Frostbitten cat gets new life thanks to titanium paws

Amazing 3D-printed limbs made out of titanium have given a cat with frostbitten feet the chance to walk again.

A female kitten in Russia that had all of her paws amputated due to vicious frostbite is now able to walk, run and even climb stairs again, thanks to the efforts of doctors who gave her 3D-printed prosthetic limbs made out of titanium.

Dymka the cat (meaning “mist” in Russian) is nearly four years old. A driver found her in the snow of Novokuznetsk, Siberia back in 2018 and carried her to a veterinary clinic, as per Russian news site Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Little Dymka was in pain due to her frostbitten ears, paws, and tail, all of which had to be amputated by veterinarian Sergei Gorshkov, The Moscow Times reported.

In the midst of the severe Siberian winters, veterinarians at the Novosibirsk clinic usually care for at least five to seven badly frostbitten kittens, Gorshkov revealed to The Moscow Times. Frostbite is caused when extremely cold temperatures freeze tissue and skin. In worst-case scenarios, the tissue dies and needs to be amputated.

Gorshkov and the rest of the clinic’s experts got together with a team of researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) in Tomsk, Russia, in order to craft the special prosthetics for Dymka.

They developed and covered the prosthetics with calcium phosphate to better mount them to the leg bones, and to reduce the risk of infection and implant rejection, TPU representatives revealed in a statement.

The team used special X-ray scans of Dymka’s legs to model and then 3D print the titanium feet.

Dymka got her implants in July 2019, Novosibirsk News reported.

In a YouTube video shared by the veterinary clinic, Dymka can be seen having a good time walking around the examination room and playing on a blanket.

Dymka is now officially the second cat on earth to be walking with metal prosthetics. Back in 2016, the same clinic performed a similar procedure on a cat named Ryzhnik (“Red” in Russian), who’s paws were also amputated due to severe frostbite, as per The Moscow Times.

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