• Short Summary

    Every day sick fish from all over Japan are brought to the country's only fish hospital in Toba City, Mie Prefecture (Central Japan), for treatment.

  • Description

    Every day sick fish from all over Japan are brought to the country's only fish hospital in Toba City, Mie Prefecture (Central Japan), for treatment.

    The unique medical institution operates in the premises of a local town aquarium.

    The mushroom-shaped fish hospital has a feed preparation room and a treatment room. The treatment room has some 20 tanks which serve as "beds" for the sick pets. Their illnesses are as various as indigestion, poor appetite, and swelling of the internal organs.

    The hospital staff -- made up of a team from the aquarium's research station -- also offer free counselling for pet owners. They receive hundreds of letters from all over Japan and the world every year.

    Lately, the hospital has even started to receive emergency calls. they come from places like fishery co-operatives and hotels which have learned of the hospital's success. All the hospital's services are free.

    SYNOPSIS: This is Japan's latest contribution to medical science ... a fish hospital in Toba City, about two hundred miles south west of Tokyo.

    One of the services offered by the hospital is a free counselling service. Fish doctors like Mr. Masami Funita receive many letters each day from fish pet owners in Japan and all over the world.

    This is the treatment room, where about twenty tanks serve as "beds" about the hospitalised fish. Every day, fish doctors make the rounds of these tanks to treat their "patients". This coral fish has been sick with a red scale disease."
    A fish will be hospitalised if it has white spots on its scales or its scales are falling off. These are symptoms of an eye disease. In this case the eyes pop out and an injection syringe is used to release the air trapped inside the eyes. The pets which are commonly treated here, are carp, gold fish and tropical fish.

    This turtle was brought in suffering from indigestion. Minor complaints of this kind are usually treated with medicine.

    It is difficult to discern healthy fish from those suffering from internal disorders. Generally, however, the fish doctors diagnose by observing the way they swim, the colour of their eyes and their appetite.

    Among the special cases are fish which swim on their sides because of a swelling of their internal organs. The researchers try to help them regain their sense of balance by attaching floats to their dorsal fins and weights to their bellies.

    The hospital was set up by the Toba Municipal Aquarium in nineteen sixty-five to mark its tenth anniversary. It has a staff of twelve. They are all members of the aquarium's research section.

    Apart from counselling and treatment, the hospital now runs an emergency service. It receives calls from anxious pet owners at all times of the day and night.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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