The Wild Side of Dental Care

Veterinarians that provide care in zoological parks or private wildlife collections frequently encounter unique dental challenges. LafeberVet's 2014 Dental Health Month article describes the wild side of dental care, exploring dental anatomy and dental disease in a variety of mammals, from hippos and hyenas to bats and babirusas . . .

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Fowler ME, Miller RE. Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine, 5th Edition. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2003.

Ketz CJ. Necrobacillosis in macropods. Doctoral Thesis. University Press, Bern; 1996.

Tislerics A. Babyrousa babyrussa. Animal Diversity Web. 2000. Available at Accessed February 21, 2014.

Further Reading

Clauss M, Franz-Odendaal TA, Brasch J, et al. Tooth wear in captive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis): mesowear analysis classifies free-ranging specimens as browsers but captive ones as grazers. J Zoo Wildl Med 38(3):433-445, 2007.

Jurado OM, Clauss M, Streich WJ, Hatt JM. Irregular tooth wear and longevity in captive wild ruminants: a pilot survey of necropsy reports. J Zoo Wildl Med 39(1):69-75, 2008.

Steenkamp G, Ferguson WH, Boy SC, et al. Estimating exposed pulp lengths of tusks in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana africana). J S Afr Vet Assoc 79(1):25-30, 2008.

Steenkamp G, Ferreira SM, Bester MN. Tusklessness and tusk fractures in free-ranging African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana). J S Afr Vet Assoc 78(2):75-80, 2007.

Todd NE. Qualitative comparison of the cranio-dental osteology of the extant elephants, Elephas maximus. Anat Rec 293(1):62-73, 2010.

To cite this page:

Ketz-Riley CJ, Pollock C. The wild side of dental care. February 11, 2014. LafeberVet website. Available at