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Fish out of water surgery

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Fish out of water surgery 30/03/2016


Lort Smith vet Dr Tristan Rich has performed an unusual surgery removing a tumour from Bubbles the goldfish.

The surgery went swimmingly and Bubbles has now returned home with his loving owner.

So how do you operate on a fish out of water?

Dr Tristan Rich set up three buckets of water – one with a knock-out dose of anaesthetic added, one with a maintenance level of anaesthetic added and one with clean water as the recovery unit.

“Bubbles went for a swim in the bucket with knock-out anaesthetic and once he was asleep, we ran a tube from the maintenance bucket which was being oxygenated into Bubbles’ mouth so the water washed over his gills,” Dr Tristan said. 

“We worked quickly to remove the tumour and sealed the wound with tissue glue. Once that had set, Bubbles was placed in the recovery unit and given oxygen. He was also given injections with long-acting pain relief and antibiotics. Soon afterwards he took a couple of breaths on his own and started swimming around.”

Nine-year-old Bubbles is a much-loved family member. Goldfish can live up to 30 years so we hope he has many happy years ahead.

If this story sounds familiar, Bubble’s owner found Dr Tristan after reading about his surgery on George the goldfish in 2014. Tristan has become a bit of a celebrity vet here at Lort Smith Animal Hospital and has seen an increase in goldfish patients since George’s surgery Facebook post.

Lort Smith is a not-for-profit organisation which relies on the generosity of the community to continue our important life-saving work caring for animals. To donate to support our work, visit: https://www.lortsmith.com/get-involved/how-to-support-us/donate/donation-form/

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