Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Look at the Little Guy Go!

Introducing Oscar, The World’s First Bionic Cat

By Monique Jessen | Friday, June 25, 2010 11:05 AM ET

The amputee cat has a new spring in his step, thanks to some high-tech prosthetic paws.

photo_1277460266138-6-1.jpgAfter Oscar the cat suffered a terrible accident and lost both of his back paws, his owners thought their beloved feline friend wouldn't survive. But thanks to a revolutionary operation, not only was he saved but he's healthy, happy and back on all four paws again.

The operation, the first of its kind in the world saw veterinary surgeon, Noel Fitzpatrick from Surrey attach high-tech custom-made prosthetic paws to Oscar's ankles, during a three-hour operation, reports BBC News. The cutting edge implants, known as ITAP (intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics) combine engineering mechanics with biology and if little Oscar is anything to go by, the successful operation could lead to amazing work in the field of human prosthetics too.

Irish-born Fitzpatrick, who is soon to be featured in a BBC television show, The Bionic Vet worked with Professor Gordon Blunn, at University College London to develop the prosthetics and they couldn't be happier with the results. Watching his patient walking around freely, just days after the groundbreaking procedure, he said with a smile: "Oscar has made medical history!" Having lost his paws after a traumatic accident with a combine harvester, the cat will now have to stay indoors but it's a small price to pay considering the extent of his injuries. "I can't tell you how good it feels to keep him alive," the ecstatic surgeon said.

It's a heartwarming, simply puuurrrfect story! Let's hope it leads to even more life-saving operations.

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