Tommy the Donkey given life-saving prosthetic limb after a life with deformed leg

ITV News Central's Callum Watkinson reports

A donkey from Worcestershire who has lived his life on a slant has been given a new limb by a team of prosthetics experts.

Nine year old Tommy, from Hillside, was born with a deformed front right leg and the way he was walking has damaged his health.

The first prosthetic limb ever made for an animal like him has been dubbed "life-changing" and "life-saving." This is because the gait he had developed was slowly destroying him.

Tony Nevin, an osteopath, says because he's been standing on the left leg, "he's overdeveloped the left shoulder and all the muscles on the right side have wasted."

A team of prosthetics experts in Dorset helped make this pioneering limb for Tommy. Credit: ITV News Central

The prosthetics specialists, from Dorset Orthopaedics in Ringwood, are more used to working with Paralympic athletes and car crash victims. But they began their work as they always do - with a plaster cast.

Matt Hughes who was part of the team who helped make the limb said the "challenge with an animal is the feedback loss.

"With a patient it's like, how does it feel - they'll tell you how it feels. With a donkey you can look at them and you can ask them how it's feels, but the reality is he might trot off or take a few steps and you can take that as a positive." 

Tommy is also having laser therapy to build his muscle as he gets used to the new limb.

"I'm absolutely amazed at how well this has gone."

It's hoped Tommy's new limb will give him a new lease of life and ensure his other limbs do not get overworked.

Not so long ago it was far from certain his stablemate would survive, but now the new leg can help keep this little donkey plodding on.