TIME animals

This Clearly Beloved Goldfish Got a $500 Life-Saving Surgery

After eating a pebble

Most goldfish live short, uneventful lives. But Conquer — the aquatic pet of 21-year-old Emma Marsh of Brisbane, Australia — is no ordinary goldfish.

The one-year-old little fish received a life-saving emergency veterinary surgery last week when Marsh noticed he was making “excessive mouth movements,” the Courier Mail reports.

It turned out that he had consumed a pebble that was about a fifth of his body length, making it impossible for him to chew, eat, or swallow. Marsh rushed him to the Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Service, where some nimble-fingered veterinarians anesthetized Conquer and extracted the pebble with forceps. The fish even got to stay at the hospital overnight; fancy! And he has since fully recovered and is in stable condition, according to Buzzfeed News.

For the service, however, Marsh dished out a full $500, according to the Mail, while Conquer had initially costed $12.

“I treat fish like they’re any other pet,” Marsh told the Mail. A spokesperson for the veterinary hospital noted that it was due to Marsh being so observant that Conquer’s issue was recognized at all.

Conquer isn’t the first goldfish to receive special treatment in Australia recently, either; in 2014, ten-year-old (!) George underwent a rare surgery to remove a life-threatening tumor. That operation, however, only cost $200.

 

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team