Rocky: The Rock-Eating Catfish

Meet Rocky…

As you can plainly see, Rocky has been a naughty little catfish and decided to eat something he wasn’t supposed to. In this case, the rocky substrate on the bottom of his tank. The only way to get them out? Open our shovelnose catfish friend up and take them out surgically.

Here we have the whole team working together to get the rocks out of Rocky. Sara (at top) was in charge on monitoring Rocky’s anesthetic level. We learned during this surgery that catfish go much deeper than koi or goldfish with our usual anesthetic levels. After a few adjustments with fresh water, Rocky was good for the rest of surgery.

Here, Dr. Sanders sutures closed Rocky’s stomach after all the rocks are removed. A few actually fell out of his mouth while we were manipulating the stomach.

Here’s a small portion of the rocks we removed. Look familiar to you fish tank owners?

And here Rocky is, post-surgery, in his recovery tank. He floats a lot better now! In total we took out 2/3 lbs of rocks. Rocky’s sutures will be in for 10-14 days and then they will be removed.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Rocky’s home recovery did not go well. His tank mates thought that his sutures looked like tasty treats and tried to nibble his incision open! Rocky returned to our hospital for a re-suturing and will complete his recovery away from his obnoxious tankmates.

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4 thoughts on “Rocky: The Rock-Eating Catfish

  1. 😀 I was the one who recommended your care of this fish! I’m so glad he got the help he desperately needed!

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