Maximus the stray goes from no nose to metal muzzle

2011-05-27 00:00

FROM no nose to metal muzzle.

Stray dog Maximus, who somehow lost most of his muzzle, now has a new one after an operation performed by Dr Gerhard Steenkamp of the faculty of veterinary science at Onderstepoort yesterday.

Three titanium plates were used for the nose job.

One of the plates was shaped to form a bow, and the other two were used to stabilise it.

“This structure will offer the necessary protection. It is completely incidental that Maximus will also be slightly better-looking now,” Steenkamp said.

He added with a laugh that after the operation Maximus will look like a seal or Shar-pei with a bulldog’s lower jaw.

Steenkamp emphasised that it is not about looks, but about protection.

It was not necessary to remove any skin or tissue during the operation.

Maximus’s face was, however, thoroughly washed, shaved and sterilised beforehand.

“I am very relieved,” Steenkamp said shortly after the four-hour operation, the first of its kind he has performed.

A drain attached to Maximus’s back will drain blood from the wound over the next few days to prevent a blood clot from forming under the tissue.

Maximus will also be given painkillers and antibiotics.

“He will be carefully watched to determine whether the pain medication is adequate.”

Steenkamp said Maximus would be able to tuck into a bowl of food by as early as last night.

Soluble stitches were used during the procedure.

Maximus will convalesce in the ICU of the faculty’s academic hospital until Monday, when he will return to the animal welfare organisation Wetnose.

Steenkamp will continue seeing him over the next three weeks, after which he will be ready for someone to adopt him from Wetnose.

Maximus, a four-year-old German shepherd cross, and another dog, assumed to be his brother, were brought to Wetnose by Werner Appel on April 23.

The entire front part of Maximus’s muzzle, as well as his canines and incisors, were simply missing .

A scan taken by Steenkamp on May 4 indicated Maximus lost his nose through physical trauma, not disease.

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