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Taking a fish to the veterinarian


Advise clients over the phone that:

·        Fish hide the signs of disease as a natural reflex.

Therefore any signs of illness or abnormal behaviour need immediate attention.

·        Any fish displaying obvious signs of disease is often suffering from a life threatening condition.

·        Some fish continue to eat right up to the point of death. Eating does not necessarily mean the fish is healthy.

·        Most conditions cannot be diagnosed over the phone. As fish hide the signs of disease, further diagnostic tests may be needed at the time of consultation to establish a diagnosis.


Advise clients coming to the vet to bring:

·        The fish in some of its tank water and bring a second equal amount of the tank water for water quality testing and for recovery of the fish if sedation is required.

·        The fish in a container/bag that should have enough water for the fish to swim upright and also contains an airspace and/or have enriched oxygen in the water.

·        When applicable, a dying fish to sacrifice for post-mortem examination prior to its death to check for diseases in the other remaining fish.

·        All medications and supplements.

·        Samples of all the fish’s food.

·        Some fresh faeces from their other fish.


Advise the client to bring details of:  

·        Water volume, temperature and frequency of cleaning.

·        Pumps and filters in the tank.

·        Heating.

·        Lighting.

·        Water quality tests performed.

·        Fish species, size, numbers and quarantine procedures.

·        Food type, amount fed and storage.

·        Medications used and frequency.

·        History of new plants, rocks and fish in the tank.



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All care has been taken to ensure that the information contained on, and accessed through, this web site is correct but Bird Veterinarian accepts no responsibility nor liability for, and makes no representations with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information on this web site. The information contained on the Bird Veterinarian web site is intended as a general guide only and should not be relied on in place of professional veterinary consultation.