Back Print Save Bookmark in my Browser Main : Course Catalog : Basic Fish Medicine


EXOT200-0304: Basic Fish Medicine

Drury Reavill, DVM, ABVP, certified in avian practice, DACVP
Zoo/Exotic Pathology Service
2825 KOVR Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95605

Joseph M. Groff, VMD, PhD
Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California, Davis, 95617

March 3rd - April 14th, 2004
Interactive Sessions: Wednesdays; 9:30- 11:30 PM ET (US)

Course Description

Aquarium fish medicine is a challenging and exciting area of veterinary medicine. It is fortunate that as veterinarians, we are uniquely trained to work-up diseases and attempt therapies in many animal species. These skills serve us well in the realm of aquarium fish. The only additional skill needed will be an understanding of the fish environment. Included in this course is an overview of the basic aquarium system, water quality, fish anatomy, nutrition, behavior, the multitude of agents of disease, common diagnostics, and fish therapeutics.

Weekly Topics:

* Introductory and orientation session

* Session 1-Basic Anatomy/Physiology

  1. Principles of anatomy and physiology will be discussed in a clinical context. The physiology of osmoregulation and waste excretion will be stressed due to their association with disease conditions and water quality.
* Session 2- Husbandry
  1. Husbandry will focus on tanks and pond design and management, nutrition, filtration and lighting.
* Session 3-Water Quality
  1. The management and evaluation of water quality parameters and their association with disease will be stressed. These parameters include nitrogenous waste products (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate), oxygen, pH, water hardness and potential toxic agents.
* Session 4-Agents of Disease
  1. Common infectious disease agents will be discussed including parasitic, bacterial, viral and fungal. Miscellaneous non-infectious conditions will also be considered.
* Session 5-Diagnostics
  1. Diagnostic techniques discussed will include history, anesthesia, wet mount examination, biopsies, necropsies, fecals, radiographs, blood collection, bacterial cultures and fish behavior.
* Session 6-Therapy and Case Examples
  1. The course will conclude with a discussion of disease treatment protocols including the selection and administration of therapeutic agents (antibiotics, antiparasiticides) for infectious disease conditions.
  2. Case examples will be presented to integrate and highlight the basic information discussed during the course.
Completion of the Aquatic Medicine Course will provide course participants with:
  1. The basic and essential knowledge necessary to successfully diagnose and manage disease conditions in fish. Attention will focus on fish husbandry and management, water quality parameters, fish anatomy and physiology, the various etiologies of fish disease, the importance of a proper history and examination of the environment and patient(s) for proper disease diagnosis, diagnostic techniques and treatment. Integration and application of this basic information will provide course participants with the requisite knowledge and skills necessary for the successful evaluation, diagnosis and management of fish diseases.
  2. An understanding of fish husbandry and management. These concepts will be stressed since poor management and water quality are often the most important causes of disease conditions in fish. Assessment of the various water quality parameters and their relationship to disease will be a continual theme throughout the course
  3. The knowledge and skills necessary to perform a complete history and physical examination. A complete history and examination includes an evaluation of current and past husbandry conditions and the environment. Methods and techniques to perform a physical exam and diagnostic tests on affected fish will be highlighted.
  4. Successful disease treatment and management protocols relative to the most common infectious and non-infectious disease conditions encountered in the practice of fish medicine. Clinical cases will be used to highlight these concepts.
Benefit to the participant:
Integration of the basic information presented in the course will provide course participants with the requisite knowledge and skills necessary for the successful evaluation, diagnosis and management of fish diseases. Participants already familiar with this basic knowledge will also benefit by learning and discussing current skills and techniques for the assessment and treatment of various fish disease conditions. Participants will also be provided with a library of resources for future reference that includes applicable texts and journals, companies that supply aquatic products including therapeutic agents, continuing education and professional organizations.

Recommended Text & References:

Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment
Edward J. Noga Hardcover - 367 pages 1st edition (January 15, 2000) Iowa State University Press; ISBN: 081382558X

The Veterinary Clinics of North America Exotic Animal Practice Series

Emergency and Critical Care of Fish
Gregory Lewbart
Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 1[1]:233-250 Sep'98 Review Article

Husbandry and Husbandry-related Diseases of Ornamental Fish
Todd R. Cecil
Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 2[1]:1-18 Jan'99 Review Article

Clinical Examination of Fish in Private Collections
Ruth Francis-Floyd
Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 2[2]:247-264 May'99 Review Article

Hematology and Clinical Chemistry of Cyprinid Fish: Common Carp and Goldfish
Joseph M. Groff and Joseph G. Zinkl
Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 2[3]:741-776 Sep'99 Review Article

Pet Fish Formulary
Ted Y. Mashima and Gregory A. Lewbart
Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 3[1]:117-130 Jan'00 Review Article

Surgery in Fish
Craig A. Harms and Gregory A. Lewbart
Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 3[3]:759-774 Sep'00 Review Article

Discussions will begin on the start date of the course, and will continue for one week following the last real time session.

CE HOURS: 12 CE Credits

Member/$173, Non-Member/$250 before Feb 18, 2004;
Member/$192, Non-Member/$278 after Feb 18, 2004;

For More Information on VIN's Upcoming CE Courses, check out

Note: "This course has been submitted (but not yet approved) for 12 hours of continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VIN for further information."

(Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by the board.)

COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively.

Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO.

Debbie Friedler
Continual Education Division
Veterinary Information Network


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

Copyright 2002, Veterinary Information Network, Inc.