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VIDEO: 'Hero Dog' Kabang's Snout Surgery Will Wait; UC Davis Vets Explain

There are no plans to fit Kabang with a "prosthetic snout" or to replace her jaw, however veterinary surgeons at UC Davis have been cautiously optimistic about what they can do.

Kabang gained international fame after losing her snout and upper jaw when she jumped in front of a motorcycle and saved two young girls in the Philippines.

The dog arrived at UC Davis to be evaluated last week, and it was revealed Tuesday at a press conference that she will need to be treated for two other illnesses prior to getting the snout surgery for which she was flown to UC Davis. 

At the press conference, director of UC Davis Small Animal Clinic Jane E. Sykes explained results from exams and laboratory tests that were conducted last week to evaluate Kabang's condition.

Doctors discovered that Kabang has Heartworm Infection and a vaginal tumor, both of which are "common in temperate and subtropical climates" like the Philippines. The latter is sexually transmitted, so it's also recommended that Kabang be fixed, although that's not a priority at the moment. 

Once those two issues are treated, which will likely take months, they will address Kabang's snout and upper jaw. Her condition is not expected to get worse between now and the surgery. 

UC Davis representatives said "there are no plans to fit Kabang with a "prosthetic snout" or to replace her jaw, however veterinary surgeons at UC Davis have been cautiously optimistic that they can provide surgical treatments that would help protect the dog from infection and improve her quality of life."

When asked how Kabang will eat, Sykes said dogs are actually good at adjusting to circumstances like this. As you can see in the video, Kabang still has the ability to lap up softer foods. 

What do you think of Kabang's story? 

Lawson October 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Couldn't hear the low audio recording, but the pictures speak for themselves. Before seeing the video, I though "hey, put the dog to sleep. why Let the dog suffer a life like this?" then I realized the dogs higher order functions are a little less than that of mine, so it is probably happuy to be alive. Nexr crisis...This dog looks happy. I am sad the vet surgeons have NOT committed to doing the research and surgery to give the dog working prostheses. I think thy are cowards....
Justin Cox October 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Thanks for pointing out the audio! Not sure how that happened. I'm exporting a new version of the video and will hopefully have it up before the debate kicks off! 25 minuts and counting... It's a very interesting story, and it's one that has gotten a ton of attention -- as demonstrated by the Care for Kabang Facebook page, which has about 10,000 likes: http://www.facebook.com/careforkabang
Lynn Infante Ware October 17, 2012 at 04:46 PM
In my opinion, the fact that the team is trying to improve Kabang's life instead of immediately euthanizing her is not cowardly. A prosthetic snout on an animal, which cannot understand how to be careful not to damage or disturb the appliance for life, would be extremely difficult. I'm glad they are giving her the care she is receiving.
Chris Eke October 17, 2012 at 06:42 PM
This hero dog should give us all strength, amazing she survived the initial incident and am dam sure she'll pull through these 2 new setbacks. It's harsh to say the bets are cowards, us outsiders have no way at all of assessing this, so have to go with their judgement which will be an improvement for Kabang's life ahead. We should do all we can to support her, she's more than done her bit!!
Martha Pearson October 17, 2012 at 08:42 PM
The eagle who received a 3-D printed prosthetic upper beak is remarkable, but I don't think birds of prey need to be able to do much more with their beak than preen, and tear flesh; they don't chew. A dog chews, therefore the only way you could replace the upper part of its snout might be an experimental transplant. If the dog can survive well without it, the only real reason to go to all that expense, pain, and recovery with immunosuppressants would be cosmetic, something that dogs probably don't care about! Perhaps in the future a new part could be grown using an animal's own stem cells on a framework. That would be incredible! http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-5968057.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

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