Kabang, the hero dog from the Philippines who lost her snout and upper jaw while protecting two children, has beaten cancer and is one step closer to getting cosmetic surgery.
“There is no evidence of any remaining tumor,” Gina Davis, the primary care veterinarian at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California at Davis, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The brave canine gained notoriety late last year after she threw herself in front of her owner’s daughter and niece to protect them from an oncoming speeding motorcycle. The children walked away unscathed, while Kabang lost her snout and upper jaw.
A grassroots campaign raised money to bring Kabang to the U.S. for treatment, but when she arrived, doctors found the dog had an aggressive sexually transmitted cancer and heart worms, according to the Chronicle.
With the cancer cured, Kabang must face grueling treatment to rid her body of heart worms before she can undergo the cosmetic procedure.
“These heart worms are literally like spaghetti, living in the major arteries and heart and lungs,” said Marty Becker, a veterinarian and featured writer at VetStreet.com, who has not treated Kabang.
Treating the condition, which is often found in tropical and subtropical regions, is a very careful, deliberative process, Becker said, since veterinarians use arsenic.
“You slowly poison the heart worms,” Becker said. “It’s very expensive and done with a lot of finesse. The dog will definitely feel malaise.”
After everything Kabang has been through, Becker has faith the hero pooch will pull through.
“The great thing about this dog is it has such a strong spirit,” he said. “Whether you witness it in person or through this story, it’s so powerful.”