By Christine Roberts
From: Daily News
Photo: Dr. Anton Lim and veterinary medical student Heather Kennedy examine Kabang at UC Davis’ William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
The hero dog that lost her snout saving two young girls in the Philippines has been diagnosed with cancer.
Kabang’s facial reconstruction surgery has been postponed so that she can undergo treatment for an aggressive cancerous tumor and heartworm, veterinarians at the University of California, Davis said.
“We think she has a good prognosis,” Dr. Jane Sykes, an infectious disease specialist at the university’s small animal clinic, told the Daily News.
“She is doing great,” she added. “You wouldn’t know that she had these problems based on her behavior.”
Kabang’s inspiring story went viral last year after she jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle to protect her owner’s daughter and niece.
The owner’s daughter, Dina Bunggal, 9 and her cousin, Princess Diansing, 3, were crossing a busy street in Zamboanga City when the dog appeared out of nowhere to shield them from the oncoming bike, eyewitnesses said at the time.
Kabang’s entire upper jaw was torn off during the accident — an injury that had local vets advising she be put to sleep.
But her owner, Rudy Bunggal, refused.
Her story was quickly picked up by local media and gave way to several grassroots campaigns, including that of Karen Kenngott, a critical care nurse from Buffalo, N.Y., who launched Care for Kabang, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Kenngott’s online campaign raised more than $20,000 from 22 countries to send the dog to UC Davis’ William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, where she underwent a battery of tests that revealed her additional ailments.
Kabang, who gave birth to six puppies April 1, needs to receive chemotherapy to treat the vaginal tumor. She will also receive other treatments for heartworm disease.
It will likely be several months before Kabang is ready to undergo dental surgery and facial reconstruction.
“A lot of the delay is going to be related to the heartworm disease that she has,” Sykes told the Daily News. “We’re keen to treat that before she has the surgery on her face because it means that she has a higher anesthetic risk.”
UC Davis veterinarians, however, have no plans to replace her missing nose with a prosthetic.
Sykes said Kabang may eventually return to the Philippines.
“She’s a really wonderful dog,” Sykes added. “It’s so nice for me to see how a little dog like this can touch so many hearts.
Read more and see more photos: Daily News