Veterinary Fish Care
Fish are quite popular as pets and some, like koi, make attractive additions to garden ponds. At All Kinds Veterinary Hospital in Callaway, koi are the most common fish our veterinarian can treat, due to their larger size, longer lifespan (they can live up to 30 years), and being more expensive than your typical goldfish. Koi usually live together in a group and if one becomes sick, this can quickly affect the others. If necessary, Dr. Adam Terry can make house calls to clients with koi ponds to check in on the fish and look for unusual changes in their behavior.
Examining & Treating Your Fish
While it is possible to conduct a physical examination on a fish, we prefer to examine them in their own habitats, where we can observe their behavior and address any problems they might have, or have had in the past.
It’s important to remember that fish are not nearly as low-maintenance as you might expect. Water quality, husbandry, nutrition and other life support systems can greatly increase the longevity of your fish. If you’re a new owner of koi or other fish, we will want to discuss various topics with you, including:
- The size of their pond or aquarium
- The total fish population
- Water temperature
- Filtration systems
- Water quality
When observing your fish, your veterinarian will look for unusual color changes, lesions on the eyes, or any indication of musculoskeletal issues. Fish can experience fungal and viral infections and parasite infestations like any other pet (koi can be vulnerable to herpesvirus), which can be indicated by abnormal behaviors. Some fish may develop growths, which your veterinarian will surgically remove if necessary with the aid of a special anesthetic that dissolves in water.
Abnormal Behaviors in Fish
The following behaviors could be indicative of disease or infection, so let us know if you see your fish:
- Coughing – rapid opening/closing of gill covers
- Flashing – rubbing against objects/surfaces
- Piping – going to the surface to obtain oxygen
- Assuming an abnormal posture
Need Help with Your Fish? Let Us Know!
If you need to bring your fish in to see their veterinarian, make sure they’re kept in a tightly sealed container in water taken from their regular habitat. To schedule an appointment here in Callaway or to request a house call, get in touch with us at (301) 994-9919.