The Dentist Will See You Now

For a toothy porcupine pufferfish, a trip to the dentist couldn’t come soon enough.

Despite her owner’s best efforts, five-year-old Goldie’s teeth had grown so big that the prickly porker could no longer eat properly and started losing weight. Having been assessed by staff at Sandhole Veterinary Centre in Kent, the team decided that Goldie needed around an inch trimmed from her teeth – or beak, as is the correct terminology among pufferfish species.

Much like hamsters and various other pet rodents, the gnashers of many species of pufferfish grow constantly. As such, they need to be ground down on suitably hard foods. However, even though Goldie’s owner had provided a diet of hard-shelled seafood, this wasn’t, it seems, enough to keep her pearly whites in check.

Furthermore, Goldie’s owner also theorised that her tankmates might, in fact, have been snacking on some of the tougher foods intended for her. With that, treats like whole cockles in their shells were sometimes gone before she had a chance to get a look-in herself.

Either way, one of Sandhole Veterinary Centre’s exotic pet specialists stepped up to the plate and took on the role of dentist for the day. With Goldie suitably sedated, the procedure took around an hour. Once completed, she was reportedly back to her usual self in just 10 minutes.

What’s more, with her teeth now a more appropriate length, Goldie was home again and tucking into her favourite foods in barely two hours. So, with any luck, she’ll be back to her appropriately plump former self in no time.

Overall, perhaps a cautionary tale for all pufferfish owners, where ensuring a varied diet of snails, cockles, and other shelled foods is a must – especially when housed with hungry and competitive tankmates. And, at the same time, a suitably charming reminder that there’s rarely any need to be afraid of the dentist!