Nicaraguan beagle mix has successful snout-saving surgery in Ottawa

Tyson's snout was damaged in a machete accident over a year ago. Graham Thatcher

A Nicaraguan dog is recovering in an Ottawa veterinary hospital from a six-hour surgery to repair his badly wounded snout.

Graham Thatcher performed the surgery on Tyson, a beagle mix, on Tuesday where he screwed two metal plates into the dog’s face to close a gaping hole.

“We weren’t able to put it on perfectly straight because of what bone we had to use, but it’s close and everything looks really good,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher first learned about Tyson through social media when he was asked about the dog’s snout, which was damaged in a machete accident in the jungle more than a year ago.

But surgery was delayed after United Airlines balked at transporting the injured dog. The airline eventually changed course and helped guide the dog and Thatcher’s wife, who went to Nicaragua to retrieve him, to Canada along with Air Canada.

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Since arriving in Ottawa about a month ago, Tyson has been living at the Alta Vista Animal Hospital where he’s been chowing down – gaining several kilograms – and having various infections cleaned up.

“With any luck it will just be the one surgery,” Thatcher said.

“He definitely needs some oral surgery – he has some broken teeth that we need to fix – but that will be in a couple of months and that is inconsequential.”

Now, Tyson is sedated and will be slightly sedated for the next six weeks so the dog can recover.

“It’s the only way to get him to relax. He’s very, very active and hyper and friendly and not well trained,” Thatcher said, laughing.

“But he’s the best-natured dog I’ve seen in a long time, if a little wild.”

Thatcher said he’s been disappointed by the lack of interest about the dog’s health from his Nicaraguan family.

The vet said he’ll adopt the dog himself if the family no longer wants him.

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