Skah the Bengal tiger takes a trip to the dentist

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Skah, a seven-year-old Bengal tiger, has undergone dental treatment after cracking a tooth. One of the most popular residents at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, Skah was treated by a team of expert vets led by a specialist in veterinary dentistry.

Gerhard Putter, a leading European dentist who has treated a diverse range of animals during his intriguing career, first visited Skah at the end of 2020 but he was forced to postpone treatment due to Covid-19 restrictions. In May, Dr Putter returned to the wildlife park to treat Skah’s fractured tooth.

Working with a team of expert vets, Dr Putter carried out a two-hour dental operation, which involved carrying out root canal treatment on one of the tiger’s huge canine teeth. At first, Dr Putter thought that he may have to extract the tooth, which was badly damaged, but he was able to save the tooth by means of root canal therapy. It is highly likely that Skah would have been suffering from toothache due to the fracture and he will now be much happier with a clean bill of dental health.

Dr Putter is based in Sudbury and has an excellent reputation within the field of veterinary dentistry. He was joined on the day by two anaesthetists from Knowsley Safari Park and a heart specialist from London as well as an exotic animal specialist and a veterinary nurse.

Dr Putter said that operating on big cats is always risky because they have to be anaesthetised but the procedure, which took around 2 and a half hours, went smoothly and Skah is now recovering well. Dr Putter added that it is always an honour and an incredibly exciting experience to work on larger species, particularly tigers, which he described as “beautiful animals.”

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