Pet Fish Fitted with Fake Eye in Rare Procedure
A pet angel fish from Missouri now has a custom-painted eye, after a surgery usually done only by major aquariums. Kiwi was fitted with the prosthetic eye by exotic animal veterinarian Megan Baebler.
The other fish in Kiwi’s tank had realized that he’d lost his vision in one eye, according to KTLA. They were sneaking up on his blind side to harass him. He was stressed and missing pieces of his tail from the attacks. Julie Morgan, Kiwi’s owner, had no hesitation about going to such lengths. "He’s something else… If I can give him quality of life, why not?" she told KTLA.
"If I can give him quality of life, why not?" - Julie Morgan, owner
Kiwi had cataract surgery first, but eventually the entire eye had to be removed. Morgan was certain that if he’d been bullied before, it would be worse if he came back missing an eye, according to KTLA. Dr. Baebler hand-painted a tiny artificial eye to match Kiwi's remaining eye, and implanted it in the piscine patient. She donated most of her time to make the procedure affordable.
Kiwi is recuperating in a private tank, but Morgan hopes to return him to his home tank soon, with a new look and new lease on life. "It's going to be the best chance for him to lead a normal life in his tank," Baebler told KTLA.
Cataract Surgery for Animals?
Cataract surgery is frequently done in dogs, but rarely has been done on fish. CNN reported that two fish at the Vancouver Aquarium had prosthetic eyes implanted in 2015, because they also were being bullied. One, a 20- to 30- year-old copper rockfish is now a visitor favorite.