AMES, Iowa, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A cat in Iowa, missing both of its hind legs, received a new pair of prosthetic legs as it moves towards recovery.
Three-year-old Vincent, a domestic short hair, was fitted with a rare set of titanium alloy prosthetic legs by the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University.
"It's extremely rare. In fact, I'd guess there are probably less than 25 animals in the world who ever had anything quite like what he's got," said Dr. Mary Sarah Berg.
Vincent had attracted the attention of a woman named Cindy Jones, an employee at an animal shelter in Nevada. He'd been brought in to the shelter with severe abnormalities in his back legs. After failed attempts at physical therapy, Jones' daughter Emily introduced her to Bergh ,who decided that prosthetics were the best chance at a normal life for Vincent.
"Normally a cat like him that came into a shelter would not have a future because his injuries were pretty staggering," Jones said. "But, you do what you do to make your animal successful."
Vincent was first operated on in 2014 after Bergh worked to develop titanium alloy impacts that were inserted into his femur and designed to allow his bones to grow.
"His bone is looking great. The implants are stable and he's walking really well on them," she said. "I couldn't be happier with how he's doing at the time.
While the implants gave Vincent the ability to walk, for now he is unable to jump.
"I anticipate that he'll be jumping and doing really normal cat things very soon," said Bergh.
Bergh believes the experience with Vincent will help to advance the field of animal prosthetics.
"What we've learned, just through Vincent's one case, we've actually refined the technique and the implants so the next cases we do moving forward will be even more successful," she said.