A fractured jawbone can cause significant discomfort and distress for your canine companion. In this article, our veterinarians in Anaheim will explain the factors leading to a fractured jaw in dogs, the methods of treating this injury, and the steps for post-injury canine care.
Causes of a Broken Jaw in Dogs
Trauma or periodontal disease may lead to mandibular fractures in dogs. Common traumatic incidents involve a conflict with another dog or being struck by a vehicle.
If your dog has periodontal disease, they may face an increased risk of a jaw fracture. As bone loss occurs, the mandible becomes more vulnerable to fractures, even from minor actions like contacting furniture, biting food, or chewing on toys.
In the event that your dog engages in a dog fight or is involved in a car accident, it is essential to have a veterinarian conduct a thorough assessment for potential additional injuries.
It is advisable to promptly have your pet examined by a veterinarian after the fracture is detected. Emergency veterinary care may be necessary.
Once your dog's condition is stabilized and other injuries are addressed, the veterinarian can attend to the jaw fracture.
The Goal of Repairing a Jaw Fracture
Ensuring your dog's prompt comfort, consumption, and rest following jaw fracture repair surgery is the primary goal. Misalignment in the healing of the upper or lower jaw can lead to malocclusion, a potential concern.
Preventing harm to tooth roots and the neurovascular bundle within the mandibular or infraorbital canals is of utmost importance. The ultimate objective is the accurate mending of the fracture to aid your dog's recovery from the broken jaw.
Treating Jaw Fractures in Dogs
Wires, screws, and metal plates may be necessary for the repair of a jaw fracture. Yet, certain fractures can be managed using acrylic splints. Splints offer easier placement and often eliminate the need for complex surgical incisions by the veterinary surgeon. The primary objective of the treatment is to ensure proper alignment of the teeth.
Once an acrylic splint is in place, your pet will need to abstain from chewing on toys or anything hard for several weeks. Put away any hard toys which may cause the acrylic splint to become dislodged.
How to Feed a Dog With a Broken Jaw
Feed only softened food until your vet tells you that it's safe for them to eat hard food again.
Once the doctor feels the fracture site is healed, a second brief anesthesia is required to confirm healing with X-rays. If the fracture is healed, the splint is removed.
Depending on the method employed for fracture repair, a final anesthetized procedure may be necessary to arrange the removal of wire or splint in the oral cavity.
The Prognosis for a Jaw Fracture Repair
The outlook for jaw fracture repair typically varies from positive to outstanding, with a few exceptions. Maxillary fractures are usually stable and have a favorable prognosis. The prognosis for mandibular fractures is more variable, influenced by the cause(s) of the fracture(s). Mandibular fractures resulting from minor trauma, like a mild fall, tend to have a good prognosis.
Older, small-breed dogs with severe periodontal disease that suffer fractures during surgical extractions tend to have less-than-ideal healing characteristics. The prognosis may be poor, guarded, or fair.
The prognosis also depends on the severity of the injury. If the neurovascular blood supply is damaged, the prognosis is reduced. The cause of the trauma, impact force, duration of the injury, and bacterial contamination all play a role in your dog's outcome.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.