Dental days at The Big Cat Sanctuary - The Big Cat Sanctuary

Dental days at The Big Cat Sanctuary

Find out how you can come along to a dental day and what to expect

Even big cats need a dentist

Feline teeth are quite similar in structure, whether they are in the mouth of an African lion, a jaguar, a smaller wild cat or a domestic cat. All cats have the same number, shape and arrangement of teeth and they need looking after, specifically if the responsibility to provide care and welfare to the cat falls upon people.

When it comes to providing and delivering this type of dental care, some big differences exist. Firstly, the identification for the need for dental care would usually come about either by the observation of damage by the keepers of the cats. That would be from up close observation, a photo in which damage becomes evident, or a change in eating patterns or response to enrichment.

Big cats that have to rip and tear their food provide some mechanical disruption of plaque on the teeth, which reduces tartar build-up, so a natural process is in fact in place in some way!

How we provide dental care

Big cats in captivity tend to have a longer life expectancy, so their teeth do become brittle and likely to break as they get older. This means dental care for exotic cats is primarily given to treat specific problems as and when they occur. These might include root-canal fillings, extractions and conditions that would be causing pain and infection in the mouth.

On a dental day, guests get the opportunity to spend the day closely observing the list of patients as they are treated. Whilst the cats are under anaesthetic, the opportunity is taken to carry out checks. These can include heart monitoring, blood tests, claw and feet checks. Any other vet care that is deemed necessary to an individual may be carried out whilst they are under anaesthetic.


Who carries out the work?

The Big Cat Sanctuary has a designated dentist to carry out these procedures, Dr Peter Kertesz. He and his team alongside our specialised vets work with Curator Briony Smith to ensure our resident cats receive dental treatment when it is required. To find out more about Dr Peter Kertesz and the work he carries out, most of which is remarkable, click here.

The team that carries out the routine checks and oversees the treatment is Dr Steve Philp and the IZVG staff. Find out more about them and their work here.

What happens on the day

You will spend the day in our Animal Resource Centre, in the Education Hub adjoining our state of the art vet room.

The day begins at approximately 9/9.30am, and whilst we do have a list of patients, we aren’t able to guarantee how many cats will be treated on any one day. Unexpected conditions can come to light during the treatment which might take priority over the next patient being bought in.

It is also difficult to give a time the day will finish for the same reasons, but we will ensure you are fed and have an outstanding time for the duration of your experience.

Observe routine health checks

You will get to see up close the dental work being carried out through the glass window and hear what is happening through a sound system giving a clear insight into what is happening.

Refreshments and lunch are provided on the day as well as a tour with handfeeds. This is an incredible experience giving a behind the scenes insight into big cat care and to meet some awesome professionals.  The cost for the day is £500.

Email for further details or to book or be added to the waiting list to attend.