Other than women ;) there's not a lot that phases me... that was until today when I had to inject one of my own fish with antibiotics.
At some point on Thursday I noticed I was missing a fish in my tank. Closer inspection revealed that one fish was lurking in the undergrowth towards the back of the tank. That in itself is fairly unusual behaviour but the fish seemed to be swimming ok it was just very timid.
Then yesterday evening the poor thing started floating upside down around the tank. I decided that maybe it's time was up and that it would probably only deteriorate. I decided that if it was still alive in the morning I would euthanize it to put an end to its suffering.
This morning I picked up a bottle of phenoxetol which is a widely used fish aesthetic, and at 5 times the recommended anaesthetic dose is considered a fairly humane way to dispatch larger fish.
The only problem was the today the fish seemed somewhat more perky ...albeit upside down. After a couple of hours on googling the present situation I came to the “professional” (university of google) opinion that the fish had a swim bladder problem, most probably caused by an internal bacterial infection. The problem is that antibiotics are only available in the UK from a vet by prescription. What I would need was specialist vet who was willing to prescribe me a broad spectrum antibiotic without seeing the patient.
After a number of phone calls and more than one “sorry, did you say fish?” type comments I wasn’t getting very far. I realised what I needed was a vet who would not only prescribe me a broad spectrum antibiotic and come into the surgery out of hours to dispense it, but also do that at the kind of price that wouldn't need finance!
It appears that luck was on my side and I was able to find vet who was willing to provide me with a dose of antibiotic for just the cost of the drugs. We concluded that (as the only other realistic option was a bath in phenoxetol!) giving the fish a shot of antibiotics was in the animals best interests. But if there is not a dramatic turnaround in health within the next 24 hours then I proceed with the original plan.
So at 6pm having provided suaitable video and photographic evidence of my sick fish, I was armed with 2 syringe’s. Each contained a dose of 0.13ml of Baytril (dosage based on an equivalent reptile weight of 350g) one for today and then one to hopefully use 24 hours later.
Oh my goodness, talk about biting off more then I can chew! There is a lot of pressure when you really want to do a good job.... plus I also realised I wanted to take a picture of it. I setup the camera and the damp towel (for the fish) hit the self timer and then grabbed the fish (I make catching and presenting this slimy nervous fish sound easy). This was taken as I was trying to wiggle the needle through the maze of scales. I quickly realised that the angle of the needle needs to be much more parallel to the fish than it currently is and I needed to use a lot more pressure!
Anyway, l I’ve done the best I can and “Lazarus” as the fish will now be named (if he survives the next 24 hours) seems to be doing no worse as a result of his ordeal!
Interestingly in my internet searches I discovered that technically it’s illegal for me to inject my fish with anything unless it’s under the specific instruction of a vet (which it is, in this case), yet I could kill/euthanize the fish and not be in breach of the law
Lightroom: crop, auto levels, use curves to add contrast, vignette, sharpen, save to JPG
**Update** 18th Jan 1pm: just a little update. Lazarus seems somewhat better, due to the fact that he/she was more difficult to catch and more resistive to my touch when I gave the second injection yesterday evening, and this morning the gill movements are less rapid.
We are certainly not out of the woods yet but it's looking more promising than Friday. I intend to do a 20% water change today and add a little salt to the water as I believe that this can help.