The Cat With Bionic 3D Printed Legs
Vincent the cat has a brand new pair of 3D printed legs, read his story below by Robbie Berman.
Vincent is a disabled kitten unable to walk. Thanks to the veterinarians of Iowa State University, his story has a happy ending.
When Cindy Jones first met Vincent at the Story County Animal Shelter in Nevada, Iowa, where she works, she instantly fell for him. After taking the little guy home, her daughter Emily, a student in ISU’s veterinary program, wondered if Associate Professor Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh might be able to help.
Vincent’s back legs were missing from the mid-tibia down. And as he grew, the additional weight on his hind quarters started to cause sores on the little bit of leg he had. Making things worse, his left knee was also permanently locked in hyperextension.
After examining Vincent’s sad case, Bergh and her team decided that the implanting of metal posts in Vincent’s femur bones would give him the best chance at a normal life. It was a big leap of faith, since implants of this kind in cats are extremely rare. Bergh estimates that no more than 25 cats have ever received them.
Now, about that happy ending: Today, Vincent’s no longer a kitten, his implants are stable, and he’s grown more accustomed to walking on them. Bergh is optimistic that, with time, the adorable bionic kitty will be able to jump and play like any four-legged feline.
As an added bonus, Vincent’s case is a big win for veterinary science as well. Bergh expects that everything learned by her team will contribute to successful surgeries in the future.