This story has been featured in the news recently and as part of a new BBC series, The Bionic Vet, this particular episode on BBC1 followed the story of a cat called Oscar that had his back feet severed by a combine harvester whilst he was asleep in the sun.
Oscar who is only 3 years old has been given two prosthetic limbs by a UK vet based in Surrey and is able to walk around like a normal cat. The vet inserted Itaps (intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics) which had been developed by a team from University College London which resemble Oscars back legs. They were coated with hydroxyapatite, which encourages bone cells to grow on to the metal and this is the first time this procedure has been carried out on a cat.
Once the skin has grown back it will form a seal over the metal which will help to minimise the risk of infection and everyone has their fingers crossed that this will go well over the next year. He is even in the process of getting new custom-built artificial paws to cover the peg looking bottom of each leg. Oscar was lucky enough to have another chance as without this operation there would have been no other solution for him.
It’s amazing to see such advances in veterinary technology, undoubtedly the costs for such procedures will be sky high for a long time to come, but without pet insurance the opportunity to apply for such amazing surgery may have been missed. For Oscar the cat insurance policy paid £4000 towards his surgery and the remining costs were met by his surgeon Dr Fitzpatrick.
You can watch the latest episode of The Bionic Vet on BBC iPlayer.