Our equine dentist, Dr Claire Dennis, and some our technical staff recently had an amazing opportunity to work with the vets, nurses and keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo on a dental procedure for one of their black rhinos!
The rhino in question was Chikundo, a very handsome 19yr old male black rhino. He required some special treatment and advice from Dr Dennis and we were more than happy to help. A plan was developed between Dr Dennis, the vets Dr Benn Bryant and Dr Michelle Campbell and Chikundo’s caring team of keepers. Anaesthetising a rhinoceros is not a simple or routine procedure but the planning and dedication from Chikundo’s carers and vets made the procedure as easy and stress free for him as possible.
Dr Dennis was able to use specialised camera equipment to get high quality, diagnostic images of Chikundo’s teeth and surrounding gingiva. The mouth of a rhino is quite small relative to their size and a lot of the space is taken up by their inner-cheek flesh. It’s previously been very difficult to get a good view and pictures of rhino teeth – especially as they require a hydraulic spreader to open their mouths!
This was an incredible opportunity for Dr Claire Dennis and our technical staff and we look forward to being able to continue our ongoing relationship and assist the staff at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in any way we can.