Dear Martin:

Pete Giwojna

Dear Martin:

You’re very welcome to any and all of the information I can provide to help keep your seahorses happy and healthy, sir.

It’s good to hear that you were able to obtain some of the acetazolamide (brand name Diamox) but be advised that online sources for such medications are not always trustworthy and reliable, Martin…

Unfortunately, obtaining Diamox (the tablet form of acetazolamide) can often be a Catch-22 situation for hobbyists. It is a prescription drug often used for treating glaucoma, hydrocephaly, epilepsy, congestive heart failure, and altitude sickness in humans so you have to get it from your Vet or perhaps your family doctor. Regrettably, Veterinarians are often unfamiliar with using Diamox to treat gas bubble syndrome in seahorses — it is sometimes used by vets to treat glaucoma and cats or dogs or as a diuretic to treat certain conditions in horses (the four-legged kind), but your veterinarian will probably never have heard of gas bubble disease or treating it with carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Many pet owners are on very good terms with their Vets, who are accustomed to prescribing medications for animals, so it’s often best to approach your Vet first about obtaining Diamox despite the fact they may never have heard of it until you brought it to their attention. Your family doctor, of course, will be familiar with such medications and have Diamox on hand but it can sometimes be difficult to get your MD to jump that final hurdle and prescribe it for a pet. Either way, it can be tough to get the medication you need under these circumstances.

However, I would always exhaust those possibilities first before I considered an alternative source for the Diamox. Do a search for “carbonic anhydrase inhibitor” on the “Seahorse Life and Care” discussion forum on the Ocean Rider website (, and print out some of the detailed information that’s been posted regarding gas bubble disease and how it’s treated using Diamox and present that to your family veterinarian and/or your family practitioner. Bring photographs of your stallion with the positive buoyancy problem and be prepared to bring the seahorse in for a visit, if necessary. (Veterinarians are prohibited by law from prescribing medications to treat an animal they have not personally seen and examined. If you have had a close personal relationship with your vet over a period of years, they are often willing to bend that rule in the case of fish, but you may well have to bring the ailing seahorse in for a quick checkup to get the desired results.)

If your veterinarian is unfamiliar with Diamox, Martin, then I would recommend ordering the medication from Drs. Foster’s and Smith at the following URL, in which case Pet Pharmacy will then contact your vet for you in order to obtain the necessary prescription authorization:


As an alternative, not too long ago, it was possible to order the Diamox online without a prescription from a good source in Canada, but that is no longer the case. Nowadays, the vast majority of the online pharmacies are dummy sites that are simply trying to rip people off. Many of them are based in Russia or the other states in the old Soviet Union, or China, even if they purport to be Canadian or some other nationality, and are simply trying to obtain your credit card information for outright fraud. Other overseas drug outlets you can order from online without a prescription will not abuse your credit card, but instead will send worthless sugar pills that contain no medication whatsoever rather than the drug you actually order, which has very serious repercussions for ailing people that are trying to obtain the drugs for their own health problems, rather than for a pet pony. Because of these sorts of abuses, the U.S. Customs people can and will intercept such shipments whenever possible, confiscating the packages they can track down. For these reasons, I no longer suggest that home hobbyists try to obtain the Diamox online without a prescription…

With the good Canadian source that we used to be able to rely on no longer in business, and other online sources of pharmaceuticals becoming increasingly risky and hazardous to use, I no longer suggest that hobbyists consider obtaining the Diamox from such sources.

Best of luck obtaining the Diamox if you need to resolve your stallion’s gas problems once and for all, Martin.

Pete Giwojna, Ocean Rider Tech Support

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