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Goldfish undergoes brain surgery

Goldfish undergoes brain surgery
Highlights

Goldfish undergoes brain surgery, A Goldfish in Australia is recovering after a tumour was removed from its brain in what was described as “high risk” surgery.

Melbourne: A Goldfish in Australia is recovering after a tumour was removed from its brain in what was described as “high risk” surgery.

George the goldfish, who is ten years old and described as “much-loved”, underwent the surgery several days ago and is recovering well at home in Melbourne.
Dr. Tristan Rich operates on a goldfish named George at Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne (Inset) Tumour seen on the hand of the doctor.
The goldfish’s owner had been left with two options after the tumour appeared on George’s head: either have it operated on or have the fish put to sleep. “She [the owner] was dedicated enough to give it a go,” said Dr Tristan Rich, the vet who performed the delicate operation. George was knocked out with anaesthetic for the 30-minute procedure. “It was quite fiddly, as you can imagine, and you have to control any blood loss. You can only lose half a millilitre,” Dr Rich told radio station 3AW.

But how do you operate on a fish?
The Lort Smith Animal Hospital where the procedure was carried out posted a helpful explanation on its Facebook page.


It involves three buckets – one with a dose of anaesthesia which can knock out a goldfish, a second with anaesthetic to keep the fish unconscious, and the third with clean water to act as a recovery unit.

Once George was knocked out, Dr Tristan Rich ran a tube from the second bucket into George’s mouth. He worked quickly to remove the tumour, using a gelatine sponge to control the bleeding. The wound was difficult to seal, so the vet put in four sutures and then sealed the rest of the wound with tissue glue.

Once it had set, George got to go to the recovery unit and was given oxygen, painkillers and antibiotics. It wasn’t long after the operation that George took a few breaths on his own and started swimming around. How much money was involved? The animal hospital said the costs involved totalled “a couple of hundred dollars”.

And before you get too cynical about the whole thing, bear in mind how attached people can get to their pets. “Everyone forms bonds to pets in different ways and it is not up to us to distinguish between species,” said Dr Tristan Rich.

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