UC Davis Vets to Reconstruct Hero Dog’s Lost Snout
Ilovedogs.com: A motorcycle sped toward young cousins Dina Bunggal, 11, and Princess Diansing, 3, as they crossed a street in the Philippines last December. Seemingly out of nowhere, Bunggal’s German Shepherd mix, Kabang, jumped in front of the bike, sparing the girls’ lives.
However, Kabang was severely injured when the motorcycle struck her head-on, tearing off her snout. “I thought somebody threw the dog at the motorcycle, but I could not see anyone who might have done that,” eyewitness Jovito Urpiano told the Inquirer Mindanao.
Kabang ran off after the accident, but, amazingly, returned to her family’s house two weeks later. Her dog dad, Rudy Benggal, refused the city pound’s offer to euthanize her, since she didn’t appear to be suffering. “She is healthy and I see that she is adjusting to her situation,” said Anton Lim, one of the first veterinarians to treat her, according to Care for Kabang, a website set up by Karen Kenngott to raise funds for the hero dog’s surgery.
According to the Inquirer, Kabang is able to eat by using her paws to scoop food into her mouth. Kabang (which means “spotty”) had been abandoned as a puppy in a paddy field when Benggal found her two years ago. “We raised her like she was ours,” Rudy Benggal told the Inquirer, adding that the girls and Kabang sleep together.
He said it was very unusual for Kabang to wander outside the property. “That was why we could not believe she went out when she sensed danger for the girls,” he said.
To prevent Kabang from developing a life-threatening infection, the Animal Welfare Coalition of the Philippines (AWC) and partnering veterinarians administered antibiotics. However, she still requires reconstructive surgery for her wounds to close, and there are no vets in the area with the expertise to perform such a complicated procedure.
Fortunately, veterinary surgeons Boaz Arzi and Frank Verstraete of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis, have offered to reconstruct Kabang’s upper jaw next month using state-of- the-art equipment. Dr. Arzi is a maxillofacial specialist and Dr. Verstraete is chief of the hospital’s dental and oral surgery department.
Kabang’s surgery and treatment is expected to cost more than $20,000, most of which has been covered thanks to donations from animal lovers from around the world.
To help get Kabang from her hometown of Zamboanga City to Northern California, Phillipine Airlines has donated round-trip airfare for Kabang, while Global Animal Transport is assisting with her ground transportation. The Hallmark Inn in Davis, Calif., is providing lodging.