Jaguars Harry and Zassi, Malayan tiger Cinta, and American black bears Betsy and Billy received expert dental care, thanks to a collaborative effort between Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and Peter Emily Veterinary Dental Foundation (PEIVDF).
“Broken teeth and infected pulp cavities are common in animals in the wild and domestic animals. Root canals require the expertise of a dental specialist, so we were fortunate to have the help of the Foundation,” said Dr. Yousuf Jafarey, veterinarian at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
Photo by Dr. Allison Peterson, Veterinarian
The PEIVDF Veterinary Dentists without Borders Program provides veterinary dental services to exotic animals residing in sanctuaries, shelters, and zoos that are in financial need from a veterinary perspective. PEIVDF provides certified veterinary dentists, and sometimes those working toward their certifications, on a volunteer basis to assist with the cases.
Dr. Meredith Persky, veterinarian at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, led the effort to apply for assistance from PEIVDF to save the Zoo around $25,000. Another one of our veterinarians, Dr. Allison Peterson, worked with the zoo keepers and veterinarian technicians to prepare the animals for the procedures.
In total, 10 root canals, and seven dental extractions were performed. The procedures take extensive time and required a PEIVDF volunteer team of six dental specialists, consisting of three veterinary dentists, one human periodontist, and two dental veterinary technicians. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ animal care team also participated in managing supportive care before, during, and after the procedures.
Post-surgical care is also important to ensuring rapid recovery. Harry, Zassi, Cinta, Betsy, and Billy, who are doing extremely well, continue to receive high standards of medical care and nutritional needs to further support their successful outcomes.
We thank the Peter Emily Veterinary Dental Foundation for their work in helping to promote the oral and dental health of animals.
Visit PeterEmilyFoundation.org to learn more about their work. You can also help support the health costs and immediate needs of our animals by making a donation or planning a visit to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
Written by Morgan Purvis, Public Relations