A technique that normally benefits human patients with cleft palates or defects after cancer surgery, paved the road to adoption for an affectionate feline.

Siamese-mix cat Darryl responded well after receiving a metal prosthesis to correct a palate injury in his mouth after a collaborative dental procedure was performed Oct. 29 at the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital.

A unique effort saved the long-term resident of the Alachua County Humane Society from being euthanized. When a hole in his hard palate ruled out adoption as an option, Julie Levy, D.V.M., Ph.D., a professor of shelter medicine at the University fostered Darryl and took up his case.

The procedure involved affixing a metal prosthesis to the roof of Darryl’s mouth to close a gaping hole between his oral and his nasal cavities. Fong Wong, D.D.S., an associate professor of prosthodontics and maxillofacial prosthetics in UF’s College of Dentistry, conducted the procedure and was assisted by Amy Stone, D.V.M., Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor in UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine, according to medicalnewstoday.com

Wong told the publication, “Usually medical procedures are first tried in animals, and then, when successful, used in human patients. In this case, it was the animal that benefited from a procedure that is routine in humans but has not been part of routine veterinary medicine.”

The end result?

According to theveterinarypage.com, the approach was successful, and two days after the procedure Darryl’s feeding tube was removed and he was able to eat normally for the first time in more than a year.

“He is doing great,” Levy said. “Many thanks to the entire team who pitched in to help this lovely cat.”