Koi Health Adviser Program
We’ve all been there before, starting out or relatively new and totally frustrated by a sick Koi in our pond. Who do you call, where do you go for answers? Most pet shops don’t normally deal with ponds and many of the ones that do just say “buy this”, most Veterinarians don’t treat fish or ponds, the agricultural extensions are geared toward farming….. Out of this frustration was born the KHA program, taking from AKCA member club’s “help lines”.
Hobbyist learn the basic core principals of proper pond design, filtration and water quality. Along with this they learn disease prevention, good nutrition and health basics to become better Koi keepers. Once we are better Koi keepers ourselves we can now help others.
The KHA program is not intended to replace the professional veterinarian, but to put a “fellow Koi keeper” out there to help. Is the problem water quality issues or is there a serious health problem? If the pond needs the attention of a Veterinary Professional then the KHA can help the owner get in touch with those vets that deal with ponds or give the open minded local vet a vet contact who does deal with ponds for professional information.
SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE REPORT 2014
Hello! I am Julie Miller, the new KHA director. I am so excited to see what we, as a group, can do to revitalize the program. It has been set up so well that I know we can make this the best program of its kind.
I have had a pond in Iowa for a number of years but did not know of any pond and koi clubs until a friend approached me about a new one starting up. They needed someone in the club that would learn more about the care and advancements in the hobby and in turn teach the rest of the club. As a recently retired teacher, I took on that task. I found that Iowa had only one veterinarian who works with koi. Many states are even less fortunate and have none. This proved to me how important the KHA program is. Even though I only became a KHA in 2011, I decided to accept the Director position in order to enable others to have the same opportunity to help and receive help.
As the Director, I would like to make sure that all the AKCA clubs are being served well and are able to get the information they need. One step that I am actively working on is trying to update the list of KHAs who are still active. To this end, if you are a KHA please email me at email@example.com with KHA somewhere in the subject line and let me know if you are active or wish to be on the active list. My goal (to make sure that each club is served well) needs to start with making sure help is available to educate your members and solve problems. To that end, I would like for each club to have at least two active KHAs and large clubs should have even more. I would like to challenge each club to support individuals willing to work at becoming a KHA and encourage them to sign up for the course.
The New KHA Class of 2015.
Do KHAs take the place of veterinarians who work with koi? Absolutely not! The KHA is only the first line of defense. If we can teach our fellow hobbyists about good koi care, many problems would be alleviated. The KHA will be an available resource if a problem does arise. We would be there to give advice about how the owner could deal with the problem either by themselves, with our help teaching them how, or how they can contact the nearest veterinarian. It is not the KHA’s job to diagnose or treat but to help advise you what you could do and how to do it.
It is time for anyone interested in becoming a KHA to contact me at the above email address for an application. What does it entail to become a KHA?
- I will send an application to be completed.
- A short letter from your club endorsing you as a candidate and showing their willingness to support you and accept your advice.
- A $100 fee for taking the classes which will be returned upon completion of the classes.
- I will send the eight units, one at a time, via email for you to read and study for understanding. Instructors will be available via email to help with any questions. When you are ready with one unit, a test will be sent by me which, when returned, will be corrected. I will work with you on those you don’t have correct to make sure you comprehend the material. The understanding and knowing where to find the information is what is important to me. Upon demonstration of understanding, I will send the next unit.
- A t the end of all the written units will come the last unit which is a hands-on instruction at a Wet Lab setting. This year, the Wet Lab was held in Houston, Texas. Next summer it will be in Sacramento, California, and in 2016 it will be in Cedar Falls, Iowa. We would like to spread these Wet Labs around so people can travel a shorter distance. This, and setting up a KHA kit at the end of the course, are the main components that will cost money. There is no way I can cut the Wet Lab expense but to offer it in different parts of the country so you can choose one that is somewhat close to you. It would be nice if an east coast club would be willing to host one in the future. I can’t express how great the Wet Lab experience is. It is worthwhile for me every time that I attend. At the annual business meeting following the Wet Lab, we would like to honor and certify those who have completed the course.
There has been some confusion about what is necessary to keep your certification in the KHA program. The guidelines have been set as having improved your skills by taking additional classes, teaching your fellow club members, and/or advising them on a pond call. I am aware that there have not been too many classes offered nor has there been an easy way to report the work that you have done. I am open to suggestions to make this better. As of right now, since the opportunity was really not there, we will be starting all KHAs as current rather than penalizing anyone for not having that chance to be recertified. If you have any questions about this please send me an email.
There is also a chance to receive advanced degrees. Once I get to know more of those details, I will pass them on to all active KHAs. The advanced degrees include the Advanced KHA and the Master KHA. I hope you will consider advancing your training by pursuing these.
I would like to take this time to thank the AKCA and the past instructors, founders, and directors of the KHA program. I would also like to thank all the KHAs throughout the US and Canada for your work in enhancing the koi hobby with your service to others regarding proper koi husbandry including better koi health and prevention of diseases. Without your active participation, this hobby would not be what it is today.
Respectfully submitted by Julie Miller
KHA Program Director and AKCA Scientific Committee Chairperson
AKCA KHA Program by Julie Miller, KHA Director
The AKCA KHA Program is proud to announce that after a hiatus of several years, we are once again offering the full course of classes leading to KHA Certification.
We have solidified the instructors for the upcoming 2014-2015 KHA program to include:
- Unit One: Pond Design – Instructed by Mike Swanson of Koi Acres
- Unit Two: Water Quality – Instructed by Ellen and Myron Kloubec of Kloubec Koi Farm
- Unit Three: Pond Filtration – Instructed by Chris Neaves
- Unit Four: Koi Anatomy – Instructed by Dr. Nick Saint-Erne, DVM
- Unit Five: Koi Physiology – Instructed by Dr. Nick Saint-Erne, DVM
- Unit Six: Koi Nutrition – Instructed by Chris Neaves
- Unit Seven: Koi Health – Instructed by Dr. Nick Saint-Erne, DVM
- Unit Eight: Hobbyist Interface – Instructed by Julie Miller, KHA Director
- Wet Lab : Will be presented by Dr. Nick Saint-Erne, DVM at the AKCA Annual Business Meeting, Banquet and Wet Lab in Sacramento, CA (scheduled for the 20th – 21st June 2015 ).
Hilton Garden Inn Sacramento/South Natomas
2540 Venture Oaks Way, Sacramento, CA 95833
Hotel Registration on line at our personalized group web page.
Additionally, all the instructors will be updating their units by the start of next summer.
I have already signed up some students who are ready to start the units and we will begin soon, so don’t delay in signing up.
If you’re interested, please feel free to contact me at the below email address.
Julie Miller, KHA Director