An Important Medical Breakthrough in the Treatment of Canine Bone Cancer

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Biomedical engineers at the University of California-Davis recently announced a breakthrough in the treatment of canine cancer. Currently, when a dog suffers from oral cancer, part of the jawbone is removed. This saves the dog’s life but causes problems with chewing and grasping. Anyone who owns a dog knows that chewing and grasping things in the mouth are pretty important things in a dog’s life.

The new procedure involves actually regrowing the part of the jawbone that’s been removed:

The defective part of the jaw is reconstructed using a titanium plate, with a piece of scaffolding inserted with proteins to stimulate the bone’s regrowth.

“So now we’re very excited that we can reconstruct those jaws, align the jaws the way they were beforehand and dogs can lead a perfectly normal and functional life thereafter,” Verstraete explained

The procedure has been successful on eight dogs without complications. The scientists believe that not only will this lead to huge advances in the quality of life for dogs after cancer, but it has possibilities for human applications, as well.

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Whiskey the dog munches on a chew stick, something he would be unable
to do comfortably without his reconstructed jaw.

photo courtesy

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