First and foremost, I’ve been late in updates due to my laptop crashing out last week.  Hopefully my new laptop is her come Wednesday this week, less than 2 days from now.
Since my last post, there were a few more days of poor appetite, and the pop-eye condition continued through until roughly Friday (5-25-2012) when it was no longer outwardly apparent.  Appetite has roared back since Saturday, and some of this I directly attribute to trying a new food soak. I received a care-package from Brightwell Aquatics (I had initially been inquiring about their AngeLixir food supplement given my maintenance of 2 pairs of spongivorous Holacanthus Angelfish).  Specifically, I started using the Max Amino supplement on the Spectrum Thera A pellet food I normally fed this pair, and they are eating the pellets with a fervor that I’ve not seen before.
Under the instruction of the vet I consulted, who I can now reveal as Amy Kizer, DVM, I am continuing to feed the Dr. G’s Antibacterial Food on a once per day basis (note, this is double the dose that Dr. G’s recommends on their packaging).  This dosage is largely a judgement call largely based on how the fish feeds…it doesn’t take a LOT of the Dr. G’s food at any sitting and may wait for minutes before even eating any.  But the main goal here is to keep a long term antibiotic exposure on this fish as instructed by Dr. Kizer; I should point out that Dr. G’s Antibacterial food similarly recommends a long term treatment of 2 weeks.  Overall, given that Dr. Kizer is the closest “fish vet” and yet is 3+ hours away, all of our consultation was done over email, and it’s fair to say that she’s having to trust my expertise and observations as much as I must trust in her training and expertise as well.
Ultimately, hiring a fish vet in this instance gave me peace of mind that I wasn’t doing something *wrong*, particularly in terms of treatement and medication application. The upside was that ultimately reassured me of my own plans, and yet, also reminded me that when it comes to being a fish-vet, the uncertainties are great and as much as we’d like to think that a doctor of any kind could provide a solid answer, it turns out that’s simply not the case, at least not in an acute, problem-solving atmosphere.  I’ve been saying all along that this fish could die at any point for any reason, but it never helps when, through discussions with a vet, you’re basically reminded that yet again.
I may write more about my experiences with Dr. Kizer in the future, if only to further share what benefits you could derive from consulting with a vet.  Fundamentally, you may be surprised to realize that on one level, the advice they may give you mirrors all that good advice that seasoned aquarists would give you.  Prevent, Quarantine, you know..avoid it in the first place.  The biggest thing I took away was having a sounding board to point me in new directions I had not thought of, for example Mycobacteriosis.  Not  a “good” thing to think about, but knowing that I should be AWARE of this OTHER possibility makes me that much more prepared to deal with future issues.