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Yai, The Bear With A Sore Head

Recently, some swelling was found on the face of Yai, our Asiatic Black Bear. She was sedated and brought to the WFFT Wildlife Hospital to be examined and X-rayed. It was discovered that Yai had a fractured upper canine tooth that had become infected. This had caused a tooth root abscess which was causing the swelling. Yai was in pain and required major surgery to remove the tooth. Not an easy job in a patient weighing 150kg. Yai was put on antibiotics and pain killers while a plan was formulated.

A professor at the local university was contacted but due to other commitments, they were unable to help for a couple of weeks. Our vet team decided they would have to do the surgery themselves. In order to remove the tooth, the vet team required a pneumatic high speed dental drill. This piece of equipment had long been on the hospital’s wish list. The imported machines they had managed to source were prohibitively expensive. A local manufacturer was found so we arranged to test the machine on Yai.

Removing a canine tooth on such a large animal is not easy but the operation went as planned. The locally sourced dental machine proved to be up to the job and Yai is making a great recovery. Now free of pain and infection, she is eating well and behaving normally.

Some friends of WFFT, Austen And Debora Reid, held a party last week to celebrate their daughter, India, graduating as a doctor. This was a very proud moment for them and they decided that the party would also be a fundraiser for WFFT. They managed to raise enough money to buy the dental unit. This invaluable piece of veterinary equipment has now been purchased.

We have a waiting list of animals requiring dental treatment that the WFFT Vet Team can now treat appropriately. Thanks to generous donors, the team is now able to improve the standard of care they provide and free animals of chronic dental pain and other associated complications. If they can manage a bears tooth they can manage anything. Yai the bear will no longer have a sore head.


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