A poor orange cat in Siberia was abandoned by his owners and lost all four paws to frostbite.
Luckily for Ryzhik (which is Russian for “Ginger” or “Redhead”), his new owners didn’t give up on him!
Siberian winters are perilously cold (as low as -40ºF).
While most of the humans living in Siberia have acclimated and have appropriate clothing for the weather, many animals cannot withstand such low temperatures.
Unfortunately, frostbite in dogs and cats is not uncommon, and most of the time it leads to the animal dying in the cold or being euthanized.
One of the Lucky Ones
When his new owners took him to the vet with frostbite, Ryzhik was in bad shape; gangrene had set in to all four limbs.
The vet had no choice but to amputate them.
But Ryzhik’s story didn’t end there.
His new owner decided he was going to do everything in his power to help Rhyzik walk again, so he took Rhyzik to a clinic in Novosibirsk that specialized in artifical limbs.
Rhyzik the Bionic Kitty
Using computer tomography and 3D modeling, the clinic outfitted Rhyzik with four artificial paws.
Surgeon Sergey Gorshkov said that Ryzhik “is definitely the first cat in the world who experienced such surgeries.”
That means that Rhyzik is the world’s first bionic kitty!
Dr. Gorshkov explained that Rhyzik’s new titanium limbs were attached to the bones.
The part of the titanium limb connected to skin and bone is spongy, allowing the tissue to grow around it.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Rhyzik is still a little unsteady on his new limbs, but the vets at the clinic say that it’s a good sign that he’s not trying to remove them.
It’s Rhyzik’s way of showing that he’s comfortable with the new paws.
Rhyzik can go up and down the steps, but still doesn’t feel confident with running or walking.
Specialists say, given time, Rhyzik will acclimate to his new limbs and become steadier on his bionic feet.
Innovation Saves Lives
Dr. Gorshkov’s clinic specializes in helping animals who would normally have no other options.
The clinic continues to pioneer new and innovative methods to give a fighting chance to the animals who need it the most!