Giant Otter Gets Root Canal Surgery on 2 Teeth

Ticuna had been in severe pain.

A giant river otter underwent root canal surgery this week.

Ticuna, a 4.5-year-old giant otter, had a double root canal performed on her at Zoo Miami’s Christopher Weeks Animal Hospital.

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The otter, which weighs about 50 pounds and is endangered, had broken her upper canines and was in severe pain, zoo officials said.

"This is something that these animals will sometimes do in the wild while chewing on mollusks, bony fish and other hard substances," the hospital wrote on its Facebook page. “Unfortunately, in the wild, such injuries often prevent the animal from being able to eat properly and can lead to death.”

The animal’s injury was identified and treated by a full veterinary dental team, led by Dr. Jan Bellows of All Pets Dental, in what is believed to be the first double root canal on a giant river otter.

Two doctors each worked on a separate canine simultaneously to reduce the amount of time Ticuna would have to be under anesthesia.

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Ticuna now appears to be fully recovered and is back at her habitat in Zoo Miami’s Amazon and Beyond exhibit.

She should be ready to greet visitors when the zoo re-opens on Oct. 14, the zoo said.

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