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River Otter Visits the Dentist at Potter Park Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 3, 2022 12:01 am

River Otter Visits the Dentist Potter Park Zoo

Veterinarians work on a river otter at the Potter Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Potter Park Zoo

Miles, a river otter at the Potter Park Zoo has undergone a root canal procedure with assistance from a local veterinary dentist.

During a recent health check conducted regularly by the Zoo’s Director of Animal Health, Dr. Ronan Eustace. As part of this a thorough dental evaluation is conducted with dental health being vital to the health of animals.

While most veterinary work at the zoo is conducted by their in house veterinarians they are supported by Dr. Colleen Turner, a nearby veterinary dentist. She can assist with more complex cases.

“Dental disease is one of the most common problems I identify during routine examinations and correcting it can have a profound impact on an animal’s well-being. The range of dental disease at the zoo is very diverse, ranging from routine cleaning and polishing on a meerkat to advanced treatments like performing a root canal on a lion,” said Dr. Ronan. 

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While dental disease can cause immediate pain the larger issue is potential systemic issues to which it can lead such as heart disease. At Potter Park Zoo the animals are checked each day for signs of illness including dental issues.

While keepers check for these each day animals are often good at hiding their pain and as such regular examinations will help to detect these before they cause serious illness.

Potter Park Zoo are fundraising this year for a digital dental X-ray system which will allow the zoo to perform dental digital radiographs. This would allow the zoo to detect dental health issues earlier.

“By keeping our animals’ teeth in excellent condition, we can help them have long healthy lives,” said Dr. Ronan.  Animals at zoos often live longer than those in the wild, and having complete dental care is a key factor to helping them live a long happy comfortable life at Potter Park Zoo. 

Learn more about Otters here – Otter Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Potter Park Zoo on their website – Potter Park Zoo

River Otter Visits the Dentist Potter Park Zoo

A river otter has a root canal at the Potter Park Zoo

Photo Credit: Potter Park Zoo

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