Chihuahua’s Recovery: Paco’s Lung Surgery After Dog Attack

I Love Chihuahuas
4 min readSep 5, 2023
Chihuahuas Recovery Pacos Lung Surgery After Dog Attack —
Chihuahuas Recovery Pacos Lung Surgery After Dog Attack —

A dog owner has been left “traumatized” after her tiny Chihuahua named Paco was attacked by an off-leash dog outside her home. Paco was so badly injured that he had to get a third of his lung removed. Here’s this poor Chihuahua’s recovery after one of the scariest dog attacks ever recorded.

The Horrendous Dog Attack

Bruna Meirelles, 31, had taken her dog, Paco, to the communal garden at her Zetland apartment building for a walk. This is what she does every day. But, then, a female dog known only as Bella, came out of nowhere and ran towards him.

“She didn’t bark, she just ran across the grass area. Because Paco loves big dogs, he walked towards her, his tail was wagging,”

Brunam explaining the attack for 7NEWS

Then she continues explaining: “I reached for him but she opened her mouth. She then grabbed him and started shaking her head, which would kill him.”

It’s important to note that Bruna used to rescue and rehabilitate fighting dogs in Brazil. So, when her pup was life-threatened she didn’t hesitate to confront the giant dog.

She grabbed the Staffordshire bull terrier pit bull by the collar and put her in between her legs. That was before using her hands to pry its mouth open.

“I grabbed Paco from the floor, he was covered in saliva, and he was screaming loud. My hands were covered in blood, but I didn’t know if it was my blood or his blood”

Bruna, on how the dog attack happened

“I was shaking, my mouth was shaking, I sat down and (the owner) looked at me and said, ‘I’m sorry’ before he grabbed the dog and disappeared” she concluded.

Paco and his assistive breathing tube on a bed
Paco and his assistive breathing tube on a bed

The Emergency Vet Visit

Bruna took the six-month-old to the Sydney Veterinary Emergency & Specialists in Rosebery. There she learned that he had a punctured lung, making it nearly impossible for him to breathe. The vets told her that it must’ve been a dog attack like no other.

The doctor in charge told Bruna that surgery — which would cost upward of $12,000 — may be his “only chance.

“I didn’t even think twice, I said just do it. Do whatever you need to do to save him, I’ll do what I have to do to make it work”

Bruna, explaining how her Chihuahua’s recovery was the only thing on her mind

Bruna also said that the surgeon was clear with her about all the risks associated with surgery and that there was a chance Paco wouldn’t make it through.

She had faith, but she was already preparing herself to not see him again.

The Poor Chihuahua’s Recovery

While the surgery was a success, there are still fears he has suffered further injuries, and oxygen therapy is currently keeping him alive.

According to Bruna, the sad part of this whole story is how much he loved his walks. Apparently, there was not a single day in his life that they didn’t go for a one-hour walk in the morning.

Paco cuddled within a blanket during his recovery
Paco cuddled within a blanket during his recovery

“I think he will be traumatized, I am traumatized, he is so chilled and so happy and so lovely, and I know things have changed now, he won’t have the same life.”

Bruna, explaining her hopelessness about her Chihuahua’s recovery

Paco’s journey towards recovery has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but he is responding positively to the treatment. After the brutal dog attack that necessitated lung surgery, Paco has been placed on assisted breathing. The severity of the damage to Paco’s lungs required this intervention in order to ensure the best possible recovery.

“Despite the challenges, Paco’s resilience and will to survive have been humbling to witness,”

Dr. Benson, the lead veterinarian overseeing Paco’s treatment.

Over the past few weeks, Paco’s vitals have shown consistent improvement. He continues to rely on assisted breathing, but he is gradually adapting to it, and the frequency of assistance required has been decreasing.

Paco is also undergoing physical therapy to strengthen his weakened body and is showing signs of improvement. The journey has been long and challenging, but the progress Paco has made is inspiring.

Wrapping Up

Luckily, her friends helped Meirelles set up a GoFundMe page which has raised enough funds to cover the hospital fees.

Since then, Bruna has reported the incident to the local council and says while she does not blame the dog, she hopes the owner is found. Owner negligence in controlling their pets can have severe consequences.

In many jurisdictions, owners can be held legally responsible for any harm their unattended pets cause. This may include hefty fines, mandatory attendance at pet training programs, and in extreme cases, the removal of the pet from the owner’s custody. Moreover, civil lawsuits for damages can result in significant payouts.

It’s crucial to remember that as pet owners, we have an obligation to ensure our pets are not a danger to others. For Paco, and for many others who have experienced similar traumas, such accountability is vital for healing and moving forward.



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