Israeli veterinarians have developed a life-saving medicine for use on kangaroos’ teeth, curing the jumping marsupials of the deadly Lumpy Jaw disease.
At Gan Guru Australian wildlife park in northern Israel, almost 40% of the kangaroo population has died from the disease, previously considered almost untreatable.
“What you saw today was a treatment against Lumpy Jaw Disease,” said Meytal Bakal-Weiss, Gan Guru Park veterinarian. “It’s a dental disease of kangaroos. It’s one of the most common causes of mobility and mortality among kangaroos in captivity.”
Lumpy Jaw disease attacks animals in captivity due to stressful conditions and industrial food. It is a bacteria that infects the teeth and gums of the animal in a way that limits their ability to eat, and eventually kills them.
Previous treatments such as antibiotics or aggressive procedures, including the removal of teeth, did very little to help the animals.
But the newly developed chlorhexidine varnish usually cures the condition with two to three treatments.
“I am very, very excited about this development,” Bakal-Weiss said. “I feel like this is my third baby and I really want to know that kangaroos overseas are being treated with this varnish. I am very excited about it.”
Bakal-Weiss hopes that Lumpy Jaw Disease will now be a thing of the past for the Australian population of the park.