London vet removes tumour from the eye of a goldfish

A top vet carried out painstaking surgery to remove a tumour from the eye of a goldfish after operating seven times on the pet over two years.

William Wildgoose, 62, saved ten-inch-long Speckle's life after he cut out its whole eye, during surgery at the Midland Veterinary Surgery in east London.

The ornamental fish specialist anaesthetised Speckle in a tank before each eight-minute surgery using tiny clamps, forceps, scalpel and cauteriser.

Speckle the goldfish went under the knife after a large black tumour grew out of its eye

Speckle the goldfish went under the knife after a large black tumour grew out of its eye

The huge black tumour that grew out of Speckle's eye was removed after seven operations

The huge black tumour that grew out of Speckle's eye was removed after seven operations

Mr Wildgoose first tried to save Speckle's left eye by removing the growth and ultrasound scans showed the fibroma - or benign tumour - was only growing on its surface.

But he was forced to remove the whole eyeball when the cancer grew back and turned black.

He also removed tumours on the fish's back and treated a bowel condition that made Speckle swim on his side, with antibiotics.

A veterinary nurse had to pour water on Speckle's gills on the operating table every three minutes to stop him suffocating.

Mr Wildgoose had to work fast as the longer the operations, the greater the risk Speckle would die from the anesthetic.

William Wildgoose (pictured), 62, saved ten-inch-long Speckle's life after he cut out its whole eye

William Wildgoose (pictured), 62, saved ten-inch-long Speckle's life after he cut out its whole eye

He charged a total of £350 after seeing the beloved gold-and-white speckled pet a total of seven times at his surgery.

Mr Wildgoose said: 'These tumours quite often appear in different parts of the body, they are common in goldfish; they are not common in the eye.

'Initially it got bigger and then at times bits fell off and before it got much bigger.

'The biggest issue was probably the physical size of the tumour. It can affect its swimming ability and being unable to see meant it bashed into things and that caused bits to break off.

'I've probably removed about a dozen fish eyes altogether, but there are some cases that don't survive.

'The ones that do survive are the ones with big lumps like this because over time it pulls the eye gently out of it socket and stretches the nerve.

'It is not possible to remove the whole tumour in most fish cases and sometimes the best you can do is reduce the size of them and leave the remaining tissue to settle down.

'We felt the most practical solution was going to be to remove the whole eye.

Mr Wildgoose used tiny clamps, forceps, scalpel and cauteriser during the surgery on Speckle

Mr Wildgoose used tiny clamps, forceps, scalpel and cauteriser during the surgery on Speckle

A veterinary nurse had to pour water on Speckle's gills on the operating table every three minutes to stop him suffocating. Pictured, the fish after surgery

A veterinary nurse had to pour water on Speckle's gills on the operating table every three minutes to stop him suffocating. Pictured, the fish after surgery

'By the time it got bigger and black it wasn't able to see anything out of eye so it's not as if we could improve on that.'

Mr Wildgoose carried out seven procedures on the speckled gold-and-white fish from April 2013.

He treated Speckle for a bowel condition which was making him swim on his side and he lived on two years.

The vet admitted being saddened to hear

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