Little seven-year-old Vince escaped from his home and was found injured by neighbours missing his front leg
A tortoise that had to have its leg amputated after a vicious dog attack is back on its feet after having a WHEEL fitted – made out of a LEGO .
Little seven-year-old Vince escaped from his home and was found injured by neighbours missing his front leg in August.
The animal was taken to Vets4Pets in Banbury, Oxon, where owner Kara Paynton, 33, was told her beloved pet might die.
Vets operated on Vince, who is just 13cm long and is 10cm wide, and saved his life by amputating his leg.
But the procedure left the pet crippled and barely able to walk.
A veterinary nurse told Kara that she knew an engineer called Nathan Portlock-Allan, who also owned a tortoise who might be able help.
The stranger then offered his services to Vince by constructing a prototype foot out of a toy Lego wheel which he attached with rubber bands.
The contraption allowed Vince to slowly get back on his feet and he is now well on the way to recovery, moving freely around his home.
Financial controller Kara, who lives with her partner Greg Moyses, 33, an IT consultant, said: “Vince has a little cage outside home and he escaped from there.
“I usually find him hiding under a bamboo plant, but I couldn’t find him anywhere.
“Two days later, I noticed a little tunnel under the fence leading into the next-door neighbours’ house. I asked them if they knew where Vince was and they said they had found a tortoise and taken him to the vets.
“When I went, the vet told me he was in a bad way and that his bone was exposed and maggots had infected the wound.
“I was told he would probably die, so I prepared myself for the worst. They operated on him and cut the bone off, cleaned the infection and stitched him up.
“After the surgery, we were discussing what we could do to allow him to move easily. Luckily, Nathan was in the vets’ surgery and he offered to help.
“The vets took Vince’s measurements and Nathan made him a prototype foot out of a Lego wheel and fixed it on using rubber bands.
“It was custom-made so it fit Vince exactly.
“Nathan is going to make a permanent wheel to be fixed on with resin in the New Year so that Vince can walk on different types of terrain.
“He’s getting on well with it on a flat surface at the moment. He seems to have got the hang out it now. The test will come when he’s more active in the warm weather as he loves climbing.”
The surgery was performed by vet Rosie Waters, assisted by nurse Mel Boughton who said: “Poor Vince is still small and had suffered a real ordeal but he is getting on really well now.
“When he was brought in the wound was infected so we had to treat that for a few days before we could operate.
“The recommendation is not to hibernate him this winter since we do need to keep an eye on the area to ensure it’s continuing to heal well.”