According to veterinary Sonya Miles, who helped perform on Molly, “It barely registered on our scales. It’s not common across the UK to bring your fish to the vets, but it is here.” The vets diagnosed the bump as a tumor and prepared Molly for emergency surgery.
The fish was submerged in a tank of anesthetic solution. Once the fish’s reflexes were disabled and it was asleep, it was laid on the operating area. The incision was covered with a water-proof paste, and was then awoken in fresh water. The operation was a success.
The tumor was removed in just 40 minutes, requiring very steady hands and eyesight. The operation cost less than €100 ($124), and Molly woke up minutes after being taken off of anesthesia. Molly was returned home to live another day in her tank.
Previously, the smallest animal to have surgery performed was a dwarf hamster named Mr. Nibbles. The surgery took place on April 19th, 2018 at New Perth Animal Hospital in Canada. Mr. Nibbles was 50 grams, which is roughly two cotton balls. The hamster had injured his paw after a hamster wheel accident and required an amputation.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Claudia Lister. The main problem she faced when it came to the surgery was trying to figure out the dosage of anesthesia to give to the hamster. Too large of a dose would kill the hamster, and not enough wouldn’t be effective, causing great pain. Lister had to make special equipment to use on the hamster and use a magnifying glass to make sure her movements were precise. The surgery was successful, and the hamster was awake and nibbling on a treat minutes after.
Even though the animals performed on were extremely small, and some may argue that it isn’t worth performing on these animals due to their short lifespans, both Dr. Lister and Sonya Miles state that they’re happy to save animals no matter how small, and are glad to send them home in good condition. Thanks to veterinarians with good hearts and strong skills, these tiny animals will experience life to its fullest. That’s miraculous.