Facial Reconstruction after Fence Fight

Santi is feisty eight-year-old Jack Russel Terrier that bit off more than he can chew after he challenged a much bigger dog to a fight through a wooden fence that separated them.  On presentation to the emergency service Santi was very weak and painful. Due to the extent of his injuries Santi’s owners were seriously considering euthanasia. 

Picture of Santi at initial presentation to the emergency service.

Dr. Mike Balke from Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists was asked to consult on the case and after speaking with the owners a good outcome with a normal quality of life could be expected. After being stabilized through the emergency service Santi was transferred to Dr. Balke for treatment of major facial trauma. Santi had suffered multiple facial lacerations and a maxillary fracture.

Picture of fracture segment of the maxillary bone.

After assessment under anesthesia it was determined that a large piece of skin on the face was non vital and the fractured segment of maxillary bone could not be stabilized. The non-vital skin and fractured maxillary bone were carefully removed and extensive facial reconstruction was performed to close the wounds. A skin flap was created from the neck area and advanced to cover the defect over the face.

Picture of Santi after closure of facial wound with skin flap.

Select extractions were performed and oral tissue rotated to close the large defect within the mouth. 

Picture of inside of Santi’s mouth after closure of oral wound.

Santi recovered well and was transferred back to the emergency service for supportive care until discharge the following afternoon.

Within days Santi was eating and active.  At his six week recheck Santi’s wounds were completely healed and he was back to normal and ready to be the feisty Jack Russel Terrier he was before!

Santi looking good 6 weeks after his surgery!