Dog who sacrificed snout to save girls also survives cancer
ASSOCIATED PRESS December 25, 2012 1:54PM
A family member plays with Kabang the dog in the Philippines. A veterinarian at the University of California, Davis, says Kabang has beaten cancer. The dog became an international hero after sacrificing its snout to save two girls. | UC Davis via AP
Updated: December 25, 2012 7:18PM
DAVIS, Calif. — A veterinarian at the University of California, Davis, has some good news about a dog from the Philippines who became an international hero after sacrificing her snout to save two young girls.
After completing six weekly intravenous chemotherapy infusions, Kabang appears to have beaten cancer, Gina Davis, the primary care veterinarian at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Davis, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
But Kabang still faces treatment for heartworms in her arteries before she can have the gaping wound on her face closed. Full treatment of that condition was put on hold during cancer therapy.
Kabang had the first of three arsenic-based heartworm shots on Dec. 4 and is expected to receive the other two in the second week of January, Davis said.
“It will be one to two months for her to recover from that before she goes in and has the surgery,” Davis said.
Kabang’s snout and upper jaw were sheared off when she jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle, saving her owner’s daughter and niece from serious injury or death, according to newspaper reports in the Philippines.
The dog ended up in Davis earlier this year after a nurse from Buffalo, N.Y., spearheaded a fund-raising campaign to bring her to the U.S.
Veterinarians in the Philippines were apparently unable to treat her injuries.
Surgeons are planning to perform two or three procedures. The first will involve dental work, extractions and coverage of exposed roots.
They will then try to close the dog’s wound and restore nasal functions. The dog’s bony structures are now exposed to air, increasing the chance of infection, Davis said.
Kabang may return to the Philippines in May or June. The bill for her treatment is expected to top $10,000.
Despite Kabang’s many conditions, she appears to be in good spirits, Davis said.
“She has come through everything very well,” Davis said. “Her appetite is still good. She’s still bright and happy.”