Goldie the porcupine pufferfish was never supposed to be rushed to the animal dentist. But as a result of not eating her normal diet, her teeth grew too long and she was unable to eat anything. Because of this, she was losing too much weight and something had to be done.
Her owner, Mark Byatt, put her in a large water tank with the water from her home tank and rushed her to the vet. Goldie was placed under light anesthesia and oxygen was put in the tank so that she could be lifted out of her tank for short periods of time without getting stressed.
Pufferfish have four teeth. Two on the top and two on the bottom, which form to look like one tooth on the top and another on the bottom. They are also known as beaks. Pufferfish beaks always grow throughout their lives but are kept short because of their diet. Their diet is one containing mussels, clams, and shellfish.
Goldie, however, was not as eager as the other fish with her to eat this food. This caused her teeth to grow too long to the point where she could not open her mouth.
Debbie Addison, a Veterinary nurse, picked Goldie up in a damp towel so that she could stay a little wet and not dry out. She was careful not to stress Goldie out and to not cause the pufferfish to inflate. Pufferfish inflate to double their size and are covered in spines as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened. They look a lot less appetizing to a predator when using this defense mechanism. While Debbie Addison was holding Goldie, another nurse was able to use a special saw and cut through the middle of her overgrown teeth.
After the procedure, Goldie was able to recover from anesthesia. Soon after, she was happily swimming around. She is now eating healthy and swimming around in her tank back home.