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Cat with 4 frostbitten paws gets new feet made of titanium

3D-printed titanium limbs helped a frostbitten feline get back on her feet.
Dymka is standing tall on her new titanium paws.
(Image: © Kirill Kukhmar/TASS/Getty)

A female cat in Russia that lost all four of her paws to frostbite can walk, run and even climb stairs again, thanks to the veterinarians who replaced her missing limbs with 3D-printed prosthetics made from titanium. 

The hardy gray feline, named Dymka ("mist" in Russian), is about 4 years old. A passing driver found her in December 2018 in the snow in Novokuznetsk in Siberia and brought her to a clinic in Novosibirsk, according to Russian news site Komsomolskaya Pravda

Dymka was suffering from frostbite of her paws, ears and tail — so much so that veterinarian Sergei Gorshkov had to amputate those damaged extremities, The Moscow Times reported.

Related: Body beautiful: The 5 strangest prosthetic limbs

During the punishing Siberian winters, veterinarians at the Novosibirsk clinic typically treat at least five to seven cats due to frostbite in their paws, ears and noses, Gorshkov told The Moscow Times. Frostbite develops when cold temperatures freeze skin and tissue, particularly in extremities. In severe cases, the tissue dies and requires amputation.

Gorshkov and his colleagues at the clinic collaborated with researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) in Tomsk, Russia, to create a set of prosthetics for Dymka. The scientists developed and applied a coating made of calcium phosphate to help mount the titanium implants that were inserted and fused into her leg bones, and to minimize the risk of infection and implant rejection, TPU representatives said in a statement.

Researchers used computerized tomography (CT) X-ray scans of Dymka's legs to model and then 3D print the titanium rods. Dymka received her prosthetic implants in July 2019 — first in her front legs and then in her hind legs, Novosibirsk News reported. In a video shared to YouTube by the veterinary clinic on Dec. 10, 2019 — seven months after Dymka's new paws were attached — she was enjoying a wake-up stretch, walking around an examination room and playing with a fringe on a blanket. 

A close-up showed where the titanium rods joined to her legs, ending in "feet" made of flexible black material with textured bottoms.

Dymka is now the second cat in the world to have received four metal prosthetics. In 2016, the Novosibirsk clinic performed a similar procedure, mounting titanium implants on a male cat named Ryzhik ("Red" in Russian), who also required a quadruple amputation of his frostbitten feet, according to The Moscow Times. 

Originally published on Live Science.

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  • Lovescience
    Another good reason to keep your cat indoors!!!
    Reply
  • Katqueen
    WiseOne said:
    Awesome. Now spend your time doing that for people.
    Always somebody negative. There are similar and more human friendly procedures for people, I'm sure these incredible veternarians would love to assist in medical advancements outside their field if their knowlede for the veterinarian field may apply or help the human doctors actively reseaching and helping humans. If you want to human medical advancemnts you can find those exact videos they exist just because they dont pop up in your mindless scrolling doesn't mean they are not out there. Don't come on a animal science video complaining about human medicene, there are actual places and people designated for that.
    Reply
  • Danemil45
    Well theres plenty of people helping people that have lost limbs..it was approved by the FDA this procedure and they should be doing it more then the average prosthetic because supposedly this is more comfortable. Anyway Animals need cared for to you know. We owe cats alot for what theyve done controlling diseased animals. Some future generations would of never even existed if not for cats during the plague because it wiped out bloodlines and there were plenty saved just because of cats existence. They protected peoples food sources against mice and rats because they would contaminate it.
    Reply
  • WiseOne
    Katqueen said:
    Always somebody negative. There are similar and more human friendly procedures for people, I'm sure these incredible veternarians would love to assist in medical advancements outside their field if their knowlede for the veterinarian field may apply or help the human doctors actively reseaching and helping humans. If you want to human medical advancemnts you can find those exact videos they exist just because they dont pop up in your mindless scrolling doesn't mean they are not out there. Don't come on a animal science video complaining about human medicene, there are actual places and people designated for that.

    Name one way I was negative. All I was saying is Awesome, good for that cat. Now lets also help people! Nothing negative about that!
    Reply
  • WiseOne
    Danemil45 said:
    Well theres plenty of people helping people that have lost limbs..it was approved by the FDA this procedure and they should be doing it more then the average prosthetic because supposedly this is more comfortable. Anyway Animals need cared for to you know. We owe cats alot for what theyve done controlling diseased animals. Some future generations would of never even existed if not for cats during the plague because it wiped out bloodlines and there were plenty saved just because of cats existence. They protected peoples food sources against mice and rats because they would contaminate it.

    I havent heard of a cat saving someones life. Studies show that they carry a lot of sickness, even more than other animals because they hate to bathe in water. Im not sure what that has to do with this cat saving anyones life, rather humans saved its life. Today we wash our hands fight the plague and a number of other illnesses. We also have doctors who was their hands after they shit and before they go digging around in your cut.

    Them cats was just eating them rats and mice for food. Then the got sick from them and helped spread the illness to people. I have nothing against cats, but Im not going to glorify them for eating food as any other creature would do. If you want to glorify something, look to the doctors who have created modern medicine that has litterally saved countless lifes.
    Reply
  • Flagal44
    This is great and not only does it help animals but for the people who commented above, it also helps people b/c whatever they learn on animals, can often be translated to use on humans, so its a win-win.

    My question is: would there be any PAIN associated with these prosethetics?

    Thanks for any clarification on this.
    Reply
  • Smarti1957
    admin said:
    Dymka the cat suffered severe frostbite in all four paws, but after they were amputated she received new titanium limbs.

    Cat with 4 frostbitten paws gets new feet made of titanium : Read more
    Dr Heil Fitzpatrick (Bionic Vet) has been doing animal prosthesis since, I think, 2010. The surgeries he does in his practice and the tools he creates in his lab ar nothing short of magical. I've also seen another guy who made a prosthesis for an elephant!
    NqUEraHGHvIView: https://youtu.be/NqUEraHGHvI
    Reply
  • Aliera
    WiseOne said:
    I havent heard of a cat saving someones life. Studies show that they carry a lot of sickness, even more than other animals because they hate to bathe in water. Im not sure what that has to do with this cat saving anyones life, rather humans saved its life. Today we wash our hands fight the plague and a number of other illnesses. We also have doctors who was their hands after they **** and before they go digging around in your cut.

    . If you want to glorify something, look to the doctors who have created modern medicine that has litterally saved countless lifes.

    What 'studies' are these? Citation please?

    ' Them cats was just eating them rats and mice for food. Then the got sick from them and helped spread the illness to people. '

    What are you even talking about? Again, citation please?
    Reply