ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — In February, Carol Benge of Chiefland, Florida, purchased a seahorse for her home aquarium as a reward for marking five years cancer-free.
She named the little black-and-silver fish Louie. As the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation, Benge, a schoolteacher, relaxed whenever she watched the 3-inch creature float around the tank and fed him tiny brine shrimp.
In September, Louie seemed to have trouble swimming. He moved horizontally and appeared listless. Even more troubling were the small, pearl-like bubbles clustered on his tail. Benge had done a lot of research on seahorses and suspected he had something called gas bubble disease, similar to a human scuba diver getting the bends from surfacing too quickly.