In a previous post, I showed you a visit from our veterinary dentist Dr. Laura LeVan. What do you think we do with the seals between visits from the dentist? We brush their teeth!
Everyday we brush the seal's teeth to prevent plaque, gingivitis and fish breath. We use regular toothbrushes from the grocery store and special malt-flavored toothpaste made for dogs and cats. (We did a number of taste tests and the malt flavored was the preferred choice for the seals - even over the seafood flavored!) We also have a mouth rinse that is applied directly to their teeth and gums. We haven't been able to teach them to gargle.
Our Sunday volunteers Katie and Janine show the seals' mouthwash, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
Training one of the animals to sit comfortably while we brush their teeth may sound a little hard to believe, I can assure you all of the seals are great with it. Check it out!
Marine Mammal Trainers
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- #92: Painting Pinnipeds
- #91: Toothbrushing 103: The Sonicare Brush
- #90: Wild Harp Seal Visits Downtown Boston
- #89: Toothbrushing 102: The Rotary Toothbrush
- #88: Exhibit Makeover Update 3
- #87: Blondie Has More Fun
- #86: Come To My Window (My 2nd Behavior)
- #85: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall ...
- #84: Cold Tsunami
- #83: Tooth Brushing 101
- #82: Seals in the News
- #81: Just Another Day at the Office
- #80: New Year's Resolution
- #79: Training in New England
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We train the Aquarium's Atlantic harbor seals and Northern fur seals for enrichment and to build a trusting relationship that allows for regular medical checkups. Read our posts to learn about what's new with the animals and how we train behaviors.
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