Life-Threatening Surgery Performed to Remove Tumor…From a Goldfish?

Fixing Nemo

I don’t mean to sound insensitive to the fish lovers of the world, but…aren’t all goldfish pretty much alike?

Tell that to the owners of George the Goldfish (hey, at least they didn’t name him Fluffy). Determined not to flush poor George into the afterlife, George’s guardians took him to Dr. Tristan Rich, the head of exotics and wildlife medicine at an Australia hospital, after they realized something was terribly wrong.

George had a lump on his head that was discovered to be a tumor, and it turned out that the only way to have it removed was through a meticulous $200 surgery.

So, George’s parents plopped down the cash, and the procedure on the fish that they had owned for 10 years began.

For the owners, it’s not about having a fish; it’s about having THIS fish,” explained Dr. Rich. “If you have a pet, regardless of what it is, then you have a responsibility to look after it as best you can.”

The New York Post described in great detail the medical approach taken to tackle George’s life-threatening lump:

The extensive procedure all went down with the help of three buckets filled with water – one with a mild anesthetic, one with a strong anesthetic and the last with oxygen. Dr. Rich then used a tiny tube to trickle the water over George’s gills “to keep him asleep and alive,” he told the Mail. After carefully slicing away at the tumor, which had grown all the way down into George’s skull, the skilled vet managed to successfully remove what had been causing so many problems. Once the pioneering surgery was complete, Rich had to think quick on his feet so he could properly close up his incisions. “Very little of our methods are fish-specific,” he said. “We tried to seal him closed with sutures but they didn’t take, so we had to use tissue glue to seal the cut, which is used in surgery on humans.”

Man, that sounds exhausting. But after 45 agonizing minutes, we are all happy to report that a lump-free George was swimming once again.

I think this calls for a celebration. Anyone up for sushi?


Matt Fox

Senior Editor

Fox has history in broadcasting that spans two decades. From his early days as an FM host and club DJ in the mid-90′s to his later experiences in political talk radio, he has always had a knack for combining topical news with his love for popular culture. Those experiences culminated in his position as executive producer for several radio shows featured in the TALKERS Heavy 100. Originally from New York, Fox has made the great pilgrimage down to sunny south Florida.

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