Feline mouths wide open

By Connie Orcutt • Published: July 1st, 2015
Category: Animal Airwaves

Some cats just can’t shut their mouths. We’re not talking about constant meowing or hissing here. These felines truly cannot close their jaws.

In some cats, the abnormality is subtle. For example, a moderate sideways shift of the lower relative to the upper jaw could signal a jaw fracture or dislocation. Alternatively, a slight malalignment of the teeth could point to dental or gum disease.

In other cats, problems are more obvious. A drooping lower jaw that can be held closed by hand may indicate damage to the nerve controlling jaw movement. Conversely, a mouth rigidly held wide open may be the result of jawbones locked in position over one another.

Any of these abnormalities can prevent a cat from eating and may result in additional problems. That’s why a trip to the veterinarian is warranted for an open- and-shut case.