A dentist has fitted the bill and saved Tilly the goose from the chop.
The seven-year-old lost the bottom of his beak when he was just six months old and had been struggling to eat. Owner Frances Hall-Coetzer took him to a local vet but was told nothing could be done and his days looked numbered.
But Frances, of Gargrave, sought a second opinion with vet Andy MacGregor who agreed to have a gander. He created a temporary fix using dental resin and orthopaedic screws which allowed Tilly to start eating and drinking normally.
Andy then called dentist friend Chris Siddons who put Tilly under anaesthetic and took impressions to create a template. He then used dental acrylic, the same substance used in human dentures, to create the new beak
A week later Tilly was again put under anaesthetic and the new bill was fitted.
Anne MacGregor, practice manager at Ashlands Vets in Ilkley, said the procedure should have cost £100 but was done for free as they had never seen anything like Tilly’s condition before. She said: This is a very rare operation and something which I don’t think we’ll ever see in this vets again. Thankfully Tilly is doing really well now.”
Mr Siddons, 45, of Burley Dental Suite in Burley in Wharfedale, said: “When I got the call I thought it was a joke. I’ve helped before with root fillings for dogs, but this is the first time I’ve operated on a goose.”
Tilly’s owner Frances said: “When he was six months old, I took him to a farm but he suffered an accident whilst he was there.
“He had bitten on some barbed wire, and as time had gone by more of his beak had been pulled away. It’s amazing how he’s managed to survive seven years.
“I’m so grateful for what the vets have done.”