Meet the camel who wore train tracks

In recent weeks we’ve seen a golden retriever sporting braces – and even a goldfish – but now they’ve both been trumped by a new brace face…Humphrey the camel!

Humphrey from Gran Canaria had been off his food for a few months when his owner Javier decided to seek help from the local vet. “It took me a while to realise that anything was wrong because dromedary camels can go for days or even weeks without eating,” said Javier.

Why did Humphrey have the hump?

The vet took one look at Humphrey’s teeth and instantly spotted the problem. Humphrey had developed an anterior crossbite, also known as an underbite, and his lower teeth were overlapping his upper teeth. Humphrey’s teeth were also severely crowded, and as a result he was struggling to chew his food – a vegetarian diet of plantation.

Stumped for a solution, the local vet called in a favour from a friend, a specialist orthodontist from Las Palmas. Dr Jimenez examined Humphrey’s teeth and boldly suggested that they try to improve his bite – with the help of braces!

“At first I thought he was joking, but then Dr Jimenez explained that the alternative was a liquid diet, so I quickly agreed to his solution. Humphrey has been in our family for over ten years and is loved by everyone who meets him. He has a very kind and gentle nature,” commented Javier.

Humphrey’s brace, which was custom-made and more than ten times the size of your average appliance, was fitted a few months later. The procedure was carried out under general anaesthetic because despite their vegetarian diet, camels have sharp teeth that can grow to over three inches!

Save room for ‘desert’!

Luckily Humphrey adapted well to his new brace and within weeks Javier noticed an improvement. Just six months later Humphrey’s teeth were straight and biting together properly; the brace was ready to come off, much to Javier’s delight: “I’m so pleased we went ahead with treatment. Humphrey has so much energy now and always seems to be eating – maybe he’s making up for lost time!”.

Click here to see Humphrey’s new smile >

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