How do you decide what medicine to give to your fish, and how?

Delivery of medications for fish can be extremely challenging. Determining drug-dosing options for our domestic animals is usually fairly straightforward because they are listed on the bottle. Finding appropriate drug dosages for fish species can be quite challenging and often requires a ‘leap of faith’ to try something new or unproven for the first time.

Considerations for oral delivery might include:

  • Availability of formulation? – reasonable concentration, compounding options
  • Palatability/acceptability of formulation – need to combine with food or water?
  • Bioavailability for the species
  • Dosing interval required
  • Cost

Considerations for injectable delivery might include:

  • Concentration available – reasonable volume, compounding options
  • Dosing interval required for effective treatment
  • Darting options vs. hand-syringe – acceptability for patient
  • Cost

Considerations for in-water medication delivery might include:

  • Concentration available – reasonable volume, compounding options
  • Dosing interval required for effective treatment
  • Effect on the biofilter
  • Cost

Developing a rational therapeutic plan requires several basic things:

  • Understanding the drug in question – researching available pharmacological information
  • Understanding the use of the drug in known species
  • Understanding the patients physiology, etc. – researching species information

Once these facts are known you can:

  • Determine the closest related species for which drug experience is well established
  • Extrapolate an ‘optimal’ therapeutic plan based on the available information
  • Carefully adjust the ‘optimal’ plan to a safe and effective ‘practical’ plan considering the limitations of the case at hand (remote delivery, frequency of administration options, formulation options, etc.)

 

Fortunately, I have made available, “Fish Vetting Medicines: Formulary of Fish Treatments” and “Fish Vetting Essentials“. The former will be your “little black book” that you’ll be referring to every time you need a dose rate for medicines used in fishes. The red book is to help you diagnose fish ailments.

Get your copy now, at thefishvet.com.au

 

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