So much for intuition
I felt about two inches tall when the vet called me Tuesday afternoon. The x-ray revealed that the jaw had not healed even a tiny bit - definitely not the bone and not even the soft tissue. Moreover, he had a broken tooth as a result of the fracture, but she didn't want to dig around in the fracture too much. She just pulled out the fragments she could clear away easily. Dr. D said it was a clean break all the way across and that she suspected that Valentino had been hit by a car while a stray. While she had him under anesthesia, she was actually able to move the whole front section of the lower jaw (not where the jaw hinges, but at the fracture line). I felt like total crap when I realized that this poor dog has been suffering for weeks. I should have pushed to get him in sooner and have him x-rayed once his weight had stabilized. I am kicking myself, of course. I wish I had been more observant . . . or something. I just feel like I should have figured it out.
Since the vet who performed the neuter does not handle orthopedic surgeries, I called an orthopedic surgeon and scheduled jaw reconstruction surgery right away. Valentino went back under the knife this morning. He's got a bunch of hardware holding his jaw together and I'm sure he's in a lot of pain, but he will be fine in the long run. I just can't believe the poor guy managed to gain nearly 20 pounds WITH A BROKEN JAW. I mean, I can empathize because I don't think a broken jaw would keep me from eating either, but geez. I'm sure it's been rough for him.