Meet George, a 10-year-old goldfish whose owners decided for him to undergo surgery last week to remove a tumor bulging from his head. The tumor removal was performed by Dr. Tristan Rich of Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia where he resides as head of the exotic and wildlife veterinary team.
How does one perform such an extensive surgery on such a small life form? Lort Smith Animal Hospital’s Facebook page states, “Working with unusual pets and wildlife means that Dr. [Rich] has developed a lateral approach to creating effective theatre set ups and we are always amazed at the way he finds a way to help these little critters.” Dr. Tristan Rich has the expertise and the proper equipment: 3 buckets.
- Bucket #1 contained a dose of an anesthetic to knock George out.
- Bucket #2 contained a “maintenance level” of the anesthetic.
- Bucket #3 contained clean water for George to recover.
Prepping him for surgery, Dr. Rich put George in a bowl of water spiked with anesthesia to put him under. Once asleep, Dr. Rich infused a tube into his mouth with anesthetic water from Bucket #2 to wash over his gills. Dr. Rich then removed the tumor and sealed the fish’s wound with 4 stitches and tissue glue.
George was then ready for recovery and placed in Bucket #3 while given oxygen as well as injections of antibiotics and pain relievers. Before long, George was breathing and swimming again and was ready to return home to his owners. According to NBC News, the surgery cost approximately $300 and George is not the first goldfish to undergo this surgery and survive. Does this mean goldfish are covered on the family insurance plan? With a 10-year life span, one would think.
See Lort Smith Animal Hospital’s Facebook post on George here: