Doctors saved a little dog’s life after she was brutally injured in an attack, putting her in a special mask that stopped her from playing with her toys but helped heal her fractured skull.

The 4-month-old puppy, a Staffordshire bull terrier named Loca, sustained fractures in her cheek and jaw and other damage, including punctures on her face and neck, when another dog bit her, according to UC Davis. Veterinarians used surgery to remove bone fragments from her face and then 3D-printed a mask to the puppy’s exact head shape that would promote healing “much like a traditional cast helps leg fractures heal.”

The mask, called the Exo-K9 Exoskeleton, made the injured dog look a bit like a hockey goalie.

According to UC Davis, Loca being so young meant that “natural bone regrowth” helped repair the right side of her face, as the mask served as a cast and a neck bandage kept her neck and skull steady.

“She almost immediately began eating soft food and remained comfortable on her pain medications,” the university said about the beginning of her healing journey.

loca-mask A puppy wore a mask that made her look like a hockey goalie after she was seriously hurt in an attack by another dog. Photo: UC Davis

It couldn’t have been an easy road for the doggy, who was not allowed to play with her toys or chew bones or other hard materials. She also had to wear her mask on a constant basis, unless she was eating soft food or drinking.

After a month, the dog was promoted to eating harder kibble to keep her jaw moving, so that her jaw’s joint wouldn’t freeze in place. And three months after that, the vets found this good girl’s skull was healing well. They also removed two teeth that were coming in abnormally at the site of her jaw injury.

“Loca continues to recover well from her injuries, and all indications show the Exo-K9 to be a viable component to maxillofacial injury healing,” according to the university.

loca-without-mask Thanks to a special mask, a puppy has recovered from devastating skull fractures she sustained in an attack. Photo: UC Davis