Calgary wildlife centre cures porcupine of snoring by trimming his teeth

By on April 18, 2017


A Calgary wildlife centre has cured a porcupine with a snoring problem. (Photo: Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha"/Flickr)
A Calgary wildlife centre has cured a porcupine with a snoring problem. (Photo: Wagner T. Cassimiro “Aranha”/Flickr)

CALGARY — A Calgary wildlife centre has cured a porcupine with a snoring problem.

The Kyne family has shared their backyard with the rodent they named Billy Jo for the past several years.

They recorded video of him sleeping and when staff at the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society watched it, they realized the porcupine’s problem was more than a sleep disorder.

Billy Jo’s top teeth are deformed, allowing his bottom teeth to keep growing right up into his nose and making it hard for him to breathe.

Last week, Billy Jo had dental surgery at the society’s facility in northwest Calgary where they trimmed back his incisors.

A couple of days later with new, shorter teeth, Billy Jo was released back into the wilds of the Kyne family’s backyard north of Calgary.

“You could see the two bottom incisors were growing up over top of the upper incisors which is abnormal and they were penetrating the nose and into the nasal cavity,” Jenna McFarland with the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society tells CTV Calgary.

She says porcupines, like beavers, need to chew things and grind their incisors or their teeth will keep growing and growing.

“It’s a very common medical issue with rodents and rabbits and hares and we see that quite a bit here,” says McFarland.

It wouldn’t have been much longer before the dental problem killed him.

“He definitely had way more energy once he was getting enough air. He was eating with less struggles,” says McFarland. “When he actually got back to the property the report for the next couple of days was he was running around and travelling further than he ever had before. He was walking up and down strutting his stuff.”