Abnormal growths and tumors can lead to the demise of most fish but Ocean Park, a theme-park style aquarium in Hong Kong, recently performed a surgery to remove a large, possibly cancerous tumor from the eye of a clownfish. Ocean Park is home to over 2,500 different species and it is interesting to see this technique performed on this ailing clown.
The clown was a mere 4 cm long with the large growth protruding over its right eye. Ocean Park’s senior veterinarian Fan Rebun compared the tumor to a human having two large oranges protruding from the eye area. While fish surgery many not be something new, the methods employed for this surgery may be. From what we can garner from this article that was published in Cantonese is the “patient” is placed into a separated plastic container filled with plain water on one side and water containing anasthesia.
The fish is placed in the container with anasthesia and once the medication takes hold, the fish is removed and placed on a wet sponge to serve as the operating table. A small tube is fed into the mouth of the fish so it is able to breathe during the surgery. The tubing is connected to both the plain and medicated water. Switches allow the veterinarians to alternated between the two so the fish can breathe but is not over medicated. So far, this method has been employed for hundreds of surgeries.
Ocean Park also employed microscopic surgery since the tumor was so close to the eye. Once the tumor was removed, it will be tested for cancer. If the clownfish does have cancer it will be euthanized but if the tumor is benign, Ocean Park plans on keeping this fish as happy and healthy as possible.
Thanks for the tip on this article Patrick!
[via Ming Pao Daily News]