1980 - Volume #4, Issue #1, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Artificial Legs Save Valuable Stock
Bud Beaston has developed hinged prosthetic leg braces for horses, cows, calves, bulls, and sheep. He first makes a mold of the injured or abnormal leg with plaster of paris, then builds a hinged cast that clamps around the leg. Pressure points inside the case are padded with foam rubber.
"It's very important to look at the limb once or twice a week," says Beaston. "It can be cleaned and the foam rubber replaced each time. The hinged brace makes it possible to do this in about 5 minutes."
For young growing animals, Beaston generally makes the artificial limb of stainless steel and plaster of paris so it can be enlarged as the animal grows. When the animal is mature, a permanent limb can be made from fiberglass.
For all injured animals, regardless of age, it's important that the prosthetic device be made removable so the limb can be kept clean and comfortable, Beaston points out. He has used the "Beaston Method" on dozens of different animals, including a newborn calf that lost both hind feet from frostbite. Several months later, the calf weighed 400 lbs. and was getting around well on two artificial limbs.
Beaston has used his device on brood mares and mature horses, a colt born with defective feet, and a bull with a turned-in hoof.
Beaston says he can build a form-fitted leg brace for about $25, and in a couple hours. "It works very good now, but we are working on improvements, and we may have a real breakthrough in artificial limbs later," he told FARM SHOW.
Beaston, with the aid of his veterinarian, does a wide array of corrective work on the legs of horses, cows, and sheep which are born with abnormalities, or suffer injury in accidents. "We work with local veterinarians. Or, for animals brought here, a veterinarian here does whatever surgery or amputating is needed."
Beaston's work in saving injured animals with his special hinged leg brace is done in connection with his farrier's school near Tulsa, Okl. He founded the Oklahoma Farrier's College in 1965 and has been training students from all 50 states and 21
foreign countries in horse shoeing.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bud Beaston, Oklahoma Farrier's College, Route 1, Box 88, Sperry Oka. 74073 (ph 918 288-7221, or toll-free 1-800-331-4061).
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