Goldfish in Australia undergoes brain surgery: Other interesting stories of animal medicine

Conquer the goldfish undergoing surgery to have a pebble removed.
Conquer the goldfish undergoing surgery to have a pebble removed.PHOTO: BRISBANE BIRD AND EXOTICS VETERINARY SERVICES/ FACEBOOK

A goldfish in Brisbane, which cost its owner just A$12 (S$12.30) at the pet store, underwent a A$500 emergency surgery earlier this month after it accidentally swallowed a pebble. 

The field of veterinary surgery involves much more than spaying and neutering, as these stories of animal medicine show.

1. Mogul the rhinoceros


Mogul the rhino. PHOTO: ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY BULLETIN

In 1908, an Indian rhinoceros in a New York zoo, named Mogul, underwent cataract surgery to treat its growing blindness.

Before the three-hour operation could take place, Mogul had to be anaesthesised - which was no mean feat. It took several vets and keepers an hour, 680g of chloroform and 340g of ether to anaesthesise Mogul.

"The operation was bloodless and painless," a report in the Zoological Society Bulletin said.

"The animal, despite the enormous amount of anaesthetic taken, was standing upon his feet within 40 minutes after the operation."

2. Kramer the dog

A three-legged dog in the Australian town of Bright faced the grim prospect of becoming a two-legged dog after tearing the tendon in its right front leg in 2008.

Kramer's left front leg had been amputated when it was younger.

A vet managed to surgically re-attach the tendon and Kramer's leg was put in a custom-made frame.

Owner Scott Sloane told the Sunday Herald Sun that Kramer's recovery was worth the A$4,000 price tag.

"He's such an active and happy dog and now he's back to his old self," Mr Sloane was quoted as saying.

3. Socks the cat


Ms Rebecca Scrivener and her husband Thomas Davies spent $12,000 on the medical bills and to implant a human pacemaker into the heart of their adopted stray cat, Socks. PHOTO: ST FILE

Socks might have been the first cat in Singapore to get a pacemaker.

In 2012, 12-year-old Socks was diagnosed with a heart condition that could end its life at any minute.

Owners Rebecca Scrivener and Thomas Davies bit the bullet and cut back on their personal expenses to be able to afford Socks' $12,000 medical bill.

Ms Scrivener told The Straits Times: "That is a lot of money to spend on a cat that is already quite old. We had to pay pretty much all of it at once.

"But we worked out that if Socks was to live at least two more years, the veterinarian fees would work out to be just about $350 or so a month.

"Having Socks in our lives makes us happy so we decided to do it."

4. George the goldfish


George the goldfish undergoing surgery. PHOTO: REUTERS

Melbourne goldfish George got a new lease of life in 2014, at the ripe old goldfish age of 10.

George had a successful operation to remove a life-threatening brain tumour, after its owner was reluctant to have the goldfish euthanised.

The surgery involved buckets of anaesthetic-laced water to put George under.