A Ten Year Retrospective Study of Diseases in Captive Syngnathids
IAAAM 2009
Véronique LePage1; Elena Contador1; Jeff Young2; Cynthia Lee2; Spencer Russel1; Karrie Young1; John S. Lumsden1
1Fish Pathology Laboratory, Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada; 2Toronto Zoo, Scarborough, ON, Canada


Fish of the family Syngnathidae include seahorses, pipefish and seadragons. Many of these species are currently listed as threatened or endangered under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Research related to syngnathid disease is slowly emerging. However, these fish still provide a serious challenge for aquarists, and in the wild, overexploitation of syngnathids continues. It is therefore critical that we understand disease related to husbandry, as captive rearing of syngnathids may be an invaluable tool in relieving pressures on wild populations. In our diagnostic research, we chose to conduct a ten year retrospective study of syngnathid diseases observed at the Toronto Zoo (1998-2008). This review comprises 118 cases. The major reoccurring problems are the following: bacterial and/or protozoal dermatitis, suspected nutritional myopathy, mycobacteriosis, gas bubble disease, cryptosporidiosis and several neoplasms. The bacterial dermatitis was the most common diagnosis, occurring in over thirty percent of cases. This dermatitis appears to be associated with the clinical condition 'redtail'. Further investigation of the bacterial dermatitis, which is a significant clinical concern, was therefore undertaken. We hypothesize that the filamentous bacterium seen in the erosive/ulcerative dermatitis lesions by light microscopy are associated with the development of 'redtail'. This will be investigated in detail by bacterial isolation, biochemical tests, immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction.

Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

VĂ©ronique LePage
Fish Pathology Laboratory, Department of Pathobiology
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada

MAIN : Epidemiology : Syngnathid Diseases
Powered By VIN

Friendly Reminder to Our Colleagues: Use of VIN content is limited to personal reference by VIN members. No portion of any VIN content may be copied or distributed without the expressed written permission of VIN.

Clinicians are reminded that you are ultimately responsible for the care of your patients. Any content that concerns treatment of your cases should be deemed recommendations by colleagues for you to consider in your case management decisions. Dosages should be confirmed prior to dispensing medications unfamiliar to you. To better understand the origins and logic behind these policies, and to discuss them with your colleagues, click here.

Images posted by VIN community members and displayed via VIN should not be considered of diagnostic quality and the ultimate interpretation of the images lies with the attending clinician. Suggestions, discussions and interpretation related to posted images are only that -- suggestions and recommendations which may be based upon less than diagnostic quality information.


777 W. Covell Blvd., Davis, CA 95616



  • Toll Free: 800-700-4636
  • From UK: 01-45-222-6154
  • From anywhere: (1)-530-756-4881
  • From Australia: 02-6145-2357