THE PET FISH DOCTOR
When your dog or cat needs medical care, it’s generally not difficult to find a local veterinarian who is familiar with the general afflictions facing these species. But if your fish needs a doctor, whom are you going to call? Veterinarians with knowledge of pet fish medicine may be few and far between, but they do exist.
Dr. Helen Roberts is a small and exotic animal veterinarian who is one of the few practitioners in the country who provide medical and surgical care for fish. Located only 15 minutes from Niagara Falls, she is a partner at the 5 Corners Animal Hospital and is the go-to fish doctor at her associated practice, Aquatic Veterinary Medicine of Western New York. She says that when she talks to people about her work, most are “amazed” that she treats fish, and that she even performs surgery on fish. “I think the public perception is once a fish is sick, it’s dead,” she says. But through her veterinary practice, her educational publications and her lectures to all kinds of audiences about fish health, this outdated perception is beginning to change.