Dog Struck by Van, Suffers Head Trauma, Heads Home to Recover

December 15, 2011

It’s a Happy Holiday Homecoming for “Mr. Brown” After Several Days in Angell Animal Medical Center’s Critical Care Unit



Boston, Mass., Dec. 15, 2011 – When Mr. Brown—the beloved 8-year-old rescue dog who lives with his adopted family in Newton—was struck head-on by a van on Dec. 7 and brought to Angell Animal Medical Center his owners feared the worst.  The dog, who upon arrival was howling, covered in blood and in tremendous pain, was immediately tended to by Angell veterinarians Alice D’Amore and Adrienne DiPietro, both of whom see these types of emergencies every day in the hospital’s Emergency and Critical Care Department.


Dr. D’Amore and the critical care team ordered a series of x-rays and tests to determine the extent of Mr. Brown’s injuries.  The tests confirmed his owners’ worst fear: Mr. Brown had suffered serious head trauma, in the form of bilateral fractured bullas, when the van struck head-on and literally ran over him. Because the bullas are correlated with the inner ear, the trauma damaged the part of Mr. Brown’s brain that governs balance and movement, immediately rendering him unable to walk or even stand.


Remarkably, Mr. Brown suffered only superficial scrapes and bruises to the rest of his body, with no broken bones.  Still, the head trauma meant his condition was grave and his future very uncertain.


Said Dr. D’Amore: “Mr. Brown suffered significant trauma to the part of his brain that governs balance, which meant it was crucial to keep him immobile and to elevate his head to reduce the swelling.  His treatment consisted of numerous medications—to reduce inflammation, stave off infection and treat a corneal lesion in his right eye—in addition to subcutaneous fluids to nourish him during a four-day period when he could not eat.”


A Holiday homecoming for a dog who has consistently beaten the odds

“Mr. Brown responded very well to treatment and, incredibly, was eating and even walking short distances the week after the accident,” added Dr. D’Amore.  “We’re ecstatic at his incredible turnaround and hope it signals a continuous recovery as his body heals from the ordeal.”


Mr. Brown’s brush with death on a busy street is the second close call he’s faced in recent years.  His adoptive family rescued him in October 2011, only a month after he was treated for an aggressive cancer that could have killed him.  His cancer is in remission and, while there may remain some permanent side effects from his accident, such as balance issues, Dr. D’Amore expects Mr. Brown to recover and do well now that he’s back home with his family.


In case of an emergency, Angell Animal Medical Center’s Emergency/Critical Care service can be reached 24 hours a day at 617-522-7282 or pet owners can find more information about staff and services at




Angell Animal Medical Center cares for more than 50,000 animals a year and is one of the most acclaimed veterinary practices in the country. Angell has 67 doctors and an experienced support staff who work as a team to ensure high quality general wellness, emergency and specialty care. With 31 board-certified specialists and technology that includes an MRI specifically designed for animals, Angell is committed to providing a broad range of specialized expertise and experience, but delivers this care with one-on-one compassion that animals and their owners deserve. Angell is open for emergencies 24 hours of every day of the year, and offers night and weekend appointments with our specialty services.