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What to expect when treating for flukes...


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  • Regular Member

Hi everyone!!!! :D

I'm not going to complete the form just yet, because I think Alex might just pat me on the head and tell me not to worry so much (but I have all required info on hand if needed).

I know that if the fish has a high fluke burden and you treat with prazi they might feel a bit sickly for a little while, but I just want to clarify the specific symptoms that could be expected if this were the case?

My two teles came with a very high fluke burden (arrived in August last year), and I treated the whole tank to six rounds of PraziPro with salt at 0.1% (everyone also had a salt dip). The rest of the fish were completely unphased, but the two teles were occasionally bottom sitting at the start of the each round of Prazi.

Recently the same symptoms (split fins, yawning, occasional bottom sitting) have recurred in those same two fish, so I have started treating for flukes again. I'm just bit concerned about the magnitude of Mao's reaction to each Prazi round. Everyone else is fine, but following the first dose of Prazi he was bottom sitting a lot (like all day) and was very listless (being pushed around by the current). He was also kind of slumped to one side (I nearly had a heart attack because thought he was dead), although his dorsal was erect and not clamped. When I tried to rouse him with a net, he barely made it off the bottom and just got pushed around in the current about 2cms from the bottom. A couple of days later he was 100% fine again. Second round of Prazi = same reaction. He seems to be picking up again now.

Is this a normal reaction or should I start a proper D&D?

I've read about closed populations of fish developing tolerance to flukes, and really upsetting introduced fish who lack the tolerance. Could this be at play here? My original fish had never been treated for flukes prior to the introduction of the two teles.

Any info / advice would be appreciated! :D

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  • Regular Member

From what you describe, it does sound like it's a reaction that's directly related to treatment since it is brought on at the beginning of each round. As you probably have read, the reaction is not likely due to praziquantel making the fish feel bad, but rather the mass dying of the flukes, the wounds that they leave behind, and the possible infection of those wounds. The bottom sitting, lethargy, and lack of appetite would be characteristic behavior of fish undergoing treatment during the first 24-48 hours of the first couple of rounds.

What would not be normal is if this keeps happening after the first 2 rounds, because by then presumably the flukes population should have been reduced drastically.

How long is each of your rounds of treatment? You might want to do a salt dip prior to each round, for two rounds.

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  • Regular Member

I hoped it was just this process of flukes dying! But it did seem extreme, and also weird that he should be affected so badly while everyone else is completely unaffected. I have been using the 5 day round schedule, and round two was when I dosed with Prazi on Monday. It's currently Wednesday afternoon here, and he's only just started to get off the bottom again (This morning was when I thought he was dead). So I'm feeling relieved!

I meant to salt dip, but I just did not have the time as life has been hectic. I will try to salt dip everyone prior to round three :)

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I'd like for you to extend it out and do an 7-8 day round instead. :)

Also, I have found that it's better (for me) to just pre-emptively do maintenance prazi treatment every 3-6 months. When I do this, no salt is added, and the prazi goes in after a WC and then essentially is forgotten, and to be repeated months later. So far, this has worked out well for me, and I don't see any reactions from anyone. :)

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  • Regular Member

No worries, that's easier as far as maintanence goes anyway! Is the longer rounds to allow the more time for the wounds left by the flukes to heal in between? I like the idea of maintenance prazi too :D

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  • Regular Member

I'd like for you to extend it out and do an 7-8 day round instead. :)

Also, I have found that it's better (for me) to just pre-emptively do maintenance prazi treatment every 3-6 months. When I do this, no salt is added, and the prazi goes in after a WC and then essentially is forgotten, and to be repeated months later. So far, this has worked out well for me, and I don't see any reactions from anyone. :)

How many rounds do you do when you do this maintenance, Alex?

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  • Regular Member

I'd like for you to extend it out and do an 7-8 day round instead. :)

Also, I have found that it's better (for me) to just pre-emptively do maintenance prazi treatment every 3-6 months. When I do this, no salt is added, and the prazi goes in after a WC and then essentially is forgotten, and to be repeated months later. So far, this has worked out well for me, and I don't see any reactions from anyone. :)

How many rounds do you do when you do this maintenance, Alex?

Just one. :)

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  • Regular Member

I'd like for you to extend it out and do an 7-8 day round instead. :)

Also, I have found that it's better (for me) to just pre-emptively do maintenance prazi treatment every 3-6 months. When I do this, no salt is added, and the prazi goes in after a WC and then essentially is forgotten, and to be repeated months later. So far, this has worked out well for me, and I don't see any reactions from anyone. :)

How many rounds do you do when you do this maintenance, Alex?

Just one. :)

Alex, When do you start to consider treating for secondary infection? What symptoms do you watch for?

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  • Regular Member

I'd like for you to extend it out and do an 7-8 day round instead. :)

Also, I have found that it's better (for me) to just pre-emptively do maintenance prazi treatment every 3-6 months. When I do this, no salt is added, and the prazi goes in after a WC and then essentially is forgotten, and to be repeated months later. So far, this has worked out well for me, and I don't see any reactions from anyone. :)

How many rounds do you do when you do this maintenance, Alex?

Just one. :)

Alex, When do you start to consider treating for secondary infection? What symptoms do you watch for?

I think the major sign is when treated fish still bottom sit after the first 48 hours of the first one or two rounds. Sometimes it will manifests in others ways, in what is often classified as septicemia. More rarely, you might actually see swelling and infection of the gills.

Secondary infections don't necessarily require additional treatments, but the time that it gets to the points I describe above, I usually do intervene.

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  • Regular Member

I'd like for you to extend it out and do an 7-8 day round instead. :)

Also, I have found that it's better (for me) to just pre-emptively do maintenance prazi treatment every 3-6 months. When I do this, no salt is added, and the prazi goes in after a WC and then essentially is forgotten, and to be repeated months later. So far, this has worked out well for me, and I don't see any reactions from anyone. :)

How many rounds do you do when you do this maintenance, Alex?

Just one. :)

Alex, When do you start to consider treating for secondary infection? What symptoms do you watch for?

I think the major sign is when treated fish still bottom sit after the first 48 hours of the first one or two rounds. Sometimes it will manifests in others ways, in what is often classified as septicemia. More rarely, you might actually see swelling and infection of the gills.

Secondary infections don't necessarily require additional treatments, but the time that it gets to the points I describe above, I usually do intervene.

I think we're at secondary infection stage - Although he seemed to be improving yesterday afternoon, he deteriorated dramatically overnight :(

Videos and D&D details on the way. At this stage I'm preparing myself for the possibility I might have to euthanise :( although I really hope he can be helped!

.

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  • Regular Member

  • *Ammonia Level (Tank) - 0

  • * Nitrite Level(Tank) - 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tank) - <5
  • * Ammonia Level(Tap) - 0
  • * Nitrite Level(Tap) - 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tap) - 0
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) – pH = 8.2, KH = 7*, GH = 8*
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) – pH = 7.6

Other Required Info:

  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Freshwater Master Test Kit

  • * Water temperature? 21*C
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 450 litres, more than a year now
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? eheim canister, 1000lph (still in the process of upgrading)
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? 50%, 2x per week
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Monday, 50%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 5 fish (2 large, 2 medium, 1 small), approx. 91 grams combined weight but haven’t weighed since December.
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, Bicarb, GH Conditioner (v. soft tap water here)
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? A mix of Repashi Soilent Green, Super Green and Meat pie 2 x daily. Frozen bloodworms approx. 3 times a week, veggies approx. 3 x per week.
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? Not since August / Sept last year
  • * Any medications added to the tank? See OP
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. See OP. Currently on second round of double dosed PraziPro with salt at 0.2% (ran out of salt, and then when Mao had that reaction I didn’t want to add additional stress)
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Just the split fins and occasional bottom sitting. Slight thickening of slime coat here and there, but never for longer than a day
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Mao is dopey (and possibly sight impaired), so doesn’t eat unless the food is right in front of his face. However when he has been really sickly I have been scoping him up in a bowl and feeding him separately, and he has been eating.
  • See videos for most recent update.
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  • Regular Member

Hi Linzi,

I'm so sorry. He appears to be very badly off, and when his body is bent into a C-shape like that, the prognosis is very very poor, I'm sorry to say. :(

Nevertheless, I think at this point the best thing to do is to ring up Helen. She has all the tools that might be needed to be helpful, and I am more than certain that she will do all she can to help.

:hug

Alex

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  • Regular Member

Hi Linzi,

I'm so sorry. He appears to be very badly off, and when his body is bent into a C-shape like that, the prognosis is very very poor, I'm sorry to say. :(

Nevertheless, I think at this point the best thing to do is to ring up Helen. She has all the tools that might be needed to be helpful, and I am more than certain that she will do all she can to help.

:hug

Alex

Thanks Alex, I appreciate the kind words. I will get in contact with Helen and go from there. At least Mao has had the best quality care I was capable of providing during his time with me, although it will be very sad to lose him.

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  • Regular Member

Linzi, I'm so sorry! Your fish could not have done any better than having you as caretaker. Mao is most lucky!

Thanks Lisa, I'm really sad but am taking some comfort in all of the effort I have put in to making his life as happy and healthy as possible. :(

I haven't been able to contact Helen, so I'm going to go ahead and euthanise. He's very close to dead already and it is senseless letting him suffer if there is no hope of him recovering :(

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  • Regular Member

Linzi, I'm so sorry! Your fish could not have done any better than having you as caretaker. Mao is most lucky!

Thanks Lisa, I'm really sad but am taking some comfort in all of the effort I have put in to making his life as happy and healthy as possible. :(

I haven't been able to contact Helen, so I'm going to go ahead and euthanise. He's very close to dead already and it is senseless letting him suffer if there is no hope of him recovering :(

I told Helen that you were going to contact her, but somehow she hadn't heard from you. Try talking to her on FB. :)

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All good. Helen and I discussed it all over the phone, and euthanised poor little Mao. At least he isn't suffering any more. :rip:

Thanks for the support Helen, Alex and Lisa, it makes such a difference .

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  • Regular Member

Im sorry about your fish :( I just wanted to add that I have found some fish seem much more sensitive to flukes than others. My black moor is always the first to show signs of them when it's time to treat. Sorry again :(

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  • Regular Member

Thanks Ahardeay, yes he was always a bit of a sensitive soul.

Just for the informational purposes of anyone reading this in the future: The mod team agree that Mao did not die from flukes. Actually I naively purchased him from a tank with quite a lot of disease in it, so he definitely has a history of disease, and something dormant could have woken up and acted quickly. It's impossible to tell for sure. The lesson here is to refrain from purchasing fish who don't appear healthy.

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