My What Big Teeth You Have!

Dr. Woodward with Wolf - Veterinary Dentistry

Dr. Woodward with Leopold, a Gray Wolf living at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.

Akela and Leopold are Gray Wolves at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, MT. These wolves are unable to live in the wild and now stay in this sanctuary, where they are also part of the Center’s conservation and educational programs for visitors.

Both Akela and Leopold had fractured teeth, and luckily Dr. Woodward was on the case! As you might imagine wolves, even those in the sanctuary, need those big teeth to eat properly and also to show off those sharp teeth. A fractured tooth may also lead to infection deep within the jaw, which can compromise the wolf’s adjacent teeth and jaw structures. So, Dr. Woodward was happy to volunteer his time to make sure Akela and Leopold could get back to happily flashing those infamous wolf grins.

Akela had a fractured lower canine tooth that was badly infected. After dental radiographs, Dr. Woodward determined he could perform a root canal. This allows Akela to keep his tooth and avoid the trauma of extraction.


Leopold had a freshly fractured lower canine tooth. This tooth was probably extremely painful for Leopold and without treatment, Leopold’s tooth would have also become severely infected. Dr. Woodward was able to perform a root canal allowing Leopold to keep the tooth.


After their visit with Dr. Woodward, Akela and Leopold are now back out happily roaming the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. Want to learn more about Akela, Leopold and the three wolf packs living at the sanctuary? You can see pictures, read about their amazing natural habitats and more here.