Constipated goldfish operated on by North Walsham vet

Goldfish being operated on Image copyright Faye Bethell
Image caption The goldfish was kept wet throughout the operation and its heart rate monitored with a tiny probe

A goldfish lover from Norfolk paid hundreds of pounds in vets' fees when his pet became constipated.

The owner took his ailing fish to Toll Barn Veterinary Centre in North Walsham where vets told him it was constipated and an operation would cost about £300.

Vet Faye Bethell used anaesthetised water to knock out the goldfish before removing the blockages.

"At the end of the day they're all pets and everybody does have a commitment to their pet," Miss Bethell said.

"[The goldfish] was constipated because he had a lump blocking his bottom, rather than because of his diet or any other reason," she said.

Image copyright Faye Bethell
Image caption Anaesthetic was bubbled through the goldfish's water

The operation, which took almost an hour, was performed by Miss Bethell, assisted by two veterinary nurses.

"We've got one nurse who bubbles anaesthetic gas through a tube that goes in through its mouth and over its gills, and then we have a second nurse to monitor with a probe to check the heart rate," Miss Bethell said.

"Obviously, we discussed all the options [with its owner] and he made the decision to go for surgery.

Fishy facts

Modern goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) are a domesticated version of a wild carp from east Asia

  • Scientists studying goldfish say they can perceive the same colours we do, which not even all primates can do
  • Humans have three types of colour-sensing cells in their eyes but goldfish have a fourth type of colour receptor that allows them to perceive ultraviolet light

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