A devoted pet owner in England recently spent nearly $500 on a complicated surgery to save the life of his favorite goldfish. The unnamed man rushed his fish to the Toll Barn Veterinary Centre in Norfolk, when he noticed that it was struggling to eliminate waste. After a thorough examination, the staff at the center informed him that a delicate surgery costing £300 ($460) was required to save his pet. The man declined at first, but he soon changed his mind and 10 minutes later, the goldfish was wheeled into surgery.
29-year-old vet Faye Bethell was given the task of performing the 50-minute procedure, which involved carefully administering anaesthetic and using tiny instruments to carefully remove lumps from the fish’s backside. She said that the three-inch fish made a full recovery after the operation, but it could have died if left untreated.
Photo: Faye Bethell
“The issue was the fish couldn’t poo and it would have eventually become toxic and it would have died,” she explained. “I have never done a procedure like that on a goldfish, although I have done it before on more valuable fish like a carp. The actual surgery is quite straightforward but administering the anaesthetic is quite complicated.”
The carefully-measured anaesthetic was introduced into the fish’s water, and then removed from its tank and placed on a waterproof drape. Anaesthetic water was then inserted into its mouth via a tube and bubbled over its gills. A miniature heart rate monitor was used to check that the fish was properly sedated before removing the ‘lumps’ with a tiny scalpel. Once the procedure was complete, Bethell sewed each cut with three stitches and used a special glue to cover and waterproof the fish’s scales.
While goldfish can live up to 10 years, this ailing pet was only two years and 10 months old at the time of the operation. Hopefully the little fella’s bowels will remain healthy and he’ll get to live to the ripe old age of ten!