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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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Poppins

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Silky Terrier

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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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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Paco

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

8 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

Favoring Right Side Of Jaw

Paco is an 8 year old rescue dog from breeder. Paco has no teeth d/t poor dental hygiene they had to be removed and was found at that time that his jaw had previously been broke. I have had him 3 months and just learned of the prior break d/t contacting the rescue. Same side of jaw is broken. Rescuers told me that vet said nothing to be done first time and healed on its own with scar tissue. D/t braking again I am wondering is that now just a weak spot or did it never really heal? Paco seems to eat alright albeit slower and awkwardly but he eats. Doesn't seem to be in pain unless jaw is touched. Won't leave on muzzle and won't let me use dropper/syringe to feed him. Shall we let heal on own again, put him down ( I don't say that lightly he is my baby ), I don't want him to go through an external fixator like a halo, what else can be done when he has no teeth?

June 11, 2018

Paco's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Whether Paco will be able to heal normally depends on the extent of the break, and the condition of the bone in his jaw. That is a problem that happens in small breed dogs, unfortunately, and the bone may be very unhealthy. There is also a possibility of bone cancer, which I am sure your veterinarian has ruled out with x-rays. Many small dogs can be managed with pain medication and soft food until the bone is comfortable, even if it never fully heals. I would not think that this would be a reason for euthanasia, unless he is suffering.

June 11, 2018

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NACHO

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Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

14 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

Jaw Clenched

My 14 yr old Chihuahua Nacho was diagnosed with periodontal disease a couple years back- his teeth became loose and he has lost more then half of them over the last year or so.. the bottom front teeth were the first to go. Since the lower teeth are missing we have noticed his low jaw is starting to slowly deteriorate. He is still eating and acting his normal self and has adjusted to chewing with his back teeth- still eating his regular hard kibbles. However he recently bit our other dog in a small fight over his treat and since then his lower jaw is drooping to the right and his tongue sticks out. He doesn't cry or doesn't seem to hurt him when I touch it. I am a great dog mom but am in no position to spend thousands on surgery. I just want to know that if he is acting his normal self- should I be concerned?

May 9, 2018

NACHO's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

That might be a painful situation for Nacho, and surgery might not be an option, regardless, if his jaw has deteriorated to that point. It wold be best to at least have him examined by your veterinarian to be assessed, and you can get an idea as to whether he needs any pain medications or antibiotics. I hope that he is okay.

May 9, 2018

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Magic

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Aussiedoodle

dog-age-icon

5 Months

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

Serious severity

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Considerable Bleeding, Shock, Pain

My 5 month old Aussiedoodle was attacked at our local dog park by a grown shepherd. As a result his lower left jaw is broken close to the join. He is the hospital this weekend and will have surgery with a plate added to stabilize the jaw on Monday. My question is how will the surgeon provide future jaw growth with the fixed plate. He is currently 32 lbs but expected to be about the size of his parents which are both close to 60 lbs?

April 21, 2018

Magic's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Without knowing what type of fracture Magic has had or where the plate will be placed, I have a hard time commenting on how his jaw will grow around the plate. That would be an excellent question to ask the surgeon, as I am sure that they have taken that issue into consideration. I am sorry that that happened to him, and hope that he has a smooth recovery from surgery.

April 21, 2018

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Gracie

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Shepherd Husky

dog-age-icon

5 Months

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

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 Pain
Infection

Our shepherd husky mix puppy was attacked by our other dog and suffered a mandible fracture. Our vet recommended seeing a specialist so they could put a plate in to stabilize the jaw. My concern is that we can’t afford much and it looks like the average cost for this surgery is around $2,500. If we can’t afford the surgery, will we have to put our puppy down or are there other options? She is able to eat in her current state.

April 3, 2018

Gracie's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Without examining Gracie and seeing x-rays I cannot say how severe it is or if I believe a plate is required or not; however, if money is tight there are opinions for assistance with the cost of veterinary care especially if you can show a low income. You should check the link below and reach out to some of the organisations for a chat about possible assistance. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.dogingtonpost.com/need-help-with-vet-bills-or-pet-food-there-are-resources-available/

April 3, 2018

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Lucy

dog-breed-icon

Border Collie

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding
Yelping
Split Gum
Loose Canine

One week ago my dog broke her mandible in two places (she got kicked by a cow). The first was back my the ramus and the second was in the front. At the time on the accident the front gum was split and her canine was loose and tilting out. The fracture in the back was a clean break but it was not lined up in the x Ray. The fractures are on the left side. The vet said surgery was going to be $4,000-$5,000, they gave us an alternative option to take which is a cloth mussel where she can still lap food and water and she would have to wear it for 4-6 weeks. The vet gave us a liquid anti-inflammatory. Was this a good option or should we have got a second opinion?

dog-name-icon

gia

dog-breed-icon

minature poodle

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss

I am looking to adopt a rescue dog who has a fx'd jaw the 2 vets who examined the dog w said they decided that surgery would cause the dog to have pain as presently the 8yr. old poodle is pain free and eating a soft diet well only thing is the dog needs to put on some weight I have not seen the dog yet but looking at pictures the dogs face and jaw appears normal

dog-name-icon

Goofy

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Broken Lower Jaw

My 8 year old Chihuahua mix got hit by a car four days ago. He had stitches, a broken leg and his lower left jaw is fracture. X-ray shows a sm sepatation on his left jaw. He is on antibiotics and pain meds and has a sling on his leg for now. As he is eating (liquid food) more I hear asquicky sound when his jaw comes together. He doesn’t cry, but I see him continuesly moving his tongue and upper jaw. Does it mean it bothers him? I’m worry that his jaw will never heal. Will it be possible for him to not have farther issues without a plate?

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mylo

dog-breed-icon

Pug

dog-age-icon

11 Years

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

Critical severity

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0 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Jaw Pain
Broken Lower Jaw
Tongue Sticking Ot
He Can'T Eat Or Drink

my 11 year old pug, Mylo has a fracture in the lower jaw. In the beginning it was difficult to notice the fracture as there was no pain and he was eating food. Then, we noticed that was only using his upper jaw and tongue to eat. His lower jaw had dropped down and the tongue was sticking out too much. We took him to a vet and he did the X-ray. The jaw is broken from both the sides. The vet said that his bones have become very weak. His blood calcium levels are ok but Vitamin D is very very low due to which the calcium is not reaching the bones, said the vet. they said that a surgery is not possible at this age. Mylo is not able to eat or drink anything now. it has been 2 days and he has stopped moving his tongue. He was given a drip today. is there any other solution to his broken jaw if the surgery cannot happen?

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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