Cornell University Hospital for Animals

 

Hospital Services
Companion Animal


Success Stories

Maxillofacial Reconstruction for "Bella" Dasson

Bella is a dog that was involved in a serious car accident when she was 11 months old. Even though her owners did not witness the accident and were not there to help her immediately, Bella had the strength and courage to make it back home on her own. As soon as her owners realized what had happened, they took Bella to a local emergency clinic, where she was stabilized and referred to Cornell’s Emergency and Critical Care Service. When she arrived at our hospital, she had multiple maxillofacial injuries, as well as a fractured right front limb.

The next day, we performed a CT scan of Bella's head to better document the extent and severity of the injuries sustained to her face. Bella’s upper and lower jaws had multiple, severe fractures. Without surgery, she would have been permanently disfigured and disabled. Bella was transferred to the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service for repair of her maxillofacial injuries and facial reconstruction. Dr. Santiago Peralta performed the surgery assisted by Shantell Hassey, a fourth-year veterinary student.

The procedure took a total of 7 hours to complete; the results could not have been better, however. We were able to stabilize her fractures and properly align her bones during the surgery, our orthopedic service also casted Bella’s fractured right front limb. After surgery we monitored Bella in our Intensive Care Unit overnight.

Bella recovered incredibly well and was discharged to her family the day after surgery. Although we placed a feeding tube during surgery in case she was not able to eat on her own while her injuries healed, Bella started eating without assistance within the first 24 hours after surgery. Bella required one more surgical procedure a few weeks after her maxillofacial injuries healed to address some dental injuries. Today, Bella is completely healthy, both physically and emotionally, and is enjoying her life to the fullest.