The owner of a bog-standard office goldfish that had constipation paid £300 for it to undergo a mini operation to relieve its pain.
The fish had one lump removed from its bottom, as the man had noticed it was struggling to pass solids, and another from its dorsal fin in a 50-minute procedure using tiny scalpels after the water it was swimming in was mixed with anaesthetic, the Eastern Daily Press reported.
It was then removed from the tank and placed on its side on a waterproof sheet before anaesthetic-laced water was pumped through its mouth with a tube. A mini heart-rate monitor was also used throughout the operation to check it was still alive and breathing, the paper added.
Faye Bethell, a vet at Toll Barn Veterinary Centre in North Walsham, Norfolk, said that the man, who has not been named, initially turned down the operation when he heard the price. He then agreed to go ahead after he had went away and thought about it for up to 10 minutes.
She told the regional newspaper: “There was nothing special about the fish. He just liked it a lot. People love their pets – but that was an expensive little goldfish.”
After cutting out the lumps, the vet gave it three stitches and used a waterproof skin glue to help it heal while it would be swimming around in its tank. The pet, which would usually cost around £3 to £5 to buy, was almost three years old at the time of the operation. Goldfish can live up to 10 years.
If the fish did not have the operation then its body would have retained too many toxins and would have died, the surgeon said.
The man’s valiant efforts were not in vain as the vet had said that it made a full recovery.
In September last year, a goldfish called George in Australia had a tumour removed from his brain in a risky operation after its owner decided to pay $200, roughly £125, to go ahead with the medical care rather than put it down or leave it to die.
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