As Sherry mentioned previously, we have been concerned about a growth on one of the trout living in Carolina Wildlife. She arranged for the trout to travel to the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State in Raleigh. It was a little strange wheeling a large cooler into the lobby of the small animal hospital where others were waiting with cats and dogs. I bet a lot of folks wondered what Katy and I had in there!
The first step for examination was to calm the fish with anesthesia. Since fish get their oxygen from water, the chemical anesthetic is dissolved in water and enters their bodies through their gills. In just a few minutes our trout was floating on his side indicating he was under sedation. The fish was then carefully transferred to a foam pad and a small hose was placed in his mouth to provide a continuous flow of water over the gills. The fish was periodically moistened with water to prevent drying. This procedure allowed the Vet school staff to examine the affected area and collect samples. Our fish was attended to with great care by Dr. Greg Lewbart
and Shane Christian from the Aquatic Medicine group and was also examined by Dr. Krugg
, a veterinary dentist.
After a good deal of speculation, the diagnosis was that the trout’s tongue had some how “herniated” through the bottom of the jaw. All present agreed that this was a very unusual case! Due to otherwise healthy
state of the fish and the danger of damaging the blood supply to the gills, the Vet School staff decided not to remove the tongue from the lower jaw. After a few minutes in anesthesia free water, the trout was back to his old self and we packed him up for the van ride back to the museum.
Our prescription was to watch to make sure the fish continued to eat and that the “wound” continued to improve.It has now been over a week since our visit and the trout continues to eat well and look fine. We may catch it again soon to see how the tongue is progressing, if so we will post an update.
Thanks again to the staff at the College of Veterinarian Medicine for all their help.
Thanks to Keeper Katy for all the great pictures.