Until recently, losing a limb or two meant certain death for most animals.
Luckily, innovative technology now enables us to create prostheses for animals of all kinds! Thanks to 3D printing, for example, a cat named Dymka got four titanium feet that have given her a new lease on life!
A kind human found Dymka on the side of a road in Novokuznetsk, Siberia. The poor feline had been out in the cold for so long that all four of her feet were destroyed and needed to be amputated. Instead of euthanizing the animal, a team of veterinarians and researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University decided to try out some new technology to get Dymka moving again.
First, they took CT scans of Dymka’s legs to create detailed X-rays. Using those scans, they 3D-printed titanium rods to insert into the cat’s stumps.
The rods attach to small rubberized feet. Scientists coated the roads with calcium phosphate, turning them into a “biomaterial” to reduce the risk of infection. This way, the cat’s body can accept the rods as part of herself, rather than perceiving a foreign material that could be rejected.
It has been two years since Dymka got her new feet, and she is flourishing! She can now walk, run, jump, and even manage stairs.
This isn’t the first time a cat has received this sort of revolutionary treatment. Another Russian cat named Ryzhik was the first to receive new titanium feet after losing her limbs to frostbite.
Dymka and Ryzhik actually live together in the medical facility that saved them. These two peas in a pod are now the best of friends!
We hope this is the start of a wonderful trend! There’s no reason for animals to struggle so much when we have the tools and the talent to help them!
Watch Dymka moving around on her new feet in the video below, and don’t forget to share this story.
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