A 1-year-old dog named “Champ” survived high-risk surgery Tuesday after a veterinarian discovered an arrow lodged in his nasal cavity and skull.
Chris Nelson, director of Animal Services for the La Plata County Humane Society, said the pup arrived July 11 at the Durango shelter with medical issues his previous shelter in New Mexico was unable to diagnose.
Veterinarians in Durango thought it was a sinus infection or kennel cough upon examination, but after some treatment, Champ’s health continued to decline, Nelson said.
The Humane Society’s medical team sent Champ to a local vet for an X-ray, which revealed the arrow lodged in his nasal cavity and skull.
Nelson said other than a small scar/scab on his face, a common minor injury with rescue dogs, there was no indication Champ had an arrow lodged in his skull.
“He’s happy and doesn’t act like anything is bothering him,” he said.
Nelson said Champ came from the Humane Society of McKinley County in Gallup, and it’s likely he was one of many stray dogs that roam the Navajo Nation. It’s unknown what happened or who shot Champ, he said.
“That’s the great mystery,” he said.
Tuesday’s surgery was considered high-risk, but leaving the arrow in was not an option, Nelson said, because the infection would become worse.
The Humane Society is asking for donations to help offset the cost of the expensive surgery, estimated at $5,000. Donations can be made at lpchumanesociety.org.
Nelson said Champ will be available for adoption once he recovers, but he said there’s already high interest from Humane Society staff members who want to take him home.