Saving Sick Fish: How to Save Fish FAST!

The TLDR of Fish Health. Mastery in 40 pages. The new book by Dr Erik Johnson ( and )
The brand new Fish Health and treatment book is available at and 
If I was training a new employee for a pet shop, fish-friendly veterinary clinic, a garden center or pond company, this would be the book I'd hand the prospect. If someone bought a fish or tank from me, I'd give  them this book so they could get up to speed without ANY wasted time. There are 21 Q-R Codes that take you from A to Z if you somehow want more depth than the book gives you. There are nerds like that. The happy kid on the cover is better than a dead fish with its guts showing, which is NORMALLY what you see on a fish diseases book. I hope you like it. Doc Johnson
Forty page crash course with NO 'unnecessary' topics or information. You can solve fish health problems quickly and develop adequate proficiency to succeed with fish keeping and the aquarium hobby in an illustrated 2 to 3 hour read.
The author provides guidance and “how to's” based on more than twenty years experience as a fish health veterinarian. Author of several other books on fish health, this is not a “pop-up” Chat GPT produced guess-book.
The book is supported by 21 QR Codes which take the reader to more information at the book's supporting website of the same name, where the reader will find a support forum, more than 60 conserved (reader only) resources which are substantially video tutorials.
This is exactly the book you would give to a new hobbyist who wanted to be “pretty good” at fish keeping right out of the gate. You will stop losing fish and start enjoying the hobby.
About the video on
Another personal introduction to the book with Dr Johnson in person.

“Spotless Ich” is a Thing. But it’s EASY. (Video)

For some reason, Ich organisms don't cause white spots in Koi and most goldfish. I've NEVER seen white spot on Koi. At the same time, some of the hottest Ich infestations were on Koi. WITHOUT WHITE SPOTS.
If you see Koi or Goldfish turning red, getting slimy and depressed, it's usually a crashing pH but that's easy to prove.
Then if the pH is okay, you could break out your trusty microscope.
OR just start some salting.
Good article on salting over at

Chinese triple threat

According to authorities, the Chinese immigrants do not carry guns; and so they are not soldiers or spies. Whew!!!
You don’t have to Google some obscure, fringe right wing newsletter to find this information. It is being reported by CBS, NBC, MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, and all the mainstream media.

First fact:

There is an armed Chinese satellite trained on each and every unarmed American communications satellite. 

Second fact: 

Chinese immigration across the southern border has increased 500% and is the fastest growing demographic entering the United States illegally.

Third fact: 

China owns almost 400,000 acres of land which represents about one percent of American farmland, this has jumped 400% since 2020. The US Department of agriculture is not enforcing reporting laws, and they are buying farmland near Air Force bases. Currently, foreign land purchasers are on a self reporting basis. It is an unmonitored situation, and the USDA is not enforcing policies and fines associated with not disclosing the location and purpose of privately held farmland.

Chronic diarrhea considerations pretty thorough

The chronic GI upset dog

An “on-and-off diarrhea with the following hallmarks:

  1. “Seems to be fine when on medicine but as soon as the dog goes off, it’s back.”
  2. “If we give anything out of the ordinary it triggers diarrhea.”
  3. “She never had this before <insert date>”
  4. Mostly diarrhea rather than vomiting.
  5. The dogs act fine when they go through the spells of diarrhea.
  6. Only occasionally vomiting.


Various Causes and Contributors to be Ruled out:

  1. Giardia tops the list (A fecal exam and some Metronidazole are effective but shows up on fecals less-than-half of the time)
  2. Hookworms in very young or rather old dogs (Empirical deworming, a fecal exam, or being on Heartgard are effective)
  3. Coccidia in younger dogs under 2 years old (Albon / Sulfa are effective and fecal exams may reveal it. Often not though.)
  4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be temporry or permaanent. (Sulfasalazine therapy can aid the diagnosis)
  5. Cancer is possible but in most cases is quite unlikely. In desperation, endoscopy, radiology, CT scan, MRI and maybe piunch-biopsy are useful but extremely expensive diagnostics for hopeless outcomes. So, why?


Various Controls for Active Diarrhea:


Phenobarbital can slow the gut and can save lives if the diarrhea is peeling through a dog’s hydration badly. This would be used for watery diarrhea of more than 24 hours duration and not responding to other modalities.


Sulfasalazine can be tried and the “results” should be closely noted, even written down. There is no reason to try Sulfasalazine if you don’t gather the information about “how she did on it” during the administration.

Steroids (to illuminate IBD) are risky in diarrhea – however, can be effective in gastritis and inflammatory colitis. In my hands, sulfasalazine needs to be shown to help, before daring to use a steroid in a bowel case.


For “watery” diarrhea:

DMSO can be given under the skin (properly diluted) if the diarrhea has gone to soup, water, jelly and absolutely has to be curbed pronto. DMSO dilutions IV or SC are great in long term diarrhea where nothing has worked so far. DMSO given undiluted under the skin feels like a Murder Hornet and a Killer Bee had a baby and four of those stung you. So DON’T use it undiluted.


Tums tablets have the effect of forming up (drying out) stools and reducing excess stomach acid which can be a contributor to colitis. So Tums would be 1-2 tablets (berry flavored) per twenty pounds once or twice a day. It’s indisputably helpful and cured nobody’s dog.


Digestive Enzymes such as “Prozyme” are sometimes amazingly helpful. Sometimes dogs never had enough enzymes. And sometimes later in life their enzyme production declines. Without “enough enzymes” the dog digests food poorly and then “whole undigested proteins” make it to the colon and create and inflammatory response. Also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease” which is (amazingly) controlled with Prozyme!


There is an age and condition where pancreatitis should be ruled out.


All cases demand ‘stringent’ attention to MONOTONY in the diet. The food, should be Dry. The treats, NONE or we pre-agree on what they are. And what the treats aren’t. These dogs should never be “encouraged” to eat because they can feel diarrhea coming on in advance, and won’t be hungry the day before that happens. Let it be.


Of ALL the things the owner should remember: 99% of these type cases are very sensitive to fat. Any little burst or bite of fat in the diet can trigger explosive results.