CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Caitlyn, the dog found with her muzzle bound shut with electrical tape, continues to make improvements, according to the Charleston Animal Society.
Veterinarians are still waiting to determine whether they will need to remove part of the dog's tongue. Initially, veterinarians feared a large portion of Caitlyn's tongue would have to be removed, leading her to be severely disfigured or to concerns of potentially life-threatening complications.
The animal abuse case has garnered national attention since photos of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Staffie, mix went viral. The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for taping the dog's muzzle shut. That money is in addition to the Charleston Animal Society's $1,000 reward.
"Caitlyn continues to recover from her ordeal but she is still hospitalized," Charleston Animal Society spokesperson Kay Hyman said in a statement. "She has graduated from intravenous fluids and antibiotics to normal food and oral medications."
The dog has been receiving treatment in a hyperbaric chamber and cold laser therapy to heal damaged tissue in her mouth, she said.
Veterinarians also performed a small surgical procedure on her lip Sunday. So far, there is no procedure planned for her tongue.
"We are still waiting to see how well her body will heal on its own," Hyman said.
When she was found, veterinarians estimate her muzzle had been taped for up to 48 hours. Witnesses said her tongue had been trapped between her teeth, cutting off circulation.
Hyman credits the staff of Veterinary Specialty Care in Mount Pleasant, including Drs. Kelli Klein and Henri Bianucci, who have have been treating Caitlyn.
North Charleston police continue to investigate the case.
Anyone with information about the case should call Aldwin Roman with the Charleston Animal Society at (843) 329-1545 or Crime Stoppers at (843) 554-1111.