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UPDATE: Snout-less dog Kabang arrives in U.S. for surgery

Friday October 12th, 2012

By DogTime Staff

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Kabang has lived for almost a year without her snout since her accident in the Phillipines.

Back in August, DogTime.com first told you about Kabang, a mixed-breed dog from the Philippines who saved two little girls’ lives by shielding them from an oncoming motorcycle. The hero dog was tragically injured, losing the upper portion of her snout when she collided with the vehicle.

For nearly a year, Kabang has lived without a snout, with wounds that have continuously opened and reopened. Veterinarians determined that Kabang’s best chance at a full, happy, and healthy life was to receive surgery and treatment in the United States.

Well, the day everyone has been waiting for is finally here: Kabang arrived in the U.S. late Monday evening and is expected to start treatment any day now.

Kabang was given her initial examination Thursday by veterinary specialists at the UC Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The hospital at UC Davis is the world’s premier facility for veterinary dental and oral surgery, and treats more than 35,000 animals for a variety of conditions each year.

Boaz Arzi and Frank Verstraete, veterinary surgeons and members of the hospital’s dentistry and oral surgery team, conducted the exam yesterday, which lasted for about an hour.

“We are pleased with what we discovered today,” Verstraete said following Kabang’s intake exam, which included a series of blood and urine tests. Verstraete also said that the team at UC Davis feels good about Kabang’s chances. “We feel confident we can improve her condition going forward,” the veterinary surgeon said.

“Kabang has suffered catastrophic injuries to her face,” Arzi said, offering his assessment. “While we had consulted over photos and video, we were not able to make a proper determination of the care we would be able to offer Kabang until we examined her in person.”

The veterinary team is busy designing the best treatment plan for the hero dog who gave her snout — and nearly her life — to save two little girls nearly one year ago.

With help from Kabang’s regular veterinarian, Anton Mari H. Lim from the Philippines, Arzi and Verstraete are now deciding how to move forward, having determined that Kabang will likely need at least two surgeries, one to provide dental work and the other to close the still-open wound on her face. The veterinarians explain that Kabang will not be fitted with a prosthetic snout, but will certainly have a much-improved quality of life once she can live pain-free and without risk of infection.

Meanwhile, Kabang is adjusting to her surroundings at the hospital, where she will likely spend the next six to eight weeks. UC Davis will continue to provide updates on Kabang’s condition and report on her progress in the coming weeks.

U.S. Coordinator for the Animal Welfare Coalition Karen Kengott spearheaded the grassroots fundraising campaign to raise the funds for Kabang’s much-needed surgery, starting a website for the hero dog and launching an international outpouring of love and support for Kabang and her family.

According to Kabang’s website, the fundraising goal, $20,000 USD, was reached September 14, paving the way for the Shepherd mix to finally make the journey from the Philippines to the United States. But given the severity of Kabang’s injuries, $20,000 is merely the rough estimate of what her treatment may cost, so donations are still being accepted in her name.

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