Dog survives alligator attack in Fleming Island

Family says dog bitten by gator now fighting flesh-eating bacteria

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – A dog that wound up in the mouth of an alligator 10 days ago in Fleming Island is fighting for her life, according to her family.

Daniel Less said his dog, Maiya, a Shiba Inu, is struggling to walk on all fours, but she is doing better than she was a week ago. She is being treated at the Wells Road Veterinary Center.

“I go up there as much as I can to feed her, take her out. My family goes and visits. My in-laws go and visit. She’s definitely part of the family,” Less said. “She’s had to have blood transfusions, plasmas, surgeries. I mean, we found out she has some kind of flesh-eating bacteria. She has stuff we can’t even pronounce.”

Less said Maiya ran out of his family's garage May 21 to a nearby pond on Majestic View Lane. He said he wasn’t concerned until he heard a loud noise.

“As I’m walking down the hill to go get her, there’s like an explosion of water, and at that point, I didn’t realize what was going on,” Less said.

Maiya was in the teeth of what Less suspects was a 7-foot alligator. Less said he got her out and to safety, but the damage was severe -- as bad as Dr. Michelle Sands has seen in 25 years of working with animals.

“There’s a lot of trauma. She didn’t want to eat. She had whole body trauma at the end of her tail area,” Sands said, adding that it's surprising that Maiya survived.

Sands said Maiya, who was treated in a hyperbaric chamber at St. Francis Animal Hospital, has developed a superbug that is proving difficult to treat.

“It’s resistant to everything at this point, so we’re going to have to do some research into human medicine and see what we can use,” Sands said.

Sands suspects that it will take months for Maiya to recover, and more doctors will need to be called in.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with the vet bills.

Less said they will do whatever they can to help Maiya.

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they have hired a trapper to find the alligator, but have yet to find it. They told News4Jax that they will continue searching for the gator either until they find it or until early July, when their work order to continue searching ends.

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