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This little penguin can waddle easily again thanks to his custom-made boots

Lucas, a San Diego Zoo penguin with a chronic condition called “bumblefoot” that makes walking painful, can now waddle and hop with ease again thanks to a new pair of orthopedic boots. 

“‘Bumblefoot’ is a word we use for pododermatitis in birds,” meaning inflammation of the skin of the foot, Dr. Beth Bicknese, senior veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo, said in a video interview shared by the zoo. Birds don’t build up calluses on their feet as effectively as mammals do, and this leaves their feet vulnerable to the condition. A diagnosis of bumblefoot “usually means the animal has either a skeletal or neurological problem and they’re bearing weight inappropriately,” Bicknese said, and in time, this can cause abscesses to form on the feet and lead to serious infections, and even sepsis, a life-threatening inflammatory reaction. 

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