DAVIS (CBS13) — A San Joaquin County K-9 who nearly died in 2014 after being stabbed by a suspect, was being saved yet again, this time by the veterinary team at UC Davis.

This past March, seven-year-old K-9 Haakon was taken to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Hospital for a ruptured bladder.

Haakon and his handler, Deputy Joshua Stillman, share an unbreakable bond. So when Haakon started to get a little sluggish one night after work, Stillman knew something was wrong.

“We came up to UC Davis and found that he had a broken uterine tub, basically leaking urine into his body cavity and it was toxic,” Stillman said.

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The German Shepherd was rushed into surgery where veterinarians removed a large portion of his bladder, performing a procedure known as a gastropexy. Veterinarians said surgery revealed that a portion of his bladder was dead.

“German Shepherds and some other large breed dogs are prone to developing a condition where their stomach fills with fluid and air and rotates on itself,” said Dr. Ingrid Balsa with the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital. “So having a gastropexy can prevent that twisting of the stomach.

This wasn’t Haakon’s first brush with death. In 2014 he was stabbed while trying to apprehend a suspect on New Year’s Eve.

“The suspect had a knife and he had cut (Haakon’s) neck, and we pulled him out and took him to a vet hospital in Stockton and they saved him,” Stillman said.

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The lifesaving work of the UC Davis doctors was recognized at a special ceremony where the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office presented the vets with a plaque and a donation check.

Now that Haakon has fully recovered from his surgery, the unbreakable K-9 is back doing what he does best at work, catching bad guys and keeping the citizens of San Joaquin safe.

Stillman says Haakon is inching toward retirement. In the next couple of years, Stillman is hoping to have Haakon home with the whole Stillman family full time.

Adrienne Moore

  1. Jules Simard says:

    A gastropexy has nothing to do with a ruptured urinary bladder…. Gastropexy: suturing the stomach wall to the abdominal wall to prevent a (relapse of) GDV (gastric dilatation-volvulus). Due to the tortion the stomach’s blood flow is cut off and a part of stomach might ‘die’. Hence the need to sometimes remove a part of the stomach. So I suspect he had a GDV, and not a bladder rupture?
    Also, ‘uterine’ regards the female reproductive tract, it would be ureter/ureteric rupture (ureter: ‘connection tube’ between kidney and bladder).

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