.