DUBAI // Pumpkin, a dog that was almost tortured to death by a gang of children, has undergone a complicated two-hour operation to repair her ravaged neck.
The delicate plastic surgery to repair a 15cm long and 3cm deep gash cost Dh4,000, paid for by donations from animal lovers.
Pumpkin was brought to the Modern Veterinary Clinic on Sunday after being rescued from a group of children in Al Khawaneej who were beating the cowering animal. She had wire around her neck, which is thought to have caused the deep wound.
Dr Lukas Juszkiewicz, the vet caring for Pumpkin, said the wound was old and the scar tissue had been built up over a long time.
"She was very close to death," he said. "It was only when we started doing reconstruction, we realised just how close."
The cut was just millimetres from piercing a major artery on the dog's neck or opening the trachea, and the proximity to those vital areas made surgery tricky.
"The geography of the place is quite complicated," said Dr Juszkiewicz. "When it's just one big mass of scar tissue, it's easy to destroy an important nerve or artery."
Although the treatment went without a hitch, Pumpkin will be kept under surveillance for most of the weekend.
"The first 24 hours after the surgery, there's the highest risk," he added. "Everything depends on how the wound looks. There can be big swelling there, so we'll have to continue to monitor it."
Pumpkin was brought in to the clinic on Sunday by Malika Faber, who handed over the initial Dh1,000 for treatment.
The remaining costs were covered by animal lovers who contacted the vet with donations.
She should make a full recovery in 10 days. After that, the staff will try to find her a new home. Dr Juszkiewicz said there were already several offers. "I don't think she will have any problem," he said.