STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - It's been 87 days that the Mississippi State University Veterinary school has housed one of their most well-known, and loved patients, Buddy the yellow Labrador Retriever.
Veterinarians said he was one of the most burned patients they've ever seen.
Buddy, a dog who was burned in Tate County, pictured before his injuries. Photo submitted
Buddy recovering from facial burns at the Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine. Source: Tunica Humane Society
“A person with similar injuries would have been kept in a medically induced coma probably for the first couple of weeks to deal just with the pain," explained Buddy's doctor, Elizabeth Swanson.
After a 12-year-old boy lit him on fire, Buddy came into the University's care with burns covering his face.
He suffered from third- and fourth-degree burns on his forehead and ears. The remainder of his face was engulfed in second-degree burns.
“The first thing you could think of was, ‘Ugh this poor dog,'" explained Swanson. "Then the magnitude of how severe the burns were once we took those bandages off.”
Swanson is the head of Buddy's recovery team.
She's seen him through his worst, but now, she gets to enjoy seeing the ambitious fighter improve.
The doctor said Buddy was hesitant when he first arrived at the hospital, but as time went on, he became very comfortable meeting new people and loves the outdoors.
Swanson said Buddy's burns are almost completely healed.
The Labrador Retriever received five skin grafts and now is waiting for one small spot between his eyes to heal.
She explained Buddy will need extensive care for the rest of his life, but believes that extra care will be well worth it to a family looking to give Buddy his new home.
“He’s a young dog. He’s got a long life ahead of him.”
Swanson said Buddy is 90% healed.
At best case scenario, she hopes to get the resilient dog back to the Tunica Humane Society by August to rejoin his long-lost pal Snoop.