One pet goldfish in Australia has a new reason to swim after a veterinarian performed a successful tumor removal.
The couple who owns George, a 10-year-old goldfish, were unwilling to resign their aquatic friend to a septic-system grave after noticing a large growth on his head.
According to a September 15 Washington Post article, George’s owners spent hundreds of dollars to enlist the help of Tristan Rich, head of the exotic and wildlife team at Melbourne’s Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne.
“Fish was having trouble eating, getting around, getting bullied by the other fish,” Rich said of the tumor-ridden goldfish.
“Didn’t join in as much in their afternoon party games and stuff, you know…. He never really said much to us,” Pip Joyce, George’s owner, said to CNN.
To remove the tumor, Rich first sedated the goldfish with an anesthetic, then ran a tube into George’s mouth that administered water with a smaller dosage of anesthetic to keep him under. Rich then removed the tumor from the fish’s head, using a special medical sponge to stem the bleeding.
To seal up the wound, Rich put four rows of stitches in, along with tissue glue, according to the Washington Post. Upon being placed in a recovery unit with some painkillers and antibiotics, George was back to swimming around like normal.
Joyce, along with George’s other owner, Pip Orton, own 39 fish together, the Washington Post reports. They had become “quite attached” to George, and thus didn’t want to choose the alternative option of dealing with his tumor — which was putting him to sleep.
After this surgery, however, George will be able to just keep swimming for as many as 20 more years.
“Yeah it’s a goldfish, all creatures great and small,” Joyce told CNN. “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.”