Kabang, the hero dog from the Philippines, was released from the veterinary medical teaching hospital at the University of California, Davis, U.S., last week and cleared to return to her family.

A Bunggal family member plays with Kabang in the Philippines. (Photo: provided by UC Davis)

The diminutive dog saved two young girls from an oncoming motorcycle in December 2011. The crash with the motorcycle literally ripped her face off, leaving her with a horrendous gaping wound.

Her heroism and miraculous survival captured the attention of the news media in the Philippines and hundreds of people around the world, who provided funds through the private organization Care for Kabang for her nearly eight months of treatments.

Veterinarian Anton Lim of the Philippines plays with Kabang.

The dog was brought to University of California-Davis in October last year, but university veterinarians discovered she also had heartworm disease and an infectious cancer.

A team of specialized UC Davis veterinarians was formed to coordinate Kabang’s care. Treatment for the cancer and heartworm each had to be successfully completed before dental and surgical procedures could be performed to deal with her facial wound.

Kabang healed at UC Davis.

It was not possible to reconstruct Kabang’s snout and give her a functional upper jaw so she will never look like she did before her accident. But because the facial wound has been closed, she is better protected against infection and prepared for an active life when she returns to her family in the Philippines.

Find out more about  Kabang’s care.