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Silent nights after surgery quiets porcupine's snoring problem
A Calgary wildlife centre has cured a porcupine with a snoring problem.
The Kyne family has shared their backyard with the rodent they named Billy Jo for the past several years.
They recorded video of him sleeping and when staff at the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society watched it they realized the porcupine’s problem was more than a sleep disorder.
Billy Jo’s top teeth are deformed allowing his bottom teeth to keep growing right up into his nose making it hard for him to breathe.
“You could see the two bottom incisors were growing up over top of the upper incisors which is abnormal and they were penetrating the nose and into the nasal cavity,” says Jenna McFarland with the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.
Porcupines, like beavers, need to chew things and grind their incisors or their teeth will keep growing and growing.
“It’s a very common medical issue with rodents and rabbits and hares and we see that quite a bit here,” says McFarland.
It wouldn’t have been much longer before the dental problem killed him.
Last week, Billy Jo had dental surgery at the society’s facility in northwest Calgary where they trimmed back his incisors.
“Their roots are very far down, almost right into the bones of the skull, so they are far below the surface and those nerves are not exposed in any of the exposed tooth so it does not hurt at all to cut them off it’s kind of like clipping a toenail,” says McFarland.
A couple of days later with new shorter teeth Billy Jo was released back into the wilds of the Kyne family’s backyard north of Calgary.
“He definitely had way more energy once he was getting enough air. He was eating with less struggles,” says McFarland. “When he actually got back to the property the report for the next couple of days was he was running around and travelling further than he ever had before. He was walking up and down strutting his stuff.”
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society treats wild animals in order to release them back to the wild.
Right now the society is caring for some porcupines, a muskrat, and several birds including a Great Horned Owl.