Bionic Felines: Prosthetic Legs for Handicapped Cats

Prosthetic legs for handicapped cats are among the latest advancements in veterinary implants. This invention has many disabled animals back on their feet.
Bionic Felines: Prosthetic Legs for Handicapped Cats

Last update: 08 June, 2019

Prosthetic legs for handicapped cats are among the latest advancements in veterinary implants. These are a kind of rubber polymer legs made of titanium. This invention has been a total success, as they’re getting many disabled animals back on their feet (literally).

Two particular cases of handicapped cats with bionic legs

Handicapped cats being helped to walk.

Veterinarians have recently operated on two disabled cats in order to equip them with two bionic legs. As a result, these will allow them to walk again.

Let’s remember that there’s already a precedent when it comes to surgery for disabled cats. The year was 2010, and the cat in question was Oscar. However, on this occasion these new legs have benefited two cats called Pooh and Steven. These two cats suffered amputations of their hind legs after a car ran over them.

Both cats are now in good health and are currently looking for a new owner after the accident.

Facts about implants for handicapped cats

These leg implants are custom-made to fit the cats’ ankles. The technique used by surgeons has been similar to the one used in 2010 with Oscar the cat.

The doctors actually inserted the pins in the prosthetic legs into each of the disabled cats’ ankle bones.

In a second phase, they coated each prosthesis with hydroxyapatite to stimulate the bone cells to grow on the metal. As a result, the skin grows in a protected manner that prevents the emergence of any harmful infection that could endanger the cat.

The team of surgeons who carried out the operation stated that after a month with these new legs, they can call the operation a success. Although the cats relate to their environment in a somewhat clumsy way, they can now walk, run and make small jumps.

After these successful operations, experts will continue to develop the prostheses with the aim to offer them in a generalized way. Moreover, disabled cats and other animals will be able to walk again.

Bionic prosthetics that have saved animals’ lives

Many endangered species are a target for biotechnology trials. These bionic prosthesis implants are helping different pets to recover from severe injuries. As a result, this highly increases their chance of survival.

How are these technological advances carried out? Among other means, using 3D printing to create implants and other custom-made prostheses.

Until today, people would put down animals with mutilated limbs or ones that were born with certain congenital defects. However, thanks to these advances in technology, these pets now have a new chance to live.

There are many organizations and pet-owners themselves who are willing to pay whatever is necessary. Therefore, purchasing prostheses that can save their dear pets and improve their quality of life is an excellent solution.

Some points under discussion

One of the most important challenges when it comes to animal prostheses is the great diversity of sizes and body differences among pets. As a result, this fact makes it necessary to take a wide range of muscular and skeletal concepts into account.

Many experts have also discussed whether a prosthesis hinders or helps those animals that have lost a single leg.

There are all kinds of opinions regarding this matter. Some experts say that animals, dogs, or cats can live happy lives with only three legs. But they do admit that they need greater heart endurance to perform simple exercises and daily activities.

In the case of disabled cats and other animals that have two damaged limbs, the matter is much simpler. Therefore, the use of prostheses is essential for them to lead a decent life.

The challenges

A disabled cat with her prostethic wheels.

Since it’s not possible to ask an animal how their implants or prostheses are doing, everything should be done taking into account evaluations and clinical data.

Among the main pet prosthesis failures is the fact that the animal isn’t able to assimilate the new implants in their bodies, for instance.

Medical engineering is able to improve many people’s quality of life. However, its contribution and service for animals is also praiseworthy.

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