You might think the last place you’d want your hands to be is in a wild animal’s mouth, but some people make a living off of it. The people we’re talking about are wildlife veterinarian dentists, of course. Wild animals come across dental issues just like we do and many need our help to survive life-threatening problems. There’s probably not a huge need for those kind of dental services in Prescott, AZ but other places, such as Australia, have more opportunities for such care.
Check out a little of this video below. There’s a fun bit at the beginning and at around the 3 minute mark they begin to show the process of dental surgery on the animals.
As you might imagine, as a wildlife veterinarian you get to be very close to animals that most people will only ever see from a distance and never come into contact with. These animals can be lions, jaguars, elephants, rhinos, you name it. You might even become friendly with some just like the Kevin Richardson (the man in the video) was with those lions. Having lion friends must be an exciting and, for most of us if we were to have one, probably a scary experience.
As you can see in the video, many animals must be sedated first. Sedation is, of course, a wise choice as otherwise the surgeries would truly get…“wild”. If you kept on watching, you saw that there is also a risk that comes with putting the older animals under. The vets have to make a choice on whether or not they should leave the teeth of an older animal how they are or try to improve the quality of their teeth (and life) when they are likely at their worst, as was seen with the lion.
Veterinary dentistry is a whole different side to the field of dentistry and we appreciate those who make efforts to further that field of expertise. We hope you enjoyed the video, it was certainly interesting and for any dental services in Prescott, AZ, you know who to call!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/23/2017) Tambako The Jaguar (Flickr)