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Successful Brain Surgery Performed On 10-Year-Old Goldfish Named George

Nurse! I'm going to need some bloodworms, stat!


Sometimes, gold can stay: according to the the BBC, a beloved 10-year-old pet goldfish named George was recently saved from euthanasia after undergoing successful “high risk” brain surgery to remove a massive brain tumor. Says George, “Who? You did what? What’s this wall doing here? Where am I? Huh? What’s this wall doing here?”

In a radio interview describing the delicate procedure, veterinarian Dr. Tristan Rich of Australia’s Lort Smith Animal Hospital says his ten-year-old patient is now “up and about and swimming around” after “having a […]  quite large tumour on the top of his head that was growing slowly, and […] beginning to affect his quality of life.” According to Dr. Rich, the durable little fish could now easily live to see thirty.

The Lort Smith Animal Hospital took to Facebook to outline George’s operation:

Dr Tristan Rich, head of Lort Smith’s exotic and wildlife vet team, set up three buckets – one with a knock out dose of anaesthetic, one with a maintenance level of anaesthetic, and one with clean water as the recovery unit.


Once George was asleep, Dr Tristan ran a tube from the maintenance bucket which was being oxygenated, into George’s mouth, so that the water with the maintenance dose of anaesthetic washed over his gills.

Dr Tristan worked quickly to remove the large tumour, although the size of it meant that he had to use a gelatine sponge to control the bleeding during surgery. The size of the wound meant it was difficult to seal, so Dr Tristan put in four sutures then sealed the rest of the wound with tissue glue.


Once that had set, George was placed in the recovery unit and given oxygen. He was given injections with long acting pain relief and antibiotics. Soon afterwards he took a couple of breaths on his own and started swimming around.


The entire 45-minutes procedure (described by Dr. Rich as “fiddly!’) cost George’s person just $200–a fair price considering she now has two more decades to bask in her pet’s blank stares and total ambivalence. On that note, if you’re one of the inevitable algae-eaters who think George didn’t deserve a life-saving operation just because he’s not as cuddly as the typical candidate for veterinary surgery, then get flushed! Fish are friends, not fodder for your self-righteous pragmatism!

Someday goldfish may be operating on us (once we use our surgical skills to imbue them with super-intelligence, that is). I shall hope they show the same extreme professionalism as Dr. Rich, patron saint of easily-disposable pets everywhere.

(via io9)

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