Nemo-therapy! Zoo staff remove puffer fish’s eye after it got cataracts

April 2, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Zoo staff were forced to operate on the eyes of a colourful PUFFER fish after it developed cataracts.

The fish – the same species as Bloat from Finding Nemo – was suffering a painful swollen eye.

Vets at Bristol Zoo were forced to carry out surgery on the fish – which had to be done out of water.

Mini the puffer fish swims around in her tank after having a successful operation to remove her right eye

Mini the puffer fish swims around in her tank after having a successful operation to remove her right eye

The puffer fish – called Mini – was removed from its tank and doctors removed the eye as water was passed through its gills.

Jonny Rudd, assistant curator, said: ”We had to move quickly to help. The eye was very swollen so it became apparent she was going to need an operation.

“The intricacy of the area meant it was also apparent it would need to be done out of the water.

Staff at Bristol Zoo perform a delicate operation on Mini who was in desperate need of an eye removal after developing cataracts

Staff at Bristol Zoo perform a delicate operation on Mini who was in desperate need of an eye removal after developing cataracts

Bloat the puffer fish from the Pixar classic Finding Nemo

Bloat the puffer fish from the Pixar classic Finding Nemo

“Maintaining anaesthesia in a fish out of water can be challenging, as it involves constantly passing medicated water over the gills of the fish and keeping the skin wet.

“The vet team managed to remove the eye in an operation that lasted one hour. Once the anaesthetic had worn off Mini was returned to a tank behind the scenes where she was given antibiotics and lots of treats, including mussels in shells or her favourite, shore crabs, over the course of a month.

“It took a little while to prepare Mini for surgery by adjusting the concentration of anaesthetic in the water but the procedure itself went very well. Mini is now back where she belongs, swimming happily in her tank.”

Category: Pictures

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