(CNN)A 9-year-old dog has a new skull and a cancer-free life because of 3D printing.
Patches, the cancer-stricken dachshund, is feeling better thanks to researchers at a Canadian university.
Dr. Michelle Oblak, a veterinary surgical oncologist with the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College, worked with Cornell University small-animal surgeon Galina Hayes to remove the tumor growing on Patches' skull. They replaced the missing skull piece with a 3D-printed plate, which was made by medical technological company Adeiss.
The university said the procedure was a veterinary first in North America.
The 9-year-old dog had a large cancerous tumor on the front of her skull that was pushing dangerously close to her brain and eye socket. It was so large that it started weighing down her head and growing into her skull, according to the university.
Oblak mapped out the dog's tumor using rapid prototyping and 3D-printed implants for reconstruction. She practiced removing the tumor on a 3D-printed model of Patches' skull and tumor.
"I was able to do the surgery before I even walked into the operating room," Oblak said in a statement from the university.
Oblak praised the technology, adding that the plate used to replace Patches' skull was designed specifically for her.