The most common problems we are asked to treat are fractured teeth in carnivores. The canine teeth are the most prominent and vulnerable, and become damaged most frequently.
Once the pulp becomes exposed it does not possess the properties to heal itself, and in time it becomes infected and necrotic. Antibiotic therapy will not stop the infection and active treatment is required. (See the Endodontics and Extraction therapy options below).
Occasionally we do see teeth where blunt trauma had devitalised the pulp without an exposure of the pulp chamber, as illustrated with the Striped Hyena below. If fractured teeth with pulp exposures are ignored, the infection can destroy the surrounding alveolus and the purulent material can drain intra or extra-orally.
Live pulp is visible at the centre of the fractured tooth, with some pus already discharging from the root canal. (Leopard)
Pulp exposure in a lower canine demonstraing an infected root canal. (Sumatran Tiger)
Gross infection of an immature lower canine tooth. (Brown Bear)
Multiple fractured and infected teeth. (Sumatran Tiger)
Intra-oral sinus tract draining from a chronically infected fractured canine. (Spectacled Bear)
Infra-orbital sinus tract draining extra-orally. Infection caused by a fractured canine tooth. (Brown Bear)
Upper premolars with exposed pulp chambers with live pulp tissue present. (Leopard)
Chronic infra-orbital sinus tract apparently without an obvious cause, but the intra-oral view revealed the source of the problem. (Striped Hyena)
Buccal sinus tract of previous animal was also associated with the dead upper fourth premolar. Pulp necrosis was almost certainly caused byocclusal trauma, possibly on a stone. (Striped Hyena)
Please select an option below for further illustrations of trauma therapy: