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Old 08-19-2011, 04:10 PM   #21 
bby1984
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Originally Posted by FishyWishy View Post
Bobby - Wait, there are fish vets? Seriously? Are these common place and available for pet owners? If so, how do I find one? I'm guessing if they do exist, they may focus on treating large or expensive fish, such a koi, saltwater, specialty, etc. However, if there is one in my area I am more than willing to take Jr there, if they will allow it. Don't want to get my hopes up that there may be one in my city. I'll have to Google it.
Yep they are around but little known. A vet has to choose to take the specialty training so not all vets treat fish. Just call your local vet offices and ask if they treat aquatic animals or know of a local vet that does. In my area there are a few vet offices that do treat aquatic animals. It does not matter if you have a 20cent comet or a $500 discus, if they treat freshwater fish the species does not matter. Itís really cool, they can take x-rays of your fish and diagnose just about anything. You can also often get specially medicated foods to help treat internal illness otherwise difficult to treat. Keep us posted on what you find out!
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:27 AM   #22 
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Hi all,

Update: Jr is on his way now to a fish vet! (Actually the doc is an exotics vet with training in aquatics who sometimes sees fish. It was the best I could find in our city.) I have to work so Steve is taking Jr in. If the vet confirms cancer, fatty liver, parasites, etc, hopefully he can tell us what to do next. If treatment is available, we'll take it. If no treatment is available, we will feel a lot better having to let him go if we KNOW what's wrong and that there is no hope of helping him.

I'll keep you posted.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:47 PM   #23 
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Hi all,

Update: Jr is on his way now to a fish vet! (Actually the doc is an exotics vet with training in aquatics who sometimes sees fish. It was the best I could find in our city.) I have to work so Steve is taking Jr in. If the vet confirms cancer, fatty liver, parasites, etc, hopefully he can tell us what to do next. If treatment is available, we'll take it. If no treatment is available, we will feel a lot better having to let him go if we KNOW what's wrong and that there is no hope of helping him.

I'll keep you posted.
Great job finding some help for Jr! I am happy that you will soon have a resolution to your problem. I have my fingers crossed that it is something that can be fixed and that you have much more time to enjoy each other. Looking forward to an update. =)
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:49 PM   #24 
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Yup, please keep us updated.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:10 PM   #25 
FishyWishy
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Jr has been to the vet! (Who knew...?

Thanks to Bobby, OFL and everyone else who has been helping. We appreciate your wisdom and experience!

I had to work, so Steve took him in. (Kudos to Steve for doing a great job with his first ever trip to a vet! I guess if you fall for a hard core "animal person" you end up at a veterinarian's office holding a cup with a fish in it. The vet sounds very nice. I had some info typed up re: what was going on (as seen in the "sticky"), so he had the history available during the exam. Doc said his top two suspects would be bacterial infection or cancer. (He didn't think it was parasites.) Doc said if Jr were bigger, he would consider biopsy of the abdominal mass, but it doesn't sound like he wanted to go that route. (He didn't offer the xrays mentioned by another member, either. Nor did he mention the possibility of fatty liver. When he calls me, I will inquire.) He checked Jr out and said he looked fairly good. He seems to think Jr may have cataracts...? As for the abdominal lump, he said to try a different antibiotic first. If that doesn't work, sounds like we have to assume the abdominal mass is cancer. He didn't think Jr was suffering at the moment or that we needed to make an immediate decision, which eases my mind. Doc decided the best course of treatment was antibiotic injections directly into the abdominal mass every three days, and then see. Jr got his first shot today. He has to go back for another on Friday and then Monday. Apparently they put him in a plastic baggy and gave him the shot thru the bag? Doc told us to keep him in his QT cup and continue the salt bath, etc, to soothe him, rather than putting him back in his tank. (He said to discontinue the parasite meds.) Apparently he is going to do some more research and get back to us. I haven't seen the report myself yet so don't know what antibiotic was used. We'll see what it says. They even weighed him! He is one of their smallest patients at a whole 26 grams.

I don't know that we're going to end up with the answer we want, but it feels a whole lot better being able to get some help and if all else fails, know we did everything we could. I'm still hopeful he may get better with the new meds. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks, guys. Fingers crossed! We'll keep you posted.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:37 PM   #26 
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Awesome...lucky that you had a vet near by that deals with fish too....I am surprised that the vet didn't aspirate the mass to check for cells, bacteria..etc.....really small fish are a challenge to work with though......sure wish they would have done x-ray.......

Please keep us posted and tell us everything......
If you don't mind sharing and I understand if you don't....but what did it cost......
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:16 PM   #27 
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Hi OFL,

I plan to ask about aspirating the mass, fatty liver and xrays when the doc calls.

I'm a little uncomfortable b/c while this exotics vet does sometimes treat fish and has had some aquatics training, he is not an aquatics specialist. Thus he may not be as well versed in what should be done here as someone who only treats fish would be. But he's the best I can find in my city.

We don't mind sharing about our experience at all. The initial consultation was $42, which is their standard charge for exotics. They haven't billed us for the three AB injections yet, so I have no idea what they will cost. I'm definitely on a fixed income and a tight budget, but whatever this will cost can't be that bad by comparison. After paying for four years of feline lymphoma care out-of-pocket (labs, chemo, ICU, bone marrow stimulant meds, etc), a $42 vet visit seems too low to be real. Definitely more than the cost of the fish and I honestly can't say I ever expected to have vet bills for a fish, but he's our pet and it's worth it. We'll post the cost of the injections when we get the bill and let you guys know what the doc says.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:20 PM   #28 
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Great...and I understand...pets are pets....be it.... fins or fur....lol......

That is not a bad price for the initial visit...do you know what kind of antibiotic they used and dosage....

I rescue lots of animals myself....sometimes I wonder if there is a sign on my gate that tells animals both wild and domestic to come-on-down.....weak, injured, sick and homeless.....laffs.....and they are welcomed with open arms and cared for with a forever home with me or released back into the wild.....I guess thats why I am up to 29 cats....lol.....good thing I live on a large cattle ranch way out in the woods with lots of hay barns...I admit, more live in the house than should...but what can I say....the baby opossum gets to live in the house (due to drought/heat)....lol.....which reminds me I need to update the pic of her in my album-she could fit in the palm of my hand when I found her cold wet and half dead...she will soon be released once I get her acclimated to the weather once the heat index drops........I am lucky though....with my training/education- I don't have to use vets all that much except for spay/neuter.....I can do most everything else including minor surgery on my own animals even though my degree is in human medicine and retired so I have time......

Keep us posted.....
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:41 PM   #29 
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Keep us updated on his condition. I really hope he pulls through...
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #30 
FishyWishy
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Hi all,

Well, Jr has had four antibiotic injections by the vet into his abdominal mass. No change. :(

Today the vet called to discuss our options. Based on the fact that it isn't bacterial, he thinks it's probably cancer. I asked about aspirating the mass. He said he could, but it most likely would not change the outcome or give us any treatment options, and it could be dangerous. He said he would just be taking a blind sample, not having any idea what he was putting the needle into. He warned that if it is a highly vascularized tumor, Jr could bleed out from the needle stick. Or that if his organs are displaced and are back there in his abdomen where the lump is and he takes a sample, it could cause major problems. (Although he did say that he stuck him there four times already to give the injections without harm.) He said the pathology would be $200. I told him it was important to my peace of mind to know what what is going on with Jr, but I was bothered with the thought of putting him through something possibly dangerous and stressful. I asked him to let us talk about it and get back to him.

This isn't the outcome I was hoping for. :(
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