A toddler was forced to undergo three operations and 62 hours of oxygen therapy as the family dog attacked her face and ripped off half her ear. On November 2, Kenzie Riemenschneider was sitting on the sofa with the family’s 10-month-old Bernedoodle Curly when she grabbed his LED collar and pulled it around.
The light from the collar is said to have frightened the dog, leading him to bark and accidentally chomp down on the two-year-old girl’s face. When Jaisa, 37, and Andy, 41, heard Kenzie’s screams, they assumed she was scared by the dog’s bark, but when they entered the living room, they saw her covered in blood.
“There was no thought in my mind that she had been bitten because the dog never showed any sign of aggression,” recalled Jaisa. “She screamed very loudly. My husband ran in there and grabbed her. “Her lip on the left side was sliced wide open. It was like a pie shape, you could see her teeth, according to the Tyla.
Jaisa immediately called Paramedics and picked up the severed top of Kenzie’s ear from the living room floor. “I remember the paramedic clearly saying to me, ‘most likely they will not be able to attach the ear, and time is not on your side’,” Jaisa shared. “I was trying to stay strong for Kenzie. A lot of that came from the adrenaline and just shock. I knew I couldn’t break down in front of her.”
Fortunately, doctors at Children’s Hospital Minnesota in St. Paul and Minneapolis believe Kenzie will be able to maintain her ear following three procedures and 62 hours of oxygen therapy. Using the application of pressurized, high oxygen levels, the unique therapy encouraged regrowth, fusing Kenzie’s ear back together and fast-mending the scars on her face.
Kenzie is now ‘fully healed’ after having the $200,000 therapy, with the exception of some minor damage to the tip of her ear. Following the horrifying accident, the family took the ‘difficult’ decision to rehome Curly the dog in order to prevent a similar incident. Jaisa said: “It was difficult, we are a forever home. When we adopt an animal we adopt it for life and they are our family.
“We did our due diligence of finding the right family for Curly.” Although the family is spooked by the freak incident, they insist ‘it wasn’t an attack’. “He was a very nice family dog,” said Jaisa. “We had no prior concerns for safety, or aggression, it was a complete accident. “We raised him, we were comfortable around him, so we’re not trying to instill fear in either of our girls. We want them to be animal lovers.”