Microscopically, fish gills respond to insults by a variety of means including excessive mucus production, hyperplasia (increase in number of cells), lamellar synechiae and fusion (stickiness), desquamation (cells falling off), necrosis (cells dying), congestion (increase blood to area) and lamellar oedema (fluid build-up in tissues).
There are a wide variety of reasons fish present with gill diseases. A variety of protozoal parasites, metazoan parasites, bacterial infections, nutritional deficiencies, water quality issues, and other physical and chemical disturbances.
We all know fish use gills for breathing. And if gills become damaged, all the changes mentioned above will be responsible for fish to present gasping at the water surface, flared operculum, laboured breathing, or "coughing".
But did you know the gills are responsible for more than this? Gills are responsible for osmoregulation, hydro-mineral balance, and the excretion of nitrogenous waste (ammonia). If gills become damaged, all these functions also become compromised. Additionally, fish may
The totality of these damages begin to compound, and is responsible for fish dying. Remember, we can detect evidence of diseases early by microscopic examinations. So, make sure you get your fish checked regularly by your fish veterinarian. Early intervention is key to keeping your fish happy and healthy.
At The Fish Vet, we offer site visits and laboratory testing for all kinds of fishes. We’re happy to take your enquiries.
Veterinary solutions for all your fish problems.
Dr Richmond Loh
DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics & Pathobiology), CertAqV, CMAVA, NATA Signatory.
Aquatic Veterinarian & Veterinary Pathologist
THE FISH VET, AUSTRALIA – PERTH | MELBOURNE | TOWNSVILLE
Mobile Aquatic Veterinary Medical & Diagnostic Services.