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Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Dogs



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 can also be prescribed, if need be, to reduce the muscle tension created as a result of the TMJ disorder.


Living and Management


After surgery, your dog may feel sore and will need proper rest in a quiet place, away from other pets and active children. You might consider cage rest for a short time, until your pet can safely move about again without overexertion. Your veterinarian will also prescribe a short course of pain killers until your pet has fully recovered, along with a mild course of antibiotics, to prevent any opportunistic bacteria from attacking your pet. Medications will need to be given precisely as directed, at the proper dosage and frequency. Keep in mind that over dosage of pain medication is one of the most preventable causes for death in household animals.


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 dog its required nutrients, especially if your dog is unable to take enough food through its mouth alone. Your veterinarian will also brief you on the correct use of the feeding tube at home so that you can take your dog home to recover in relative comfort and quiet.



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