One of Dublin Zoo’s most adored animals has been handed a new lease of life after undergoing expert vet treatment for dental issues which were making mealtimes tough to swallow.
Advanced practitioner Nora Schwitzer, who leads the dentistry referral service at MyVet in Dublin, visited adorable red panda Yasmina when officials at the zoo grew concerned about her decreasing levels of appetite.
Yasmina, aged 14, has been a part of the Dublin Zoo family for almost a decade and has already outlived the average life expectancy of the red panda.
Nora said it was important to take Yasmina’s age into consideration ahead of treatment and to also ensure she enjoys the best possible quality of life.
Nora said: “It was very evident from our initial consult that Yasmina had several abrasions and absecces surrounding her teeth and on her gums.
“This species feeds primarily on bamboo, which can be the cause of dental issues of this nature, making meal time particularly unenjoyable.
“We came to the conclusion that Yasmina needed several tooth extractions and, to make sure she was comfortable as possible, we made the decision to put her under general anesthetic.”
Yasmina’s age meant the MyVet team and zoo officials were skeptical about transporting her to the hospital due to the risk of possible infection and cross-contamination.
Instead, the team decided they would take the ‘operating theatre’ to Yasmina to make the entire process easier and safer for her wellbeing.
Nora said: “It was a mission to ensure we had all the right equipment on site and that it was to the highest-standard but I’m glad we were able to pull it off swimmingly!
“I’m delighted to report the operation went very smoothly and we successfully extracted five teeth. I was so surprised at how quickly Yasmina bounced back; she was eating bamboo that very evening and seemed to have a massive appetite!
“The entire team did a fantastic job making sure this beautiful animal was back with her fighting spirit and we hope to continue improving dental care for all species in the region.”