Woman saves seahorse with bubble disease

Experts asked if they could do an experiment: putting Louie the seahorse in a hyperbaric chamber, just like a human diver suffering from the bends.

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December 4, 2020 - 1:52 PM

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.

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