Pup survives machete attack

A male puppy has made a miraculous recovery after having his nose chopped off by a machete just over two weeks ago.

The attack on the puppy comes in a new wave of animal abuse and neglect on Grand Cayman.

The seven-month-old pup called Chay was rushed into Island Veterinary Services on Walkers Road on 29 December.

‘He had been attacked by some sort of large sharp object, believed to be a machete,’ explained Dr. Elisabeth Broussard, who saved the dog’s life through emergency surgery.

‘The wound went through the bridge of his nose and soft tissue structure of the nose and mouth. The entire top of his nose, jaw and face was hanging off; it was left hanging on a small piece of tissue.’

The puppy had been in his own yard at his home in West Bay. It is believed that someone had entered and attacked him deliberately with a machete.

‘He was really shocked and bleeding profusely, but he was relatively calm because of the shock,’ explained the vet.

It took nearly four hours to perform the surgery that has saved the dog’s life, and some innovation needed to be used for this unusual cruelty case.

‘With a lack of equipment for dealing with this type of injury I had to figure out the best way to go about treating him,’ she explained.

The first worry was lining up the nasal passages correctly with the hope that the pup would be able to regain his sense of smell, which is so important for a dog.

After putting Chay under anaesthetic, the inventive vet stuck cotton swabs up the dog’s nose from the outside to line up his nasal passages.

Blood clots had to be cleared out of the nose. Then the nasal bones had to be drilled through, with use of wire to hold them together. Several different measures were used to ensure correct alignment. The final step in the surgery was sewing up the soft tissue.

The puppy was in a stable condition throughout the whole operation, but the vet had no idea if he would pull through.

The first really good sign was the following morning when the pup was drinking water. The day after the surgery he began to eat baby food. He was put on lots of pain medication.

But although his face looks as though it is healing well Dr. Broussard points out that his bones need to heal, so she cannot let him return home too soon.

But despite the heroic recovery made by this brave and lovable pup, a week into his recovery there was more bad news when his mother was poisoned by weed killer paraquat. There has recently been a spate of dog poisonings, with West Bay as one of the prime locations for it.

‘There’s been a huge increase in cases of cruelty, neglect and poisoning to where we can’t even deal with it,’ said the vet.

‘We can’t fathom how people can do this to innocent animals.’

Dr. Broussard points out that if there is tension between neighbours it is not the animal’s fault.

‘Even if they’re running on your property it’s not the animal’s problem. Someone’s to blame and people need to talk their problems through with one another rather than taking it out on an innocent life.’

Dr. Broussard said the Humane Society and the veterinary clinics can offer help to people who have problems with animals.

Of her patient Chay, she said, ‘He tolerated everything so well and it’s amazing his face stayed on. He’s a really cute and friendly dog and it’s so shocking that anything like that could have happened to him. We just don’t understand how people can treat an animal like that.’

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