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Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite

By The Siberian Times reporter
09 June 2019

The pet lost all four paws in January in -40C cold in Tomsk but video shows him walking again with artificial titanium limbs.

Computer tomography and 3D modelling were used to manufacture the most comfortable and suitable artificial limbs. Picture: Vesti Rossiya

Ryzhik (meaning Redhead or Ginger) was found with all paws so badly frostbitten and with gangrene developing so fast, that there was no other option but amputation.

Not long ago this was a common cause of pets being put down in the harsh winters.

Luckily Ryzhik got himself a new owner who had other plans. 

The cat was taken to a clinic in Novosibirsk, which specialises in implanting artificial limbs.

Computer tomography and 3D modelling were used to manufacture the most comfortable and suitable artificial limbs for the cat.

Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite


Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite


Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite
Computer tomography and 3D modelling were used to manufacture the most comfortable and suitable artificial limbs. Picture: Vesti Rossiya


Now Ryzhik is believed to be the only cat in Russia with four functioning artificial paws. 

Indeed surgeon 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.

‘We achieved a good result. 

‘We have secured the function of the limb, although part of it has been removed.’

Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite


Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite


Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite


Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite


Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite

Ryzhik the Siberian cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite
Computer tomography and 3D modelling were used to manufacture the most comfortable and suitable artificial limbs. Picture: Vesti Rossiya


The cat is not trying to remove the limbs suggesting he is content with his new mobility. 

As the video shows, he is not yet fully confident but it is early days and the specialists say he will find walking easier in future.

Gorshkov’s clinic is pioneering new methods of helping animals in trouble. 

Veterinarians are to patent their technique for attaching artificial limbs to birds. 

The clinic is working at rebuilding beaks for parrots, and hoods for cattle. 


Comments (9)

Congratulations
PRB, Eurasia
24/07/2019 22:07
0
0
I would worry that the rear prosthetics will cause back pain due to the short size of the back legs. That’s concerning.
Not Russian, America/America
19/06/2019 11:42
2
1
To those concerned, the “paws” are likely made of a semi-firm rubber or silicone, something that can absorb a lot of shock while still maintaining a functional shape. That’s one of the biggest concern for weight bearing prostheses when treating humans! :)
Brianna, United States
15/06/2019 23:24
2
0
Heart warming, really beautiful. Fantastic to see a person who did not put the cat down but wanted to give him a chance at life and what amazing work from Mr. Gorshkov. This story has made my day :)
Mark, United Kingdom
15/06/2019 01:34
4
1
Leevi, I am very curious about that as well! They look really hard and awkward with no visible cushioning. I hope I’m wrong. If it is cushioned and comfortable for the cat, then this is truly an incredible thing that I hope becomes more widespread in the veterinary community! It’s always good to have options to help your fur babies even in the most extreme circumstances.
Stephanie K, USA
14/06/2019 20:26
1
1
A similar operation to this was performed in 2009 by Noel Fitzpatrick the Supervet.

Oscar the cat had both hind paws severed by a combine harvester. He was given a pioneering operation by the Supervet to add two prosthetic feet. The operation was a

success and Oscar was famously known as the bionic cat.
Barbara, Nottingham
10/06/2019 22:54
5
0
Is there any cushioning? If not, then walking with those must be painful for the cat, as she can feel every step painfully in her bones. Also, it will weaken the bone, making it easier to break.
Leevi, Finland
10/06/2019 02:50
14
2
This is truly amazing work. I have seen prosthetics here in the U.S. for animals, but, nothing on this scale. I am very glad to see surgeons like Dr. Gorshkov pioneering this technology.
Randall Mann, United States
10/06/2019 02:08
11
1
Best of lucks for the cat! Congratulations to everyone involved.
I-need-a-Russian-name, St. Petersburg
09/06/2019 19:59
10
2
1

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