Reggie was brought to Veterinary Dental Specialties & Oral Surgery in California for evaluation of a recurrent left facial swelling with abscess formation. Reggie is a bobcat who is cared for by Fund For Animals Wildlife Center, who had been keeping an eye on the condition had persisted for about two years. In the past, the swelling responded to antibiotic administration, however it after the condition continued to persist, it was clear that Reggie needed a more thorough veterinary specialist evaluation.
After being safely anesthetized, a thorough evaluation and veterinary dental x-rays, revealed that three of his canine teeth had exposed pulp secondary to dental attrition (wear). The pulp exposure allowed bacteria from the mouth to infect the endodontic system of Reggie’s teeth. Once the pulp is infected and it becomes necrotic there is no way for the animal’s immune system to combat this infection, which leads to the constant release of bacteria from the bottom of the tooth’s root. The constant release of bacteria leads to abscess formation causing Reggie’s recurrent facial swelling.
The priority for veterinary dentists is always to save an animal’s teeth when possible. In wildlife cases, even those at animal sanctuaries, the animal often relies on heavily on certain teeth, in Reggie’s case the canines. Each of the three infected teeth were treated with root canal therapy, which in typically will last through the rest of the animal’s life.
Reggie is now in far less pain and with a healthy mouth that will allow him to roam and enjoy life at the sanctuary.