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Credit: Kirill Kukhmar\TASS via Getty Images

Claws? Scratch that: Frostbitten Siberian cat gets new 3D-printed titanium paws

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Feb 4, 2020, 10:05 AM EST (Updated)

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.

Credit: Kirill Kukhmar\TASS via Getty Images

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.

Credit: Kirill Kukhmar\TASS via Getty Images

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.  


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