Severely Abused Dog Doing Well in Recovery

The dog is wagging his tail and giving kisses. He appears happy despite damage to his sinus cavity and hundreds of stitches to his head.

The dog who survived an attack by a person wielding an ax or machete is doing well and is ready to go to a foster home where he can receive attention and love.

Axel, a one- to two-year-old pit bull mix is a sweet and loving dog who loves attention and will give kisses despite the trauma to his head and nose.

Luke Bergland, the veterinarian who has been treating Axel, said that the dog's survival is nothing short of a miracle. He said he was stunned when Steve Bell, an animal services officer, walked the dog into Beach Veterinary Clinic with the gaping head wound.

As Bergland examined the dog on Monday, he realized that the dog must have received his injuries over the weekend and that he had been walking around with the severe wound for a day or two. The examination revealed that the dog's brain had not been injured, but that his sinus cavity had been cut deeply and the damage, which included fractured bones, required surgery.

Bergland performed surgery on the dog's face and nose, pulling out bone fragments that were floating in the dog's sinuses. He cleaned the wound, cut back some of the dead skin and sewed up the dog's wounds.

Today Axel's wounds still look serious — a drain in his nose helps to reduce he chance of infection. But as he heals, Axel seems energetic and happy. If he's in pain he doesn't show it.

Bergland's practice provided the surgery at a discounted price for the Animal Network Inc. and No Kill Manatee County. But the funds for emergency surgeries had been severely depleted by other animals in need even before Axel came in to the clinic.

No Kill Manatee County is raising funds to pay for his surgery and follow-up medical care. Manatee County Animal Services is also hoping to find a foster family who can care for the injured dog until he heals and becomes available for adoption. No Kill is also offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who harmed Axel.

So far, response to the cruelty again Axel has been overwhelming. The community has contributed money to his care and a Facebook page created on Monday has already gotten more than 300 fans and has generated comments from people who are offering support to the dog and encouraging the capture of the person who abused the dog.

don bingham November 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM
What a great dog, pitt bulls are sweet dogs, just a strong breed, energetic, and excitable, i think people mistake that, don't know how to take it and get scared, not the case with Axel, best of luck to him! :-)
KC November 28, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I hope he finds a loving family and the person that did this is caught. We know who should be the Vet of the year after seeing this case. I did not look at the extra pictures as I just needed to see one to know how mean people can be. What would they do to a child?
Skylar Whale November 29, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Awwwwww he is adorable and I can't believe that someone would hurt Axel I would deffinatly adopt him but I don't think that my parents would all
Skylar Whale November 29, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Low it how do you make donations because I want to make a donation for this poor puppy
Amy Zelaya November 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM
I am so happy Axel looks much better...I pray he finds a loving forever home...I wish I can save all the animals that need care in this world...I know I can't but I can love and kiss the 5 I do have...well 7 including my two cats...thanks for keeping me updated...
Terry Poto November 30, 2012 at 12:55 AM
If anybody can save this guy it would be Luke. He is an awesome vet and person has been my vet for years would not take my kids any where else. Why to go Luke you are the best


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