Emergency Seahorse Care Part IV: CPR

By: | Date: 02/20/2004 | 2 Comments |


I once had the ph of a tank drop to a critically low level due to some mistakes in chemistry and not paying close enough attention. My first sign something was wrong was when all the seahorses in that aquarium were exhibiting signs of stress. As soon as I realized what was happening, I put water from another tank into a bucket, put the seahorses from the problem tank in that water, and added an airline.

One, however, stopped breathing and was lying on the bottom. After about a minute, it was still not breathing, so I grabbed a catheter and syringe, and filled it with water from the bucket. I started forcing the good water over its gills. About a minute later it started breathing on its own again, and was fully recovered by the next day.

I’m not sure if it was forcing the water over its gills that helped, or if it would have recovered anyway. However, since that happening, I now always keep a syringe and catheter “ready to go” I suspect that this type of “CPR” could help in many cases of poisoning or stress where the seahorse has apparently passed on. I’ve had it help in a couple instances since that fateful time. If the seahorse was sick or old, its probably not going to be worth the effort. But in emergencies like the one I had, you may just be able to save your seahorse.

Back to Emergency Seahorse Care Part III: Injections
Back to Emergency Seahorse Care Part II: Tube Feeding
Back to Emergency Seahorse Care Part I: Sedating

Document last updated 8/13/2015

2 Responses to “Emergency Seahorse Care Part IV: CPR”

  1. Kurt Says:

    I have a question….. I found a beautiful sea horse on the beach on the sand… I tried to return it to the Ocean in Bahia Brazil but it seemed to be drowning so I took it out and tried to revive it at home, sadly it died a few hours later. It is about 6 inches long… had no visible injuries… why do you think this beautiful animal was on the sand and why do you think it died…

    I feel sad it died but so is nature…

    Thank you,

  2. TamiW Says:

    Its impossible to say, but the fact that you found it on the sand is not a good sign to begin with. Chances are it was already dying and that’s why it washed ashore. Maybe old age, who knows? A six inch seahorse from that area is probable an adult H. reidi. But great job in trying to save it, I’m sure it was better dying in piece rather than baking in the sun.

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