Two pet goldfish undergo £500 operations to remove tumours

A nurse attends the recovering goldfish
A nurse attends the recovering goldfish

Two pet goldfish are recovering after undergoing almost £500 worth of medical treatment.

Star had a blind, cancerous eye removed in an operation involving a team of vets from Inglis Veterinary Hospital in Dunfermline, Fife.

On the same day they removed a lump from Star's aquarium partner Nemo, with both operations costing the owner almost £500.

Star came into the Gordon family after being won at the local fair for pocket change 12 years ago by Abby Gordon, now a 21-year-old student in Glasgow.

They live in her mother Janie Gordon's home in Dollar, Clackmannanshire.

Mrs Gordon said: "I know it seems like a lot of money to spend on an operation for a goldfish but what was the alternative?

"I think we've 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: "Star is fine.

"He's swimming about happily and the vets have shown me how to give antibiotics too.

"I probably couldn't have chosen a better vets. I'm not sure anyone else would have attempted it."

During the operation on Friday, the vets used Doppler ultrasound equipment to listen through earphones to pulse sounds in order to evaluate Star's blood flow.

To keep the fish asleep throughout the procedure it was syringed with oxygenated water containing anaesthetic.

After the procedure, Star was delicately held in a bucket of oxygenated water and, with his mouth kept open, was gently moved, mimicking the swimming action and allowing water to flow over the gills, for around for eight minutes before he effectively came back to life.

The procedure involved an exotic consultant surgeon, a vet keeping the goldfish under anaesthetic and a nurse monitoring their heart rates.

The operation was carried out on the six-inch fish by exotic animals expert Brigitte Lord.

She said: "This is a highly specialist field, using anaesthetic on a goldfish carries a very high risk and I'm delighted for the owner that everything went okay and the owners are happy.

"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."

Star and Nemo have now recovered from their surgery and are back in a tank in the Gordon family kitchen.

Adam Tjolle, managing director of Inglis Veterinary Centres, said: "In all my years as a vet I have never known anything quite like this. It's been an amazing experience."