Kabang the wonder dog was transported to from her home in the Philippines to UC Davis in October. She is scheduled to undergo a series of surgeries to fix extensive injuries sustained while protecting two small girls from a speeding motorcycle. The crash took off her snout and upper jaw. Veterinarians in the Philippines were not able to treat her extensive injuries. A critical care nurse from Buffalo, NY lead an online fundraising campaign to raise funds to transport her to UC Davis Veterinary Medical Hospital.
UC Davis has developed reconstructive procedures to regrow or jawbones in dogs that have lost bone to injuries or due to removal of cancerous tumors. In August, a 60lb Munsterlander dog from San Francisco had half of its lower right jawbone removed due to cancer.
A new jawbone was encouraged to grow using a combination of scaffolding tissues soaked in a bone growth promoter protein fitted into where the bone was removed. The scaffolding material holds the bone growth promoter protein in place to stimulate the dog’s remaining jawbone to grown new bone cells, eventually filling the entire defect and integrating with the new bone.
Although it is not known if Kabang will undergo a similar surgery, UC Davis has successfully treated eight dogs with this experimental technique. The procedure is collaboration between biomedical engineers and veterinary surgeons and builds upon UC Davis’s strengths in the areas of bone regeneration and repair. Knowledge acquired from development of the procedure has provided valuable information for biomedical treatments in both human and veterinary medicine.
Kabang has a few moderate medical conditions that may delay her treatment. She tested positive for Heartworms that are endemic in the Philippines. In addition, a vaginal tumor was discovered and confirmed as a Transmissible Venereal Tumor. Treatment for both conditions is available and her prognosis is good. Both of these conditions must be addressed before she is healthy enough for dental and facial surgeries.
UC Davis will continue to post updates on Kabang’s condition at: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/kabang/