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Lucky dog has its day after steel rod is removed from skull

Union Leader Correspondent

February 07. 2018 11:09PM
Michael Avant's dog, Bruno, is back home recovering after surgery to remove a steel rod from his skull. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

This X-ray shows the steel rod that doctors removed from Bruno’s head. The rod traveled through his mouth and into his skull while he was playing outside his home.

BRENTWOOD — Bruno is one lucky dog.

The 8-month-old German shepherd is making a miraculous recovery following emergency surgery after he jumped onto a 3-foot- long steel rod that traveled through his mouth and into his skull while playing outside his Brentwood home last weekend.

“The doctors didn’t think he would make it, or he would lose an eye or have brain damage,” owner Michael Avant said.

Bruno survived the frightening ordeal on Feb. 3 and is now resting at home thanks to the quick actions of Avant, Brentwood police officers, and a team of doctors at Veterinary Emergency and Surgery Hospital of Brentwood.

The race to save Bruno began when Avant heard him yelping in pain.

Avant ran outside to the front porch and discovered a gruesome scene. It appeared Bruno had jumped onto the rod with a hook used for holding outdoor ornaments.

“He loves to jump in the snow. He jumped off the front porch and hit the steel rod and it went into his mouth,” he recalled.

A panicked Avant ran over to him.

“There was blood everywhere. It was terrible,” he said.

With the long rod stuck in his head, Avant knew he had to get Bruno to a veterinary hospital as quickly as possible, but struggled trying to get him in his vehicle himself. That’s when he called 911 and Brentwood police officers Jared Arsenault and Kenneth Gauthier responded to the Bartlett Road home to lend a hand.

With the officers’ help, Bruno was loaded into a police cruiser and driven a short distance to the Veterinary Emergency and Surgery Hospital on Route 125.

According to Lindsay Krieger, the hospital’s administrator, some of the rod was cut to help Bruno maneuver.

He was stabilized and then underwent anesthesia. Dr. Lori Gordon was called in to assist the staff and perform the surgery.

“I think with the help of them bringing him in at the time they did and the stabilization from our staff and the surgery that was performed were definitely life-saving measures,” Krieger said.

Gordon was able to successfully remove the rod during surgery.

Dr. Benedetta Sarno treated Bruno as he recovered overnight.

Doctors were concerned that he could lose vision as the rod traveled behind his left eye. Krieger said it appears his vision wasn’t impacted, but he will need to be examined again in the future to be certain.

“I’ve been here for 10 years and I’ve never seen anything as extreme as a rod like that getting into a skull. It’s quite amazing how that could even happen,” Krieger said.

Bruno was released Monday and continues to recover at home.

Avant said he appreciated the help from police and the doctors from the veterinary hospital who treated him.

Bruno was up and around and appeared to be almost back to normal, but stitches in his head are a reminder of that terrible day.

“I don’t even want to think about it,” Avant said.

Animals General News Brentwood

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