ASPEN PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — We love our pets, but where exactly do you go if your pet fish is sick? Only a few veterinarians in the country treat pet fish, and Aspen Park Veterinary Hospital has one of them.

Smashmouth the goldfish is one lucky animal. He is being examined and diagnosed by Dr. Jena Questen.

“Something is really bothering his gills because under the microscope his gills looked extremely inflamed,” said Questen.

Questen, who goes by “Dr. Q,” is the 21st certified fish vet in the U.S. Her practice is nestled in the mountain town of Aspen Park, Colorado. 

“Nobody was doing anything about them [the fish] and I was like, ‘What do you do when these fish get sick?’ And they said, ‘I don’t know just buy a new one,'” said Questen.

For 17 years, Dr. Q has treated all kinds of fish from a 3-gram tetra fish to a $20,000 koi show fish.

“She was egg-bound so she had a big cancerous mass of eggs that she was unable to get rid of on her own,” said Questen.

Dr. Q is a friend to fish and said they’re misunderstood.

“The animal is different than you or I, but that does not mean they are not expressing themselves because they look different than us,” said Questen.

And yes, says the doctor, fish do in fact feel pain.

“Yeah, actually fish really do feel pain and the science just proves it over and over again,” said Questen.

Back to our patient Smashmouth and his prognosis. 

“The prognosis is excellent and so we will continue hammering out the problem until we get it fixed,” said Questen.

Pets come in all shapes, sizes and species, and for the ones who live underwater, they have a friend in good Dr. Q.