Januaries in Siberia, Russia are a time of unparalleled extreme cold. The average whether is below -50 °C (-58 °F). (Honestly, the daily average in July is still near freezing at 0°C/32°F.) Frostbite on appendages in these chilling temperatures can and do happen in a matter of minutes and for Siberian residents, it's not unheard of for them to lose their pets to frostbitten paws.
Although frostbite on pet paws is often a "death sentence," one cat beat the odds stacked heavily against him. When the temperatures plummeted this last January in Tomsk, Ryzhik (Ginger or Redhead in Russian) lost all four of his paws. Ryzhik's veterinarian had no choice but to amputate all four limbs because of how fast gangrene set in, courtesy of severe frostbite, for the poor puss. But Ryzhik's owner was not in the business of giving up on his companion...
Ryzhik was taken to a clinic in Novosibirsk that specializes in implanting artificial limbs... Once there specialists used computer tomography and 3D modeling to manufacture limbs to purr-fectly fit the lucky lad.
The surgeon who gave Ryzhik his new outlook on life, Sergey Gorshkov said:
He is definitely the first cat in the world who experienced such surgeries. The limbs have fully connected with the skin and bone. The part of the limb that goes inside the body is spongy, the bone tissue grows inside it.
Gorshkov also said:
We achieved a good result. We have secured the function of the limb, although part of it has been removed.
Reportedly, the cat’s limbs were made of titanium.
Gorshkov’s clinic is pioneering new methods of helping animals in trouble.
Videos of Ryzhik walking suggest "he is not yet fully confident but it is early days" but the specialists say "he will find walking easier in future."
The veterinarians at the clinic that helped Ryzhik are planning to patent their technique for attaching artificial limbs to birds.
While Ryzhik is working on his walking skills, the clinic that saved his life is working at rebuilding beaks for parrots, and hoods for cattle!
Chances are Ryzhik will live a long, happy life, and maybe he will even transform the future of pets in Siberia!
Check out Ryzhik's doctor talking about his procedure and see him in action (make sure you listen to his "let me roam" meow, too!)
If nothing inspires you today, surely Ryzhik walking own the stairs with his four prosthetic limbs will bring a smile to your face. Go, Ryzhik!
Comments will be approved before showing up.