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Treating Kiki’s Jaw Fracture. She’s One Tough Cat!

Splint on cat with jaw fractureKiki is a four year old female cat who was hit by a car. After the accident, she was immediately taken to an emergency clinic by her owners and diagnosed with a right caudal mandibular fracture involving the right TMJ joint, a mandibular symphyseal fracture and zygomatic fracture.  Her right eye was also proptosed. The emergency clinic treated her aggressively for shock and head trauma. After she was stabilized her right eye was surgically removed due to the trauma. She was not visual through her left eye, but there was still hope that she would regain vision over time in this eye. She remained hospitalized in the emergency clinic over that weekend and became severely anemic. After two blood transfusions her red blood cell count stabilized.

The following Monday Kiki was transferred to Animal Dental Care. In addition to the fractures diagnosed by the emergency clinic, she also had complicated crown fractures of the right maxillary and mandibular canine teeth. The mandibular symphyseal fracture was stabilized with a 24 g cerclage wire. The caudal mandibular fracture was stabilized by performing interarcade bonding with acrylic material. An esophageal feeding tube was placed to provide post-operative nutrition and hydration. The owners were instructed on how to feed Kiki through this tube at home. It was planned to treat canine tooth fractures with either root canal therapy or extractions when the splint was removed.

A few days after discharge an examination was performed by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist who determined that Kiki still had some vision through her right eye although it likely had permanent damage.

Two weeks post-op she had her feeding tube removed since she had learned to lap up food and water on her own around the interarcade bonds.

Four weeks post-op Kiki had her interarcade bonds and cerclage wire removed.  Her jaw fractures had stabilized. Unfortunately, her owners could not afford root canal treatment on her fractured canine teeth, so these were extracted.

Despite the extensive trauma Kiki experienced, she made an excellent recovery. Her owners have agreed to keep her indoors and she is learning to get around their home very well, even with limited vision from her remaining eye. She is a definite fighter!