Emma Marsh from Kuraby in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, rushed her one-year-old goldfish, Conquer, to Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Service in Greenslopes after she saw him ingest the pebble and start choking last week.
“I treat fish like they’re any other pet,” 21-year-old Ms Marsh said.
Veterinarian Emma McMillan said even she was surprised by the size of the pebble Conquer had swallowed.
“He is 13g and only 5cm long,” she said.
“The pebble was about 8 or 9mm long and was stuck lengthways across the side of his mouth, which is why he couldn’t spit it back out.
He was making excessive mouth movements trying to dislodge it ... if we did nothing he would have starved to death.”
Dr McMillan and her team dripped anaesthetic into Conquer’s water until the goldfish fell asleep. They then tilted his mouth slightly out of the water in order to place forceps into his mouth to dislodge the stubborn pebble.
Ms Marsh said the emergency consultation cost more than $100, with another $400 for the anaesthetic and overnight hospital stay, but Conquer, who she bought for $12, was now doing fine.