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Jaguar’s tooth procedure completed

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

On January 15th, Junior the 16-year-old, 165 pound, male jaguar made a special visit to the Woodland Park Zoo Animal Health Department for an endodontic tooth repair on one of the biggest teeth in this big cat’s mouth. 

During the procedure, Junior is anesthetized and monitored closely by the team of veterinary staff.
On the way back to  Jaguar Cove, Junior has a team of vet staff and animal management to look out for him.
When keepers noticed Junior’s tooth didn’t appear normal and that his upper right canine was partially broken, veterinary staff called on the expertise of a local veterinary dentist consultant, Allen Matson, DVM, DAVDC of Eastside Veterinary Dentistry in Woodinville, one of only a few board certified veterinary dentists in the country. Lucky for the zoo, Dr. Matson is fairly close by and generously offered to volunteer his time to take a look at Junior’s broken tooth. 

The procedure in January repaired much of the tooth, but the veterinary team at that time, had placed a temporary repair on the tooth so it could continue to heal from the initial trauma before the final repair could be placed.

The masterpiece! Junior's tooth is now filled and ready for chomping on snacks.
Yesterday April 1, 2016, Dr. Matson and his team returned to open up and clean out the tooth. Afterwards, the dentist used a permanent material to fill up the canal just like a human root canal treatment. Junior’s tooth procedure went smoothly and we can now put a cap on this story!

The zoo extends our appreciation to Dr. Matson and his endodontic team for their expert care of Junior. And, special thanks to our entire team of Animal Health experts who are the absolute best at providing top-notch, excellent patient care to all of the animals here at the zoo. You can visit Junior and check out his teeth at Jaguar Cove in the Tropical Rain Forest.

Junior, our 16-year-old male Jaguar soaks up the sun in Jaguar Cove.