Veterinarians Remove Goldfish-Sized Tumor From Goldfish - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

Veterinarians Remove Goldfish-Sized Tumor From Goldfish

He’s feeling fine now.

For a while, Nemo had a pretty difficult life for a British goldfish. A tumor sticking out of the side of his neck grew and grew until it was nearly as big as him. As you can imagine, that’s the kind of situation that makes doing goldfish things—swimming, goggling, bobbing up to the surface for food—rough.

As of last month, though, Nemo has a new swish in his fins. After a 200-mile journey, a 45-minute operation under anesthesia, and a couple of hours of recovery, the tumor is out.

“It was difficult keeping him asleep and alive,” Dr. Sonya Miles, the veterinarian who removed the tumor, told Metro UK. “There was a hairy moment when his heart stopped, but we managed to revive him.”

Goldfish tumorectomy, while not a new practice, has not yet reached the level of acceptability of, say, canine cataract surgery or feline hip replacement. As Rebecca Skloot details in a 2004 New York Times Magazine story, vets once only worked with livestock. It took decades for their patient lists to branch out to smaller species—cats, dogs, birds. Though Nemo’s story counts as a curiosity right now, odds are fish medicine will swim into the mainstream soon, too.

Nemo, most likely, doesn’t care about any of that. He just feels better.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.