Dog with mangled face doing well after 4-hour surgery: docs-A A +A
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
TWO weeks ago, Kenneth was seen roaming aimlessly in Barangay San Isidro, Talisay City with a large chunk of his nose, upper jaw and mouth dangling from his chin.
Kenneth, a six-month-old stray dog, was hacked in the face by a still unidentified person sometime in the third week of September.
He ran the risk of further harm, until Roberto Solon, a trisikad driver, found him and took care of him last Sept. 29.
Solon’s nephew took a photo of the dog’s mangled face and uploaded it on the social networking site Facebook, which then drew the attention of some dog lovers, including the Cebu South Dog Club (CSDC) and the Island Rescue Organization (IRO), whose members are advocates of animal welfare.
With the help of private donors here and abroad, Kenneth underwent a major reconstructive surgery performed by a team of two surgeons, assistant surgeons, two nurses and five other veterinarians at the Animal Wellness Veterinary Hospital in Banilad, Cebu City last Monday morning.
The surgery, which lasted four hours, was successful, and Kenneth is now on his way to recovery, said Dr. Luis Guillermo Zialcita and Dr. Ivy Alvarez, the senior surgeons who operated on the dog.
“His nose, hard palate and skin were detached and his tongue had lacerations… but the dog is a survivor, he’s a fighter. He is healing well and has been eating well since the surgery,” Alvarez said in an interview at the animal hospital yesterday.
As of yesterday, IRO and CSDC raised at least $1,700 from donors, which will be used to support Kenneth’s medical needs.
Dr. Zialcita described Kenneth’s case as the most complicated surgery that they’ve worked on so far.
His is also a unique case because when the dog was found two weeks ago, the tissues on the affected parts of his face were still alive, making the reattachment of the dislodged parts possible.
“It was a difficult surgery in the sense that there was new growth of bones and issues on the detached parts and we had to remove the excess bones and tissues before we could proceed with the reconstructive surgery,” Zialcita said.
But Kenneth, short for “kinit-an” (found), is a resilient and strong dog that is why his doctors are confident he will recover in one to two weeks.
“He’s a very nice dog and despite the abuse that he was subjected to, he doesn’t bite any of us here. With the surgery, we’re improving his quality of life, which is our goal. After his recovery, his feeding will be back to normal, but we have to watch out because he might not fully heal. We’re looking at 70 to 80 percent functionality after recovery,” the doctor said.
Animal welfare law
Now that Kenneth’s photos before and after surgery went viral in the internet, IRO, CSDC and his doctors hope that everyone can learn a lesson from it, and that it has raised awareness on animal protection.
Guilliam Roque of CSDC said that through Kenneth, they hope to remind the public of Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998.
“This is also a chance to inform and educate the public on the existence of RA 8485.
People responsible for atrocities against animals are liable and can be imprisoned for up to two years. Majority are unaware that such a law exists,” he said.
Section 6 of RA 8485 states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, or to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat any animal or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horsefights, kill or cause or produce to be tortured or deprived of adequate care sustenance or shelter, or maltreat or use the same in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal Welfare.”
Section 8 further states that “any person who violates any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six months nor more than two years or a fine of not less than P1,000 or both at the discretion of the Court.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 10, 2012.