16th November 2013
Mandibulectomy, or more correctly partial mandibulectomy, involves removing parts of the lower jaw. This is usually done for tumour removal but is occasionally done after trauma. It is usually simpler to do in the longer nosed breeds. Pain relief is aided by the use of local anaesthetic nerve blocks to numb out the lower jaw, much as a dentist would do. Sometimes there is a need to place feeding tubes (see our information sheet and a seperate article on feeding tubes), but most of the elective (ie non-emergency) cases will be eating normally and voluntarily within a few hours of surgery.
Clients often worry about the cosmetic result of this surgery, but it is usually very acceptable. The upper jaw and the lip folds cover most of the lower jaw anyway, and once the hair has grown back, the mandibulectomy is often overlooked by anyone who didn’t know that there had been a surgery done.