A goldfish from Australia underwent delicate brain surgery to avoid being put to sleep and has pulled through the procedure successfully.
The 10-year-old goldfish named George had a tumor sticking out from his head, according to Business Insider. The goldfish was having trouble eating and swimming properly, and her unidentified owner could no longer bear to see George suffer. The owner could either opt for surgery or have the fish put to sleep, but the owner was not ready to give up on her goldfish just yet.
Tristan Rich, the veterinarian from the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne who performed the operation, said the goldfish had to be given anesthetic for the 45-minute surgery. George was sedated in a bucket of water laced with the medication to put him to sleep, according to Reuters. In total, three buckets of water were used.
The surgery team had to set up “three buckets – one with a knock out dose of anesthetic, one with a maintenance level of anesthetic and one with clean water for recovery.”
Rich had to control the bleeding associated with the surgery as best he could, so he used a gelatine sponge and described the situation as “fiddly.”
“It was quite fiddly as you can imagine and you have to control any blood loss. You can only lose half a milliliter.”
The tumor on the goldfish was removed successfully, and George’s wound was sealed with four sutures and tissue glue. He was given oxygen after he was sent to the recovery unit, according to USA Today.
“Soon afterwards he took a couple of breaths on his own and started swimming around,”a post on Lort Smith Animal Hospital’s Facebook page said.
The goldfish was given painkillers and antibiotics to help him to recover after the surgery, and he is now recovering at home in his pond.
George’s owner couldn’t be happier that she still has her fishy friend because she was “quite attached” to the pretty orange goldfish.
Rich said the operation cost the woman “a few hundred dollars,” but he could not judge her attachment to the creature.
“Everyone forms bonds to pets in different ways and it is not up to us to distinguish between species.”
The goldfish is expected to live for another 20 years, thanks to an important decision made by his loving owner and the life-saving brain surgery he received from Tristan Rich.
[Images via Lort Smith Animal Hospital/Facebook]