Cats Community
cat w/broken jaw, re-teach to eat
About This Community:

This forum is for questions and support regarding your pet cats!

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

cat w/broken jaw, re-teach to eat

i have a 16 yr old male DSH, that was run over by a car had a broken jaw, it was wired and has since been unwired and he has had an E tube in, he is interested in food, smells it, digs in it etc.... but will not pick it up and eat it with his mouth.  He seems very frusterated with trying to eat,  he knows where to find the food, acts like he wants to eat it but just doesn't know how or doesn't have the coordination to actually pick it up.  if you put food in his mouth he will lick and move his jaws.  what can be done to promote him, or 're-teach' him how to eat???  Any advice, suggestions and ideas are VERY welcomed.

Thanks,
M. Hunt
Related Discussions
7 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
228686_tn?1211558307
Was the jaw set properly? Is there any neurological damage? Can you tell if there's pain? Usually an animal will adjust to an injury quickly and adapt. What your describing would only be because of the above, unless there was brain trauma tat caused a paralysis of the jaw, or similar nerve damage.

Has the vet given any input on the situation?

Can the jaw open freely and evenly? Hopefully if you can narrow down the problem it can be dealt with.

Oh, how long was it wired shut for? And what type of break was this?  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
BRIEF HISTORY:  this is my parents cat and my dad accidentally ran over him, apparently it was only his head that got hit and he had 2 small fractures in his jaw, one on his scull, his nasal cavity was a little messed up, and one eye dislodged.   He was at the vets office within 30 min of the accident, stabilized then they took him to Texas A&M vet school, where he stayed for 8 days.  while at A&M he was diagnosed diabetic.  He has had 2 E-tubes and now has a stomach tube,  We know he can see, he is very active, can jump, judges distances well etc...

Yes the I believe the jaw was set properly... he has continued to be seen at Texas A&M vet school (with weekly trips to the local vet to check blood sugar which is where he most likely got the MRSA), he has had numerous x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc... the bill so far has been over $6000 and the accident happened mid-november.  The jaw does open freely and evenly, I believe there were 2 small breaks in his jaw and the orthopedic dr was going to do surgery, however once the CT scan came back and he was in surgery he said it was not necessary, he just wired it and glued it for 4 wks.  It seems he has the gross motor skills but not the refined motor skills to eat with.  He can drag salmon off the plate but can't seem to figure out how to pick it up with his mouth and chew.  Right now he has a tube in his stomach to feed with (the e tube in his neck had to be removed due to infection, MRSA, it was the 2nd time it had been placed, he pulled it out the first time) and so his stomach is wrapped with gauze and vet wrap, it has been a real struggle to keep this stomach tube in (it was only placed on this past wed) he pulls and tugs at it with his mouth and he is very annoyed with it being there.  By doing that I know he has the ability to feel an object in his mouth and clamp down on it, and I also know that his vision is good enough to coordinate him being able to see, open his mouth, close it and pull.

I know he is getting the best medical care money can buy. (my family spares no expenses when it comes to our animals, they truly are like children!)  I am in another state from my parents though and get updates on his condition about 4x a day or more,  I know this can't be the first animal that has had jaw fractures and after healing has had difficulty eating.  I have been searching the internet trying to find some answers.  Isn't there some type of physical therapy?   A&M said that before he was discharged on Friday (this past friday when they removed the e-tube and put in the stomach tube) that he ate....I am not sure that is true since he has not eaten since... yes, he tries very hard to eat, he wants to eat, even dug out an entire bag of dog food into the kitchen floor trying to eat it.  He can smell, he is intrested, he tries, but can't seem to do it.  Mom says you can see the frustration on his face.  She puts food in his mouth for him, but says he has real jerky motions and eventually gets it down, however it is a long process. He can lick a little bit but will not drink water or anything.  They have tried everything under the sun trying to get him to eat/drink on his own from fresh salmon to anchovies, to the most expensive cat foods, they have given it to him whole, blended it up in the blender, soaked his favorite dry food in tuna juice etc....  I was just wondering if anyone had ANY ideas... we are open to ALL suggestions at this point.  

I forgot to mention, he is on 10 diff types of meds, antibiotics, pain, B12, eye ointments, etc...  I mentioned to my mom last nite to give the pain meds, then wait an hour and try to feed him to see if it was a pain issue that was keeping him from eating, I am not sure how this went, I haven't had an update.

sorry this post is so long... I actually could have made it a lot longer but didn't want anyone to lose intrest.....LOL

Thanks,
M.Hunt
Blank
228686_tn?1211558307
A well cared for cat. :)

This is unfortunately one of those situations where I'd have to see it to be sure, otherwise i'm sort of guessing in the dark. But I will try. Keep in mind also I'm not a vet, but do have a lot of hands on experience with cat illness/trauma from the foster shelter work we do here.

My first guess from what your saying is there's some muscular, nerve, or swelling damage to the tongue region, probably the base. Cats rely on their tongue a great deal when chewing, and if the jaw seems to be closing properly, it's somewhat likely.

Even if the jaw LOOKS like it's closing properly, he may be catching the tongue/biting it. So...check his tongue. Look for anything strange, but it may not be obvious or viewable. A good trick is to shine a flashlight at each side of his mouth as he tries to eat.It gives you a MUCH better idea of what's going on (or, it does me!)

Have his teeth been checked? That's my next thought. If he was eating at the vet, and isn't now, there could be a dental issue. Trauma, g-tubing, long term lack of use, may have hidden or made it take some time for the issue to arise. Damage to the jaw usually leads to dental issues in the future. This could be a tooth pain issue.

Otherwise...it's hard to guess at anything subtle like problems arising from medications used or causing issues since I don't deal with the med's that much (sort of like a field surgeon here for MASH, stabilize 'em and ship 'em over  :)  )


My biggest worry is that vets, especially schools, can get a crucial piece of information like him eating wrong. It changes the whole possible way this could go if they're actually wrong about this.

Get back to me after checking on those one or two things. Hopefully someone in the group here, if not me, can help you spot the problem to help you light a fire under your vet's *ss.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hi my cat has just broken his jaw he has the wire put in now! im getting him back this evening i cant wait to see him! i think he was run over he is deaf so he cant hear the cars! what should i give him to eat?he is in real pain! please help!
Blank
228686_tn?1211558307
Unless your vet gave you specific food/instructions, I'd go with a milk replacer, like KMR 2nd Stage Milk Replacer. You can get it at the pet store. If kitty can't eat on his own, you'll need a feeding syringe (oral) as well, also obtainable at the pet store.

Just follow the instructions on the can. These products are excellent for kitty, nutrition-wise, and will greatly aid the healing process.

As to if he's in pain...I won't lie, he's probably in some discomfort and feeding will likely be somewhat painful. But I wouldn't go for kitty codeine just yet; pain is a natural process of healing, especially with animals. They deal with it MUCH better than humans do.
If your concerned about behavior changes like excessive lethargy or poor toilet habits, then you should consult your vet. But I'm not an advocate of pain meds/anti depressants with pets for more than a few days. I believe it causes long term problems emotionally that can permanently change behavior.  To put it simply, animals dont understand "getting stoned" or withdrawal. It can cause the equivalent of a psychotic break for them.

Congrat's on getting your kitty back in one piece. I hope he heals up well!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
well, just an update on my parents cat....

He is doing wonderfully since my last post.  He eventually did start to eat on his own with a little coaxing and babying and more babying from my mom, she is so patient and loves her animals with all her heart, oh and her wallet, LOL.   Anyhow, "speedbump" ( i know crazy name for him especially since my dad ran over him)  is in great spirits and is slowly gaining the weight back that he lost.  He is now having problems with his eyes and he is seeing a specialist for that now at Texas A&M ( I am quite sure they love my parents walking in the door) .  They are applying some ointments in his eyes like 6-8 times a day.  His one eye is gone and has an ulcer on it and they are just trying to save the health of the eye, however the other eye he does still have a little bit of vision in it and now they are trying to save that eye so that he can at least see a little bit.  it is slow going however my mom and dad are very dedicated to this cat.
Blank
228686_tn?1211558307
Congrat's on the healed jaw! i'm sorry to hear about the eye problems. I will say that one of our best successes was a cat who had to have both his eyes removed.

With a little work and fore thought in the lay out of the home, a blind cat can do very well and be very happy. I hope it does work out well.

Oh, and..."speedbump?" hwh hwh..classic! :)
Blank
Post a Comment
To
MedHelp Health Answers
Recent Activity
961574_tn?1402509153
Blank
mhv commented on journey2motherhood's status
41 mins ago
961574_tn?1402509153
Blank
mhv commented on Anyone have a low pla...
44 mins ago
1580318_tn?1407339099
Blank
Shannon79 commented on ttcbaby4's status
2 hrs ago
Top Cats Answerers
874521_tn?1375890587
Blank
opus88
Canada..., SK
587315_tn?1333556383
Blank
zodiacqueen
VA
7052683_tn?1392942395
Blank
CML2014
highland beach, FL
242912_tn?1402547092
Blank
Jade59
CA
506791_tn?1350343103
Blank
Piparskeggr
Saint Mary's County, MD
740516_tn?1360946086
Blank
AppleBr
Brazil
Cats Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Cats Answerers
874521_tn?1375890587
Blank
opus88
Canada..., SK
587315_tn?1333556383
Blank
zodiacqueen
VA
7052683_tn?1392942395
Blank
CML2014
highland beach, FL
242912_tn?1402547092
Blank
Jade59
CA
506791_tn?1350343103
Blank
Piparskeggr
Saint Mary's County, MD
740516_tn?1360946086
Blank
AppleBr
Brazil