Family Spends $375 On Surgery For Their 20-Year-Old Goldfish

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A family in England noticed a strange lump on their beloved goldfish. The fish, at 20-years-old, felt like part of the family. The choice was difficult. Should they spend the money to have the lump removed?

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The Daily Mail is featuring the story of the operation. At first, any thought they were joking. They were not. This is serious business for fish fans.

Dr Faye Bethell of Toll Barn Veterinary Center in North Walsham, Norfolk performed the operation. Bob, the fish, was on the table for close to half an hour. One of the biggest challenges was keeping him alive long enough to remove the tumor.

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The operation, in American dollars, came out to about $375. Why spend so much? As Dr. Bethell reports, “he is older than their children and very much considered part of the family.”

The fish wasn’t large, so Dr Bethell had to work small. “It’s pretty complicated because everything is so small. They don’t have a massive volume of blood so have to make sure they don’t lose too much blood,” she said.

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Some readers of this article may be questioning the wisdom of the investment. Rightly so. Goldfish are easy to come by. By most assessments, they’re relatively devoid of what one might call a personality. And they don’t live long in captivity. In fact Bob is a rock-star. Most of his kind live just three to five years in their tiny bowls.

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“The option was to remove the lump or put him to sleep and now he is doing brilliantly,” Dr Bethell said. There are other logical options, some have noted.

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Still, this isn’t Dr Bethell’s first unusual surgery. As The Mail reports, she has

* She removed a skin tumour from a 2in hognose snake, which weighed 12g

* Took out a stone from the 5mm-wide ureter of a guinea pig, at a cost of about £600, including post-op care

* Treated sugar gliders (a gliding possum) for a poor diet and a degu (a large rat-like rodent) for diabetes

* Removed an air-rifle pellet from a Mundesley cat, discovered lodged under its skin during a booster jab

* Worked with wildlife rescue groups to save a badly-injured sparrowhawk.

* Spent Boxing Day removing a corn on the cob trapped in a dog’s intestines as well as making a puppy vomit after he ate his owner’s pills.

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Bob survived the operation, and is back home swimming circles in what must feel like a very familiar, and very small pond.