Lifesaving Treatment for Severe Oral Trauma

Dog jaw fractures - Veterinary Dentistry

Smokey, Miniature Italian Greyhound treated after severe jaw damage from being hit by a car.

Smokey is a 10 year old Miniature Italian Greyhound who was hit by a car. He came to Animal Dental Care after being first seen by the veterinary emergency clinic. Unfortunately, his owner had no financial means to care for him and as a last resort to hopefully get him help, surrendered him to the local humane society, which most likely would still result in him being euthanized. In an effort to help Smokey, an emergency clinic employee contacted a local Italian Greyhound rescue and a member of the rescue agreed to personally foot the bill for treatment, but only if the owner was able to provide the needed aftercare. The owner was thrilled to get her dog back and agreed to provide the needed post-operative care.

Smokey’s case was very complex. He had fractures of his right maxilla, caudal right mandible (open) and mandibular symphysis. He had extensive pre-existing periodontal disease that greatly complicated treating the jaw fractures. An oronasal fistula above the right maxillary canine was present and the left mandibular canine had extensive mobility due to loss of surrounding bone.

Animal Dental Care performed extensive treatment process including:

  • All remaining right maxillary canine teeth were extracted and the oronasal fistula repaired.
  • The left mandibular canine was extracted and a cerclage wire placed to stabilize the mandibular symphysis.
  • The open right caudal mandibular fracture was debrided, lavaged and the remaining roots of the fractured and/or abscessed teeth were extracted.
  • The fracture was reduced with a transosseous wire. Synthetic bone graft material was place at the fracture site prior to closure.
  • Because the fracture was still considered partially unstable, an esophageal feeding tube was placed and Smokey was fitted for a nylon muzzle to help stabilize the fracture sites.

Smokey will be re-evaluated at the four week post-operative appointment. He will need to have his remaining periodontal disease issues treated at the time. The long term goal for Smokey is to have a functional union or malunion of the right mandibular fracture so that he can eat soft food normally. While his pre-existing periodontal disease complicated the procedure and limited treatment options, he still carries a good prognosis.

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