What does a fish vet do?

Dr Richmond Loh (BSc, BVMS, MANZCVS, MPhil) is a fully qualified veterinarian surgeon, who graduated from the veterinary school at Murdoch University. He diagnoses fish diseases and provides fish medicine. The Fish Vet has a mobile veterinary clinic and makes home visits to see your fish in their aquarium, pond, tank or dam. So whether you are a fish keeper, fish hobbyist, fish farmer, aquaculturist, ornamental fish retailer, fish wholesaler, fish exporter or a public aquarium or zoo, The Fish Vet can see you. Some of Dr Loh’s patients include Siamese fighting fish, guppies, goldfish, koi carp, cichlid (such as oscars, discus, angel fish and Malawi cichlids), marine fishes (such as clown fish, seahorses, sharks, rays), or large fishes such as murray cod, giant gourami and saratoga (the Australian version of the arowana or otherwise known as dragon fish). So you can think of him as an aquarium doctor, pond doctor, koi doctor, aqua vet, fish vet, aquarium vet, doctor fish or fish doctor.

A routine home visit will involve water testing (including pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, carbonate hardness, general hardness, water temperature, etc.) and he will have special tools including a microscope to examine for the cause of your fish’s ailments and has access to laboratory testing (including bacteriology and histology testing). In his fish mobil, Dr Loh has a mobile fish pharmacy, and carries all the medicines/medications (e.g. metronidazole or Flagyl, antibiotics such as enrofloxacin or Baytril, praziquantel or fish wormer, fish anaesthetics) necessary for treating fish diseases. These fish medicines are on hand and can be dispensed immediately to treat your fish since time is of the essence. He has all the fish dose rates and can give in-water medication or injections. Otherwise, veterinary prescriptions can be written if the drug is not in stock for you to obtain it from your local chemist.

Common reasons why fish owners call The Fish Vet are because they have sick fish or had searched the internet about any of the following topics that may include viral infection, lymphocystis, gourami iridovirus, carp pox, herpesvirus, bacterial infection, bacterial ulcer, aeromonas, yersiniosis, Yersinia, vibrio, vibriosis, flavobacter, flexibacter, streptococcus iniae, mycobacteria, fish tb, fish tuberculosis, septicaemia, bacteraemia, fungal disease, saprolegnia, achlya, cotton wool disease, fish parasite, protozoal, white spot disease, ich, cryptocaryon, trichodina, chilodonella, costia, ichthyobodo, oodinium, amyloodinium, nematode, round worm, camallanus, flat worm, monogenetic trematode, digenean, flukes, dactylogyrus, gyrodactylus, lice, argulus, anchor worm, lernaea, zoonotic diseases, toxicity, bloat, swimbladder disease, swim bladder infection, pine cone appearance, dropsy, pop eye, popeye, exophthalmia, hikui, jumped out, goldfish laying on its side, hole in the head, head and lateral line erosion, HLLE, HITH, cotton wool disease, fin rot, redness, frayed fins, physical injury, buoyancy disorder, loss of appetite, ulcer disease, ulceration, lesions, haemorrhage, columnaris, wasting disease, velvet disease or not eating.

If you are not within driving distance, Dr Richmond Loh has published a book entitled “Fish Vetting Essentials”. Purchase this book and take your sick fish to the local veterinarian to make a correct diagnosis so that you can proceed with the appropriate treatment or management of the issue.


Fish Vetting Essentials

Fish Health Professionals – Land the Catch of the Year!

The target audience is the busy general veterinary practitioner who does not have the time to leaf through complicated text books.  The simplicity in which it is written has found favour with many readers and so it is widely used in educational institutes, laboratories, zoos, public aquaria, aquaculturists and fish enthusiasts worldwide.

This book is a comprehensive resource that incorporates elements of fish keeping, clinical medicine and fish pathology.

Fish Vetting Essentials (2011) has important information for diagnosticians:

  • how to interpret water quality
  • how to diagnose common fish diseases
  • how to medicate fish
  • how to treat fish diseases using drugs available in your surgery.

View sample pages here –  eFishVetEssentialswLinks.

To order your copy of the latest Fish Vetting Essentials (only $A99 per copy plus $A15 for postage and handling within Australia), visit www.thefishvet.com.au or click here to proceed directly to the shopping cart.

Check out the book reviews on The Fish Vet’s Facebook Fanpage.


The book is what it says and is an essential addition to the practice bookshelf for any practice that sees ornamental fish or a veterinarian wishing to explore the exciting discipline of ornamental fish veterinary medicine.

Dr Chris Walster BVMS, MVPH, MRCVS, The Island Veterinary Associates, England.


Once in a while comes a book that has the potential to become indispensable to zoos and aquariums. Fish Vetting Essentials has what it needs. It is written by two highly experienced veterinarians with fish health as their specialty. The main part of the book is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of common diseases. This is a book that should be recommended for all veterinarians who feel the need to familiarise themselves with fish health at any aquarium.

Mr Svein A Fossa, Pet Scandinavia Magazine.


I use “Fish Vetting Essentials” as my first reference for matters pertaining to aquatic animal health.  Its clear, concise layout and colour photographs make it a highly practical source of information.  The information on diagnostic sample collection and treatment is easy to follow and has enabled us to develop the skills necessary to manage disease cases in fish effectively. I highly recommend “Fish Vetting Essentials” for veterinarians dealing with aquatic species.

Dr Simone Vitali BSc, BVMS, PhD, MACVS (Zoo Animal Medicine), Senior Veterinarian, Perth Zoo.


I have owned a veterinary general practice for 30 years and my copy of Fish Vetting Essentials has been an excellent resource for me when I am asked to treat exotic aquarium fish. Previously the only readily available information on treating and diagnosing fish were anecdotal, unreliable and outdated popular press publications or high-end scientific material that was not useful from a practical point of view. Fish Vetting Essentials is concisely written and contains everything a general practitioner needs to take a logical, helpful approach to aquarium fish problems.

Dr Owen Lavers BVSc, Earlville Vet Surgery, Queensland.


As a veterinary clinician with an interest in the “unusual and exotic” fish species, I am frequently asked to consult with clients who present their fish for examination, diagnosis and treatment. I have an extensive medical library, and Fish Vetting Essentials is by far the most useful reference on fish diseases and fish treatments.

Dr James M Harris BSc, DVM, FRSPH, Mayfair Veterinary Clinic, Tasmania.


FishVetEssentials_2011 eSample.pdf

Watch Dr Loh talk about what’s in the book and how it’s organised – click here.

To order your copy of the latest Fish Vetting Essentials, visit thefishvet.com.au or click here to proceed directly to the shopping cart.

Feel free to pass it on to others who you think might be interested.

Australian & NZ College of Veterinary Scientists – Call for Candidates for Membership exams in Aquatic Animal Health in 2012

From: Dr Richmond Loh <thefishvet>

Date: Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM
Subject: Australian & NZ College of Veterinary Scientists – Call for Candidates for Membership exams in Aquatic Animal Health in 2012

Dear Fish Vets,

As the Secretary for the Aquatic Animal Health Chapter of the Australian & NZ College of Veterinary Scientists, this email is to notify you that exam time is nearing. I have pasted the message below for those on List-Serves that do not automatically allow attachments. More information can be found on the College website – http://www.acvsc.org.au/


Are there any veterinarians around the world who are thinking of sitting for the membership exams in Aquatic Animal Health in 2012? If yes, then please let us know and we can suggest mentors and organise examiners.

For those unfamiliar with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS), the principal objects of the ANZCVS are:

a. To advance the study of veterinary science and to bring together members of the veterinary profession for their common benefit

b. to hold, conduct or arrange examinations of professional proficiency for the purpose of determining qualification for Membership of the College and Fellowship of the College.

The College encourages veterinarians in practice, in industry, in government employment, and in other fields to seek to improve themselves; and provides additional post-graduate qualifications as a goal.

Membership of the College signifies that a candidate has demonstrated a high level of interest and competence in a given area of veterinary activity. This is judged by that standard of knowledge and understanding, practical skills, attitude, methodology and communication which would make the person suitable to give professional advice to veterinary colleagues not similarly qualified on problems or procedures often encountered or used in general practice, in the relevant area of veterinary endeavour.

Applications to sit membership need to be in with the College by the end of October (in 5 weeks). They will accept applications until the end of November, but if received after the end of October the applicant will have to pay a AUD$50 late fee.

Further particulars and application forms are available from:

Mrs Elaine Lowe

College Manager

The Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists

Telephone: +61 (0)7 3423 2016

Facsimile: +61 (0)7 3423 2977

Email: admin

The ANZCVS has served the veterinary profession for forty years, playing a pivotal role in veterinary specialisation and advanced education in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

The ANZCVS advances the study of veterinary science by encouraging veterinarians in practice, industry, government employment, and other fields to seek to improve themselves.

It conducts a two tier examination system to determine qualification for Membership and Fellowship of the College.

Membership level examinations are pitched at a unique level and are undertaken by veterinary practitioners after their fourth year since graduation, to improve their level of knowledge and understanding, and to demonstrate a high level of interest and competence in one of 37 different subject areas of veterinary activity.

Fellowship level is specialist level (equivalent to Diplomate). Standards for Fellowship training and examinations in 36 different subjects meet or exceed the prerequisites for registration as a veterinary specialist in Australia and/or New Zealand. Prior to examination, a two- three year directly supervised training program is required; along with evidence of case load, scholarship, research and peer-reviewed publications.

The ANZCVS differs from the North American and European Colleges as it covers a wide range of discipline areas through 19 ‘Chapters’ within the one College. Different Chapters are based on subject/discipline areas. Each Chapter has a Chapter Executive and a Chapter Examination Committee but all Chapters are governed by the one central College administration.

The ANZCVS annual meeting is called ‘College Science Week’. It is a three-day, collegiate, cutting-edge, multi-streamed, scientific meeting held at the same venue as the annual oral/practical each year in June/July.

Exams Info 2012.pdf
Call for Candidates for Membership exams in AAH 2012.pdf

The Fish Vet is now blogging!

There are very few veterinarians who are involved with fish health. And the majority of these are employed in a commercial capacity (involved with aquaculture). Their services are often beyond the reach of the local suburban clinic for your much loved pet fish. So this is a ground breaking step forward for both the clients and for the veterinary profession. Pet fish health has somewhat been neglected for many years and it is now time to make that change.

My aim is to help pool the knowledge that aquarists already have, dispel false information and then educate my clients where appropriate.

I understand that fish give you so much enjoyment that I will do my best to make sure your fish are happy and healthy.