Dental surgery ends snoring for backyard porcupine

Billy Jo the porcupine no longer snores.

A video of the porcupine living under the porch of a house in Bearspaw, Alta. caught the attention of wildlife experts who felt some dental surgery could solve the beast's snoring problem.

The porcupine has lived in the family's backyard for two years, eating out of the compost and drinking out of the dog's dish.

CBC News shared a video about Billy Jo on Facebook in March.


VIDEO Billy Jo the snoring porcupine cozies up under a Bearspaw front porch

Billy Jo's snores worried Jenna McFarland, a zoologist and the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society's animal care operations manager.

"I watched the video and then there was a point near the end where I saw that his teeth were up into his nose and I thought, 'Oh no, that's bad, that's really bad,'" said McFarland.

"What were were seeing with Billy Jo was his bottom teeth were growing over the top teeth and that those teeth have grown so far they were actually penetrating his nostrils, and a lot of the time they will enter into the sinus cavity and that will cause infection and impaired breathing."

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society's full vet team took care of Billy Jo, anaesthetizing him and then cutting his teeth down and cleaning out his nostrils.

"[The teeth] are still long enough that he can chew with them, but because they are so slow growing they probably won't get to that extent again for another two or three years."

Billy Jo has been returned to the Bearspaw backyard. He is about three years old and will have a "great quality of life" until he dies of old age at five or six years old, said McFarland.

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