Maxillary and Mandibular Fractures in Cats
The mandible, also called the jawbone, forms the lower jaw and holds the lower teeth in place, whereas the maxilla forms the upper jaw and holds the upper teeth in place.
Upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) fractures are seen in cats mostly due to trauma and injuries.
Symptoms and Types
Symptoms vary greatly depending upon the type, location, extent, and cause of injury. Some of the more common ones include:
- Facial deformity
- Oral or nasal bleeding
- Inability to open or close the jaw
- Fractured teeth
- Facial distortion
Although various types of injuries and trauma are typically responsible for fractures of the upper and lower jaw, certain risk factors may predispose a cat to the fractures, including oral infections (e.g., periodontal disease, osteomyelitis), certain metabolic diseases (e.g., hypoparathyroidism), and congenital or hereditary factors resulting in a weakened or deformed jaw.
You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health. The important thing your cat’s veterinarian would like to know is about the injury or the trauma history. After recording your cat’s history, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination. He or she will closely examine the oral cavity, jaw bones, teeth, and other related structures. He or she will also take X-rays of the oral cavity to look into the location and extent of the fracture.