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Cyrano the Cat

on March 2, 2012
Posted in News

The first ever feline knee replacement in the United States was done recently at North Carolina State. A cat named Cyrano who had treatment for bone cancer that significantly weakened his leg was the recipient of the total knee replacement. Cyrano is a 20 pound cat for whom leg amputation was not an option. His bones however, were large enough to hold a total knee replacement. Although this has been done previously in dogs, the smaller anatomy of the cat made this particularly difficult.

A NCSU veterinary surgeon, Dr Denis Marcellin-Little and an NSCU engineer Ola Harrysson are pioneers in the field of osseous integration for animals. This means that they integrate a metal prosthesis into living bone. Marcellin-Little said Cyrano’s plastic and cobalt chromium alloy implant is more like those used in humans.

“It has a form of articulation that is unique — that allows the implant to bend and rotate,” he said, demonstrating with a model during a news conference before the surgery. More than a dozen people worked on developing and testing the implant, each half of which is about 2 inches long.

The surgery took 7 hours to complete and Dr Marcellin-Little was recommending Cyrano take it easy for 3 months. “ He won’t be climbing trees any time soon’” he said.

A lot of the time and material were donated for this surgery so the actual cost is not known, however the owners will be paying around $20,000 for this procedure.

The owners feel this is worth every penny, because Cyrano is their baby. He certainly is one lucky cat!

Photo Credit: Joao Maximo

Read also: Here’s Proof That Growing Up With A Dog Leads To A Stress-Free Life

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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