Filipino "hero dog" Kabang, who now has global fame, will have to wait to have her missing muzzle replaced.
This, as veterinarians at the University of California Davis noted that Kabang needs treatment for heartworm and a vaginal tumor before her reconstructive surgery, Associated Press reports.
Treatment of those conditions could take six months, the report quoted Jane Sykes, director of the UC Davis' small-animal clinic, as saying.
Kabang would then undergo a dental surgery and an operation to close the wound on her face.
The mixed breed dog was flown earlier this month for an operation that will attempt to give her a new snout. She lost hers when she jumped in front of a motorcycle to save her owner's daughter and niece.
Kabang remains prone to infection because of the wound while the absence of an upper jaw and teeth forces the dog to lap food into her tongue and toss it back toward the throat, Sykes said.
Sykes also admitted that she has not encountered a case similar to Kabang's.
"I believe that Kabang is a great ambassador for dogs and what they can do for people. I think we owe her a service in return," she added.
Aside from Sykes, other expert veterinarians attending to Kabang include specialists in facial reconstruction, oral pathology, surgery and diagnostic imaging.
Also part of the team is Filipino veterinarian Anton Lim who flew Kabang from the Philippines.
The new total cost of Kabang's treatment remains unrevealed, but the facial procedure alone was earlier estimated to be worth $20,000 or P840,000.
Funds are meanwhile expected to be sourced from thousands of dollars in donations for the dog which has attracted attention worldwide.
Part of such funds poured in through the Kabang website launched by a New York-based nurse.
The Animal Welfare Coalition of the Philippines, Global Animal Transport, Philippine Airlines and individual donors have also contributed, the report said.
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