According to reports, pet owner Pip Joyce decided to pay the $200 for the operation when he found a large growth in the head of pet goldfish George, and realized that the growth was adversely affecting the fish’s “quality of life.” Joyce said that he had also observed George was having difficulty eating and swimming, and was even getting picked on by the other fish in the pond.
The pet was then taken to the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in North Melbourne last week, where Dr. Tristan Rich performed the delicate operation. According to Dr. Rich, he gave the owner the choice of removing the tumor or putting the fish to sleep, but George’s owners decided to go forward with the operation, with the fish going under general anesthetic and fed through a special tube in order to keep his gills wet. In all, the surgery took about an hour to complete, and with everything said and done, the fish was “up and about and swimming around” as normal.
That’s not the best news, though, as Dr. Rich believes that George the goldfish could live for an additional 20 years following the surgery. “If their water quality is up to scratch; if there’s enough room for a growing fish – about a few liters per centimeter of fish – and if the fish is fed a good-quality commercial diet, they can live for a long time,” he said.