Dymka the adorable kitten faced a traumatic experience, losing all four of her limbs after being trapped under the snow for an extended period. Severe frostbite left her helpless and vulnerable, making survival seem impossible. Luckily, a Russian veterinarian named Sergei Gorshkov stepped in and gave Dymka a second chance at life. With the help of titanium prosthetic limbs, Dymka can now walk normally, defying the odds against her. Her incredible story of resilience began in October 2018, when a kind-hearted woman discovered her buried in the snow.
Dymka was discovered shivering beneath the blanket of white snow, with frostbite taking a severe toll on her body.
The freezing temperatures had taken their toll on Dymka’s limbs, ears, and tail, leaving them with irreparable damage. To alleviate Dymka’s suffering, the affected parts had to be amputated. In Novosibirsk, veterinary teams frequently tend to cats that have been exposed to frostbite during the winter. While severe cases that require amputations are uncommon, they do occur from time to time.
Fortunately, Dymka is one of the fortunate felines to receive prosthetic limbs. A team of veterinarians teamed up with kx sự, a researcher from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), to create custom titanium prosthetics that would replace Dymka’s lost limbs. Using computed tomography (CT) scanning, the team was able to digitize Dymka’s limbs and generate a 3D model. The prosthetic parts were then printed using a 3D printer. In order to prevent rejection, doctors utilized calcium phosphate as an intermediary agent for the prosthetic attachment. This allowed the prosthetic limbs to bond with Dymka’s leg bones through the oxidation process. After a 7-month installation period, Dymka made remarkable progress in adapting to her four prosthetic limbs. She can now walk, jump to a certain height, and even run.
The first cats to ever receive prosthetic limbs are Dymka and Ryzhik. Although Dymka wasn’t the first feline to undergo surgery at the clinic, as in 2016 another cat named Ryzhik had received four prosthetic limbs due to similar limb injuries. Fortunately, both cats have adjusted to their newly acquired paws and are now content. Furthermore, the kind-hearted woman that brought Dymka to the clinic ended up adopting her.