Archived News

New Service for Fish and Other Aquatic Animals

June 30, 2009

What's New Image

Whether for a small aquarium fish or a commercial aquaculture operation, specialized veterinary services are available for aquatic species at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Scott Weber MSc, VMD, has been uniquely trained to deal with both the health of individually owned fish and aquaculture species. His expertise includes freshwater, brackish, and marine fish, amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic invertebrates. The team also includes other exotic animal veterinarians and a technical crew.

Services are built on the long-standing experience of the school's fish pathology group, which is responsible for discoveries about koi and sport fish health as well as the development of new testing methods to screen for and help prevent fish disease.

The Aquatic Animal Health team consults through the Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Service and can accommodate patients at the hospital and in the field.

Many fish cases are local. As veterinarians who specialize in fish health are uncommon, some patients have come from the
Eastern United States, Hawaii and  as far away as Japan. Clients may be owners of home aquarium animals, aquaculture operations, retail/wholesale dealers, laboratories, public zoos and aquariums, and state or federal agencies. Koi enthusiasts, who invest substantially in their hobby, are among Weber's clients.

A wide range of services is available. The veterinary team performs water testing, physical examination, gill biopsies, surgery, endoscopy, skin and scale scrapings, cultures, imaging services (i.e. radiography, ultrasound, CT, and MRI), koi herpes virus (KHV) testing, fish virology and microbiology, histopathology, and necropsy.

The service, in conjunction with the Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Service and other specialists in the teaching hospital, treats aquatic animals such as amphibians, aquatic reptiles, aquatic birds, and corals and invertebrates in reef tanks.

Weber worked most recently for the New England Aquarium. At UC Davis, he is linking up with regional aquariums, wildlife rehabilitators and international conservationists on service and research projects. His research interests include infectious disease and immunology of finfish as well as sea turtle health.

The Aquatic Animal Health Service is one of more than 30 specialty services offered  by the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Davis and the UC Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego. These clinical services are offered to both large and small animals and range from routine checkups and preventive services to intensive care for the most complex cases. Many patients come through referrals by other veterinarians, but for many clients, the VMTH provides primary care for the family pet.

Faculty and staff provide the highest quality of care for patients while teaching veterinary students the essential skills of veterinary practice. Veterinary professors also train experienced veterinarians specializing in fields such as veterinary oncology, equine surgery, food animal medicine, ophthalmology, nutrition, behavior and more.

Click here to make an appointment with the Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Service, or call 530-752-1393.