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Cat to get first-of-its-kind prosthetics

March 22, 2005 at 11:16 PM

RALEIGH, N.C., March 22 (UPI) -- A new surgical procedure at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine will give a cat born without hind legs the chance to walk.

Veterinarians, undergraduate students and researchers at the university's College of Engineering have banded together to help a family cat, named George Bailey, born without the lower half of its hind legs, the chance to walk with the help of functional prosthetic feet.

Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little, associate professor of orthopedics, normally focuses on canine hip replacement and treatment of bone deformities in cats and dogs.

Marcellin-Little is attempting to pioneer the use of osseointegration -- a new approach in which the shaft of the artificial limb is inserted and anchored into the bone to provide a stable and permanent prosthesis -- in animals as a means of providing prosthetic limbs.

Osseointegration is rare even in humans, only about 60 people, mainly in Scandinavia, have undergone the procedure.

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