March 31, 2009

Injured frog receives artificial leg bone

A South African woman said her pet, Brullie the giant bullfrog, has become the first frog in the world to be outfitted with an artificial leg bone.

Anne Mearns, 62, said she adopted the 25-year-old Brullie after he was injured by a dog near her home outside of Johannesburg in 1984, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

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, said Mearns, a wildlife expert who prepares educational materials for schools. 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.

She said the veterinarian, who operated free of charge, cut open Brullie's leg and inserted a tiny steel rod over the snapped right leg bone.

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, Mearns said. She said she believes her frog is the first to ever receive such an operation.