Besides his facial injuries, Apollo tested positive for heartworm, a condition that occurs when parasitic roundworms migrate through a dog's tissues into his heart. When untreated, heartworm leads to death.
Faske and the veterinarian placed food and water in front of Apollo to see what kind of quality of life he'd have. If he ate, they thought he might have a chance. Without hesitation, Apollo gobbled two bowls of food and lapped water. Then Apollo walked up to Faske, and laid his head on her leg. "From that moment on, we knew he wasn't just another dog," she says.
Apollo needed urgent surgery, but Faske wanted to make sure he got the best possible care possible, so she took him to another vet for a second opinion. Then, a few weeks later, Apollo had reconstructive surgery. Apollo's outer nose was gone, but he still had a nasal cavity that allowed him to breathe.
During the operation, the veterinarian placed a skin graft around the exposed bone of Apollo's naval cavity, which would protect what was left of his nose. While part of Apollo's upper jaw and a few teeth had to be removed, the vet also managed to save enough of his mouth so that he could eat and drink normally.