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A goofy pufferfish was rushed to an animal dentist to have her teeth sawed in half after they grew so long she was unable to eat, leaving her at risk of starvation.
Goldie the porcupine pufferfish was losing weight and her worried owner Mark Byatt, 64, rushed her to the vets, who sedated her by filling her water bowl with a mild anaesthetic solution.
Expert animal dentists then used a special saw to gently trim her 1ins teeth in half to allow her to eat.
The fish's diet of hard shells usually naturally grinds their teeth but for some reason, not for Goldie.
Mr Byatt is now "thrilled" to have five-year-old Goldie back home and eating normally again.
Vet Daniel Calvo Carrasco, at Linnaeus-owned Sandhole Veterinary Cente in Snodland, Kent, said: “Porcupine pufferfish teeth are known as beaks and grow continuously throughout their lives.
“They’re usually kept short naturally, as they’re worn down on their regular diet of hard-shelled foods but, while these foods are provided in her home environment, she is not as forthcoming in eating them as her other tank mates.
“As a result, her upper beak grew to the point where it was hindering her ability to eat effectively."
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Veterinary nurse Debbie Addison held Goldie in a damp towel to prevent her from drying out or triggering a defence mechanism which can see pufferfish inflate to twice their size.
Daniel added: “Debbie was able to hold Goldie in a damp towel to prevent her becoming too dry, while also ensuring she was protected if she did trigger her defence mechanism to inflate her body and activate her spines.
“It was during those brief periods out of the anaesthetic water that I was able to use a dental burr to cut through her upper beak and reduce its length by half.
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Within minutes, she was swimming around normally after being placed back in her tank.
“The whole procedure went swimmingly and was conducted in under an hour without any stress at all and Goldie was back home and eating well within two hours.”
Goldie is now back in her tank at home in Leybourne, Kent, following her trip to the dentist earlier this month.
Relieved owner Mark said: “We’re just thrilled to have Goldie back home. She is thriving back in her tank and none the worse for her visit to the dentist.”
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