Mandibulectomy in Cats

Mandibulectomy in Cats

Mandibulectomy is a surgical procedure in which a portion of the lower jaw is removed. This can involve both sides of the jaw or just one side. Up to three-quarters of the entire lower jaw can be removed.

Mandibulectomy is most commonly undertaken for the treatment of benign or malignant tumors affecting the lower jaw. Occasionally, mandibulectomy may be selected as the best option for animals with certain types of jaw fracture, jaw bone infection, or fractures that have failed to heal properly.

Most animals with oral tumors are older, and certain breeds of dog more commonly get certain types of tumor, for example dogs with black pigment in their mouths have a higher incidence of malignant melanoma.

Dogs are more likely to undergo mandibulectomy than cats since they tolerate the surgery so much better.

Osteomyelitis (infection and inflammation in the bone) in the jaw most commonly occurs secondary to dental disease, more frequently seen in small and toy breeds of dog.

What to Expect with Mandibulectomy in Cats

What You Can Do

Preventing a mandibulectomy may not be feasible for certain types of oral tumor. However, daily dental care and regular inspection of the mouth will help you notice abnormal lumps or bumps when they are smaller and more easily removed, and also help control dental disease which may predispose bone to infection and fracture.