In October 2013, Armani, a 23 pound Cockapoo, was brutally beaten during a home invasion. He was immediately taken to the University of Missouri Veterinary Teaching Hospital where he was given a very small chance of survival. His skull had been fractured in multiple places, and his injuries were so extensive that before his brain was imaged the attending doctor thought he may have suffered a gunshot wound.
Armani was immediately placed on anti-seizure medication and was then given a blood transfusion due to brain hemorrhaging. By the following morning, he had lost the ability to swallow. Armani was placed on a ventilator and feeding tube and monitored by the Emergency and Critical Care team 24/7 for the next 10 days.
Due to unstable blood pressure and temperature, it took multiple attempts to taper Armani off anesthesia to assess if he would be able to breathe on his own. One bright light was that Armani’s blood pressure would increase when his owners were in the room, a sign which gave everyone hope.
When Armani finally awoke and was able to breathe on his own, he was anxious and unable to walk. His doctors expected he would need weeks of physical therapy, but his fighting spirit proved everyone wrong. Twelve days after the incident, Armani was able to take his first few steps with the help of a special harness, and a week after being released from the hospital, Armani was wobbly but able to walk on his own. At first, due to blindness in his right eye from the brain damage, he walked only in circles, but he eventually regained full function and even the ability to run. He was “normal for Armani” said Dr. Benhard from the University of Missouri vet hospital.
A year later, Armani began having seizures and developed other ailments related to brain degeneration from the head trauma. After five months of fighting for his life again, Armani gained his angel wings.