There is good news and not-so-good news for Kabang.
The Shepherd mix gained worldwide attention after she saved the lives of two girls crossing a street in the Philippines. Kabang jumped in front of a motorcycle speeding toward the girls, and lost her snout in the process.
Thanks to thousands of dollars in donations to Care for Kabang, a website set up by Karen Kenngott to raise funds for the hero dog’s surgery, Kabang was transported last week to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) at the University of California, Davis.
After she was examined on Oct. 11, veterinary surgeons Frank Verstraete and Boaz Arzi told the San Francisco Chronicle they were pleased with what they found. Kabang would need two operations: one to fix her dental work and another to close the wound on her face. (Contrary to some earlier media reports, there were never any plans to create a prosthesis snout for Kabang.)
But at a press conference on Tuesday, it was announced that Kabang has a malignant vaginal tumor that needs to be removed as soon as possible, according to a UC Davis news release.
The facial surgeries have been put on hold for several months while her cancer is treated.
“Although these can be aggressive tumors, fortunately for Kabang, it appears to be in a relatively early stage and may have a good prognosis for treatment and even cure,” Dr. Jane Sykes, director of the VMTH small-animal clinic, said at the press conference. “Typically, these tumors are treated with chemotherapy and have a 90-percent survivability rate.”
Kabang will need to remain in California for three to six months while she receives chemo.
The tests also found that Kabang has heartworm, which could take up to six months to treat.
“A lot of the delay is going to be related to the heartworm disease that she has,” Sykes told the New York Daily News. “We’re keen to treat that before she has the surgery on her face because it means that she has a higher anesthetic risk.”
At the press conference, Sykes said Kabang “loves to associate with people, and she is a pleasure to work with,” according to the Sacramento Bee.
“I believe that Kabang is a great ambassador for dogs and what they can do for people. I think we owe her a service in return.”