Military Medical Technique Saves Dog’s Life

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A Christmas Eve accident with a UPS truck left Bailey, an American Eskimo dog, with a badly injured leg that he would eventually lose. He only lost his leg though thanks to the use of a life-saving vacuum that is often used on injured soldiers in Afghanistan.

When Bailey was struck by a UPS truck on Christmas Eve he was rushed to the First Regional Animal Hospital in Chandler, Arizona. Dr. Daniel Guastella operated on him and removed his fractured leg, but Bailey wasn’t out of the woods.

“What we had to do was amputate the limb that was more significant fractured,” said Dr. Guastella. “It was really infected.”

The infection was a major concern. Bailey’s skin began to lose its blood supply and it started to rot. That’s when military medicine came into play.

“At that point we used what they used in Afghanistan with the wounded soldiers: where there is a vacuum applied to the wounded because the wound has to be managed; to sort of get things to manage the infection, get it to contract, and heal on its own,” said Dr. Guastella.

Bailey’s now healthy and happy and able to chase balls like he’s always loved. There are still some mental scars from his trauma though.

“At night, when he sleeps, he holds on to his one remaining back leg,” said Bailey’s owner Kris Berling. “He hugs it, not wanting to let go.”

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