Beloved Dog Kicked by Horse and Critically Injured

June 9, 2014

BOSTON, June 9, 2014 – A one-year-old dog named “Jack” is lucky to be alive after he suffered catastrophic injuries to his jaw and teeth when he was kicked square in the face by a 2,200-pound draft horse in May, the MSPCA-Angell announced today.  Jack is recovering after emergency surgery at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center.

The beloved dog, rescued from the streets of Belize last year by his owner, Megan Gaffney of Framingham, Mass., had just returned from a long trail walk on May 18 with Gaffney, who was riding her horse Cyrano, when he grew inpatient waiting for Gaffney to finish untacking and turning Cyrano out to pasture.  Jack playfully raced after one of the other horses in the barn who became frightened and kicked the 33-pound Jack with her back hooves.

 
 A frightened Jack returns to Angell for his check-up following surgery to repair his jaws (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Gaffney, who is deaf and could not hear Jack’s yelp, saw the injured dog limp away from the horse and rushed to his aid.  “I saw blood covering his entire snout and my heart immediately sank,” she said later.  “I really thought I would lose him given how badly injured he was.

Saved by an e-collar and emergency surgery

Ironically, a previous health scare might have saved Jack’s life.  He was wearing an “e-collar” cone around his neck, a result of a benign growth removal a week before the run-in with the horse.  “I have to believe the collar absorbed some of the shock,” said Gaffney.  Still, she wasted no time rushing Jack to the animal emergency room and, ultimately to Angell’s specialized dentistry service.

 
 Angell's Dr. Rosenblad (left) with Jack's owner Megan Gaffney (right) after Jack's re-check appointment at the hospital (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Jack arrived on the operating table of Angell’s Dr. William Rosenblad on May 19, and he spent over two hours putting the young dog back together.  “Jack was in very rough shape when he first came in and, to be honest, I’m surprised he survived the accident,” said Dr. Rosenblad.  Dr. Rosenblad and his team repaired the fractures to Jack’s upper palate and jaws, and removed 10 teeth—including his upper canine teeth--which were too damage to be saved.

The surgery was a success and after a night in the hospital to recover, Jack made his way home to a very grateful Gaffney.  “I was so worried that he might never be the same after such a traumatic injury,” she said upon bringing Jack home.  “Not only did he recover incredibly fast but he’s just as eager to head back to the barn, though we’ll ensure he can’t get up close and personal with the horses again!”

Dr. Rosenblad expects Jack to continue recovering and maintains that the dog’s long-term prognosis is excellent.

For more information about Angell Animal Medical Center’s Dentistry (and other) specialty services readers may click here.

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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.