Published August 30, 2012
Veterinarians unveiled a new bone-building technique at UC Davis that saved a local dog's life and may soon be used to help humans, KTVU reported.
Tom Swierk of San Francisco said he noticed his 10-year-old dog Whiskey just wasn't himself and was having a hard time chewing.
"I figured he had a bad tooth, which was surprising, because he pretty much only eats kibble, cauliflower, and carrots," Swierk said.
Vets at UC Davis found squamous cell tumor on his left lower jaw about the size of a person's thumb. They said it was ideal for this breakthrough technique.
"It was just the right size that we only needed to amputate part of the jaw," explained UC Davis veterinarian Dr. Boaz Arzi.
Arzi took 2.5 inches of damaged bone before he built a titanium bridge and then inserted a sponge-like scaffold infused with a special bone-generating protein.
This surgery is a precursor to helping humans with jaw injuries.