Veterinary Care: Understanding Jaw Fractures in Cats
The lower jaw is formed by the mandible, which holds the lower teeth in place, while the upper jaw is formed by the maxilla, which holds the upper teeth in place. Trauma and injuries are the leading reasons for cats’ upper jaw and lower jaw fractures.
Although many forms of injury are frequently responsible for upper and lower jaw fractures, certain risk factors, such as oral infections and congenital or inherited abnormalities resulting in a weakened or malformed jaw, may predispose a cat to the fractures.
What are upper and lower jaw fractures?
Both upper and lower jaw fractures are excruciatingly painful for cats. Jaw fractures are almost as frequent in cats as it is in dogs. We typically notice them after a fight or a collision with a stationary object. When we see a cat with a jaw fracture, we usually find that they have a severe periodontal condition, which has eaten away at the underlying bone, causing terrible effects even from a slight injury. Jaw fractures necessitate advanced pet dental care; check out websites like www.coralbreeze.com for a comprehensive medical facility.
Since it is made up of two fused bones, the lower jaw has more deterioration than the upper jaw. A cat suffering from a jaw fracture could experience other severe injuries such as pierced lungs or a diaphragm. When a cat’s jaw is exposed to blunt force trauma, upper and lower jaw fractures are common. This can result in fractures in the mandible (lower jaw) or the maxilla (upper jaw).
What are the symptoms of jaw fractures?
Some upper and lower jaw fractures, especially in the maxilla (upper jaw), might be difficult to see but require prompt medical attention. Swelling in the affected location, loss of symmetry in the lower jaw, and possibly missing teeth are typical symptoms. Other symptoms for both upper and lower jaw fractures are listed below.
- A mouth that hangs open or refuses to shut
- Salivating excessively
- Food aversion or reluctance
- Misaligned jaw
- The mouth is bleeding.
- Wounds around the mouth
What are the treatments?
A comprehensive animal hospital offers different treatment care; visit this website if you want a trusted animal facility. Treatment for jaw fractures in felines is very dependent on the type of fracture that has occurred. The following are the most common treatments:
A muzzle is used to bind the affected bones once they have been appropriately positioned. This is sometimes all that is needed in less complex fractures. For this purpose, a commercially made mouth muzzle or medical tape is used rather than a traditional metal muzzle.
A cat with a simple mandibular body fracture is regularly treated with this technique. The jaw is virtually wired shut to restrict movement and promote appropriate alignment. During recovery, the cat can only drink liquids and eat pureed meals. The wire must be removed at a postoperative visit before the mouth may function normally again.
A wire is inserted between the teeth, and an acrylic splint is applied to the fracture line. This is a non-invasive procedure, and the wires will be removed at a later vet visit. Once the jaw has healed, the wires can be removed from the cat’s mouth.
To hold bone parts together, surgeons use bone plates and screws. Postoperative treatment is minimal. Temporomandibular joint luxations are frequently treated with this method (complete joint dislocation).
Partial or Full Mandibulectomy
If your cat’s jaw is damaged beyond repair or there is a tumor, a mandibulectomy (jaw amputation) may be recommended as a last alternative to preserve their life. After the surgery, the patient stays in the hospital for a night. You may opt to have a cat boarding service for a few days to ensure proper post-op care. Some cats may refuse to feed for the rest of their lives after this procedure.
Jaw Surgery Aftercare
Remember that fracture treatment is just one aspect of the care needed while the fracture heals. Your veterinarian will provide extensive information on caring for your pet at home. Furthermore, the veterinarian will describe how to feed your pet, medicines, intraoral splint maintenance, and recommended activities.
While their jaw fracture heals, veterinarians encourage their patients to eat a soft diet. Chomping on hard food, chewing toys, or other goodies causes the muscles that shift the jaws to exert more effort. Some individuals with jaw fractures require a feeding tube through which they can receive liquified food through a syringe.
Any behaviors that put unnecessary stress on the fracture site, including running, jumping, or playing, can impair recovery just as much as chewing on hard kibble. Although movement and exercise are essential, we discourage engaging in high-impact activities. After a jaw fracture, home care can be complex, yet it is only a moment in time. The faster your cat heals, the sooner he can get back out and play.