Now that’s a cat scan! Zoo uses pioneering technology to perform a cat scan on lion with sore gums 

A ZOO has used pioneering technology to perform a CAT scan on a lion with sore gums.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium recently put their new machine to the test to find out the extent of an infection in big cat Tomo’s mouth.

Grahm S. Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium / Caters News

The zoo is one of just six zoos in the U.S. with computerised axial tomography (CAT) technology on site.

They say the CAT scanner will allow vets to understand the interior of any animal with a hard exterior. like a shell.

During the procedure, zoo staff said they found the 14-year-old African lion had a gum infection and he is now taking medicine.

Grahm S. Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium / Caters News

Tomo has fathered three litters, including the most recent two litters totalling five cubs born in 2015.

With this technology available on site, vets are now able to perform CAT scans on other large animals like gorillas too.

Grahm S. Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium / Caters News

Dr. Randy Junge, Vice President of Animal Health at the zoo, said: “The ability to add CAT technology to our diagnostic services keeps us on the cutting edge of zoo medicine, gives us critical diagnostic capabilities for our Zoo patients, and enables us to provide state-Of the-art training for our residents.

Grahm S. Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium / Caters News

“This machine will play an absolutely critical role in identifying potential or unseen health concerns within the animals in our care.”

Zoo CEO Tom Stalf said: “With the addition of CAT imaging and space expansions for improved workflow efficiency, the Columbus Zoo is proud to continue being considered among the best-equipped zoo hospitals in the country for diagnostic technology and animal health care”