MAR 15, 2015 2:34 PM PDT

Going the Distance for a Goldfish

For some people, the price of a pet's health is never too high: A team of veterinarians in Scotland performed a set of operations on pet goldfish that cost nearly $750.
The team - from Inglis Veterinary Hospital in Fife, Scotland - removed the blind, cancerous eye of a goldfish named "Star." They also operated on another fish named "Nemo" to remove a lump. The complex operations, which cost $747 U.S. (500 British pounds), involved an exotic consultant surgeon, a vet to keep the fish anesthetized and a nurse to monitor their heart rates, hospital staff wrote in a Facebook post.
Star the goldfish underwent surgery to remove an eye tumor
"This is a highly specialist field - using anesthetic on a goldfish carries a very high risk -and I'm delighted for the owner that everything went OK and the owners are happy," said exotic-animals expert Brigitte Lord, according to the post. "The financial value of a goldfish may be quite small, but I think the fact that someone should have paid that much for an operation reflects the true value of the bond between pets and humans."

Abby Gordon, 21, a student in Glasgow, won the fish, named Star, at a fairground stall 12 years ago, by throwing a Ping-Pong ball into a goldfish bowl. (Goldfish have an average lifespan of several decades with the proper diet and living conditions; the world's oldest goldfish lived a whopping 43 years, according to Guinness World Records.)Abby's mother, Jane Gordon, "didn't want Star to be lonely," the hospital staff said, so she bought another fish, Nemo.

When a cancerous growth developed on Star's eye, the owners sought to have it surgically removed. During the operation, the vets listened to the fish's blood flow by pulsing it using Doppler ultrasound equipment. They kept the animal asleep by spraying it with a syringe containing oxygenated water and an anesthetic.
After the procedure, the doctors kept Star in a bucket of oxygenated water. They held the fish's mouth open and gently moved it around for 8 minutes to mimic a swimming action, before the animal regained consciousness.Nemo, the fish that shares a tank with Star, had a relatively easy surgery to remove a lump.

This isn't the first time a goldfish has gone under the knife. Last year, a goldfish named George underwent an operation to remove a life-threatening tumor from his head at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

As for Star and Nemo, both fish are now "happily reunited," according to the veterinary hospital's Facebook post. Star is swimming around happily and is getting antibiotics, Jane Gordon said.
"I know it seems like a lot of money to spend on an operation for a goldfish, but what was the alternative?" Gordon said, according to hospital staff. "I think [we have] a social responsibility to look after our pets, and I know my daughter would have been distraught if anything had happened to the goldfish," she added.

Source: Livescience.com
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
DEC 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 17, 2019
Watch Seals Band Together to Scare a Great White Shark Away
Great white sharks are rather renowned for being massive and merciless predators of the ocean, and among their favorite prey are fur seals, which are rich...
DEC 19, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 19, 2019
Tiny Fossils Reveal California's Ocean Acidification History
A century’s worth of microscopic shells has revealed that ocean acidification is occurring in California waters at twice the rate of the global avera...
DEC 29, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 29, 2019
Anthills Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg
At first glance, an anthill looks like a small pile of sand on the Earth with a tiny hole in the top that ants crawl into to evade danger, but they’r...
JAN 07, 2020
Microbiology
JAN 07, 2020
The Unusual Microbiomes of Bats and Birds
Humans might have a critical dependence on the microbes in their guts, but it seems that not all animals do....
JAN 19, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 19, 2020
Why aren't we meeting our forest restoration goals?
A new paper published recently in Conservation Letters hopes to encourage more support for countries aiming to meet their ambitious forest restoration goal...
FEB 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 16, 2020
Drone Footage Shows a Hungry Blue Whale Lunging At Krill
Blue whales are the largest living mammals on Earth, capable of growing as long as three full-length school busses. As you might come to expect, large anim...
Loading Comments...