Hello fellow Veterinarians.
I know a lot of you out there are interested in seeing fish patients, but don’t know where to start. Getting training can be a little daunting, but check out our Aquatic Education Resources page. Once you have the skills, it’s super easy to start seeing clients. Aside from some drugs, nets and buckets, you have everything else you need already! Here’s the secret to increasing your fish clients:
Put a fish tank in your waiting room.
Yes, that is it. I suggest you keep it simple. A basic 10 gallon tank with a few tropical fish or 1-2 goldfish and some decor is all you need. Since most pet fish are kept in multi-pet households with dogs and cats, you already know who your clients are. When anyone asks about the tank, have your staff tell them you see pet fish.
Don’t think fish are worth your time? Well, let’s look at the numbers:
Total Number of Pets Owned in the U.S. (millions)
Freshwater Fish 139.3
Saltwater Fish 18.8
Small Animal 14.0
Although only 12.5 million households own fish compared to 94 and 90 million households for cats and dogs, respectively, the total number of potential fish patients is significantly more than any other pet. And most pet fish are IN households with cats and dogs!
Why not add fish? It’s certainly worth your time.
Find your best resources below:
American Association of Fish Veterinarians
World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association
Wet Vet Weekend
Aquatic Veterinary Education Resources
Ever watched some videos about how to do fish surgery online? Looks easy, right? Well, we’ve decided to write up a step-by-step guide for you do-it-yourselfers who want to try their hand at fish surgery. No veterinary degree required!
Step 1: Call a veterinarian. There are plenty who specialize in fish, check here and here.
Tah dah! And your surgery is all taken care of by a legitimate professional who put themselves into massive amounts of debt and pain of 4 extra years of school on top of their regular college degree whose sole purpose in life is to take away pain and suffering in your pet. Don’t give me that “it’s just a fish” line. Fish can have pain and discomfort just the same as if your gym trainer decided to try their hand at foot surgery. They’re obviously qualified because they work with the human body? I don’t think so.
Don’t ever attempt surgery on your fish unless you are a trained veterinary professional. It’ll save you from the embarrassing phone call to the vet who told you specifically not to attempt your own surgery when your fish is barely surviving and in a whole lot of extra pain. I wish I was kidding, but we got this phone call yesterday.
Yes, the world of YouTube has certainly opened up the medical profession. Did you see that open heart surgery video? Great. That makes you a qualified professional. Go ahead and open your practice!
I don’t know what else to say other than, “DON’T DO YOUR OWN SURGERY ON YOUR FISH.” Let me do it. Yes, I charge money for it, but you get more than you pay for. Go ahead and ask your trainer to do your coronary bypass next time you want to save money.