Choking Goldfish Gets Emergency Pebble Extraction

When a Brisbane woman noticed her pet goldfish choking, it was time for some emergent care, no matter the cost.

A Brisbane, Australia woman noticed her pet goldfish "Conqueror" choking, and she spared no effort (or expense) to get it some help, according to the Courier Mail.

That meant a rush to the nearest veterinary service to try to save the ailing goldy.

"I treat fish like they're any other pet," Emma Marsh explained to the site. The dedicated owner backed up her words with her wallet: The cost for the emergency service was $500, while Conqueror's original cost $12.

"If we did nothing," she said, "he would have starved to death."

Here's what happened next. All photos courtesy of the Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Service.

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First Conqueror was diagnosed with a pebble lodged in its tiny throat -- a huge rock, compared to the size of the fish.

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Next, they needed to numb the fish, which the vets did by dropping an anesthetic in its water. The black spot in its throat paints a gruesome picture of the size of the pebble, relative to the little swimmer:

Teensy-tiny forceps were inserted into its mouth to get hold of the pebble:

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Slowly and carefully, the pebble was brought forward:

Alllmost there...

Finally, the pebble was removed. Poor Conqueror had certainly bitten off more than it could swallow.

Free and clear! The pebble was 8-9 millimeters (0.31 to 0.35 inches) long, according to the Courier Daily -- in a fish only 5 centimeters (1.96 inches) long and weighing just 13 grams (0.45 ounces).

All ended well, according to the veterinarians. Conqueror was given some time to recover and then "went home the next day and so far has stayed out of any more trouble!" the service wrote on its Facebook page.