After losing a leg following an alligator attack in September, a 6-month-old Florida puppy named Chloe is “doing great,” according to the Courtenay Animal Hospital where Chloe was being treated for her injuries.
Florida Today reports that on Sept. 26, Chloe got attacked by an alligator after the puppy found her way around a neighbor’s fence, and entered territory near a local wildlife sanctuary that had been flooded since Hurricane Irma.
Chloe’s owner, Jo Ellen Kleinhenz told Florida Today that she knew something was wrong when she heard “this terrible yelping noise, just this awful, awful sound.”
On a GoFundMe page created to help pay for Chloe’s medical bills, Kleinhenz wrote that when she found Chloe, she saw that “the gator was trying to pull her deeper into [the] swamp and she had grabbed onto a branch with her teeth to stay above water. I couldn’t reach her. The alligator released her miraculously and she swam to me.”
And although Chloe survived and was immediately rushed to the Courtenay Animal Hospital, the puppy sustained life-threatening injuries.
“She had a penetrating abdominal wound, so It think the gator had originally bitten her in the stomach and pulled her down. She had a crushing injury — penetrating wounds and broken bones — in her back left foot. And she had a few other bite wounds on her left shoulder,” Dr. Elizabeth Chosa of Courtenay Animal Hospital told Florida Today, adding that “her stomach was full of swamp water. Her lungs were full of swamp water. So I actually thought she might not survive the first 24 hours because of the near-drowning.”
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Although Chloe survived, on Oct. 6, it was decided that Chloe’s back left leg had to be amputated.
“We tried really hard to save the foot that the alligator had chomped/crushed but it was not healing well and was causing her tremendous pain. So we made the difficult decision to amputate her leg on Friday,” a spokesperson for the Courtenay Animal Hospital announced on their Facebook account earlier this month.
However, the spokesperson added that “Chloe was doing great” and she was “already running around like she never had four legs!”
“She seems to feel soooo much better without that painful foot. Less than 24 hours after surgery, she was already moving around really well and learning to potty on 3 legs. The hardest thing now is keeping her quiet & still enough to finish healing!” the spokesperson wrote, adding that, “We are still working to heal her large abdominal wound & were able to use some of the skin from her leg amputation to create a partial skin graft. She did so well today that she gets to go home & not come back to see us for three whole days!!”
Kleinhenz told Florida Today, “She’s such a survivor.”