How to Repair a Symphyseal Fracture in a Cat | VETgirl Veterinary Continuing Education Videos

In this VETgirl online veterinary continuing education video, Dr. Chris Ralphs, DACVS, reviews how to repair a symphyseal fracture in a cat. Learn how to repair this common injury with feline symphyseal wiring leaving the cat with stable occlusion of the teeth.

Please excuse the background noise… it’s “real life” vet med!

    • Here is Dr. Ralph’s answer:
      The short answer is that I leave it in for 6 weeks, but that is a fairly arbitrary time frame. Because it is a symphysis, you are waiting for a fibrous union, so repeat rads are not helpful. I generally remove it in 6 weeks, and the symphysis is palpably stable at that time. It would not be wrong to go 8 weeks if older/debilitated, but longer than that is not likely to be helpful.

  1. The quick explanation is that I use wire cutters (you can use one’s from Home Depot and autoclave them if you don’t want to shell out for the fancy ones) to cut the wire. Best place is usually on the floor of the mandible between the canines right over the symphysis. Then I cringingly pull on the wire twist to straighten the wires and pull them out. Don’t usually do antibiotics unless there is purulent discharge. No sutures needed. Just let it heal by second intention. I will try to post a video next time I take one out!

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