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Abstract

Case Description—A 5-year-old neutered male English Bulldog was evaluated for intermittent closed-mouth jaw locking of approximately 1 week's duration.

Clinical Findings—Initial physical examination revealed a nonpainful inability to open the jaw with and without manual assistance; however, manipulation of the jaw after the dog was sedated for diagnostic imaging restored jaw function. Anesthesia was subsequently induced, and computed tomography was performed with the jaw open and closed; contrast agent–enhanced images of the closed jaw were also obtained. No abnormalities of the temporomandibular joints or retrobulbar space were detected. Fluoroscopic examination of movement of the temporomandibular joints revealed a dynamic interference of the rostrodorsal aspect of the coronoid process of the left mandibular ramus with the medial surface of the frontal process of the left zygomatic bone or the left orbital ligament.

Treatment and Outcome—Partial excision of the coronoid process of the left mandibular ramus was performed. The dog recovered without complication and was able to open and close its jaw and eat within 6 hours after surgery. No additional episodes of jaw locking were detected during the 6 months after surgery.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors' knowledge, closed-mouth jaw locking in animals attributable to dynamic interference of the rostrodorsal aspect of the coronoid process of a mandibular ramus with the medial surface of the frontal process of a zygomatic bone or an orbital ligament has not been described. Surgical excision of the coronoid process of the mandibular ramus appeared to provide a successful outcome in the dog of this report.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association