By Bob Goemans
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Fish Medicine

Authored by: Michael K. Stoskopf, D.V.M., Ph.D.

A book review by Bob Goemans

TITLE: Fish Medicine

AUTHOR: Michael K. Stoskopf, D.V.M., Ph.D.

PUBLISHER: W.B. Saunders Company

ISBN 0-7216-2629-7

PAGES: 882

PRICE: $95.00

We probably have here the most well written, comprehensive, up-to-date reference source on fish medicine since the end of the last ice age. Although, let me make it very clear from the beginning, this book is far and above the general books, no matter what the subject, most of us aquarists prefer on our personal library shelves. Medical terminology is applied freely throughout the book, as is standard common names of fishes. Taxonomic names of fishes are relegated to the appendices.

The book is divided into two parts. The first Part/Section contains seventeen chapters devoted to basic clinical knowledge as applied to fishes in general. They include Anatomy, Histology, Physiology, Genetics, Examination, Surgery, Hospitalization, Water Analysis, Soil and Substrate Analysis, Specific Ion and Toxicologic Analysis, to mention a few. The second Part of the book has eight Sections, containing an additional eighty-five chapters. It takes the reader into the intricacies of clinical fish medicine related to specific groups of fish. Take for example the section relating to Marine Tropical Fishes. It consists of the following chapters: Taxonomy and Natural History, Clinical Pathology, Environmental Requirements, Nutrition, Reproduction, Bacterial Diseases, Fungal Diseases, Viruses, Parasitic Diseases, Neoplasias, and, Pharmacology of Marine Fishes. Take into consideration the other seven Sections in this portion of the book pertains to Temperate Marines, Sharks/Skates/Rays, Salmonids, Freshwater Tropical Fishes, Freshwater Temperate Fishes, Catfish, Goldfish/Koi/Carp, and you have a very broad reference source. Numerous line drawings, sketches, tables, black and white photographs, seven Appendices, which provide, but are not limited to, conversion tables, summarize drug dose information, and provides scientific/common names for fishes, greatly add to the value of this extraordinary reference manual.

No one or thing is truly perfect and neither is Fish Medicine. Close maybe, but I did notice on page 613, the triggerfish referred to as a Clown Triggerfish should have been referred to as a "Queen" Triggerfish. I may be able to find another mistake, or two, given a year or so to browse all 882 pages. But who really cares about such minor deficiencies when there are tons of worthwhile data to absorb!

Should you be one of those individuals who likes to wade through anatomy, histology, and the morphology of fishes in search of medical techniques and methodology which can be applied to a wide variety of fishes, then Fish Medicine is for you. I would also tend to think this is a book which belongs in the library which many aquarium societies maintain for the benefit of their members. Check it out!

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