Recently veterinary dentists from Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists were called on by a zoo in Phoenix to examine a four year old male Bengal Tiger. Zoo keepers were worried when they found a tooth floating in the swimming pool inside his enclosure. A missing tooth, may not seem like a big problem for a big cat, but zoo keepers know the importance of oral health for all animals, and left untreated, a missing or broken tooth could result in more complex oral health issues for the tiger later.
Closer examination by the zoo veterinarian confirmed the tiger had broken the crown of his upper canine tooth off near the gumline. Doctors and staff from Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists were called in to perform a root canal on the remaining tooth to relieve his pain and prevent infection in the tooth and root.
Under general anesthesia, root canal treatment was performed. The length of the remaining tooth and root was nearly three inches long. Performing the root canal treatment allowed the tiger’s remaining tooth structure to be preserved instead of having a major surgical extraction.
By the next day he was back to himself playing in his pool. The doctors advised him to be more careful jumping in an out of his pool from now on. You can see more great zoo dentistry cases from Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists here.