A maxillofacial surgeon at Leading veterinary referral practice Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) based near Hitchin, Hertfordshire has resolved a cat’s bilateral temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysplasia by performing complex surgery.

Dexy, a 12-year-old female cat suffered with an intermittent locking jaw, which was usually triggered by her yawning or grooming herself. She was diagnosed with bilateral TMJ dysplasia, which is relatively rare in cats and was referred to the Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic at Davies for treatment.

“Dexy was in distress every time her jaw locked, and she couldn’t eat or drink,” said Dr José Ruiz. “The only available treatment for this problem is surgery: in order to prevent the mandibles from locking, due to the abnormal elasticity in the joint's capsule and ligament, we needed to perform a partial zygomatic arch resection, together with the excision of the dorsal two thirds of the coronoid process.

The anaesthesia team performed a bilateral trigeminal nerve block to reduce any possible pain during and after the surgery with excellent results. Dr Ruiz then approached the zygomatic arch at its ventral aspect.

“I reflected the skin dorsally and elevated subperiosteally the insertion of the masseter muscle to the ventral aspect of the zygomatic arch,” explained Dr Ruiz. “Using a piezoeIectric surgery handpiece, I resected the ventral two thirds of the zygomatic arch in a half moon fashion and separated the masseter muscle fibres along their long axis, exposed the coronoid process and resected its dorsal two thirds. I then repeated the process on the opposite side.”

Dexy recovered very well and she was discharged 24 hours after the procedure.

To find out more about the Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic at Davies at Davies visit https://vetspecialists.co.uk/services/dentistry-and-maxillofacial-surgery/

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