Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Broken Jaws in Dogs

Dogs may experience significant pain and fear when they sustain a jawbone fracture. The veterinarians at Fine Animal Hospital are available to guide you through understanding the causes of this injury, the appropriate treatment, and how to care for your furry friend afterward.

Causes of a Broken Jaw in Dogs

Dogs may sustain a mandibular fracture, commonly known as a broken jaw, either through trauma or periodontal disease. Traumatic incidents, such as being hit by a car or engaging in a fight with another dog, can lead to broken jaws in dogs.

Innocuous activities like chewing on a toy or biting down on food can lead to jawbone fractures due to the weakened strength caused by periodontal disease.

Promptly checking for other potential injuries is crucial if your dog experiences vehicular trauma or a dogfight. If your dog experiences a fracture, it is important to promptly take them to the vet or seek emergency veterinary care. The fracture should be addressed once your dog has been stabilized.

The Goal of Repairing a Jaw Fracture

When your dog experiences a jaw fracture, our main goal during surgery is to promptly relieve any discomfort, ensuring that your dog can eat and rest comfortably. Improper healing of the upper or lower jaw can result in problems with teeth alignment. Preventing harm to the nerves and blood vessels in the jaw is crucial.

We want to mend the fracture and help your dog fully recover.

How to Feed a Dog With a Broken Jaw

Feeding a dog with a broken jaw requires some adjustments to ensure their comfort and proper nutrition. We recommend soft or liquid-based foods, such as wet canned food or a specially formulated soft diet. It may be necessary to blend or puree the food to make it easier for the dog to eat.

Using a syringe or feeding tube may be necessary in severe cases where the dog is unable to eat on their own. 

Treating Jaw Fractures in Dogs

If your pet's jaw is broken, it may need surgery to fix it. In these cases, surgeons frequently use metal plates, screws, and wires. However, less severe fractures can be treated with acrylic splints, which provide a simpler procedure without the requirement for complex surgery. Proper alignment of the teeth is the main goal.

After the splint is applied, your pet should avoid chewing on hard objects for a few weeks. Furthermore, it is advised to feed them soft food until the veterinarian approves a return to a hard food diet. Once the fracture is completely healed, you can remove the splint. If the wire or splint needs to be removed, another anesthetic procedure may be required.

The Prognosis for a Jaw Fracture Repair

In most cases, repairing jaw fractures is highly effective, although there are a few exceptions. Maxillary fractures typically exhibit stability and yield favorable outcomes. However, the prognosis for mandibular fractures can be more uncertain, depending on the cause of the injury.

When it results from a minor fall, the prognosis is usually favorable. However, older dogs with small sizes and dental issues may have a more difficult recovery if their jaw fractures during surgery. Recovery is determined by the severity of the injury, any damage to the blood supply, and the presence of a bacterial infection.

Caring for Your Dog After Jaw Surgery

After repairing the broken bone, your vet will give you home care instructions for your dog. Make sure to confine your dog and use a leash to prevent any activities that could potentially cause more harm.

Furthermore, feeding your dog a soft diet or paste food may help relieve the pressure on the healing bone. At first, your dog may require a feeding tube, which can be daunting. However, dogs typically adjust quickly and handle it well.

Your vet will give you detailed instructions on how to use and take care of the feeding tube.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog has suffered an injury to their jaw, contact our Bedford vets today for treatment.

We're accepting new patients! Book your pet's first appointment today.

(914) 666-8061 Contact