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Claws? Scratch that: Frostbitten Siberian cat gets new 3D-printed titanium paws
Russian winters can be brutal beyond measure, and not only for us two-legged creatures — it's especially cruel to our furry friends without the luxury of warm homes and comforting hearths to nap beside.
Meet the amazing cyber-kitty from Mother Russia named Dymka (Mist), who unfortunately was a victim of the country's brisk climate and sadly lost all four paws due to extreme frostbite.
But Dymka must have more than nine lives or a legion of guardian angels, because doctors at the BEST Veterinary Clinic in Novosibirsk were able to surgically implant special 3D-printed bionic prosthetic legs after her natural feet had to be amputated because of their ice-burned affliction.
The incredible titanium prostheses used in Dymka's procedure came courtesy of scientists from the Tomsk Polytechnic University, who contributed their time and efforts by applying a unique calcium phosphate coating to the hi-tech intraosseous implants, helping to mount them effectively to minimize infection risk.
Luckily, a passing driver first discovered Dymka in the snow at Novokuznetsk in Siberia, and brought her to a local clinic, where she was diagnosed as damaged from extreme frostbite of her paws, ears, and tail. Resident veterinarian Sergei Gorshkov was able to successfully amputate those damaged regions.
After teaming up with Dr. Gorshkov, the university researchers employed computerized tomography (CT) X-ray scans of Dymka's apendages to model and 3D-print the titanium rod implants. Dymka received her first prosthetic implants ending in a textured bottom pad back in July 2019.
Six months later, Dymka was up and about, free to chase mice, scamper up stairs, and indulge in an occasional purr-worthy catnip treat, courtesy of her life-saving new technology.