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What is Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw?

Your dog’s jaw has a mandible (lower jaw) and a maxilla (upper jaw) which can be fractured in an accident or other trauma. In contrast, there are some infections and other illnesses that can cause the bones in that area to weaken, leaving your dog susceptible to mandible or maxilla fractures. Some of these are periodontitis (gum disease), tumor, cyst, or a metabolic disease or disorder (i.e. hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia). The risk of a secondary infection is great, so it is very important to bring your dog to see the veterinarian no matter how mild the damage seems to be because there could be more damage inside that you cannot see. However, you will need to check your dog for other injuries prior to preparing him for a trip to the veterinarian just in case of internal or spinal injury.

Fractures of the upper jaw and lower jaw (fracture of the mandible or maxilla) is commonly found in trauma, such as being hit by a vehicle, although it is possible to be a complication during dental treatment or from a disease or infection. The majority of mandibular fractures are open fractures (broken skin) and are at risk for infection, so it is essential to start antibiotics right away. Without immediate treatment, the infection can cause serious illness and may even be fatal.

Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,500

Symptoms of Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw in Dogs

  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Swelling in the facial areas
  • Drooling
  • Whining
  • Depression
  • Scratching or rubbing at jaw
  • Anxiety
  • Broken teeth
  • Mouth bleeding
  • Blood in the nasal passages
  • Unable to open and/or close the mouth
  • Inability to eat
  • Visible injury to face

 Types

  • Open fractures refer to a fracture that includes bones or teeth that have broken through the skin
  • Closed fractures are any fracture that does not break the skin
  • Simple fracture refers to a single and clean break that is easy to line up and secure
  • Comminuted fracture is when the bone is shattered, crushed, or broken into more than three parts
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Causes of Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw in Dogs

  • Accident or trauma (i.e. hit by vehicle, animal abuse, fall from a great height)
  • Animal bite
  • Periodontitis
  • Tumor
  • Cyst
  • Metabolic disease or disorder
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Diagnosis of Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw in Dogs

Your veterinarian will first want to know your dog’s medical history and the details of the accident or trauma (if applicable). He will also need to know when the symptoms started, whether they have gotten worse, and whether your dog’s behavior has changed. The veterinarian will do a thorough physical examination, checking for other injuries and being sure to get your dog’s body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. He will need to run some tests to determine the extent of the damage and the possible cause if not known. These tests will include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood chemistry panel
  • Blood clotting test
  • Urinalysis
  • Glucose test (blood sugar level)
  • Bacterial culture
  • Fungal culture
  • Digital radiographs (x-rays) of the jaw while your dog is sedated
  • Digital radiographs (x-rays) of the head, neck, and abdomen

Depending on the results of these tests, your veterinarian may need to run some more tests, such as a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or biopsy (if a tumor is discovered). In some instances, there may be the need for a referral to a canine dental professional.

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Treatment of Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw in Dogs

Your veterinarian’s main goal is to repair your dog’s jaw to normal while keeping the natural alignment so eating and chewing are restored. The best choice of treatment for a simple closed mandible or maxilla fracture are intra oral splints with a wire base and reinforced with acrylic or composite material to hold the jaw in place while it heals. The splint can be bonded to the tooth crowns of the teeth on both sides of the fracture. This type of splinting is best because it gives a good stable base on the tension side of the break, which is the best place to create a proper alignment during healing. Healing should be about six to eight weeks as long as the jaw can be set at the proper bite position the first time. Your dog may also need a feeding tube to help him eat while he the jaw fracture is healing. 

If your dog has an open or comminuted fracture, surgery is usually necessary to repair or replace the shattered bones. Depending on the extent of the injury, the surgery is almost always successful and healing time is about the same as with the splinted repair. If the fracture is caused by an underlying disease or disorder, the treatment and recovery can vary greatly, depending on the condition and severity.

Periodontitis

Gum disease requires dental treatment by a canine dental professional that usually includes a thorough cleaning and scaling of the teeth as well as removal of any damaged or infected teeth.

Tumor

A tumor will have to be removed and biopsied to determine if it is cancerous. If cancer is present, radiation treatments and chemotherapy will most often be necessary. The treatment will vary depending on the extent of the cancer.

Cysts

A cyst may or may not need to be removed, depending on whether the veterinarian thinks it may cause more damage to the jaw and surrounding tissues. It is a simple outpatient procedure that is very safe and effective.

Metabolic Disease or Disorder

A metabolic disease or disorder, such as hypocalcemia and hypoglycemia, will need to be treated after the fracture has been taken care of. The treatments are varied depending on the type and extent of the disease or disorder.

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Recovery of Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw in Dogs

The recovery outlook for mandible or maxilla fracture is very good depending on the cause and severity of the fracture. If the veterinarian is able to align the jaw, setting the fracture is usually a routine procedure that is highly successful. If your dog has an underlying disease or infection, the recovery depends on how bad it is and whether it can be treated or not. The most significant thing you can do for your dog is to follow the veterinarian’s instructions and be sure to go to any follow-up appointments even if your dog is better and you do not think it is necessary. It is always important to follow up.

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Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,500

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Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Part chiwawa & part yourky.

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One Month/1/2

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Broken Lower Jaw/ And Vision Lost.. I Think.

How cas i stablize her. From home. I dont have enoughf money for a vet. Please help.....

today

Owner

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Dr. Kate D. MA VetMB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

Hello, Thank you for contacting us. It sounds like your puppy is in a bad way if she has fractured jaws and possibly loss of vision. I imagine she must be in a lot of pain, and I'm afraid my advice has to be to get her to a vet clinic as soon as possible. I understand that you are worried about the cost, there might be a charity clinic or rescue center in the area that could assess her for you. Jaw fractures are very serious as they affect eating, drinking and even breathing, and there are very important blood vessels and nerves in the area that can also be damaged. Depending on what caused it, there may be other internal injuries as well that are not obvious from the outside. I'm afraid I can't give you advice on stabilizing this at home as I would worry that interfering with it makes it worse. I would recommend keeping her as quiet and relaxed as possible and get her to a vet as soon as you can. I hope you are able to get help for her soon.

today

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Chihuahua

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Teeth Shaking, Moving Tongue Back

My dog ate a chicken bone and it seemed like she was trying to get something that was stuck in her teeth but when she opens her mouth her teeth shake and she moves her tongue very weird when I try to open her mouth

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. From your description, it sounds like there may be something stuck in her teeth or her mouth, and things like that can cause trauma and infection. Without being able to see her, I can't say for sure what might be happening, but I think the best thing to do would be to have her seen by your veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to examine her, give her sedation if needed to check her mouth, and see what's going on in there. I hope that all goes well for her.

Sept. 28, 2020

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German Shepard Retriever mix

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Fourteen Weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Nose,

My pup ran full speed into a sliding glass door, no blood and didn’t loose consciousness, but today is a bit swollen. He can still bite down and wants to play, and chew on his toys and bones. Though I’m not letting him. What are the chances of a fracture.

July 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. There are a lot of tiny bones in dogs noses, and it is possible that there was an injury. I think, though, if he is doing well and eating and drinking, that they may heal normally and that things will be okay. If you notice any bleeding, sneezing, or discharge, or if he seems painful over the next couple of days, then it would probably be best to have him examined by your veterinarian, but otherwise I think he should be okay. I hope all goes well for him.

July 26, 2020

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daschund

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Wont Eat Wont Drink Wint Open Mouth

he was chewing on concrete now he wont open his mouth. He is just wants to sleep. He is not whining in pain but he wont let me open his mouth.

July 13, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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I am concerned that your dog may have fractured a tooth or potentially injured/lacerated a portion of the gum tissue or tongue in his mouth. Dachshund’s are very predisposed to dental disease so the concrete could’ve easily fractured one of his teeth. I would recommend scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian so they can evaluate his mouth, and they will let you know if he needs a dental prophylaxis.

July 13, 2020

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Poppins

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Silky Terrier

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10 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

My 10 year old Silkie, 14lb was attacked by my 90lb Labradoodle over a bit of food. As a result his jaw was broken. The emergency vet said it was a clean break and it should heal well with a bandage type muzzle that he has to wear for several weeks. It allows him to lap and pant. He was also given liquid antibiotic, anti inflammatory med and pain med. However he won’t eat or drink. I took him back to the emergency center and they gave him a pain shot. Last night he drank some water. Today he will not eat or drink again. He won’t let us come near his mouth with a syringe or even ice cream on my finger. He runs away immediately. We tried to hold him but he wiggled down getting out of the bandage muzzle, the plastic collar and even his harness and ran away screaming. I am concerned about dehydration and that he is not getting his prescribed meds. They told me to keep trying and he will eat when he gets hungry??? I asked them if they could give him an antibiotic and anti inflammatory injection. They said that antibiotic would not cover the bacteria they are trying to kill. What can I do?

July 14, 2018

Poppins' Owner

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0 Recommendations

Fluids are more vital than food (which are also important) and if Poppins isn’t drinking at all you should speak with your Veterinarian about fluid administration at home which may help to reduce stress whilst trying to keep hydration up. As for food, this is more difficult as Poppins will start to eat food eventually when hungry but may take some time until eating regularly. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 15, 2018

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Kash

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Chihuahua

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Seizures
Tooth Out
Tounge Out

So my chihuahua just broke his lower jaw, now since all this corona virus stuff is happening we cant take him to the vet. My german Sheppard bit him, after being territorial. And it happened at night so I dont have the full story, but hes in deep pain, and hes been having mini seizures and I'm very concerned, anyone have any advice I dont want this to be a long term thing , and I cannot afford a surgery so, can anyone or a vet please tell me what to do :((

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Poppy

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Pomapoo

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13 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Dislocated Jaw

My poodle mix attacked my American Bully over some food and the Bully snapped back. I took my poodle to the emergency vet and it was determined that her jaw was dislocated. Upon taking X-rays, the vet could not see a break in the jaw at all, but can not get the jaw to go back in place. They have wrapper her jaw to keep it in place, given her fluids, and pain meds and told me to follow up in the morning. Has anyone has experience with this? Why isn’t her jaw going back into place if it isn’t broken?

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Bo

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Maremma sheepdog x border collie

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16 Weeks

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Crying
Loose Teeth
Blood In Mouth And Nose

Break in the upper jaw from our other dog muzzle grabbing her(where a dog grabs the muzzle of another to show they are the dominant one) but she must of tried to fight out of it where she then went and started crying and howling and was in a lot of pain and was found to have blood in her mouth and nose. No surgery was required as it should heal by itself as the bones are still soft but had two teeth pulled and is on a soft diet and no playing tug of War or pulling incase of further injury

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Bear

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Chihuahua

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Jaw

Our family 9 year old, 8 pound Pomeranian chihuahua mix Bear was bitten in the mouth yesterday by my family’s pit bull (with a severe case of cataracts) who has never been violent but on this occasion Bear went to take the pits food therefore she reacted. We have cleaned Bear’s bite. He isn’t drooling, and he is able to open his mouth a bit, and will lick his nose which I thought is a good sign. However, he won’t eat or drink water. His mouth is extremely swollen. I’ve done some research and see that it’s $2000-$5000 for the cost of surgery. Which I’m willing to sell my car for. I’m just worried because he is an older dog that he may not make it. And the vet may ask us to but our pit bull to sleep which is the last thing our family wants. Does our little baby Bear’s case sound severe or do you think he will be okay? We just don’t want anything to happen to either of our babies.

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Aspen

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Australian Shepherd

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7 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Jaw Break

My puppy was attacked 6 weeks ago by a pit and had two breaks on her lower jaw. The vets went in and did external fixtures and we thought she was doing great. She was eating drinking moving her tongue regularly! But he said one side isn’t where he wanted it to be. I’ve been a mess the past couple of days trying to keep her energy low because she will get excited and bump her fixtures into walls or anything really and start to cry. I just don’t know what to do to keep her safe! It’s even more hard because i have two dogs. She always wants to play with my other dog but I’m not allowed to let her and won’t until she’s healed. I don’t want to keep her in the cage but i don’t want her jaw to break anymore than it has because i wasn’t keeping her safe. I guess I’m just asking for tips for anyone who’s been in this situation.

Fractures of Upper and Lower Jaw Average Cost

From 58 quotes ranging from $1,200 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,500

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