Is there anything more heartbreaking than seeing an animal struggle with disabilities?
Luckily, the world is full of freaks for their pets, so nowadays "wheelchairs" for land animals like dogs, cats, pigs, and even goats have become commonplace.
But human ingenuity isn't reserved for just mammals! When a fish falters, we fly into action!
Swim bladder disease, a common disorder that robs goldfish of their buoyancy and causes them to sink, swim upside down, and/or have a curved spine or swollen belly, is just one more challenge that offers inventive owners the opportunity to make like Nemo's dad Marlin, and leave no shell unturned in the quest to save their babies.
Ada was perhaps the original medical miracle, becoming famous when her owner created a tiny frame using tubing that allowed her to float.
Other goldfish parents have followed Ada's lead by creating harnesses for their own pets when they've tried everything else, including moving the fish into his own tank for a low-stress environment.
While devising a tiny harness and putting it on the sick pet might seem extreme, it beats surgery – which is one of the antiquated methods of fixing an ailing fish.
Goldfish have a life span of as much as 10 years, and a "life jacket" allows the swim-bladder-disordered fish to survive and thrive.
The only drawback to a harness is chafing, as the harness rubs against the fish's scales. This can be minimized by adding aquarium salt to the water.
So the next time you see a goldfish in distress, don't worry – it's not a sink or swim situation. There are fish-first methods that work to keep your goldfish in its glory!