My Pet Has a Fractured Jaw! What You Need to Know
Oral health is a very important factor in a pet’s quality of life and, the more we learn, the more it becomes obvious that oral health can affect overall health. You are making a wonderful commitment to your pet’s oral care and we want you to know what to expect when you come to visit with us! Please be aware that each patient is different and the mouth is a difficult place to predict, however we will do our best to derive as close of a treatment plan as possible during our initial visit.
What type of veterinary care will my pet receive?
Each jaw fracture is different and consequently, each fracture may require a different treatment. However, we have to remember there is a whole animal attached to the mouth and ensure your pet is otherwise stable prior to addressing the broken jaw. Sometimes we take X-rays of the chest or abdomen to look for bruising in the lungs or hidden bleeding. Depending on what caused the fracture (being hit by a car versus misjudging a stair height), it is not uncommon to provide supportive care (fluids, pain medications, etc.) for 12-48 hours prior to surgery to let your pet recover a little from the trauma that has occurred.
Jaw fracture stabilization and repair is often performed with wire and acrylic splinting. These splints are minimally invasive, meaning we often do not have to make incisions or place pins to put the pieces back together. Often you cannot even see the appliance from the outside! Although your pet will need softened food and no access to chew toys, they can often continue to go for walks and partake in many of their usual activities while the splint is in place. Most pets can eat the night of surgery, but a little maintenance care of the splint will be necessary (flushing, checking for cracks, etc). Typically, after six to 12 weeks, X-rays can show a healed jaw bone and the splint can be removed. Occasionally we have to use alternative methods to image or repair complicated jaw fracture but we will work together to find the right solution for your pet.
Learn more about this disease by contacting our Dentistry service at your nearest BluePearl veterinary hospital. Here are our hospital locations.
© BluePearl Veterinary Partners 2012