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Tiger undergoes a root canal to save broken tooth

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A Sumatran tiger at an Australian zoo has proven that it’s not just humans who have problems with their teeth and need to see the dentist from time to time. Ranu, who is a nine-year-old tiger and weighs 112kg (almost 18 stone), has been suffering with infection and toothache after handlers discovered that one of his incisors was broken.

Vets at the Australia Zoo took Ranu to the dentist last week and instead of being put under local anaesthetic, they thought it would be easier – and safer – to put the huge cat to sleep before beginning the treatment at the hospital, which is located along the Sunshine Coast. Handlers were worried that sedation would not be enough to spare Ranu the stress of the situation and the vibrations of the dentist’s drill as they carried out a root canal on the broken tooth.

Upon initial examination, dentist Dr Gary Wilson, of Brisbane’s Advanced Animal Dentistry, thought that the tooth would have to be extracted but further inspection revealed that it could be saved using a root canal filling, which will make it easier to maintain dental health in the future and Ranu should be able to eat properly after a short time. His handler, Giles Clark, said that the feline would be given soft food for a few days until his teeth have recovered and then he can get back to his normal diet.

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