Goldfish might be among the least-expensive type of pets to purchase, but as the story of a hearty little swimmer named George proves, their lives can be as priceless as any other.
Last week, George's owner brought her beloved pet to veterinarians at Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia in hopes that they might help save his life. The 10-year-old fish had developed a tumor on his head, and the tumor was making it increasingly difficult for him to swim or feed normally.
Dr. Tristan Rich, who assessed the fish's condition, told the owner that he could either put the fish to sleep, or attempt to remove the growth. Performing surgery, especially on fish, can be a risky and costly endeavor, but George's owner agreed that it was worth it.
"It can be a few hundred dollars, and mostly it's charged for the standard anesthetic, also depending on the time it takes. The actual procedure is quick and straightforward," Dr. Rich told the Sydney Morning Herald. "[But] it's quite fiddly, as you can imagine with an 80-gram fish, and you've got to make sure you can control any blood loss. He can only lose about half a mil [milliliter]."