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Costa Rican jaguarundi get dental checkups

April 12, 2013

If you thought trips to the dentist were only for people and house pets, guess again. This week at San José’s Simón Bolívar Zoo, researchers from Costa Rica’s Universidad Latina inspected the teeth of two jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi ), part of a joint annual veterinarian and dental program. (Click here to see more photos.)

Marco Masís and students extracted a broken tooth from one of the jaguarundi, and filled a cavity in the other.

“These treatments help improve the animals’ quality of life, and in many cases, help extend their lives,” Masís said. “We’re helping them avoid pain in the future.”

The jaruarundi is a small wild cat that lives from southern Texas all the way to South America. In Costa Rica, dental treatments for wild animals are fairly new, and Masís is a pioneer in the field, said student Rebeca Phillips.           

Also this week, veterinarian Randal Arguedas looked over the animals at Simón Bolívar, located in the northeastern neighborhood of Barrio Amón.

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