September 16, 2014 / 4:48 AM / 4 years ago

Fish and snips: Australian goldfish surgery goes 'swimmingly well'

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A pet goldfish named George was recovering “swimmingly well” after emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening head tumor, a veterinarian at an Australian animal hospital said.

Veterinarian Tristan Rich said 10-year-old George was unable to eat or swim properly and was starting to “really suffer”, which tipped the scales on the decision to operate.

George, the beloved pet of an unidentified woman who had become “quite attached” to her fishy friend, was sedated in a bucket of water laced with anaesthetic.

Rich then used a gelatine sponge to control bleeding during the tricky piscatorial procedure, which lasted for 45 minutes.

“It’s a very fiddly procedure, and you have to be very careful about blood loss,” Rich, of the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in southern city of Melbourne, told Australian media on Monday.

George’s wound was sealed with tissue glue and he was given injections of antibiotics and painkillers. He is expected to live another 20 years.

A 10-year-old pet goldfish named George prepares to undergo veterinarian Tristan Rich's scalpel to remove a life-threatening head tumor in this handout picture taken September 11, 2014 and provided to Reuters by the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. REUTERS/Lort Smith Animal Hospital/Handout via Reuters

Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Paul Tait

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