A 4-month-old puppy is putting her best face forward, literally, to recover from a dog fight injury.
According to KCRA, a puppy named Loca recently arrived at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in California with severe facial injuries from a dog bite.
With a fractured cheek and jawbone, the Staffordshire bull terrier pup required complex surgery to reconstruct her face, but the school’s veterinarian had an idea to make recovery a breeze for Loca.
Before the dog arrived, the school had been working on a 3D-printed face mask that would help pets heal, called the Exo-K9 Exoskeleton, making Loca the perfect guinea pig.
Following surgery, the pup was fitted for a Exo-K9 printed just for her by biomedical engineering students at the school. Loca took to the new accessory, which helped to keep her jawbone stay in place while she healed. It worked: she was eating soft food and cuddling with others soon after her intense operation.
It’s been more than three months since Loca got her new look, and a recent checkup shows she is healing well. Thanks to the team at the school and the face mask provided, the puppy’s jawbone is developing correctly. She is now able to eat hard food and no longer needs the Exo-K9 for her day-to-day activities.
Thanks to her bravery and perseverance, Loca has shown the veterinarians at UC Davis that the face mask they created can help other animals, too.