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  • Tiger's toothache cured by super-sized dental surgery in Dublin

A tiger with toothache is tucking in at mealtimes again thanks to MyVet. 

Popular Dublin Zoo resident Tundra, an eight-year-old Amur tiger, was suffering with a fractured upper and lower canine, resulting in serious discomfort and difficulty eating.

Concerned keepers alerted the zoo’s vet to Tundra’s condition, who confirmed the diagnosis and requested specialist help from MyVet advanced veterinary dentistry practitioner, Nora Schwitzer, who recommended emergency root canal surgery.

Dental referrals at MyVet

A team of specialists was assembled to ensure the highest level of care throughout the procedure, which was carried out on site at Dublin Zoo. 

The team featured zoo vets Niamh McGill and Emma Flynn; Nora and veterinary nurse Lisa Donnelly, Joei Potter and Xavia Torruella of the anaesthesia team at University College Dublin, and human dentist, Tom Linehan. myvet dublin undergo emergency tooth canal surgery on dublin zoo tiger large

Nora, who has 15 years’ experience in veterinary dentistry, said: “Fracturing teeth is not an uncommon issue for big cats because they eat and chew very large chunks of meat, but it can cause real problems if it goes untreated. 

“Just as with human root canal procedures, this treatment involves the removal of damaged tissue, filling the cavity and sealing the crown with a filling, which protects the inside of the tooth against bacterial invasion.” 

Due to Tundra’s super-sized canines, the team had to upscale their operating theatre with large tools and a lot of sealant, while the surgery itself took a total of six-and-a-half hours to complete. 

Nora said: “We had to be prepared for cleaning out a canal that was very wide, so we had a big set of files to hand.

“We also had to adapt our usual way of working to fill the canal by mixing sealant in a large syringe and distributing it with a long canula. 

“We filled one tooth at a time, with the first surgery taking about four hours to complete, mainly because it was challenging to stabilise Tundra under general anaesthetic. 

“The second surgery was much faster at two-and-a-half hours, and I’m pleased to say both were successful.

“It was a real team effort to ensure the surgery went smoothly and we’re all delighted to see Tundra is enjoying mealtimes again.” 

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