A team of UC Davis veterinarians — specializing in oncology; infectious diseases; dental, oral and soft-tissue surgery; internal medicine; and outpatient care — was quickly formed to coordinate Kabang’s multitreatment care. Because of the nature of Kabang’s health problems, each treatment had to be successfully completed before the next began.
Kabang’s heartworm and cancer treatments were successfully completed in February, and the veterinary team determined that the dog was in good health and ready for the dental and facial procedures.
On March 5, veterinary surgeons Verstraete and Boaz Arzi first performed oral surgery to remove two of the dog’s upper teeth and reconstruct one eyelid that had been damaged by the motorcycle. Then they prepared for the maxillofacial surgery to correct the dog’s facial injury.
The nearly five-hour surgery on March 27 closed Kabang’s facial wound with skin flaps that were brought forward from the top and sides of her head. Following that procedure, Verstraete and Arzi collaborated with William Culp, a veterinary soft-tissue surgeon at UC Davis, to reconstruct nasal openings and insert stents in those passages that would allow two new permanent nostrils to form.
“The surgery was long but went just as planned, in large part due to the collaborative nature of Kabang’s veterinary team,” Arzi said.
Because it was not possible to reconstruct Kabang’s snout and a functional upper jaw, the energetic young dog will never look like she did before her accident. However, because the facial wound has been closed, she will be better protected against infection and prepared for an active life when she returns to her family in the Philippines.
Kabang’s story is well-known. It appears that she is ready to resume her life back home. Hopefully this “hero” dog lives a long and happy life. Click here for the full story and here for more about the UC Davis Veterinary program. (Photos via Don Preisler/ UC Davis)