Animal Answers: Providing Dental Care at Lake Superior Zoo

A Recent Grant of $9,500 is Making it Easier for Zoo Staff to Once Again Provide Dependable Dental Care

DULUTH, Minn. – When it comes to dental diligence, we often forget to think about our pets. Whether it be dogs, cats, lions, or tigers, veterinarians say all teeth need to be touched up.

“Animals have absolutely no way to tell us when they have dental pain,” said Dr. Michael Overend, Owner of Lake County Veterinary Clinics.

When it comes to routine dental care, many of us dread the thought.

Suffering in silence, holding still can be difficult for dogs, cats, and even genets.

“Dental health is very important for animals just as it is for people,” said Overend.

That’s why recently, the Lake Superior Zoo hosted a celebratory teeth cleaning for Jenner the Genet.

“This donation that was given to the zoo was designed to provide them with equipment that is very important for them to provide excellent level of care to their patients,” said Overend.

Equipment coming to the Zoo, and being put to good use. Major flooding in the summer of 2012 wiped away and filled old tools with dirt and muck.

With a grant of $9,500 dollars, new dental equipment, supplies, and even a digital X-ray system is now property of the Lake Superior Zoo. The generous donation, coming from the Foundation for Veterinary
Dentistry’s Make Me Smile Program.

Thousands of dollars, designed to allow for routine and advanced dental care, because experts say poor dental care can be detrimental.

“If we identify anything that is painful or infected, it should be addressed,” said Overend.

It’s why Dr. Overend is choosing to take his talents, free of charge, to the Zoo.

“We take X-rays as a very important part of identifying where a problem is so we can address it and make them feel better,” said Overend.

It’s a process zoo veterinarians are thankful to have back in house.

“This equipment really will let them do the job that they have wanted to do and need to do in order to keep these animals in good physical condition.”

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