Australian veterinarian performs surgery to save pet goldfish

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MELBOURNE — An Australian couple spent hundreds of dollars to save their pet goldfish named George.

Over the past year, George had developed a large growth on his head.

“Fish was having trouble eating, getting around, getting bullied by the other fish,” veterinarian Tristan Rich said.

“Didn’t join in as much in their afternoon party games and stuff, you know. … He never really said much to us,” said Pip Joyce, George’s owner.

But after an hourlong procedure at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, George was off the hook.

“Quite intricate little surgery really,” Rich said.

Water from his pond was brought to the surgery in buckets, to feed into a tube through his mouth to keep his gills wet.

“Controlling the blood loss is really important in such a small patient,” Rich said. “And then closing up did prove quite difficult because there wasn’t much skin to deal with.”

Joyce was impressed.

“Just the way he was able to put the fish to sleep I think,” he said. “And then stitching it up a little bit, minute little fishy stitches.”

George is recovering at home with 20 mates, but don’t think he can’t remember his ordeal. The theory goldfish only have a 3-second memory is wrong. It’s actually around three months.

“Yeah it’s a goldfish, all creatures great and small,” Joyce said. “A goldfish is a pet, a family pet, just as important really. They bring a lot of pleasure these fish in this pond, they’re beautiful to sit and watch.”

The 10-year-old should now enjoy another 20 years of life.


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