Pets and Vets: Pit bull survives ax attack in Florida.

Pets and Vets: Pit bull survives ax attack in Florida.

Animal health state by state.
Dec 21, 2012
By staff


A Manatee County Animal Services worker walked into Beach Veterinary Clinic in Bradenton, Fla., with a pit bull the afternoon of Nov. 26. The dog, now named Axel, seemed unfazed by the two-inch-deep open gash that had exposed his skull and damaged his sinuses—a wound that looked to be inflicted by an ax.

According to veterinary technician Tiffany Toth, Axel was sedated upon arrival for a full examination, radiographs of his skull and surgery with Luke Berglund, DVM. Fortunately, the blunt trauma did not harm Axel’s brain. Axel is now recovering at the clinic with antibiotics and pain medication. The sutures used to close his wound make a Frankenstein-like line up Axel’s nose, past his right eye, along the top of his head and back down toward his left eye.

Axel had no identification, but officers are trying to identify a suspect and a reward has been offered for tips that lead to an arrest. Axel shows signs of past abuse, evidenced by scars on his back, legs and feet. He is also positive for heartworms but will not start treatment until he is further into recovery. Donations are coming in to help fund the dog’s medical treatment at Beach Veterinary Clinic gives updates on Axel’s condition daily on its Facebook page.

Alabama A dog left inside the fence behind Countryside Veterinary Clinic in Opelika, Ala., tested positive for rabies after it bit a veterinary technician who found it. The abandoned dog appeared to be a 2- to 3-year-old black Labrador and chow mix with no tags; it was euthanized. Rabies officials in East Alabama were eventually able to locate the owner of the dog. The family has been urged to get rabies treatment. The technician bitten by the dog is undergoing treatment along with others exposed to the animal.

Massachusettes A 6-year-old Labrador mix is being protected by the state under a law designed to create a safety net for pets caught in domestic violence situations, published reports say. The dog’s 38-year-old owner was granted a restraining order in Plymouth District Court against her violent ex-boyfriend, and Judge James Menno grated the dog protection as well. The ex-boyfriend is prohibited from abusing, threatening or taking the pet, whose ownership was granted to the victim.

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine has dismissed a complaint against Muhammad Malik, DVM, of Broadway Animal Hospital in Boston. The complaint stemmed from a September incident in which a client’s cat was mistakenly euthanized at the clinic. Three board members reviewed the case and found that the cat’s owner had signed paperwork for euthanasia and that the procedure had been explained to him. The owner contends he thought he was signing routine paperwork for a new patient. The case was dismissed without prejudice, leaving it open for future review.

New York Named “Phoenix” by the veterinarians who cared for him at Buffalo Small Animal Hospital, a Jack Russell terrier found with severe burns on the city’s east side in November is going to make it. The dog sustained burned ears and serious ankle infection, according to reports, and area residents have donated approximately $12,000 for his care. Phoenix is receiving free laser therapy and antibiotics, but he may also face surgeries and skin grafting as well. There have been many requests to adopt the dog. For more state news, scan the QR code with your smart phone or go to

Ohio A sewer district crew in Cleveland rescued a two-foot alligator this past November. The reptile nearly froze to death in the city sewer system, but the workers revived it by putting it in warm water according to the Associated Press. Some speculate the alligator ended up in the sewer after Ohio’s new exotic animal law went into effect Sept. 5 requiring owners to register exotic animals. The alligator now has a new home with the Cleveland Zoo’s educational programs.

Tennessee A 5-year-old bald eagle found shot off the side of the road in Silerton, Tenn., and cared for at Memphis Veterinary Specialists (MVS) in Cordova, Tenn, died after extensive surgery and transport for recovery at MidSouth Raptor Center. “Abe,” named after Abraham Lincoln by his caregivers, suffered a broken right wing and fractured his left femur. Friends of the MVS Facebook page were kept in the loop with every step of the eagle’s treatment and hopeful recovery. The bald eagle underwent surgery with Dr. Mac Maxwell and Dr. David Hannon Nov. 2 to repair the bird’s fractures. Updates reported Abe did well post-op. By Nov. 5 staff were able to stop IV fluids and start syringe feedings. Abe was also able to bear weight on his repaired leg for minutes at a time. Abe was transported to MidSouth Raptor Center for continued care and rehabilitation Nov. 7. Unfortunately, staff found the bird had passed during the following weekend. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers are looking for the person who shot the bird. Bald Eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act passed in 1940. Violation of the act carries a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year in prison. A second conviction brings a $10,000 fine or up to two years in prison.

Washington Last June, “Glen,” an American bald eagle found on Nine Mile Rod north of Spokane, Wash., was given only a 30 percent chance of survival by veterinarians at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The eagle was sick, not eating and had a fracture close to a wing joint. After recovering at WSU, Glen was released back into the wild Nov. 27 at the Little Spokane River Natural Area. Glen is fitted with an ankle tag with a number on it so she can be identified.