1. It's not unusual to hear of pet owners spending hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars at the veterinarian's office to help their cats and dogs recover from illness.

    When faced with an ailing goldfish, on the other hand, most people seem content to let their finned-friends flounder until it's time to hit the toilet bowl express.

    For a pet that costs as little as 20 cents to replace (and usually lacks the ability to form any sort of emotional bond with humans) this is often the most viable solution for goldfish owners.

    It's not the only solution, however, as a widely-circulated story from the U.K. is showing many online this week.
  2. According to BBC News, a man from Norfolk, England recently paid £300 (about $540 Cdn) to have his sick goldfish treated a local veterinarian's office.

    Vet Faye Bethell of Toll Barn Veterinary Centre in North Walsham, England, examined the fish when it was brought it in and determined that constipation was the problem.

    After consulting with the pet's owner to be sure he wanted to shell out for the procedure, Bethell performed an hour-long surgery on the fish to remove "a lump blocking its bottom" with the help of 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," Bethell told the BBC. "Obviously, we discussed all the options [with its owner] and he made the decision to go for surgery."
  3. Bethell told The Telegraph that the three-inch-long fish (whose name has not been revealed) made a full recovery after the life-saving operation — which involved removing the blockages with a scalpel, stitching the fish shut, and covering its scales with a special waterproof glue.

    "The issue was the fish couldn't poo and it would have eventually become toxic and it would have died," she explained. ""There was nothing special about the fish. He just liked it a lot. People love their pets - but that was an expensive little goldfish."

    Being that goldfish in captivity can have a lifespan of up to 30 years in captivity, the almost 3-year-old fish's owner may actually have gotten some bang for his buck... though not everyone online agrees with his decision.
  4. As crazy as the Norfolk pet owner's actions may seem to some, it's worth noting that his goldfish is not the first to make headlines for undergoing complicated surgery.

    Just a few months back, veterinatrians in Melbourne, Australia removed a tumour from the head of a 10-year-old goldfish named George.

    George's owners — who reportedly own 39 other goldfish — were happy to shell out S200 AUS (about $190 Cdn) for the procedure.

    "We love pulling up a chair and just sitting next to the pond, it's so relaxing just to watch them," they said at the time. "They're not just things in the water ... they're characters."

    How much would you pay to save a pet's life? Weigh in with your own stories and thoughts below.

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