Dog News

Injured Dog to Fly to Canada for Reconstructive Surgery

by Katherine

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Tyson, a Beagle mix from Nicaragua was out on a field with his owner when he got injured with a machete a year ago. His owner, a humble man, was clearing a field with the large blade when he accidentally slashed his pet’s snout. However, thanks to Instagram, the wounded dog caught the attention of two Canadian animal lovers and they have stepped up to help Tyson with his injury, but before the dog can get helped, the animal rescuers have had to overcome a few unforeseen obstacles.

Canadian veterinarian Graham Thatcher learned of Tyson’s condition when he was tagged on an image of the dog. The image showed how Tyson’s large gash on his snout left his nasal passage exposed as the dog chews food.


The veterinarian and his girlfriend, Andrea White, offered to bring the dog from Nicaragua to Canada to perform plastic surgery and fix the dog’s injury, but after arranging travel plans they learned at the last minute that the airline they counted on for transport, refused to let the injured pet on board.

Local veterinarians have treated the dog and he is not in any immediate danger, but his wound is still open and he needs further medical care to fix his open snout permanently.

Thatcher counted on United Airlines to aid in the transport, but after the airline learned the dog was injured, it refused to let the dog on board. Thatcher and White didn’t make the trip to Central America as scheduled, instead they contacted other airlines trying to secure a spot for Tyson.

“Seeing a dog in pain is really hard … this dog is just surviving,” Thatcher told CBC Canada. “I’ve definitely become emotionally invested in the project.”

American Airlines declined to transport Tyson on the same basis United did, they were afraid the dog’s breathing would be compromised during the flight. The couple hoped Air Canada would agree to transport the dog but before they arranged anything with Air Canda, United Airlines came back to them with a change of heart.

The vet and his girlfriend went public with Tyson’s story and when the public learned about the dog’s injury, they pressured United Airlines to allow the dog on board. This public pressure helped the airline reconsider their decision and a spokesperson contacted the veterinarian to arrange alternative options.

The airline offered to fly the veterinarian at no cost to Nicaragua to perform the surgery, but Tyson requires multiple surgeries and the advanced equipment found in Canada.

After multiple negotiations and consulting other vet specialists, United agreed to fly Tyson to Canada, and the dog is scheduled to fly north in the coming weeks.

Once here, Tyson will be under Thatcher’s care until all surgeries are performed and he is completely healed.