A female cat in Russia who lost her legs due to frostbite now; she can walk, run, and move up to the stairs again. It happened just due to the hard and dedicated work of veterinarians who replace her lost limbs with 3D printed paws. These prosthetics made up of titanium all their efforts make it possible for her to walk again like before.The grey feline known as Dymka (“mist” in Russian), is almost four years old. In the snow in Novokuznetsk in Siberia, in December 2018, a passing driver found her and brought her with him. Then he left her to a clinic in Novosibirsk.
Dymka was suffering from frostbite of her ears, tails, and paws. Therefore, veterinarian Sergei Gorshkov had to remove those wrecked terminations.
Dymka isn’t the first cat who is granted by bionic paws. A male feline named Ryzhik (“Red” in Russian) who also lost his legs due to frostbite. Then he received similar treatment from the same clinic. Now, Dymka is the second cat in the whole world, which has granted four 3D printed paws.
What Is Frostbiting?
Frostbite happens due to exposure to shallow temperature and cause of skin freezing and other tissues for a long time. In the initial stage, a symptom is numbness and followed by clumsiness with white or bluish color to the skin. It mostly affected the feet, hand, and face. And it may cause tissue death and the need for amputation in severe cases.
Frostnip is a milder kind of cold injury and does not cause severe and permanent skin damage. It can treat by first aid measures such as rewarming the affected area.
During winter, veterinarians at the Novosibirsk clinic consistently cure at least five to seven cats owing to frostbite in their paws, ears, and noses, stated by Gorshkov. And also give treatment, and some may receive 3D printed feet in case of severe infection.
Designing of 3D printed pawsGorshkov and his co-workers at the clinic integrated with analysts from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) in Tomsk, Russia, to design a set of prosthetics for Dymka. The scientists made and applied a covering made of calcium phosphate. It helps to mount the titanium embed that was placed and joined to her leg bones. It lessens the chance of any infection and embeds rejection, stated by TPU representatives.
Analysts used programmed tomography (CT) X-ray scans of her legs to design and then 3D print the titanium rods. Dymka received her 3D printed paws in July 2019. It applied firstly in her forelegs and then in her back legs. The veterinary clinic shared a video on youtube on Dec. 10, 2019, and she was playing with a frill on a blanket, walking all over the examination room. And she also enjoyed a wake-up stretch, and she does all the things just after seven months of attachment of new 3D printed paws.
A close-up view showed where the titanium rods attached to her legs, and ends in feet build of a black elastic material with a textured base.
Finally, now Dymka is enjoying and living a happy life with the women who first found her in snow.
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