to Pet Health Network or

Answers from vets about your pet:

Pet Goldfish Undergoes High Risk Brain Surgery

Posted September 16, 2014 in A Pet's Life

George is not your average 10-year-old goldfish. As reported by the Harold Sun, while other fish were relaxing in their underwater castles, George was actually going under the knife for brain surgery—yes, you read the right. George the goldfish had a tumor removed from his brain that was half the size of his head!

The Washington Post said that Pip Joyce and Lyn Orton, George’s guardians, were given two options: either they put their beloved George down or pay for a life-saving, yet high risk, operation to remove the tumor. Orton and Joyce made the choice to save George. “They’re not just things in the water—they’re characters,” said Orton to Harold Sun reporter Andrea Hamblin. the pair didn’t hesitate to pay the $200 for the operation.

“Goldfish"The operation, offered by Dr. Tristan Rich, a veterinarian at Lort Smith Animal Hospital, had been “quite fiddly,” said Dr. Rich. Because George is so small, if he had lost even .5 millimeters of blood, he could have died.

The Herald Sun went on to report that to prepare for the surgery, George was put into a water tank, mixed with enough anesthetic to safely knock him out. After being removed from the tank, a tube was attached to his mouth so the water and anesthetic could be flushed over his gills by the operating team. Dr. Rich recalls, “When it was all done we woke him up in a clean bucket of water—he came through it swimmingly.”

Since having the surgery, it looks like George could have as many as 20 more years to just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming! This is one tough goldfish!

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Share This Article

Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.

Opinions expressed are those of the writer:

The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies.