UC Davis Today
Animal medicine marvel
UC Davis biomedical engineers and veterinary surgeons are working to improve the lives of animals through the collaborative marvels of engineering and medicine. One lucky dog is Whiskey, a 60-pound Munsterlander from San Francisco, who now has a healthy new jawbone. Watch a video to learn about his story.
Like many dogs diagnosed with a malignant tumor that had invaded the jaw, Whiskey faced surgical removal of a section of his lower left jawbone. There were no proven medical options available for bridging the gap in the bone and restoring the normal jaw function and appearance.
Then UC Davis biomedical engineers and veterinary surgeons teamed up to consider the possibility of re-growing the missing section of jawbone using special titanium plates and screws, a matrix of bone growth-promoting proteins, and a scaffolding material to support the growing bone. This innovative process is not commonly used in medical treatments for dogs or humans.
Whiskey is one of eight dogs that have in the past two years received newly grown jawbone through this procedure at UC Davis. The treatment not only offers hope for these dogs and other animals, but also will likely provide valuable information for human medicine.
Whiskey the dog now has a healthy new jawbone thanks to a team of UC Davis biomedical engineers and veterinary surgeons. Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo