If you’ve ever had a pet fish, then you probably know that – whilst they are majestic – they aren’t the most exciting creatures in the world.
They spend their days swimming around their tanks, minding their own business.
Occasionally you might be lucky enough to be entertained by a slim trail of faeces that follows them – which somehow isn’t as gross as it sounds.
They are interesting for the first few weeks, but after a while you get used to their wide-eyes watching you as you walk past them and they eventually blend into the background, only changing their pace when it’s dinner time.
While they are beautiful in their own right, they aren’t about to run after a stick you just threw for them or roll over so that you can rub their bellies.
They’re also pretty low maintenance, unless you’re this woman who forked out $500 AUD (or £283) for her squishy little friend.
When worried pet owner, Emma Marsh, discovered that her goldfish had swallowed a pebble in their Brisbane, Australia home, she didn’t hesitate to spend the hefty sum and save its life.
Marsh had bought the goldfish, Conquer, for just $12 (less than £10) just one year ago.
The 21-year-old noticed that Conquer was choking on a piece of shingle in his tank, and she immediately rushed him to the Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Service in Greenslopes.
Money was no object when the vet, Emma McMillan, and her team informed Marsh that they would have to put poor Conquer under in order to save his life – this would cost $500 AUD.
The veterinary team had to drip anaesthetic into Conquer’s water until the fish fell asleep. They then proceeded to tilt his mouth out of the water and use forceps to extract the lodged stone.
Dr McMillan told Brisbane’s Courier Mail: “He is 13g and only 5cm long.”
“The pebble was about eight or nine millimetres long and was stuck lengthways across the side of his mouth, which is why he couldn’t spit it out.”
“He was making excessive mouth movements trying to dislodge it … if we did nothing he would have starved to death.”
Thankfully, the procedure was a fin-tastic success, and Marsh saved Conquer’s life, despite racking up a $100 bill for the emergency consultation plus $400 for the anaesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital.
The centre said: “It really came down to the fact that his mum is so observant. Had she not noticed the subtle changes in her pet, he would surely have starved.
“Most people wouldn’t bat an eyelid spending this money on a dog, cat or child, so why would we value our beautiful exotic pets any less.”
The $500 total cost about the same as 13g in 18-carat gold, and with Conquer’s recovery, he is quite literally worth his weight in gold.