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Ground-breaking surgery gives amputee cat 4 prosthetic limbs

cat loses his limbs to frostbite and received 4 prosthetic legs
© The Siberian Times - Facebook

Ryzhik, the ginger kitty, became the bionic cat after he lost all 4 limbs to frostbite. He is the first in the world to be fitted with specially designed titanium implants.

By Dawn Parrish, 12 Jun 2019

The stray cat needed emergency surgery when gangrene set into his limbs. After the cat lost its limbs to severe frostbite in Tomsk, Siberia, where temperatures are known to fall to minus 40 degrees, there seemed to be little hope of recovery.

Pets with frostbitten paws are a common sight in Siberia

As the temperatures reduce drastically, many felines suffer with frostbite on their paws. It often means the death sentence for these poor cats. However, it was Ryzhik’s lucky day when his new owner set out to help him on the road to recovery. She took him to a clinic in Novosibirsk, which specialises in fitting new bionic paws.

Sophisticated technology helps the amputee cat

Using specialist techniques such as 3D modelling and computer tomography, surgeons at the clinic fitted 4 prosthetic limbs to the ginger cat. The artificial limbs were manufactured using titanium, before being attached to the cat’s bones. The natural tissue eventually grows around the implant, where it connects with the skin and bone.

The first cat in the world to have 4 prosthetic feet

The vet, Sergey Gorshkov, who carried out the ground-breaking surgery, stated that Ryzhik was definitely the first cat ever to have 4 artificial limbs fitted successfully. The kitty appears to be quite happy with his new feet and is attempting to walk up and down stairs as he gets used to them.

The pioneering skills of the Novosibirsk clinic don’t end with helping cats. They are researching new ways to help other animals in distress, including manufacturing hooves for cattle, beaks for parrots and artificial limbs for birds.