Arktos the Polar Bear gets a dental X-ray with the help of BCF

The BCF team were delighted to help when the call came to request assistance with Arktos the polar bear’s dental treatment.

Polar bear X-ray

After keepers noticed the polar bear wasn’t himself, further checks revealed that Arktos may be suffering toothache. A team of expert veterinarians were called in to the Highland Wildlife Park in Inverness to help the four year old, 477 kg polar bear.

Polar bear X-ray

Kimberly and Carole from BCF attended with the Vita CR X-ray system, with new veterinary specific software, in order to help with the dental treatment. Kimberly, BCF’s in-house vet and imaging certificate holder was on hand to take the necessary X-rays of the tooth in question.

 Polar bear X-ray

The Vita was set up ‘bear-side’ to allow a number of radiographs to be taken throughout the procedure, with near instant imaging allowing quick diagnosis and treatment planning to be decided.

X-ray imaging

The X-rays quickly revealed that Arktos would require a root canal procedure, rather than extraction as initially thought, by veterinary dental expert Norman Johnston, who was carrying out the treatment.

Dental X-ray

Douglas Richardson, Animal Collection Manager at the Highland Wildlife Park, commented:

“As far as we can tell, the operation was a success. It took three hours in total and Arktos just took 20 minutes to come round. He was then up on his feet, although still a bit wobbly. He quickly had a drink and we expect him to start eating again, when we will try him on some of his favourite soft foods as his mouth will still be a bit sore.”

Dental X-ray

Simon Girling, BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM CBiol FSB EurProBiol MRCVS Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, (coordinator and supervisor for the procedure) commented, 

“May I take this opportunity to thank you all including your colleagues for the work carried out today. It all went very smoothly thanks to your professionalism and expertise and hopefully Arktos will be now well on the road to recovery. Once again many thanks for your help and support.”

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