Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Cats
Treatment for TMJ disorders is two-fold and is aimed at eliminating or altering the underlying cause as well as treating the symptoms. In case of complete dislocation of the TMJ, your veterinarian will try to repair it by placing an object at a specific site close to the joint, and gently closing the mouth with a push in order to reduce the dislocation. If this method does not work well or the problem becomes chronic, surgery may be required to correct the defect. Pain killers will also be given to reduce the pain related these disorders. Muscle relaxing drugs may also be prescribed, if need be, to reduce the muscle tension created as a result of the TMJ disorder.
Living and Management
This condition can be very painful, and regular pain relieving drugs may be required until the symptoms have resolved completely. Your veterinarian may also use a feeding tube to give your cat its required nutrients, especially if your cat is unable to take adequate amounts of food through its mouth alone. Your veterinarian will also brief you on the correct use of the feeding tube at home and the best ways to prepare the food so that you can take your cat home to recover in relative comfort and quiet.
After surgery, you should expect your cat to feel sore. Your veterinarian will give you pain medication for your cat to help minimize discomfort, and you will need to set up a place in the house where your cat can rest comfortably and quietly, away from other pets, active children, and busy entryways. Setting the cat litter box and food dishes close by will enable your cat to continue to care for itself normally, without exerting itself more than necessary. Use pain medications with caution and follow all directions carefully; one of the most preventable accidents with pets is overdose of medication.
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