The start of clinical diseases of bee’s and fish (Day 184)

Diseases of Honeybees - American Foulbrood

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Supreme Pet Foods

This was a very special day for me, when I started studying years ago I started on the path to following my dream, then last June I got accepted into vet school, and on September 13th 2012 I started vet school. Today I started clinical topics; in vet school you have the theory or pre-clinical stuff, and then you have the clinical stuff when you start looking at treating patients. Diseases of Bee’s today was looking at diagnosing and treating different diseases in bee’s, and in diseases of fish today we looked at common problems of fish and how to do a clinical exam. I’ve got just 7 semesters of vet school left now before I am released onto the animal population.

Onto talking about diseases of bee’s, as bee’s are so small its difficult to carry out a clinical exam – or in fact notice problems – whilst they are alive so we are taught to look at the hives and any dead bee’s. Bee’s are very clean with the drones and worker bee’s cleaning out the dead from the hive, hence why you may find a pile of dead bee’s in front of the entrance to a hive. Several of these diseases are notifible (government or state has to be notified) and often the only treatment is the destruction of diseased colonies. One of the diseases we looked at today was American foulbrood which affects the brood and is extremely contagious with the bacteria forming spores which can live for years. The larvae become infected by swallowing these spores and basically rot in the cell before they reach the next life stage leaving behind a glue-like substance which the other bee’s cannot clean away. This is commonly diagnosed by looking at the cells for sunken concave caps on the cells often with holes in them (image below), and then using a matchstick to test for the gluey substance, if found a sample is then sent to a laboratory for cultivation to confirm the diagnosis.

Diseases of Honeybees - American Foulbrood
Concave, perforated wax caps indicative of american foulbrood

Following this in diseases of fish today we started looking at common problems and how to clinically exam a fish for disease. Depending on the species this can be easy or difficult with the size of the fish, and starts with observing the fish in its natural environment of water. Problems with fish vary from not being able to swim straight, swimming upside down, parasites, or even things like cancer with growths. Surprisingly there are quite a few owners that have opted for surgery on their fish to have lumps and bumps removed which is pretty cool. Next week we will be looking at fish anatomy with dissections to look at the different organ systems and the swim bladder.

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