Large pet fish owners warned about the fish’s health problems and diseases

Large pet fish are at risk of spinal cord dislocation as most of them suffer from vitamin C deficiency and they move violently, said a veterinarian who treated a sick Siamese giant carp belonging to wellknown celebrity Patchara “Aum” Chaichua.

Veterinarian Thanida Hetrakul, the deputy director of Chulalongkorn University’s Veterinary Medical Aquatic Animals Research Center (VMARC), told Thai PBS that the centre accepted the 10-kg fresh-water fish, named Richie, for treatment since July 8 in response to Aum’s appeal in the Instagram for help after the fish became sick and unable to swim for unknown reasons.

She disclosed that X-ray examination show slight dislocation and minor infection of the spinal cord, slight decaying of the tail fin and chronic infection of the air bag or emphysema.

She explained that dislocation of spinal cord often happens with big fish because most of them suffer from vitamin C deficiency and they move violently.

These combined caused the fish unable to swim, said Ms Thanida, adding that she suspected the slight dislocation of the spinal cord might stem from an accident as the fish might have knocked itself at the wall of a pond.

However, she was confident that there is a good chance that Richie would swim as normal again.

Regarding the emphysema, she said the fish’s air bag thickened and became smaller than usual, hence, making the animal unable to stabilize in the water.

She admitted that the infection could be treated but the air bag would not function as normal.

Anti-biotic and vitamin have been administered to the fish and when its condition improved, it would be rehabilitated with assessment to be made every 3-5 days, said the veterinarian, adding that Richie would remain at the centre for two weeks at least.

Meanwhile, the centre has sent officials to check the quality of water in the pond at Aum’s residence and to bring water samples for tests which do not show anything unusual.

Ms Thanida noted that sick fish needs treatment “because fish is alive, but some people may think that it does not worth the treatment or the cost of transportation and buying a new fish is much easier.”

“But fish take a long time to die.  It does not die instantly and many suffer before they die.  But treatment can ease the pain and save life,” she said and advised pet fish owners not to buy medicine to treat the sick fish themselves because it will worsen the fish conditions. –Reporting by Chuthaporn Kanhar