Amputee pets get back on their feet with amazing prosthetics

Things looked grim for Oscar, a black cat in rural Jersey, UK, when he was badly injured in 2009 by a combine harvester and his back feet had to be amputated. But his owners didn’t give up on him: they took him to a neuro-orthopedic surgeon in Surrey, Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick, who designed two custom-made prosthetic paws.

The surgery is one of the first of its kind: the implants are attached to the bone in each of Oscar’s legs and coated with a substance that encourages bone cells to grow onto the metal.

Oscar is healthy and walking around on all fours again. Check out his story and a picture of his new back paws at The Guardian online.

And here’s a video of Oscar’s surgery from the Smithsonian Channel’s 2011 show, “Bionic Vet,” and of Oscar shortly after his 2010 surgery.

Prosthetics for animals have taken off in the past decade, but integrated limbs such as Oscar’s are more recent–and more expensive. Oscar’s treatment cost around £50,000, about $84,000 in today’s U.S. currency.

A new PBS documentary, “My Bionic Pet,” chronicles new treatments that give animals a second chance at a full life.

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