Lame frog gets his leg back in world first operation
Brullie has become the first frog in the world to be fitted with a false leg.
The giant bullfrog had his shattered lower leg bone replaced with an inch-long metal pole during a painstaking two hour operation.
The lame amphibian went under the vet’s knife after being bitten by a dog.
Owner Anne Mearns, 62, said: “People think I’m mad to care so much about a frog but I couldn’t bear to see him in so much pain.
“Frogs are famous for their legs, so the thought of Brullie being left lame broke my heart. I knew without surgery he would never move again, so I to rushed to the vet and begged him to operate.
“The vet was more used to saving cats and dogs and couldn’t understand why I was so worried about a frog, but he eventually agreed.
“It was a nervous few hours while we waited for him to come around after the op, but he’s healing up now and hobbling about the garden. The x-rays suggest he’ll be as good as new.”
Mrs Mearns, a wildlife expert who writes teaching material for schools, believes the operation is the first time a frog has ever undergone surgery to replace a broken bone.
Brullie remained unconscious after the vet rubbed a tiny dose of watered-down dog anaesthetic into his porous skin.
The surgeon, who operated for free, then opened the damaged limb to insert the tiny steel rod over the snapped right leg bone.
His scaly skin was later sewn back together with nine stitches to allow the wound to heal.
These x-rays show the state of Brullie’s leg before and after the unique operation.
Just weeks later he is already on the move at Mrs Mearns’ home near Johannesburg, South Africa.
The dedicated conservationist stepped in to save Brullie after he was discovered by a neighbour following the vicious dog attack last month.
The animal is around 25 years old and lives on a healthy diet of rodents, snakes and other frogs.
He is one of a dwindling species of bullfrogs found only in wetlands across southern Africa.