My fish are sick …they are not eating / lethargic / respiring heavily/ have had losses / changed colour / inflammation / sores and lesions?
Whenever fish are sick, it’s the same work up no matter what, because the signs of pH Problems are the same as those of Fluke infestation. So everything starts with water testing and then into treatments.
My Fish Are Sick …They Are Not Eating
It is possible to make a guess – but most guesses are usually wrong. Unfortunately fish disease, as with any other animal pathology, is a complex subject and unfortunately it simply isn’t possible to make a full and accurate diagnosis without examining the both affected fish and the water they live in. The vast majority of problems can be diagnosed fairly easily by testing a range of water parameters and carrying out a thorough examination of one or two fish. It is important to bear in mind that we need to establish what disease is present and any underlying causes. However, this does presume that the fish keeper has both the necessary basic equipment and skills to carry out the examination. If not, then it is important to try and get professional help, either from a fish-friendly vet or an aquatic specialist who will carry out the examination for you.
The only alternative to a proper diagnosis is “dartboard” medication in which the water is treated with a succession of different chemicals in the hope that one will work. But such an approach usually makes matters worse.
Dr Erik Johnson is a Marietta, Georgia Veterinarian with a practice in small animal medicine. He graduated from University of Georgia with his Doctorate in 1991. Dr Johnson is the author of several texts on Koi and Pond Fish Health and Disease as well as numerous articles on dog and cat health topics.