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I have been seeing articles about fish antibiotics in the preparedness community for years now but I have not previously addressed them in this blog. But now that changes are being made in regulating animal antibiotics for 2017, a lot of readers are wondering about them. I am not a medical professional and cannot tell you the way to go in this matter but thought this would be a good time at least for a discussion.
What are fish antibiotics?
If you are not a fish owner, you may not be aware that antibiotics are available over the counter for common fish ailments such as fin rot. I have owned some aquarium fish myself, so I have known about them but have not had any occasion to use them. Some examples are Fish Pen, Fish Mox etc.
What does this have to do with survival?
When you are sick and unable to recover on your own, say a sinus infection, or have an infected cut on your finger, you would need to go to your doctor to get diagnosed for illness. If it’s viral then they give you ways to relieve the symptoms but really cannot prescribe antibiotics. If you have a bacterial infection, then the doctor prescribes antibiotics. Right now, in “normal times” it is not hard to get access to care.
However, in a collapse situation, when emergency rooms are overrun with patients, it may not be as easy to get a prescription. Without antibiotics, common ailments may become more serious. Here is a great article by Joe Alton, M.D. of the Survival Medicine website that explains this in more detail: Why Store Fish Antibiotics for Survival.
What is changing in 2017?
Right now, antibiotic resistance is a huge crisis in health care. Bacteria is getting more and more resistant to common antibiotics due to overuse of antibiotics worldwide. I have noticed that doctors who previously prescribed antibiotics “just in case” are a lot more vigilant about their usage. They now are likely to test if you have a bacterial infection (not a viral infection) before prescribing antibiotics. For this same reason, the FDA is monitoring the use of antibiotics in livestock.
The FDA will be requiring prescriptions from veterinarians for many animal antibiotics beginning January 2017, as outlined in the following link:
The FDA document does not specifically mention hobby fish antibiotics by name but there is always a possibility of further changes.
If you are a fish owner, then consider stocking up on fish antibiotics. As far as including them in your survival kit for extreme emergencies, it is still your decision. Do your research and make your own informed conclusion.
For now, fish antibiotics are still available. There is a great selection over at Camping Survival. They currently offer free shipping on these items.
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