Pooh, the Bulgarian “bionic” cat with two artificial legs

In Bulgaria, a veterinary clinic operated for the first time two injured cats having lost their hind legs. Pooh, one of two cats, now wear two prostheses that allow him to walk and run. It’s a new breath of life for cats who could no longer move alone.

In Bulgaria, veterinarians have indeed given a big boost to two tomcats by performing a surgical operation that has been attempted so far only in the United Kingdom. Objective: to pose artificial legs to our two-legged friends, instead of four.

One of the two big cats, a beautiful black and white cat named Pooh (“stuffed” in Bulgarian), lost his two hind legs when he was only one year old in an accident probably caused by a train since this one it was collected near a railway of the Bulgarian countryside. Custom-made prostheses The last operation took place last December.

A little more than a month later, the results are already very promising. Today, Pooh is independent again: he can walk, jump and play as he would any animal of his kind. Titanium-mounted polymer and rubber prostheses have been made to measure for their new owner. “(The operation) can be considered a success,” told AFP VladislavZlatinov, a veterinarian at the Central Vet Clinic in Sofia where the cat lives. “His condition is more than satisfactory, he is still a bit clumsy but he can walk, jump and run.”

After Pooh, it’s another cat that veterinarians have operated, Steven, also amputated hind legs. At seven months old, he recently received his first artificial prosthesis and should soon be installed the second. Oscar, the first bionic cat Pooh is not the first bionic cat to see the day in Europe. A similar first surgery took place at the end of 2009 in Great Britain on an animal named Oscar.

Become famous since, he benefited from an operation of about 60,000 euros to be implanted artificial feet. The technique was developed by Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick, a neuro-orthopedic surgeon working in Surrey. Three hours of operation were necessary to put the artificial feet on the animal’s ankles. The specialists then coated the prostheses with hydroxyapatite to stimulate the development of bone cells on the metal. Seven years later, despite the appearance of complications in 2012 that required the installation of a new prosthesis, Oscar is still doing well and can still walk and jump like a real cat. What inspire other veterinarians to export this surgery in other countries such as Bulgaria.

A procedure that inspires “It is encouraging to see that even in a disadvantaged country like Bulgaria, there can be this kind of innovative practices”, noted for AFP, VladislavZlatinov. “Pooh and Steven have survived because we have not abandoned them,” commented VyaraMladenova, of the Bulgarian branch of the NGO Let’s Adopt, which financed the operations. But this innovation is not just about our four-legged friends. This type of prosthesis connected directly to the bones is also tested in humans.

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