31 Dec Fish vets
A little fish can seem a tiny, insignificant being. Or maybe something cute and cheerful, with its bright colors, but a little fish after all.
Some people actually care about their fishes, love them because they’ve been with them for a long time, or because they keep them company, or because they are very proud of the aquarium where the fish live, a real and perfectly balanced ecosystem in which the smallest mistake can kill all the members of a certain species (or even worse, all the fishes in the tank).
Flash is a goldfish (Carassius auratus), which lives with another goldfish in a small fish tank. Its owner noticed that Flash had developed some kind of lumps on its back, and convinced her father to take it to the vet.
After a short interview at the consultation room (anamnesis, in which all sorts of questions regarding the conditions in which the animal lives, how long it has been sick for, etc.), I put Flash under anesthesia for a basic physical exam and taking a small sample from the lesion.
Unfortunately during the physical exam the biggest lump bursted and its contents disappeared into the water. Flash went back home with an antiobiotic treatment, because I thought it was a bacterial infection.
New lumps came out despite the treatment, so we decided to perform a more serious surgery on Flash. I put it under general anesthesia, opened all the lumps , cleaned them up and stitched them with the tiniest stitches ever (Flash only weighed 3 grams). The analysis of the lump’s contents showed a microscopic parasite, which multiplies inseide the muscle and internal organs of the affected fish, causing lumps like Flash’s.
Veterinarians are trained to follow a protocol (anamnesis, physical exam, testing, diagnosis, anad treatment) which allows us to address animal diseases from a scientific point of view, and therefore with greater chances of curation.
Our knowledge about animal anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and anesthesia, and diagnostic techniques lets us reach where no one else can regarding animal’s health.
Flash’s story illustrates how the solution to its problem was in the vet’s hands, a specialized professional.