Beaten dog to return to Washington State veterinary hospital

SPOKANE, Wash. — A stray dog that was bashed in the head and left for dead in a ditch is returning to Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital next week for some follow up care, the school said Thursday.

Veterinarians will reassess Theia’s jaw and skull fractures, which are the result of being hit by a car followed by what is believed to be a failed attempt to euthanize her with blows to the head. The euthanasia attempt caved in her sinus passages, restricting her breathing, WSU said.

If all goes well, WSU surgeons in Pullman will attempt to re-establish an airway through her crushed sinuses.

Costs of the procedure are estimated to run as high as $10,000. Theia’s caretaker, Sara Mellado of Moses Lake, has raised more than $28,000 for her care through a crowdsource funding website.

Remaining funds will be donated to the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Good Samaritan Fund, which provided the initial funding for Theia’s care, Mellado has said.

With Theia under anesthesia, veterinary surgeons will insert a flexible endoscope into her mouth and curl it back into the sinus cavity from the point where it naturally drains into her throat.

Other surgeons will use a small rigid endoscope and enter her nose. Together, they hope to establish whether they can open the sinus with a minimum amount of additional trauma.

Theia is a 1-year-old bully breed mix whose survival story surfaced this month.

The dog used to roam the streets of Moses Lake, a farm town about 100 miles west of Spokane, surviving on food scraps.

She was struck by a car in March, and WSU officials say someone apparently struck her in the head with a hammer to put her out of her misery. The dog was placed in a box in a farm field.

But the dog somehow survived and showed up at a nearby farm with a dislocated jaw, leg injuries and a caved-in sinus cavity.

Mellado learned about the dog’s plight on Facebook and took the animal into her Moses Lake home. She named the dog Theia.

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