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shakaho

And then a miracle occurs

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Last October, I found my beautiful wakin, Adam, lying on his side on the bottom of the pond, motionless.  Assuming he had died, I got a net to scoop out the body and he started flopping when I netted him.  So I put him in a bucket of water and set up a hospital tank to use until I decided what to do with him.  

 

 I put him in the hospital tank where he layed on his side in about 3 inches of water.  I tossed him some metro meds, and he did manage to eat them, but it took great effort since he couldn't control his movements.  He would try to get to a pellet that was in front of him and scoot backwards on his side.  But he did eat them all eventually, which was one reason I didn't euth.  The other was that the bucket he had been in had a fishy stink.  I have observed that fish that have an infection stink up the water in the course of a day.  As they recover, the smell subsides.  If Adam's condition was the result of an infection, perhaps curing the infection would help.  So I treated him with prazi and 0.1% salt, and fed metromeds.  Over the next couple of weeks, the smell went away, his poops looked healthy but he still layed on his side.

 

By thrashing wildly, he could get his mouth to the surface briefly and slurp some floating pellets, so I added his favorite food -- duckweed.  He gradually got better at grabbing some duckweed.  I figured the exercise was good for him, and kept supplying the goodies.  Then too, if it was possible for a deflated swim bladder to heal and refill, gulping some air at the surface might be the way to do it.  Dream on ...

 

In January he seemed to be a little more coordinated, but could not swim upright.  I was getting tired of caring for a tank for a fish that was permanently disabled.  I decided to put him back in the pond.  He would surely be happier ending his days with his friends.  It took only a day to realize I had goofed.  He wan't really interested in socializing and I couldn't get food to him.  The pond is 30 inches deep.  If I overfed massively, some of the sinking pellets would make it to the bottom, but as clumsy as Adam was, he had little chance of getting to them before the other fish did. 

 

I had a group of juveniles in my 50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank, and decided to put Adam there.  It was only 10 inches deep, and while that was deeper than his hospital tank, he was enough bigger than the other guys to still get his food.  There was also lots of swimming space for him to get exercise.  It seemed to agree with him.  But still he looked like this :

 

IMG_1696.jpg

 

After a couple of weeks he began to briefly swim in an upright position to get to the top.  He had no buoyancy, and the "swim" lasted two or three seconds.  He managed to grab a mouthful of pellets then sink to the bottom to rest on his side and chew.  Then he would either try another swim to the top or just scoot along the bottom on his side to get the sunken pellets.  He was eating and pooping enough that I had to start siphoning the bottom of the tank.  I began to think that he might get strong enough that he could swim where he needed to go in spite of the lack of buoyancy.  After all, we can do that.

 

I decided to redo the pond Adam and the kids were in, so I moved them to one of those little blue rigid kiddie pools from Walmart.  These are very shallow, and Adam was now in less than six inches of water and could clean up all the duckweed in a day.  

 

Now I introduce Louis, the "pool guy", who comes every Wednesday to clean and maintain the swimming pool.  His family owns the company, and he's probably a vice president or something, but he refuses to work in the office.  He likes to care for pools and chat with people, he loves fish and admires my goldfish.  When he first saw Adam in his hospital tank,  he said, "I thought the fish was dead, even his gills weren't moving.  Then he looked at me." 

 

He has followed Adam with great interest and was delighted last week when he said "Hello Adam," and Adam came to the top with his mouth open.  Last Wednesday Louis said, "Adam gets better every time I see him."  This surprised me a bit, although I had noticed that Adam's brief swims had slowly increased to more than 10 seconds.  Louis saw him once a week, while I saw him every day.  A gradual change would be more obvious to me than to him.  I watched him and observed, that while he wasn't swimming for a whole minute, he was probably doing a half a minute.

 

Friday I went out and Adam swam toward me with his mouth open.  He gobbled his food, then sat or swam slowly in an upright position as he chewed.  I stood there with my mouth hanging open waiting for him to roll onto his side.  

But he continued to look like this:

 

IMG_1734.jpg

 

IMG_1733.jpg

 

I haven't seen him on his side since then.  When he rests, he does sit on the bottom sometimes, but that's a big step up from laying on his side.  I'm looking forward to showing him off to Louis on Wednesday.

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Great Story!  I'm so glad you stuck by him :)

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Thats just awesome hun... WOW.. :thumbs:

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It will be interesting to see how he responds to deeper water.  What's remarkable is that on Thursday he spent ~ 95% of his time on his side with swims to the top of no more than 20-30 seconds which appeared to exhaust him. On Friday he was swimming around as if he had never had a problem.

 

This fish spent 5 months laying on his side.  I was quite sure he would never swim again, but it was obvious that Adam was a fighter.

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Thats just cool Sharon... Reminds me of my Fish Dede... She had Dropy's 3 times and Popeye twice, She just never gave up, not until the meds just wouldnt work anymore...

Just goes to show you, if you give them some time to heal they can over come alot... Good on you hun :hug

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what a beautiful story :D i love Adam's colours! i hope he continues his healing and remains upright so that he can join his buddies later on :)

 

congratulations on his wonderful progress :)

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Just an update on Adam.  About a month after this post, I decided to put him in a 100 gallon stock tank with some other fish.  At 2 feet deep it would determine if Adam could handle deeper water.  When I put  him in, he went straight to the bottom.  Oh no!  I got some duckweed, put it in and said, "Adam!  Duckweed!"  He was at the top with his mouth open in a flash.    

 

He has not shown the slightest hint of any buoyancy problem since.

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Has anyone heard of another recovery like this?  

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