Did you know you have access to The Fish Vet’s expertise, no matter where you are in the world?

2014/02/25 at 08:35 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

Are you a pet fish keeper, ornamental fish breeder, retailer or fish farmer? Are you running public aquaria? Do you use fish in your educational/research institution? Are you an aquaponics or a food fish aquaculture farmer?

Do you use the services of an aquatic veterinarian? Is there one close by?

Did you know that you can access The Fish Vet’s services right where you are?

1. Locally, I provide site visits to my clients. I service clients as far south as Mandurah (and Bremer Bay!) as far north as Yanchep and as far east as Ellenbrook and Armadale. Here, I perform field diagnostics, and I bring along my portable pharmacy to treat your fish’s ailments, or refer you back to fish shops for medicines that they stock.


2. If you are not exactly local, we can schedule a visit, by flight, to any state in Australia (e.g. WA, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania), or overseas (e.g. Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Hong Kong).


3. I can work through your local veterinarian to achieve a suitable outcome. See picture below.


4. You can consult with me online using the eHow pets platform


5. If you wish to proceed with a direct phone or email consultation, please select the appropriate item from the shopping cart at http://www.thefishvet.com.au/shop/shopping.html

 6. Alternatively, feel free to search for free information on my blog (thefishvet.com).
(Quick link to this post – http://tinyurl.com/fishvetconsult)
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Fish Vetting Techniques and Practical Tips – instructional DVD: Fish Vetting Secrets revealed!

2014/01/21 at 08:30 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | 1 Comment

After attending a multitude of conferences and courses like Aquavet II and Seavet, reading up on the literature, and doing teaching at the university, it’s really hit home to me that: there is no better way to teach or learn, than to show, or be shown.

FISH VETTING TECHNIQUES & PRACTICAL TIPS takes a ‘how to’, hands-on approach to demonstrate veterinary skills employed in working as an aquatic veterinarian. The 105 minute DVD comprises veterinary procedures including taking skin mucus scrapes and gill biopsies, skin ulcer treatment, injecting fish, blood sampling, anaesthesia, surgery, necropsy, histology processing, videos of live microscopic fish pathogens and more… That’s right, I’m giving away all my secrets so that fish clients can have greater access to trained aquatic veterinarians no matter where they are in the world.

After watching this DVD, you can deal with fishes with confidence!

This DVD is ideal for fish veterinarians, aquarists, aquaculturalists, public aquaria, local fish shops and to have handy as a training resource in veterinary schools, laboratories, clinics and zoos. It is a comprehensive resource that incorporates aquatic medicine and pathology.

Make your purchase NOW at http://thefishvet.com.au/shop/shopping.html
Available in two formats: PAL & NTSC (please select the correct item when making your purchase).


In this series are the following books:

  • Fish Vetting Essentials.
  • Fish Vetting Medicines – Formulary of Fish Treatments.

Dr Richmond Loh (BSc, BVMS, MPhil, MANZCVS, CertAqV) is the 2014 President of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA), Secretary of The Aquatic Animal Health Chapter of the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS), an adjunct lecturer at Murdoch University in Western Australia, an eHow Pets Expert and is a George Alexander Foundation International Fellow. His skill set is unique, having been admitted as a Member of the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) by examination in the subjects of “Aquatic Animal Health” and in “Pathobiology”. As “The Fish Vet”, he provides veterinary services for a range of clients and they include individual pet fish owners, public aquaria (Aquarium of Western Australia), retailers, wholesalers, fish farmers (ornamental and food fish) and educational institutions (Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University & University of Western Australia).

Scene 01: Start
Scene 03: Weighing small fish
Scene 04: Weighing large fish
Scene 05: Medicating a pond
Scene 06: Preparing medicated food
Scene 07: Intramuscular (IM) injections
Scene 08: Intraperitoneal (IP) injections
Scene 09: Injection sites recapitulated
Scene 11: Aspirating swimbladder
Scene 12: Surgical weight implantation
Scene 13: Gastric tubing
Scene 14: Skin ulcer treatment
Scene 15: Skin tumour removal & Anaesthesia
Scene 16: Eye enucleation & Anaesthesia
Scene 17: Fish euthanasia
Scene 19: Wet preparation Skin mucus scrape & Gill biopsy
Scene 20: Haematology – Blood sampling
Scene 21: Blood film preparation
Scene 22: Packed cell volume (PCV
Scene 23: Bacteriology
Scene 24: Necropsy & Anatomy
Scene 25: Histology processing
Scene 27: Argulus
Scene 28: Lernaea
Scene 29: Ichthyopthirius | Cryptocaryon
Scene 30: Flukes (Gyrodactylus & Dactylogyrus) & Trichodina
Scene 31: Ichthyobodo
Scene 32: Hexamita
Scene 33: Oodinium | Amyloodinium
Scene 34: Tetrahymena | Uronema
Scene 35: Chilodonella | Brooklynella
Scene 36: Peritrichous ciliates
Scene 37: Lymphocystis
Scene 38: Water mite
Scene 39: Air-dried, Diff Quik-stained smears of parasites

The Fish Vet’s veterinary services – integrated innovative solutions.

2012/12/11 at 07:55 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | 1 Comment

In veterinary health care, there may be service boundaries defined by providers’ clinical specialties. The results will be fragmented, inconvenient, inefficient and the outcomes compromised for the solutions you needed yesterday. The Fish Vet’s services are designed to achieve excellent outcomes for clients with customised needs.

Most veterinarians have expertise in single fields. Dr Loh is unique in that he is one of only two veterinarians globally who has post-graduate, Membership qualifications in aquatic animal health and in veterinary pathology, admitted by examination to the Australian and NZ College of Veterinary Scientists. He also holds a research Masters degree. This means that he can solve your problems in the field or laboratory, and can devise strategies for research if the problems are more complex.

Dr Loh is affiliated with many world class organisations, serving as the Secretary of the Aquatic Animal Health Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, President-elect of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, a Senior Adjunct Lecturer at Murdoch University’s Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences section and a past Treasurer for the Australian Society of Veterinary Pathologists. He is also a member of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine and a member of the European Association of Fish Pathologists.

The Fish Vet as a one-stop shop, gives the clients a personal connection to the all the veterinary services you require. The Fish Vet’s clients benefit from more convenient and better coordinated access to veterinary services and improved outcomes. The Fish Vet operates a mobile consultancy service and so no matter where you are in Australia, Dr Loh can organise delivery of his services to your pet, your business or your farm.

To find out more, go to -
TheFishVet’s site  or

see the adverts:


Fish Vetting Medicines: Formulary of Fish Treatments.

2012/11/26 at 02:43 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

With nearly 300 drug entries, it is a comprehensive yet practical, quick access reference; making it an indispensible resource for anyone interested in fish health including veterinarians. It’s like MIMS for fish!

Its content organisation is designed for enhanced navigability with medicines arranged by:

  • Pathogen type (disease causing organisms),
  • Therapeutic use or groups,
  • Common disease conditions,
  • And in alphabetical order.

Read more here.

Fish Vetting Essentials.

2012/05/27 at 12:37 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

The web can be a great resource but you may also find that it is full of contradictory information overload. Like you, I have found that reliable information on fish health, disease and medicine is difficult to come by and is at best, fragmented.

This is why I have published two essential books on aquatic veterinary medicine.

So if you’re serious about fish health, these are two indispensible texts on fish you must have at your fingertips!

Fish Health Professionals – Land the Catch of the Year!

Fish Vetting Essentials is a comprehensive resource that incorporates elements of fish keeping, clinical medicine and fish pathology in a readily digestible form.

Important information for diagnosticians in this book include:

  • how to interpret water quality
  • how to diagnose common fish diseases
  • how to medicate fish
  • how to treat fish diseases using drugs available in standard veterinary clinics.
View sample pages here –  eFishVetEssentialswLinks.

Shark senses, and the development & testing of shark repellants – UWA. Part 2.

2014/10/01 at 08:00 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

Following on from last week’s post, and just to recap, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a seminar on ground breaking research into shark sensory perception and how they were developing and testing shark repellants. You’ll need to read the previous post to get a bit of background so we can understand how and why the following devices show promise.


Chemical repellants against sharks

Nathan spoke on the use of chemical repellants that would be detected by the olfactory system (sense of smell) of sharks. What they found was that sharks were repelled by the essense of dead shark, special slime produced by the sole fish and sea cucumber and also, some common household detergents. Good news? Yes, in a way. But testing showed that these were impractical because diffusion of the chemical stimuli is too slow, and in the field where there is water current, these smells would not stay put.


Accoustic shark deterrents

It is known that sharks can hear low frequency sounds and are attracted to them. Research showed that they do not like loud sounds. But with time, they become habituated to it (used to it) and so they will return. So, loud sounds don’t really work in the long term. They were planning on trialling whale sounds. Not the relaxation ones people use for meditation, but ones from the predatory killer whales (OK, before you kick me, I know they are not considered true whales). They did talk about the theory of neophobia (fear of new things). Here they tried electronic sounds like from the Star Wars’ R2D2 which seemed to repel sharks. What also seemed to work was songs from ACDC! Sharks are no fans of the heavy metal music (frankly, I don’t blame them).


Visual protection against sharks

Sharks are attracted to yellow and silver, and they tend to investigate objects sporting these colours. They have found that low contrast material work as camouflage. For divers, they trialled 3 different shades of blue with patterns to break up the silhouette and they found it worked. They also trialed novel, unpleasant visual stimuli like very bright flashing lights which seemed to work. There is also the theory of biomimicry, having contrasting black and white stripes to imitate venemous sea snakes.


Electric deterrent system

Some products are being marketed as “shark shields”. These are electric deterrent systems and they do appear to be effective. There is promise for it to be used to protect swimming areas, and as a personal-based device. But more research needs to be done to know what are their limitations. Does it matter what species of shark, shark size, will it work with multiple sharks and will sharks become habituated?


But the most simple, and most promising thing researchers have found is….

…. in my blog post next week :)






Are you looking for a good quality, portable microscope that’s within your budget?

2014/09/30 at 07:45 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

Check out the review here:


Fish joke for Mondayitis – shrew

2014/09/28 at 23:15 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

Q: what do you call a loud, coarse-mannered woman?

A: fishwife.

Then I wonder what you’d call a fish vet’s wife…

Shark senses, and the development & testing of shark repellants – UWA. Part 1.

2014/09/26 at 07:50 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

Last Thursday, I attended a very good lecture on this topic at the University of Western Australia. Each of 3 lecturers took it in turns to present their unique findings: Prof. Shaun Collin, Assoc. Prof. Nathan Hart and Dr Ryan Kempster, all from the School of Animal Biology.

So what have we learnt?


The presentation started with describing their findings of the shark senses. Being living animals, it is not surprising that they have the 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. These will be explained below.



They have found that sharks are monochromats, having peaks in receptors for the green-yellow wavelengths (with a secondary low peak at purple). Practically, this means they are somewhat “colour-blind”. Characteristics of colour-blind animals is that they are very good at detecting contrasts. They’ve found the greatest density of receptors in their eyes lie in the posterior-ventral part of the retina and this means that their line of best site is diagonally above, and in front of them. However, their visual acuity is only moderate which means they have to get close to see more clearly.



On sound, sharks do have ears. The opening to the ear is in the dorsal surface (top) of the head, a slight distance behind the eye. It detects vibrations and hydrodynamic sounds (e.g. waves, splashing, eating, bubbles). They have good directional hearing, meaning they can tell where sound is coming from. Of the 10 shark species studied, they’ve found they can hear low frequency sounds, in the range of 10-800 Hz (cf humans 20-20,000 Hz).



Sharks have nostrils and they point downwards. They have folded skin to increase the surface area, making them able to detect as little as 1 drop of blood in a olympic-size swimming pool. This said, the olfactory bulbs in the brain of different elasmobranchs differ in size, so we can’t quite make sweeping generalisations.



Sharks have no external taste buds. Their taste buds are located in the oropharynx, basihyal (tongue) and gill arches. The highest concentration of taste buds are behind their teeth. This explains why they need to bite, or to mouth at things, in order to taste it.



I think I was late in to the lecture, and might have missed this section, or maybe they didn’t cover it. But if you’re reading this, and you were there, please do elaborate in the comments section. Thank you.


So, sharks have all the 5 senses that we have. But they have a couple more! Firstly, like all fishes, they have a “lateral line system“. These are little pits along the length of the body, each pit contains hairy cells and the pits are connected to adjacent pits by a channel. The lateral line system detects water motion and low frequency sounds (20-200 Hz). It is used for detecting obstacles.


The second special sense they have is called the “ampullae of Lorenzini“. These a small pits around the area of their snout and within the pits is a gel-like substance that helps conduct electrical currents from the environment to the electroreceptors within. These are so sensitive that they can detect electrical currents as low as 1 billionth of a volt! They use this to detect prey since all fishes produce small electric fields. Thus, electrical stimuli actually attract sharks to check things out. The abundance of these ampullae vary between species. A Port Jackson shark has only 200 pits, making them less adept at locating electrical stimuli, whereas the hammerhead shark as as many as 3000 pits, making them finely tuned. The great white shark has 800 and the shovelnose ray has 1200.


So now we know about their 7 special senses, how do we use this knowledge to our advantage? How do we create safer beaches for swimming? How do we create personal protective devices for divers?


Stay tuned to find out in my post next week.

How much electricity is your aquarium costing you? How to be greener?

2014/09/25 at 07:45 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

This is a common guilt-trip question every non-enthusiasts puts to us. My argument is that it’s one of the healthiest “static” hobbies around.

Anyway, I came across a FB post by Boronia Aquarium that led me to find this humorous article on how you can decrease your power consumption.


Check Out Our New Wheels!

2014/09/25 at 02:44 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

TheFishVet - Richmond's School of Fish:

I’ve got to do better with my fish mobil.

Originally posted on Aquatic Veterinary Services of Northern California (AVSNCA):

Well, they’re not exactly new, just redecorated…


What do you guys think? Be on the lookout for our fish-vet-mobile driving down your street! Many thanks to Catto’s Graphics of Santa Cruz, CA for helping develop an amazing design!

We’ll have to do a proper photo shoot soon…

View original

3 simple steps to treat koi ulcers.

2014/09/24 at 15:43 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

Recently I gave a presentation at the koi club about the myriad reasons for koi developing skin ulcers. It’s an opportune time since they may get scrapes from the mating acts, damaged from shifting, predator attack, etc.

For uncomplicated ulcers, I’d like to point you to a video I uploaded on on how to treat fish ulcers.

See http://youtu.be/GHJtZRrx8IU

Coral trout show cross-species collaboration with moray eels.

2014/09/24 at 08:07 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

“Now it seems the fish are surprisingly picky about when they ask for that help – and which eels to approach. The trout show a level of discrimination in when to collaborate, and with whom, that was thought to be unique to the likes of humans and chimpanzees.”


Yours sincerely,

Dr Richmond Loh
DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology) Murdoch, MANZCVS (Aquatics& Pathobiology), CertAqV, CMAVA, NATA Signatory.
THE FISH VET, Perth, Western Australia.
Veterinary Medicine for fish.
W: http://www.thefishvet.com.au
E: thefishvet
P: +61 (0)421 822 383

Diagnosing fish diseases using air-dried, unstained slides.

2014/09/23 at 07:27 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

Air dried smears are not exactly the best sample for making a diagnosis, but it can work, especially if there are numerous external parasites and that the smears are prepared correctly.

It’s ideal in situations where the remote site is without a microscope, or someone who knows how to use one, or knows what to look for. The slides can be prepared easily and sent by post to your nearest fish veterinarian to make a diagnosis.

To prepare the smears, simply follow the steps as per taking gill biopsies and skin mucus scrapes, and then smear these onto the glass slide. Do not add any water. Wave the slides in the air until dry.

Check out how the slides are examined and what you can see: http://youtu.be/ghLjcVJgyPA

For added diagnostic advantage, the commonly used Diff Quik stain can be applied to the smears.

Learn more about Fish Vetting Techniques and Practical Tips in the newly released DVD, available only from the online shop at https://thefishvet.com.au/shop/shopping.html


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Yours sincerely,

Dr Richmond Loh DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics & Pathobiology), CertAqV, CMAVA, NATA Signatory.
Aquatic Veterinarian | Adjunct Lecturer Murdoch University | President WAVMA |
Secretary Aquatic Animal Health Chapter – ANZCVS.
THE FISH VET, Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA. Mobile Aquatic Veterinary Medical & Diagnostic Services.
Ph: +61 (0)421 822 383
Skype: thefishvet

Looking for more books? Check out this site.

The Fish Vet - Perth, WAwavma.jpg?w=780

Fish Joke for Mondayitis: How do snow fish greet one another?

2014/09/21 at 23:00 | Posted in Veterinary Fish Medicine | Leave a comment

Q: How do snow fish greet one another?

A: Ice to meet you.

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