When most people think of taking a pet to a vet for treatment, they imagine cats or dogs, maybe rabbits and guinea pigs, or perhaps even smaller furry creatures. One animal that's not often considered is the humble goldfish.
Goldfish have long been popular pets, but the trouble is that people see them differently to other animals. There's a pervasive belief that fish are fine if they're pretty much left to their own devices and if they get sick there's nothing much that can be done about it. The truth, however, is quite different.
At the very least, a vet can make a diagnosis of the problem, recommending or providing medicine to treat it. Depending on their level of expertise in treating fish, they may be able to provide other treatments, too. If you have a sick goldfish you want to take to a vet, the only problem is transporting them there; here's how to do it safely.
Invest in a transportation tank
It's important to have a smaller tank in which to transport your fish so they can be kept safe during the journey. Make sure the one you choose has a secure, tight-fitting lid and isn't made of heavy materials.
Prepare in advance
Get the transportation tank ready the night before your vet appointment, if possible, or at least as far in advance as you can. Use the existing water from the fish's main tank and fill the smaller one about halfway, or so there's enough water for the fish to be comfortable but a good sized gap for air. Leave it in the same room as the main tank so the water temperatures remain the same, which will minimise stress to the fish.
Take extra water
With some treatments, there may be a need for the vet to replace the fish's transportation water. The vet might also need to perform tests on water fresh from the tank. Fill a container with as much as you can carry without leaving the main tank too low.
Carefully transfer the fish from their living tank into the transportation one using a small net. Do it gently but quickly to reduce handling time.
The car journey
If there's someone available to go with you to the vet, they can help keep the tank steady in the car. Otherwise, put it on the front seat next to you so you can keep an eye on it, drive carefully and take a quiet route if you can.