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'Bionic' cat fitted with new feet

Thursday July 1st 2010

A cat which lost its rear paws after an accident with a combine harvester has had a pair of prosthetic feet fitted in a world-first operation.

Two-and-a-half year Oscar underwent the operation at the hands of Surrey-based neuro-orthopaedic surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick after the accident chopped his paws off as he basked in the Jersey sunshine last October.

Specially-designed implants to "peg" the ankle to the foot were used in the procedure. The prosthetic mimics the way in which deer antler bone grows through skin in a case of science copying the natural world.

Owners Kate and Mike Nolan were recommended by their local vet in St Saviour to consult Fitzpatrick Referrals in Eashing, near Godalming. Before surgery was carried out, Oscar had to have his injuries treated and undergo a course of antibiotics.

Mrs Nolan, who is sure to have a good pet insurance policy after Oscar's adventure, said: "We had to do a lot of soul-searching and our main concern has always been whether this operation would be in Oscar's best interests and would give him a better quality of life."

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