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Fish Medicine

Here at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital, we are able to care for many different species but we aren’t just limited to terrestrial animals. We are also able to take care of many different species of aquatic animals including fish, corals, and other invertebrates. Dr. Colin McDermott is able to provide medical care for many species of aquatic animals and provide consults on tank care, maintenance, and water quality.

Although these animals live underwater, they can still get many of the same diseases as our terrestrial animals. We commonly see infections caused by different types of parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Disease can also be caused by poor environmental conditions (poor water quality), inflammatory changes, or neoplasia (cancer or tumors).

Just like other animals, we can perform a full examination (and tank evaluation) to determine the cause of the disease. If needed, we can also perform a number of diagnostic tests, including skin scrapes, gill clips, bloodwork, radiographs, ultrasound, and even biopsy and cultures as needed. Based on the examination and diagnostics, we can prescribe treatments for the disease or even perform surgery to get the fish back to good health.

If you have any questions about your aquatic animals or think that they may be sick, please contact us. We are happy to be here 24/7 for all of your pets!

Common signs that your fish is sick:

  • Flashing (rubbing against items in the aquarium)
  • Breathing at the surface of the water
  • Heavier or more rapid breathing (gilling)
  • Not eating
  • Lethargy/weakness
  • White or red spots along the body of fins
  • Tattered fins
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Swollen belly (coelom)
  • Sinking to the bottom or floating to the surface (buoyancy issues)
  • Weight loss, loss of body condition
  • Color change (darker or lighter in color)
  • Swimming alone or away from the school of fish

Author: Dr. Colin McDermott

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