Jaw Fractures

Definition

A sudden and profoundly debilitating problem, the cause is usually trauma, for example a blow to the face or road traffic accident. Jaw fractures can also occur secondary to another disease, dentigerous cysts, kidney failure or cancer of the jaw bone.

Fractures can affect any part of the upper or lower jaw. These animals could have other severe injuries that need attending to as a priority.

Diagnosis

Often the actual trauma has not been witnessed but the animal shows signs of blood from the mouth, inability to close the mouth or excessive salivation. If you suspect a jaw fracture contact your vet immediately. You vet will need to confirm the diagnosis by tasking and x-ray.

Treatment

The jaw needs to be stabilised and there are various methods used to achieve this. Some cases require a simple muzzle through to involved surgical procedures. The most consideration with jaw fractures is to achieve normal closure of the mouth following repair.

Intra-oral splints (re-inforced jaw wiring) allow the animal to return to a normal routine quicker and at the same time reduce the risk of damage to teeth during repair.

Prevention

If there is an underlying problem, early diagnosis and treatment of that condition is required. Dogs, especially toy breeds, with advanced tooth and gum disease are at high risk.

BVDA

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