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Maxillofacial surgeon treats rare feline TMJ condition
12-year-old Dexy was diagnosed with bilateral TMJ dysplasia - a particularly rare condition in cats.

Cat distressed by locked jaw undergoes complex surgery.

A maxillofacial surgeon at Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire has performed complex surgery in order to resolve a cat’s bilateral temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysplasia.

The 12-year-old female cat, named Dexy, suffered with an intermittent locking jaw, usually triggered yawning or grooming. She was diagnosed with bilateral TMJ dysplasia – a somewhat rare condition in cats –  and referred to the Davies' Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic for treatment.

Dr José Ruiz said: “Dexy was in distress every time her jaw locked, and she couldn’t eat or drink. The only available treatment for this problem is surgery: in order to prevent the mandibles from locking, due to the abnormal elasticity in the joint's capsule and ligament, we needed to remove some bone from her cheek and jaw bones – known as the zygomatic arch and mandible.”

A bilateral trigeminal nerve block was performed by the anaesthesia team to reduce potential pain during and after the surgery. Dr Ruiz then approached the zygomatic arch at its ventral aspect.

An incision was made over Dexy’s cheek bone so that Dr Ruiz could access it. He cut the bone using a vibrating instrument that can cut bone but not soft tissues, therefore preventing any trauma to blood vessels or nerve structures. The top part of Dexy's mandible was also cut to prevent it from locking on to the remaining cheek bone.

Dexy made a fantastic recovery and was discharged just 24 hours after the procedure.

Image (c) Davies Veterinary Specialists.

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Budding 'Dr Dolittles' sought for writing competition

News Story 1
 Vets are being invited to enter a writing competition run by the Page Turner Awards for a chance to get their story published or even made into a film.

Dubbed the 'Rolls Royce' of writing awards, the Page Turner competition provides an opportunity for aspiring writers to submit unpublished fiction and non-fiction work to be read by a panel of influential players in the publishing industry.

A spokesperson said: 'Do you think of yourself as a magical healer, like Dr Dolittle. Or maybe you have a story to share about the times when, sadly, animals can't be treated, and pet owners reflect on those moments they took for granted."

For more information, visit 

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News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.