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Denver Zoo's Tilting Angelfish Gets a CT Scan

Turns out to be too much gas; jokes about critter having better health insurance than most ensue
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2023 10:30 AM CDT
How a Denver Zoo Fish Got a CT Scan
A CT scan of a French angelfish. A zoo worker noticed it was swimming with a tilt. The 7-inch fish was sedated, balanced on a sponge, and had water poured over its gills to keep it alive during a CT scan. Inflamed intestines were causing increased internal gas, affecting the fish's buoyancy.   (Denver Zoo via AP)

A fancy-looking French angelfish that was found one day with a funny float has its buoyancy back after taking some time from its tropical trappings to get a CT scan at the Denver Zoo. A zoo worker recently noticed the blue-and-yellow fish was swimming with a tilt, prompting a visit last week to the facility's on-site hospital for an ultrasound and the CT scan. The CT scan took place in a machine large enough to fit a 700-pound grizzly bear, so some special accommodations were required, zoo spokesperson Jake Kubie said. The approximately 7-inch fish was sedated, balanced upright on a sponge, and had water poured over its gills to keep it alive as the scan took place.

The diagnosis, per the AP: too much gas. Enteritis, or inflamed intestines, had resulted in increased internal gas that was affecting the fish's buoyancy, Kubie said. "It was treated with antibiotics," he says. "It's doing much better and swimming normally." Notes Insider: the fish apparently "has better medical insurance than most Americans."

(More fish stories.)

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