UC Davis News Service
Almost a year ago, a dog named Kabang lost her snout and upper jaw when she leapt in front of a motorcycle to save two little girls in the Philippines. Thursday veterinary specialists at UC Davis examined Kabang to determine what can be done to give her a better chance at a long and healthy life.
During the hourlong, preliminary exam, veterinary surgeons Boaz Arzi and Frank Verstraete assessed Kabang’s overall condition and conducted blood and urine tests.
“We are pleased with what we discovered today,” Verstraete said. “We are confident we can improve her condition going forward.”
Added Arzi: “Kabang has suffered catastrophic injuries to her face. 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.”
Verstraete and Arzi are members of the dentistry and oral surgery service faculty at UC Davis’ William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The hospital has the most comprehensive dental and oral surgery service of any veterinary teaching hospital in the world, providing surgery for dogs, cats and other animal species.
Arzi and Verstraete are now consulting with Anton Mari H. Lim, Kabang’s veterinarian from the Philippines, to develop a treatment plan for Kabang.
Based on preliminary discussions, Arzi and Verstraete anticipate that Kabang will need at least two surgeries. The first likely would focus on dental work. The second would attempt to close the gaping wound on the dog’s face, protecting her from infection and improving her quality of life.
Kabang is expected to be at UC Davis for at least six weeks.
Contrary to some rumors in the media, there are no plans to fit Kabang with a “prosthetic snout” or to replace her jaw.
An independent, international donation campaign raised the money to bring Kabang and Lim to the United States for a consultation with veterinary reconstructive surgery specialists at UC Davis. Kabang and Lim landed at Los Angeles International Airport late Monday night and arrived in Davis on Tuesday.
The veterinary hospital’s website includes background information on Kabang’s story and will feature continual updates about her care and progress: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/kabang.