Vincent walks!
December 8, 2015 5:08 AM   Subscribe

Veterinarians at Iowa State University have successfully implanted prosthetic legs in Vincent, a three-year-old cat.
posted by listen, lady (18 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Oh my gosh I just wanna make him little fuzzy leg warmers
posted by Mizu at 5:32 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

This makes much with the happiness on a grey day like today.
posted by Kitteh at 5:33 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Very cool! If I can be indulged in a semi-self-link, here at the NC State Veterinary Hospital (where I work in administration) Dr Denis Marcellin-Little has been doing amazing things with osseointegrated prosthetic implants, including the first fully functional feline knee replacement a couple of years ago.

Also, not related to prosthetic implants, but insanely cute and great: Tinkerbell the minihorse.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:34 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

*sniff* heart of a champion
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:37 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.
posted by XMLicious at 5:50 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

Dr. Marcellin-Little is also the guy who is attending to Cassidy, a feral cat that was discovered in Langly, BC with no back paws. We've talked about him before, and knowing Rock Steady works with the dude, and that I know RS and live nearby makes me feel like a super-star by association. SO cool.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:04 AM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

That's pretty cool. He looks so happy waddling around. I got to work on some fun engineering projects when I was at ISU, but they never let me play with cats. I feel slighted.

They mentioned 'other animals' in the video and article but I wonder what applications this could have for people. If not limbs, what about missing fingers and toes? That seems to be somewhat the same scale (I mean as compared to limbs, etc.) and could be a huge improvement for some people.

Let's go State!
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:40 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Dr. Marcellin-Little is also the guy who is attending to Cassidy

Clicked through to see if someone had already mentioned Cassidy. I may be addicted to internet cats but at least I am not alone?
posted by pemberkins at 7:43 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I <3 Tinykittens and am officially addicted.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:52 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Is it dusty in here or is it just me?
posted by entropicamericana at 7:54 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

That's dander.
posted by maryr at 8:01 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

Cassidy is very much unfazed by his missing bits. (Why would he be? He's never known anything different.)

Part of the program at TinyKittens is, once the kittens are certified disease-and-parasite-free, monitored interactions with Shelly's own young adult cats ("the Teens" - Bunny, Pantsaroo and Bartlett). They are pretty easygoing, having been raised by Shelly herself as foster fails, and are accustomed to a steady stream of kittens around them whom they can teach how to cat properly. Generally, they are quite comfortable around Cassidy, but he has the spirit of a toddler who knows he can get away with anything, and he has no hesitation dragging himself after them and nibbling at their tails and paws playfully.

You can almost see the thought balloons over their heads going "Hey, knock it off. Okay... I said stop that. You're little and you're missing bits but still HEY KNOCK IT OFF. Child, don't make me come over there and RAAAAAAAGH!"

(Also, if you're wondering why Cassidy's cam is currently off, it's not because he's doing poorly -- rather, that he's doing quite well. LiveStream is reportedly getting fussy about accounts running multiple cam streams simultaneously, and she has another batch of foster kittens currently sucking up the attention, including Noelle the Amazing Microfloof.)
posted by delfin at 9:25 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

The thing that always worries me about these implants is the possibility of chronic pain. Humans with implants and whatnot have to deal with ongoing pain issues and getting these adjusted and whatever, right? Is it the same case with animals? Is any of that kitty's funny walk due to having pain with every step?
posted by Anonymous at 10:13 AM on December 8, 2015

I initially thought that the post said Vegetarians had implanted the prosthetics in the cat which would be a quite different kind of thing I think.
posted by shelleycat at 10:17 AM on December 8, 2015

it would be very unusual for vegetarians to implant the prosthetics only if they had first amputated the legs for dinner.
posted by janey47 at 10:38 AM on December 8, 2015

There is a programme on TV here in the UK called "SuperVet" (aka the Bionic Vet), which showcases a vet surgeon who appears to do this kind of thing all the time. It seems every week there are dogs and kitties who are being given prosthetic limbs. Here is a link to the practice's website and their range of orthopaedic services.

I get the impression from watching the show that it is extremely cutting edge work, much of which he just invents on the fly. And the vet has specifically wondered aloud about the degree to which human doctors and veterinary doctors speak to one another (or more specifically, the degree to which human doctors pay attention to the innovations in veterinary surgery, rather than vice versa). At the least, this "SuperVet" is publishing academic articles about his work, so hopefully other vets across the world can share in this knowledge. It really is amazing stuff. Not an episode goes by that I'm not crying in relief (or sometimes grief) for the pets and their people.
posted by Halo in reverse at 2:01 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I, for one, welcome our new cyborg cat overlords.
posted by old_growler at 5:09 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

If any rogue vet gives them opposable digits, humanity is done.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:11 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

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