Goldie the pufferfish ‘thriving’ after dentist visit
A UK veterinarian has successfully treated a pet pufferfish that had been suffering from a rare condition, restoring both its ability to eat and its charming ‘smile’ in an hour-long dental operation.
The fish, named Goldie, had teeth that had grown so long that it could not eat. Vet Daniel Calvo Carrasco realized that the problem, which had been caused by its dislike for the hard-shelled foods that would have worn them down, required urgent medical intervention. He and his team at Sandhole Veterinary Center, in Kent, rose to the challenge, which saw them sawing Goldie’s upper teeth in half.
First, they sedated the fish by adding some mild anesthetic into her tank. Then a veterinary nurse wrapped the patient in a damp towel to prevent her from drying out. It was important that Goldie didn’t feel threatened, as pufferfish – as their name suggests – inflate their body in defense when alarmed. The fish also needed to receive oxygen throughout the procedure.
According to Carrasco, cited by the British media, the operation “went swimmingly.” It was all over in under an hour “without any stress at all.” After two further hours, Goldie was eating with no issue for the first time in a while.
Her owner, Mark Byatt, described his relief, confessing that he had been very concerned, not only about his pet having to undergo an operation, but also because transporting a large tropical fish involves some risk.
“We’re just thrilled to have Goldie back home. She’s thriving back in her tank and none the worse for her visit to the dentist,” he said.