February 16, 2021



February is National Veterinary Dental Health Month!

Our Veterinary Team recently performed a dental exam and cleaning on Chayne, our female Canadian lynx.

Libby, a Veterinary Technician at the Zoo, scaled her teeth for plaque/tartar and then polished her teeth using a bubblegum-flavored polish.

Periodontal disease or gum disease is an infection caused by plaque build-up on teeth, just like in humans. Plaque build-up can eventually lead to dental calculus or tartar, which can infect the bones surrounding the teeth and can also affect other organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver by allowing bacteria to spread in the bloodstream.

Tartar can also cause oral pain, loose teeth, and bad breath.

The key to oral health is preventative medicine! Just like humans should visit the dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning and evaluation, our animals have their teeth evaluated to prevent dental disease.

We do this by cleaning the surfaces of the teeth, allowing for healthy gums, and preventing serious disease processes, as well as treating any issues as soon as they arise.

Our dental evaluations span the entire collection, from our Canadian lynx to a puffer fish!

Canadian lynx are a North American mammal found in Canada, Alaska, and the northern United States. Extremely agile cats, they can move through several inches of snow with ease. Ninety-six percent of their diet in the wild is snowshoe hares.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife has designated Canadian lynx as threatened. Loss of habitat and poaching are the biggest threats against Canadian lynx in the United States.

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is American Humane Conservation-certified and a Zoological Association of America accredited facility.