One of our Tomistomas (False gnarl) crocodiles was found early one Sunday morning with a partially amputated upper jaw.

Our vet received a call over the walky-talky and immediately ran down to their estuary to take a closer look. To her surprise, the top jaw was hanging off by just a small piece of bone and some soft tissue. The vet then consulted a crocodile expert to discuss the welfare implications of missing most of an upper jaw. A few cases similar to this were seen before, although they were always complete self amputations, and the crocodiles were still able to eat and exhibit normal behavior in a captive environment.  

Surgery was then planned for the next day.  As sedation can be very dangerous for croc field surgery, all the keepers were involved in restraining the croc. To everyone's surprise, throughout surgery the croc did not put up a fight and did not show obvious signs of pain. The remaining soft tissue was cut away and the dead tissue removed, ligation of blood vessels was carried out as necessary, the last piece of bone was cut through, and stitches were placed where possible.

We are pleased to say the crocodile is currently doing very well. He is eating adequately, and although he has to keep his head above water because of a lack of nostrils, this doesn't seem to negatively affect his behavior.

Please feel free to contact us for further information about this case