Mandibular body fracture repair with wire-reinforced interdental composite splint in small dogs

Guzu M, Hennet PR. Vet Surg. 2017 Nov; 46 (8): 1068-1077.

OBJECTIVE: To report the outcome of mandibular body fractures treated with a wire-reinforced interdental composite splint (WRICS) in small breed dogs.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS: Client-owned small breed dogs (n = 24).

METHODS: Medical records (1998-2012) of small breed dogs (<10 kg) with mandibular body fractures treated by WRICS were reviewed for signalment, history, type of fracture, treatment, and clinical and radiological follow-up. The angle of the fracture line (ANG) was measured on dental radiographs. A mandibular injury severity score (MISS) and a dental injury score (DIS) were evaluated as potential prognostic factors.

RESULTS: Fractures most commonly involved P4-M1 (56%), and healed in a mean time of 2.37 ± 0.7 months. Healing was slower (P = .012) if teeth were present in the fracture line and required extraction, hemisection, or root canal therapy prior to WRICS placement (2.39 ± 0.7 months) than if no dental treatment was required (1.46 ± 0.8 months). Contrary to the MISS, the DIS was associated with longer time to bone healing (P = .001; r = .63) and risk of complications (P = .004). Bone healing time was decreased (P = .003; r = .61) with increasing fracture angles.

CONCLUSION: WRICS can be considered to treat mandibular body fractures in small breed dogs if the fracture is not severely comminuted, and if at least the canine and first molar tooth can be used for anchorage. More severe lesions, such as those with teeth in the fracture line and a shorter fracture surface, are associated with prolonged bone healing.