My pal Merry the Ferret was taken to The Mewes Vets in Haywards Heath to see vet Julia Mewes.
Julia described what happened: “Merry’s owner had noticed he’d been losing weight and was not eating with his usual gusto.
“When he yawned she noticed that his gums were unusually red, especially on one side of his mouth and around 3 of his tiny teeth.
“She was worried that without a trip to the vets, his Christmas wouldn’t be that merry and he would miss out on all the left over Turkey – and she was right to think so.
“I generally only see ferrets for neutering and when they are poorly.
“They occasionally suffer from hormonal disorders and from cancer, but Merry had a different problem - rotten teeth.
“This caused him to lose weight from 1.6kg to 1.0kg, it was surprising to see how tiny he had become.
“Like cats, ferrets are carnivores and their teeth have evolved to be very sharp, strong and unlikely to fall out when being pulled.
“Their roots are quite a different shape from ours too.
“ Dentists frequently express amazement when they see x-rays of cat teeth compared with their human patients - ‘How do you get those roots out?’ they ask – dental surgery on these type of animals is not easy.
“However, I knew that without surgery Merry’s teeth would just get worse. Although, anaesthetising such a tiny person is a real challenge, I was confident that my skilled team were capable of the task – we have seen many toy dogs over the years.
“But even so, at 1kg he was the third of the weight of the smallest Chihuahua. And his teeth were in proportion, making the job of drilling them more like microsurgery!
“However, using my finest drill bits, and a good deal of patience, I was able to tease the rotten teeth gently out.
I am now glad to report that Merry enjoyed loads of Christmas Turkey, after all.”
Happy New Year Chipsters.