Could your fish be harbouring a disease “time bomb”? What are the 15 signs shown by fish with disease?

People keeping fish in outdoor ponds and aquaponics are reminded to check fish for evidence of fish diseases now, to prevent problems over winter and spring. Autumn is a critical time for disease control because parasitic infestations present now determines the risk of winter and spring problems.

Below is a list of things to look out for:

Behavioural abnormalities

• Loss of balance, bobs, or swimming upside down.

• Erratic/spiral swimming.

• Separating from group/sulks in the corner.

• Staying near the surface or piping.

• Flashing/body scraping.

• Increased respiration (increased opercula rate).

• Fin clamping (fins held flat against the body).

Physical abnormalities/External gross pathology

• Change in colour.

• Skin/fin lesions (white-red; proliferative-ulcerative).

• Cloudy skin (indicates excess mucous production due to an irritant).

• Exophthalmos/endophthalmos (unilateral-bilateral).

• Poor body condition (indicated by “sunken belly”, or disproportionately large head for body size).

• Abdominal swelling & subcutaneous oedema =“dropsy”.

• Gills pale (anaemic), with excess mucus (gill irritation), or tan brown colour (suggests methaemoglobin formation).

• Carrying a long faecal trail (indicates intestinal disease).

Autumn is the ideal time to check for parasites that may have increased in numbers over the summer.

Get your fish checked by a Certified Aquatic Veterinarian.

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Yours sincerely,

Dr Richmond Loh DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics & Pathobiology), CertAqV, CMAVA, NATA Signatory.
THE FISH VET, Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA.
Mobile Aquatic Veterinary Medical & Diagnostic Services.
Ph: +61 (0)421 822 383
Skype: thefishvet

President WAVMA 2014


Adjunct Lecturer Murdoch University | Secretary Aquatic Animal Health Chapter – ANZCVS.


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