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Scrapings


Roano

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I have read topics about flukes and heard that the best confirmation of these parasites is a 'scraping' of the fish's scales then looked at under a microscope. How would you go about this? Can this also confirm gill flukes, or does that need to be a scraping taken near the gills?

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I am going to move this to Disease Discussion so you will be able to get more help if it turns out that your fish do have flukes.

To do a scaping, I lift the fish gently out of the water. Hold him over the water, so that if you drop him, he goes back in.

Using the cover slip from the slide, holding it at about a 45 degree angle to the fish's body, draw it along his body. I usually try to scrape just behind his gill plates and along his belly in two different scrapes. You may have to do this multiple times until you get the hang of it. You want an nice hunk of slime coating to look at, for the flukes will be seen in that.

It would be 1000 times easier to do it if you have plastic cover slips. I, unfortunately, have not found any. So if you have glass ones, like I do, be very careful for they will want to break into sharp little dagger pieces.

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Good advice from Daryl. :)

Just throw in my 2c's worth. ;) With any scraping, you should target areas with the nasties like to breed. Under the chin, behind the gill plates, down the central line, along either side of the dorsal fin and behind the pectoral fins. You will need multiple slides. :)

A lot of things look the same under a scope and a lot of them are harmless. Fluke are easier to spot as they are relatively big and they look like real nasty worms. Fundamentially, what you are looking for are characteristic movement patterns for different parasites. That is why it is no good scraping a dead fish or worst, one from the freezer.

Gill fluke is more challenging because they are hidding under excess slime on the gills. Some would do a gill snip but that is not for the inexperienced.

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