Surgeons can remove just about anything these days, even a goldfish's brain tumor. I know you are waiting for a punch line. There is none -- it really happened. In Australia as a matter of fact. To George.
George is a ten-year-old goldfish that just wasn't acting right. Even his buddies in the bowl noticed something was wrong with George. Over the past year George had developed a large growth on his head.
The other fish started to bully him. He was having trouble sleeping and eating and just in general getting around. Try swimming with a lump as big as an extra head. It's not very easy.
But after an hour-long procedure at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Australia, surgeon Tristin Rich said George was off the hook. "It was quite an intricate little surgery really," he said.
The medical team took water in buckets from his pond and brought it to use during surgery. They fed George through a feeding tube in his mouth to keep his little gills wet. The biggest concern was controlling blood loss because he is such a tiny guy.
Dr. Tristan worked quickly to remove the large tumor, 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 Tristan put in four sutures then sealed the rest of the wound with tissue glue. Closing him up was no easy feat because, being tiny, George doesn't have a lot of extra skin.
George's owner Joyce was impressed with the whole procedure. She said, "Just the way she was able to put the fish to sleep I think... And then stitching it up a little bit, minute little fishy stitches."
Joyce spent hundreds of dollars to have this operation done but it's her family's pet and she has enjoyed watching him swim around in the pond with his 20 other fish friends, who will hopefully take it easy on him while he recuperates.
It's not likely that George will forget all this kindness, at least short term. Goldfish's memory lasts about three months, which of course is nothing next to an elephant. They never forget anything.
George does have a Facebook page if you would like to follow his progress.