Emergency and Critical Care of Fish

Catherine A. Hadfield, Brent R. Whitaker, Leigh Ann Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Most fish emergencies are the result of inappropriate environmental conditions and primary or secondary infectious disease or trauma. The immediate response should be to increase aeration, provide suitable water, and decrease stressors. A thorough history, evaluation of the fish and their environment, and some rapid diagnostic tests (particularly direct and stained cytology) often provide the information needed to make a diagnosis and render appropriate treatment. When cohorts are at risk and the patient is unlikely to recover, euthanasia and necropsy are recommended to reach a definitive diagnosis. Some common emergencies include ammonia and nitrite toxicity; low dissolved oxygen; copper and chlorine toxicity; gas supersaturation; and certain bacterial, protozoal, and viral diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-675
Number of pages29
JournalVeterinary Clinics of North America - Exotic Animal Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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