Apparently, there just aren’t enough snake teeth Down Under.
Australia has an estimated 140 species of snake — 32 species of sea snakes alone. With so many serpents slithering around biting prey and swallowing animals whole, one vet service has made the effort to help one with her dental needs.
Toothless, a female green tree python had an issue with her jaw. So what did she do? She didn’t sit around and wait around for it to fix itself, she hopped into the car with her owner Bo Marsh and slithered in to see a vet.
“She presented as an emergency consult due to a feeding mishap. Some how, during the swallowing process her left lower jaw bone folded and got stuck on her throat,” HerpVet posted on Facebook.
The vet service is a “dedicated reptile department” based in outer Brisbane. They went on to say that Toothless had laid eggs recently, speculating that the effort may have weakened her, leaving her more likely to suffer a fracture.
So what’s to be done? With the bone “too small and fragile to fix with traditional surgery” a more novel approach was adopted — braces!
The “bone was aligned and an external brace (a moulded paper clip) was attached”. After the first brace fell off, a second was attached. Not only did it help Toothless heal, it helped make a fool of her name.
“Food will be with held (sic) for a couple of weeks at which point a final x-ray will be taken to confirm healing has completed,” the vet said.
So all’s well that ends well – although apparently Toothless is getting pretty hungry at this stage.
“Thank you so much for fixing my Toothless up!” owner Bo Marsh commented on the post.
“She’s feeling much better and constantly begging me for food. She’s gonna have to wait a bit longer!”