Three dogs that suffered horrific jaw injuries are recovering after UC Davis veterinary surgeons and the rescue group Marley’s Mutts teamed up to provide the animals with potentially lifesaving care.
Jaws, Bear and Zena were admitted to the teaching hospital at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine over the past six months. Each was in danger of being euthanized because of the severity of their injuries, but veterinary intervention helped save them, the university reported.
The first patient, Jaws, had been featured on the Marley’s Mutts Facebook page, where a UC Davis faculty member noticed his condition, thought the hospital could help and contacted the group.
Diagnosed with a bilateral mandibular fracture and faced with amputation of his lower jaw, Jaws’ jaw was surgically repaired using interdental wiring and an intraoral composite splint.
Called Jaws because of his injury, the dog was renamed Davis in honor of the university.
“We were so impressed by the oral surgeons and everyone at UC Davis that we thought it was a fitting name,” group founder Zach Skow said. “Normally, a dog with that severe of an injury will probably be put down.”
Marley’s Mutts unexpectedly took possession of two more dogs needing jaw repairs. The first, Bear, was thought to have been struck by a car, and Zena was believed to have been attacked by another dog.
Supporters of the Tehachapi, Calif., rescue group paid for all three surgeries. UC Davis, a state-funded institution, cannot offer free care to rescue organizations, the university stated.
Normalcy has returned to the dogs’ lives in other ways. Davis was adopted, Bear’s worried owners got him back after seeing him on the Marley’s Mutts Facebook page, and Zena remains with the rescue group as she continues to recover.
“Zena’s going to have to keep her muzzle on for a few weeks, but she is eating well and adjusting to life post-surgery,” Marley’s Mutts reported in an update Tuesday. “She is also headed for our Marley’s Mutts [Northern California chapter] to officially become one of their rescues.”