Thanks to a useful piece of technology and a team of intelligent thinkers, a pup is on the mend after being attacked by another dog.
A Staffordshire bull terrier by the name of Loca suffered multiple facial fractures during the attack when she was just four months old, but a team of veterinarians and students at the University of California, Davis utilitzed 3D printing to cast Loca's skull with a special mask, according to the university's School of Veterinary Medicine.
Doctors with the UC Davis veterinary hospital's Denistry and Oral Surgery Service along with folks from the university's biomedical engineering program joined together to create the customized mask, which was designed to work just like any other cast with the goal of immobilizing and healing a broken bone.
After bone fragments were removed from the right side of Loca's skull, the 3D mask — known as an Exo-K9 — was fitted to her face and the healing process commenced. Loca was lucky enough to be the first patient to be fitted with the Exo-K9 mask.
Loca wore the mask for the next month, only having it removed when she needed to eat her soft food diet or drink.
Three more months passed with Loca allowed to once again enjoy hard kibble food before she had a third CT scan, which revealed that her fractures and jaw joint were healing well.
Loca, who continues to make positive progress each day, has since been seen wagging her tail and jumping up to greet doctors during her veterinarian visits.
"All indications show the Exo-K9 to be a viable component" for helping heal injuries to the face or jaw, according to the university's School of Veterinary Medicine.