A vet has performed intricate surgery on a dying goldfish in Australia which was suffering from a life-threatening head tumour.
The 10-year-old goldfish, named George, was admitted to an animal hospital in Melbourne by its owners, who were “quite attached” to the fish.
Dr Tristan Rich, the vet, said the 45-minute operation on the 80-gram fish had been “quite fiddly”. He had offered the owners the option of attempting to remove the tumour or putting George to sleep; they chose the former.
“The fish was having trouble eating, getting around and he was getting bullied by other fish,” said Dr Rich.
“It was quite a large tumour – we had to scrape it off his skull. When it was all done we woke him up in a clean bucket of water … he came through it swimmingly.”
During the surgery, water from George’s pond was brought in buckets and fed into a tube through his mouth to keep his gills wet. The fish was operated while under general anaesthetic, which was achieved by putting George in buckets of water laced with anaesthetic.
Lyn Orton, one of the fish’s owners, said she could not bear to see George suffer.
“We love pulling up a chair and just sitting next to the pond, it’s so relaxing just to watch them,” Ms Orton told Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper.
“They’re not just things in the water … they’re characters.”
The fish is expected to live another 20 years.