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You are here: Home Blog $460 surgery to save clownfish? Worth it.

$460 surgery to save clownfish? Worth it.

By Leonard Ho - Posted Feb 28, 2018 09:00 AM
Our friends at AquaA3 share an inspiring story of a fishkeeper's love. Spending $500 to save a $100 fish is only irrational if you view fish as objects. When it comes to animals that rely on you for their well being, you do all that you can.

Content and translation provided by AquaA3 (link to original Brazilian article)

Two complex surgeries performed in São Paulo (Brazil) saved the life of a pair of Longfin Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris). The animals were weak and had gone through weeks without being able to eat because of mouth tumors that had grown on both fish.

“From the moment someone proposes to take care of an animal, they need to care for real”, said the owner of the fishes.

The veterinary clinic Exotic Pets accepted the challenge and performed the surgical procedures with protocols that were new to the team. The two surgeries lasted 15 minutes each and costs 1,500 brazilian reais (about US$460) for each fish, distributed between appointments, medications and anesthesia.

Veterinary surgeon, Alessandro Bijjeni, described both fish had unidentified masses growing inside their mouths. The anesthesia was administered by the veterinarian, William Petroni Leal. According to the team this was the most difficult step but essential for a painless procedure.

The postoperative was very simple with the addition of antibiotics in the aquarium system. The saltwater itself aids tissue healing. After the surgery, the clownfish pair was observed for two days in a hospital tank with medication and water monitoring. They should return home soon.  The tumors removed have been sent for analysis.

Check this official testimony from the clinic:

Great challenge day!

If we said that we operate fish everyday it would be a tremendous lie. If we say that our anesthetist does this daily it would be another lie. If we say that fish attendance is an ordinary day… you already know, one more lie.

But we prepare for challenges everyday. The Veterinary Medicine needs that.  The animals need that, no matter the species.

It was challenging? Yes, very much… We prepared for that? A lot… Are we satisfied? Even more. We are satisfied at our dedication and ward work to make it work.

Congratulations to the owners, that accepted this challenge with us and also to all our team (William Petroni, Leal Kamal Filho, André Levy Heer), who strives and commit daily to this profession and passion. To us the Veterinary Medicine is much more than a job, it is a lifestyle. IT’S OUR LIFE.

We always say that out mission is not to save all who come to us, but it is to dedicate ourselves to the maximum, to give our best, to seek knowledge every day and thus, to try to really solve problems.

The Exotic Pets veterinary clinic is far from perfect, it is far from being the best, it is far of a lot of things… but we are sure that we are near to our goals with the certainty that we are always trying the best for those who trust us.

Sometimes the owners even seek help but for the lack of professionals that do that kind of surgery, they give up.

We hope this kind of surgery will become increasingly common in Brazil so that fishkeepers can have more options to care for their animals.

Congratulations to the team!

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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