19 Sep

Australian vets come up with innovative orthodontic solution for a pet python with an overbite

Vets in Australia have come up with an innovative solution for a pet python with an overbite.
The owners of Toothless, a green tree python, rushed her to the vets after she sustained jaw damage while eating. Toothless was chomping on her usual fodder when her left lower jawbone folded and became dislodged in her throat. When she swallowed, the bone got stuck, and this left her with a substantial overbite. After visiting the vets urgently, Toothless’ owners were surprised to hear of the proposed solution: a makeshift brace.
The vet team at HerpVet, which is the reptile unit based at the Greencross Jindalee Veterinary Clinic, took a look at Toothless and decided to exercise their creativity and come up with a design for special braces. The snake brace was crafted using a paperclip, which was attached to the scales using glue.
Sharing the story on Facebook, the team from HerpVets said that Toothless’ jaw may have been weaker than usual, as she had recently laid eggs and this was her first feed. After dislocating the lower jaw, the bone lay in an awkward position. Due to the diminutive size and fragility of the bone, it wasn’t possible to operate and a brace was fitted instead.
The moulded paperclip appliance was reapplied after it fell off the day after Toothless’ consultation, and it then remained in place until she shed, which gave the jaw time to heal and the much-loved pet time to recover. Toothless was provided with calcium supplements and she will not be given food for a period of around 2 weeks before her final X-ray, which will hopefully confirm that the jaw has strengthened fully. The unique story of Toothless and her brace has been shared by many online, and several people have praised the innovation of the vet team.