CHANCE (Locked Jaw)
MONCKS CORNER, SC......Do you ever have days that you sit back and think what is going on all around you is too bizarre for even a Fiction Novel? That is how I feel lately. Every Tale or Story I hear from Owners or Shelters are too sad and heart-breaking to be true.
I received a note the other day with someone begging me to take a dog that had been picked up as a stray by Berkeley County Animal Control. Trident Tech College helps dogs in the area in their Veterinary program and Chance was one dog they had offered to help. The first thing they noticed was that Chance was thin but not emaciated, so they gave him extra food to eat. They soon realized he was having problems with his jaw and could not open his mouth.
Everyone believed his jaw must be broken and it hurt so they sedated him to get good x-rays and to access how bad it was. To their horror, they soon realized why Chance's mouth would not open. Someone had hit him so hard on the right side of his head; they had broken his entire jaw and the joint that enables you to open and close your mouth. No one had sought medical care for this sweet nine-month-old Hound Mix, and his mouth was now PERMANENTLY closed shut. Even sedated, it could not be opened.
Now some of you may think, this is not a problem, but I am going to point out some things, you may not have considered. Dogs cool themselves by opening their mouths and panting. They will Over-Heat without the ability to do this. If Chance Wretches or needs to Throw Up, he has no way of getting rid of it, and the food will ASPIRATE into his lungs and he will lose his ability to breathe. This gentle dog has no way of defending himself against an attack from another dog or animal. He has no way of eating unless he has canned food that is pushed into the side of his mouth. The list could go on and on, but those are the main issues.
The first good news for Chance is that he was found as a stray. The second is that we were contacted. It took me a while to understand the severity of the situation, but once I did, I knew I had to help this sweet pup. Chance was on his way back to Berkeley County to be put to sleep when I finally said yes but only if a Foster could be found because he needed someone there looking after him, even during the night.
Chances x-rays were sent to our Surgeons at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Matthews and Charlotte. He arrived at the Matthews location on Tuesday. The ER Team was in shock when they realized what was going on. I don't believe anyone has ever witnessed a dog that has had this kind of damage that has permanently locked their jaw shut. Every one of the surgeons has been seeing what they can come up with to fix his jaw issue. They finally decided his only hope would be to go to an Orthodontic Veterinarian that can do Oral Surgery.
Chance is going to Hospital for Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery in Matthews, NC this morning. They have worked on several of our more complicated cases with excellent results. We have never had one as complicated as this. Our next hurdle is going to be anesthesia. His trachea is too small with his mouth the way it is to get a tube down. It seems like every turn we take has another complication.
During all of this, you have the sweetest dog looking up at you with a disfigured mouth and jaw and the most innocent eyes. All Chance wants to do is give kisses that he cannot give and play. It breaks my heart a thousand times over what someone has done to this Gentle Soul. It is one thing to hurt an animal and another to subject that animal to a horrible Life where they cannot take care of themselves.
Jaw Surgery is costly. Going into a mouth with breaks and abscesses seems like the procedures can go on forever. What Chance has going on is going to require breaking a mangled jaw and rebuilding a new one along with splints being made to hold the jaw. I have been up all night long coming up with solutions in my head. None of which I have any idea will work. I hope and pray that a solution can be found that will give Chance the best Quality of Life.
Please, DONATE toward this sweet dog's Medical Bills. We have already incurred a lot of bills and have not even begun to do his surgery. I never give up on any animal, and I am not going to give up on Chance just because this has never been done. Keep this special boy in your prayers.