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Chutney Had A Second Lump, But Worse


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Chutney, it, Chutney. The goldfish everyone in my family loves best got another lump, but this time it's worse.

About 4 days ago, a lump very much like the first showed up, and I assumed it would go away just the same. It was round, slightly smaller than his eye, about that same distance behind his right gill. Two days ago, it turned into an open wound (with white, solid pus), and he started having a little trouble with floatiness. I was afraid his tankmates would pick on him, and I wanted to prevent infection, so I put him in 6 gallons of water in a Sterilite tub, with 1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in it.

The open wound looked worse this morning, with scales sticking up around it from the puffiness, and the pus coming outwards. But Chutney was still acting okay, so I went out to eat with friends, planning to post here and change the water when I returned.

Chutney seemed much more pathetic when I returned home. He was floating way more, and sideways, and seeming more lethargic. If he kept acting like that, I figured he would be dead before morning.

I figured I should at least try to excise the pus, because if he died really soon anyway I would have at least tried to save him. So before I put Chutney in the fresh quarantine tank, I did a desperate amateur surgery. I put him in a shallow tray of quarantine tank water, and very gently pressed the sides of the ulcer and pulled off (no resistance) the pus with sterilized tweezers. I then dabbed a cotton swab with hydrogen peroxide The ulcer has now appeared to close, and the scales are no longer sticking up around it.

He swims around fine now, but sometimes floats upwards, tail end first. Where the lump was is now red, and slightly raised, but the scales are flat. It is kind of white in the middle, but I don't see any pus. It is on an area that is normally white (Chutney is orange and white).

I cannot get an accurate image of his side. My camera is too bad. It doesn't show up any better on video.

(His tankmates (Chippie and Blunderbuss) are as robust and vigorously healthy as ever.)

Here is my post from the first time something like this happened:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/112639-what-should-i-do-about-this-lump/

* Ammonia Level:
0
* Nitrite Level:
0
* Nitrate Level:
0 (it's a quarantine tank)
* Tap Water Levels:
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
* Ph, Tank:
7.6
* Ph, Tap:
7.6
* Test Kit:
API Freshwater drop test kit.
* Water temperature:
68 degrees Fahrenheit
* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
Regular tank is 45 US gallons, running since February 2012.
Quarantine tank I set up yesterday is 6 gallons.
* Filters:
Aquaclear 70 and Aquaclear 30. Nothing on quarantine tank.
* How often do you change the water and how much?
For the main tank, I change 2/3 of the water, weekly. I last changed it Wednesday.
For the quarantine tank I just changed all of the water about an hour ago (and added a tablespoon of salt) It had all fresh water yesterday, with a tablespoon of salt.
* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
Yesterday, see above.
* How many fish in the tank and their size?
In 45 gallon: Two lionheads, 3" long including tails.
In quarantine: one lionhead that's the same size, who of course usually lives with the other two.
* What kind of water additives or conditioners?
Seachem Prime, 1.5x standard dose because of chloramine and wanting to be on the safe side.
* What do you feed your fish and how often?
I haven't been feeding Chutney at all in quarantine.
Normally, I feed them once a day every day except for water change day, when I don't feed them at all. I feed them 1/2 a block (between the 3 of them) veggie-based gel food five days a week (I can't remember the brand! It comes frozen, in little "serving size" foil things, maybe it was "Formula Two?" It's in a Zip-loc now and I didn't relabel it correctly) and soaked New Life Spectrum sinking pellets one day a week.
* Any new fish added to the tank?
No; all three fish were purchased together and added to the tank back in July 2012.
* Medication/treatment history for fish and tank:
I did the standard Koko's PraziPro/salt treatment when I first got the fish, back in July 2012.
I added a tablespoon of salt to the quarantine tank.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

(All described above.)

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?
Sometimes when Chutney stops swimming, he floats upwards, tail end first, but can correct himself easily.
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UPDATE:

It took me forever to type that. Maybe an hour and a half. So, I checked on Chutney after posting, and he seems normal now! In an hour and a half, the swelling has gone down, and the area where the ulcer was looks smooth and only pink, not red. He is no longer floating at all. He is trying to get me to feed him.

So, what is his problem?

Why has he gotten lumps, one of which ulcerated?

What is wrong with him? (The other two fish have never had any issues at all.)

How can I fix/prevent this problem?

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It sounds as though he is getting bacterial cysts. It seems once a fish gets them, they often return. I had a fish that got about 4 or 5 of them while his tank mates never got any . . .

I would just keep a close eye on him and if/when you see it's about to "pop" or you see the pus coming out, remove him from the main tank until the pus stops oozing so that he is not in the tank with the other fish when this happens.

I don't know that there is much you can do to prevent or fix it. At one point, my fish with the cysts developed dropsy but having MetroMeds on hand ready to feed helped tremendously. :D

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Bacterial cysts. D: Thanks for telling me.

Are they contagious? What would happen if it did pop with the other fish around? (Besides, I imagine, them eating the pus and then spitting it out, horrified. Ew.)

I will be ordering MetroMeds when I get my next paycheck. Where is the best place to order it from? (I have not yet begun Googling.)

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bacteria cysts seem to be an isolated problem to the individual. you can try and snap an overhead photo so that we can see the shape of the body if the cyst is growing on his side. they are usually not far from the gill and just under the lateral line.

if they are bacteria cysts, they should not have ulcerated. please try to get a clear photo or video, this could be something more. removing him to a small transparent tub just to get the media requested, might help.

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MetroMeds can only be ordered from goldfishconnection.com

Is there a red open wound or ? What are you considering an ulcer?

I called it an ulcer because it was red and open. I don't know what an ulcer properly is, I guess, sorry if I misled anyone.

Chutney is now acting normally, and his side is clear, so I put him back in the 45 gallon with his friends. The place that 24 hours ago was an open wound filled with white pus, with scales sticking out around it, is now smooth with a slight yellow (kind of bruise-ish) mark. If you didn't know where to look, you wouldn't notice anything wrong at all. It even took me a little while to remember what side it was on. So, there is nothing to take a picture of now, which is great; now my favorite fish doesn't seem like he's dying.

Thank you all. Of course I'm glad this cleared up so fast, but it's kind of frustrating not to definitively diagnose what's wrong with Chutney.

Hopefully it won't happen again, but if it does, I will try my hardest to take good pictures of it and post them immediately. And I will be ordering MetroMeds. Thanks.

EDIT:

In the future, should I play Goldfish Surgeon again and clear the pus out of an open cyst? Did that help, or would it have gone away by itself? He seemed like he was in the process of dying before I did that, but do you think it actually helped?

Edited by nothingtoreallygetfastfor
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I don't think that you should play Goldfish Surgeon, but if you were to want to clear the would of infection and other debris, you could do this once, and then apply some sort of disinfectant (betadine, HP) on top of the wound. Then leave it to heal, just as you might in a human.

Having said that, it's not necessary to do, and it could actually cause more harm than good. In a wound, aside from the infection (bacteria etc.), immune cells and repairs cells will have already been recruited to the site. So you could potentially be removing them too when you are clearing things out.

In any case, I am really glad that he's OK. For the future, I would definitely recommend keeping him isolated for an extra couple of days to heal completely. Wounded fish can be bullied on, even by the normally very friendly goldfish.

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I don't think that you should play Goldfish Surgeon, but if you were to want to clear the would of infection and other debris, you could do this once, and then apply some sort of disinfectant (betadine, HP) on top of the wound. Then leave it to heal, just as you might in a human.

Having said that, it's not necessary to do, and it could actually cause more harm than good. In a wound, aside from the infection (bacteria etc.), immune cells and repairs cells will have already been recruited to the site. So you could potentially be removing them too when you are clearing things out.

In any case, I am really glad that he's OK. For the future, I would definitely recommend keeping him isolated for an extra couple of days to heal completely. Wounded fish can be bullied on, even by the normally very friendly goldfish.

Thank you, dnalex. I wouldn't have played Goldfish Surgeon in the first place, had Chutney not seemed to be in the process of dying. I knew there was a chance of really messing him up and making it even worse. But I think it was a good bet at the time, since the alternative seemed to be watching a fish die. I did use hydrogen peroxide to dab the wound (I was sure to avoid the gill), because the isopropyl alcohol I had contained green dye and a wintergreen scent, and I wasn't sure how safe it was.

Final questions:

1) Is there anything I could do to prevent future bacterial cysts? More frequent (or bigger) water changes?

2) Should I start feeding Chutney MetroMeds as soon as I notice a cyst is forming? And for how long should I continue feeding MetroMeds after the cyst clears?

3) If I see pus-stuff trailing from the wound, would it be good to just pull it off (no digging into the skin with tweezers or anything), or should I leave it?

4) Which disinfectant is best to have on hand for goldfish: (plain) isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or betadine?

5) Is the pus-stuff dangerous for them to eat? I wasn't extremely thorough about clearing the particles from the water. Hopefully they'd spit it out because surely it tastes bad, but they'd probably still accidentally ingest bits. Ugh, so gross. :no:

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