Siberia is famous for its extremely cold winters, with temperatures staying in the negatives for days on end.
In weather this cold, frostbite comes on quickly. Unfortunately, that’s just what happened to a little cat named Ryzhik. The poor cat was abandoned by his first owners. One night, he was stuck outside when the temperature dropped to -40°C. By morning, all four of the cat’s paws had frostbite.
A good Samaritan found Ryzhik and rushed him to the vet. The vet told the good Samaritan—who later adopted Ryzhik—that there was nothing they could do to save his paws. But the vet said there was another option—they could give him prosthetic limbs.
Ryzhik’s new owner agreed to the surgery, and the vets began preparing Ryzhik’s new prosthetic limbs.
The vets used 3D modeling to create a custom set of prosthetic limbs that would be perfect for Ryzhik. The limbs are made of titanium.
In the end, the surgery was a success! The vet who did the surgery, Sergey Gorshkov, said Ryzhik was the only cat in the world who had four prosthetic limbs.
“He is definitely the first cat in the world who experienced such surgeries,” Gorshkov said. “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.”
After Ryzhik woke up from the surgery, Gorshkov carefully monitored him for any signs of discomfort. Ryzhik didn’t try to remove the limbs, which told Gorshkov the cat was content with the prosthetics.
Once Ryzhik had recovered from the surgery, Gorshkov took him outside and had him try to walk. He shared a video of the cat’s first wobbling steps on Instagram.
Gorshkov and Ryzhik were also on the local news! This video gives a more in-depth look at the prosthetics Gorshkov used for Ryzhik.
Gorshkov’s clinic specializes in prosthetics, and they’ve done incredible work at helping cats like Ryzhik.
The clinic has also helped other animals in need. Gorshkov has created a prosthetic beak for a parrot, and he also has made prosthetic hoofs for cattle. He has also created prosthetic limbs for other cats like Ryzhik who lost their paws.
Thanks to Gorshkov and a good Samaritan’s help, Ryzhik is doing much better! We’re so glad this cat got the help he needed.
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