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Avatar universal

Jaw and head injury, can anyone offer helpful advice?

Our 5 month old cat was attacked by dogs on Christmas day. She is an outdoor cat. We were able to save her. There are no vets in the area of the world where we are living.

She was bleeding through her nose and eye. After her initial shock she is breathing normally. She is lethargic but is walking about. Her head is swollen and her jaw dislocated, or at least I think so. I also think she has a concussion. Sounds like liquid or blood squishing if you touch it.
She cannot eat or drink. I have fed her with a syringe. She went to the bathroom twice since the accident. Her top and bottom jaw seems to be okay, not broken, from what I can feel. They are totally misaligned.

I've put warm compresses on her head and next to her body. There is a lump on the side around her stomach area.
If we stroke her she purrs and has been purring and making sounds like she used to. She doesn't seem to be in pain, no yowling. She has opened the eye which she was bleeding out a little. Now it remains shut. From what I could see is that there is a scratch on the white eye covering.

Is it possible to realign the jaw by ourselves? Should I just let her be? How many times a day should I feed her.
Our main concern is the jaw. I don't know if it would make things worse if w try to realign it.

We have other cats two adults and another kitten, same age. When we feed the others she sniffs at the food and makes licking motions but cannot eat.

Any help would be much appreciated.
34 Responses
441382 tn?1452810569
My recommendation would be for you to repost this in the "Ask A Vet" section.  Since there are no veterinarians at all where you are living, this would at least give you the chance to "speak" with one and get their expert opinion as to which route you should take.  Poor kitty!  Thank God you saved her!  
587315 tn?1333552783
What area do you live in that doesn't have a vet, or shall I say-which Universe?  Jupiter?

If you read the first post of this forum, you will see that you're not supposed to use this forum for an emergency.
495284 tn?1333894042
How far away do you live from civilization??  There has to be a vet someplace.  You have internet.........find the nearest vet and take that poor kitty in.
Avatar universal
I'm in Cape Verde/ near Africa.There are people here who work with animals but only with livestock goats cows and such. The "ask a Vet section" has reached it's question limit. I've asked around if anyone can help but so far no avail. If there would be a Vet nearby I would have already gone there. Why do you think I'm asking for help here.
Just because I have Internet does not mean that there is a Veterinarian on every corner. You cannot imagine how badly I wish there was one here! Why do you think I'm asking for help here.
587315 tn?1333552783
IF you are telling the truth, do NOT set the jaw yourself.  You can do more damage-blood vessels and nerves run through the jaw that you do not want to mess with.  AND, on top of that it is horribly painful to set it yourself.

These are life threatening injuries, and you must find a way to get that kitten help.
I say life threatening because there is a major risk of a massive infection from the dog bite that could lead to a full body infection.  It's more dangerous because the bite is to the head, which gives easy access to the brain.  And, your cat's jaw is broken and locked into place.  Honestly, there is no home treatment that will cure these problems.

You must find a way to take care of this.
541150 tn?1306033843
I'm so sorry about your cat. Just try not to touch the swollen areas too much. She is purring because she is probably in pain or still a bit scared. Cats not only purr when they're contempt but also when they're in pain. That jaw looks pretty messed up and I can tell it is fractured. There is no way you can get that fixed by yourself, and if you leave her be, the jaw will not fix itself and she will always have problems eating. Have you tried googling vets in your area? Perhaps a vet tech?

A vet can perform surgery or wire the jaw shut to heal. Your cat needs to be fed a liquid diet with a syringe until you can get her to a vet.

I wouldn't leave it broken and hope it gets better on it's own. Eating will be excruciating and your cat can develop more problems from not being able to get adequate nutrients. See the chain reaction?
Avatar universal
Yes I am telling the truth. Thank you for your advice. I've read on the internet of people who have set the jaw themselves. But the reason not to do so was my fear of doing more damage than any good. Like you just described. I'll ask around in the Village tomorrow and hopefully someone can help me. Besides making the suggestion of putting her to sleep...
587315 tn?1333552783
Did you find any vets on-line?  I hope you can find one.
Avatar universal
if you have any site suggestions. Please list them. The ones I've written to so far have not answered.
587315 tn?1333552783
I meant, have you done a search for a vet in your area on the yahoo or google search engine.  That will turn up many results.  You don't have the time to waste waiting for an answer.  Now, the Ask A Vet forum will be worth it!

If you're not sure how to do the search on yahoo or google, then post back!
Avatar universal
There are no search results for Vets in my area. Cape Verde is a third world country. Still developing. The village doesn't even have an Xray machine for humans at the local examination station. I know it is difficult to imagine.
There is no emergency center for animals here. The web will not find one.

How much water does a kitten need to sustain herself? She has tried to drink but started to yowl because of the pain.
587315 tn?1333552783
First off, that was a boo boo ALL of those repeated posts.  The forum screwed something up.  Just wanted to clarify that.

I think that you should check out the health pages on this forum-located in the upper right corner of the screen under "e-mail".  Once you get there, click on the article that says syringe feeding.  It's very good.  But, I'm still not sure how much to give.  Try to research it.  I will look, too.  Also, can you get your hands on some kitten milk replacer called KMR?  It's got important ingredients in it-protein and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals.  Your kitten desperately needs it, since he can't eat at all.  You might get very lucky and dodge the infection.  But, in all honesty, without food and the right nutrition-there really is not much of a chance.
495284 tn?1333894042
Are you even remotely close to the Onderstepoort Faculty??  It looks like it is at the University of Pretoria.  I have been googling everything i can think of here and it does look real grim in the area for any type of medical help. I am going to keep looking here.  sara
228686 tn?1211554707
I will tell you that your cat's chance of survival with her jaw like this is very slim.

If you do decide to try a realignment (assuming it isn't a break), then my best advice is to be quick and decisive in the action.

I've popped a shoulder back into place and it's a very violent procedure. This is a case where erring on the side of "rough" is the way to go, as people almost always hesitate and fail in their first attempt and just cause pain without result.

I'm trying to think of a way to describe just exactly how the jaw socket area should "feel" and it's just not easily done on the internet. The best advice I can give is feel along the affected area for any sharp edges that would indicate fractures.

If it's a sharp/jagged fracture...well, you should still try to reset the jaw, but the chances of a successful outcome aren't great.

If you do try to do this, then you'll need to immobilize the cat. Drugging it would be ideal, if possible.
Regardless, you'll have to cup the back of the jaw with your hand (palm), place you've other hand firmly on the back of the head, and using the base of the palm as a pivot, give a sharp jerk/pull up and to the side (in the direction you want the jaw to settle properly) while holding the head rock steady in place with the hand on the top.

But I'll warn you, this is a desperation move in this case, and frankly it isn't one I've ever done myself (on a jaw, that is, human or cat) so I can't speak for how easy it is or how well it works. I've only read about it in texts that are the equivalents of emergency in-the-field treatment for woodsman/hunters.

But I get the impression this cat will probably die in about a week if you don't do something.

Otherwise the eye will heal or not; the big issue is infection. You'll have to find antibiotics if it does infect. As far as the head swelling... that really depends on whether or not it's a straight contusion and swelling or if other complications arise.

This one is beyond me. While I know in theory about relieving pressure from swelling on the brain...I wouldn't begin to dare to suggest how or when to go about doing it.

228686 tn?1211554707
Oh; I would suggest having the human doctor take a look, as it sounds like there is one. In your type of town, it isn't unusual for them to help with pets.
Avatar universal
sorry but this is a group of islands. I am no where near the mainland of Africa. It is a flight away. So this is not possible.
@savas if I would be so brave as to try and relocate the jaw myself. What could I use for drugging the cat. She has bitten before out of fear. I know she would put up a fight. But if I don't find anyone who can help me. I would like to know the options. I can't let her starve or dehydrate.
The jaw feels lumpy. I don't feel any sharp edges. She has tried herself to relocate it but was yowling and complaining because of the pain. By opening as wide as she could. Putting her paws to the front of her nose trying to fix it.

Thank you for your condolences and empathy. I'm really desperate. I don't want her to suffer.
587315 tn?1333552783
Well, I found a couple of places in Cape Verde-you weren't very specific about where you are.  There is a Dr. Dottora Fatima Santos operates a veterinary clinic in Santa Maria, Sal.  I looked for the phone number and couldn't find one.  I also saw that there are vets in Santiago and S.Vicente.

Please, make sure that you look at the 3 or 4 posts before this one-because there's some good info that you should see.

Please, keep us updated!

Avatar universal
Yes there is a human doctor. I was planning on doing that while I'm asking around for an animal doc suggestion. It's just unusual for people to keep house cats here.
587315 tn?1333552783
From what you described about the jaw, it really does sound like it's dislocated!  Your kitten is trying to fix her jaw-I don't think she would if it was broken.

I'd call every doctor in your area, whether it's human or not!

Please check out our health pages in the upper or lower right corner.  There is some good info there!
460185 tn?1326077772
Even a vet who deals with livestock has had training in working with cats and dogs.  This I know because I had such a vet.  If I were in your position, I'd do everything it took to take the cat to the vet.  Based on your initial message, your cat has more than just a possible broken jaw.

When our Akita accidently got too rough with our lhasa apso (I know this is a cat forum) we took the small dog to the vet and he had a broken jaw.  If it had not been treated, he would have developed complications.  I'm far from being an expert but I'd take my pet wherever I had to so he/she could get the help she needs.  Easy to say, not so easy to do.

228686 tn?1211554707
I'd suggest trying the human doc first.

As to drugging... I'd have to know what you have access to. There are herbal drugs like skullcap and Valerian, but the amount you'd need would be close to a dangerous toxicity level which would be hard to administer.

You would likely need help in holding down the cat. If you can't get help, you could try wrapping her in a sheet and bracing your body against your cat to immobilize her. I've used this method, but never for something as tricky as this involving fairly exact hands manipulation as well.
I'm picturing how it would go and I think the angles would be all wrong to perform the maneuver.
587315 tn?1333552783
Savas, you don't think this is too dangerous for her to be trying to reset the jaw herself AND use herbs to tranquilize??  I think it is way too dangerous for her to try and she'd wind up using too much force on the jaw or wind up overdosing the kitten on those drugs.  I think Wolfie is right in suggesting the doctors that deal with livestock.  I think they're the better choice than a human doctor.  A human doctor wouldn't know jack about animal drugs!
441382 tn?1452810569
It's easy enough to reset a dislocated jaw, *IF* you know basically what you are doing.  It's not something that I would recommend the average pet owner try.  A human doctor might be able to do it, because a jaw joint is a jaw joint, but as far as anesthetizing the cat first, I don't know if a human doc would know the correct dosage to give something as small as a cat.  I am hesitant to post the method for realigning the jaw because I don't want anyone to try anything that might do more harm than good, so for that reason, I am not going into detail as to how to realign the jaw.

460185 tn?1326077772
Where is Cape Verde?  Maybe an internet search will find a vet who can help your cat.  I tried it after I read your message but to be honest I don't know where Cape Verde is.  Also, I'm in Canada and I have had vets to treat livestock but part of their training is to be able to work with smaller animals too.  I don't know if any of this is helpful but when our small dog broke his jaw there was no way we could reset it.  Maybe like Savas suggested, a human dr might be able to help you.

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