March 2009 FAMA Editor's Note
A Fish Editor's Health Plan.
I planned on writing this editorial yesterday, but my plans kind of went up in smoke. So I’m penning (I guess keyboarding is more like it) my editorial a day later than planned. Here’s what happened: Beep. Beep. Alarm goes off, eyes open, I feel a four-fingered squeeze in the heart area, followed by a quick pinch in my left shoulder, followed by a minute-long dizzy spell. Given my family history, I determined that a trip to my local emergency ward was the best medicine for me.
After a battery of heart-related tests, including one where dye was injected into my blood vessels and then X-rayed to determine whether blood was moving through my arteries unimpeded, I was given a clean bill of health. While staring at the ceiling and walls between procedures, one of the things I pondered was how much like fish we really are, at least medically.
Those who are familiar with FAMA fish vet Mark Mitchell’s features and his new “Wet Vet” column know that he often writes about preventative measures to keep our fish healthy (good nutrition, clean water and quarantine versus good diet and exercise for me). He also discusses how to determine what ails our sick fish, and the best course of action to take once a determination is made, by performing external (visual inspection of gills, fins, breathing, etc. versus a doctor asking me questions about my symptons) and internal exams (gill scrapes versus my heart dye job).
Happily, all my tests came back negative (probably that old, workaday bugaboo — stress). And I won’t have to be humanly ethanized by having two burly orderlies place me in a giant, water-filled ziplock and locking me away in a freezer, or picking me up by my ankles, swinging me round and round and clocking me into a brick wall, or switching my oxygen to CO2 (an Alka Seltzer in a bowl of water will work for fish). In this issue’s Wet Vet column, the talk turns to what might cause seahorses to not be able to eat.
And as long as we are talking about medicine and fishes, be sure to check out, “What’s in Your Fish Cabinet?” This article takes a look at some of the conventional and some not-so-conventional medicines every hobbyist should have on hand to treat all and sundry ailments, which tend to affect their fishes. Stay healthy — you and your fishes.