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Wen Trimming...


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I generally wouldn't do wen surgery unless it really, really is uncomfortable for the fish, mainly when it starts to completely cover the gills, so it has a harder time breathing. A lot of fish with excessive headgrowth do just fine, a little slower than others, since the wen is weighing so heavy on the front of the head, and therefore the fish sits a lot. Probably a little less visibility too, but they can find their food just fine.

If you really have to do it though, that's how Doc Johnson recommends it....

Get Oil of Cloves in a health food store - they are drops and will put the fish to sleep (not literally, he'll wake up if you do it right). Take 2 containers with tank water, get a few drops of the oil into the water of one container. That will be the container the fish comes into when the surgery begins. Other tools to have handy is a moist towel, some sharp scissors, antibacterial ointment (like neosporin), and a q-tip with hydrogen peroxide for desinfection afterwards. The other "tankwater only" container is for emergencies or for the end of surgery.

Take the fish and put him into the container with the oil in it - the fish will start to get slower and slower, and once he is "out", yet breathing normally, its time for surgery. You might need to add a few extra drops of oil, but not too much. Then put the fish onto the wet towel and carefully clip away little snips of its headgrowth. Be careful around the eyes, and make sure you are not clipping off any of the gill cover. When you notice the fish getting active again, put him back into the "oil water".

Headgrowth doesn't carry many bloodvessels at all, so you shouldn't see any bleeding. Its mostly fatty tissue.

Once you are done, apply the hydrogen peroxide on a q-tip to the surgery areas, and follow up with a nice layer of neosporin. It might fall off in the water after a while, but its fine. Then put the fish into the container with only tank water, and he will wake up after a bit. You can "walk" him a little bit in your hand during this period to keep water rushing through the gills.

What is important after surgery is that the water in his tank is really prestine to eliminate bacterial infections afterwards on the open areas. They will heal pretty fast, and you can reapply the neosporin once or twice each day.

Just remember - whenever you see signs of the fish not doing so well during surgery, like labored or slower breathing, put him into the container with the tankwater only. Better less surgery, but a alive fish.

Gosh, I hope I didn't forget anything.... :)

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  • Regular Member

Your instructions sound good, Andrea. :)

But really, I would have a licensed Veterinarian do it. Something about us 'normal' people doing that just makes me kind of nervous for the fish. But, like Andrea said, it is only necessary in extreme cases.

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WOW! Ranchugirl....that was a very good description! Very clear & well written. I am glad you shared your knowledge with us. I only hope, with all my heart, that my Oranda NEVER gets a giant wren.....just because I would f r e a k o u t if I have to do that clipping thing!!

But really, since reading your article I think I could do it if the gills or vision were impaired!

GOOD JOB!! ;)

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Lillypetal, you'd be amazed what we "normal folks" are willing to do to get our goldfish better. I never thought I'd hold a fish in my hands, never mind doing surgery. But there is a first time for everything... :lol:

Since I just loooove fish with heavy headgrowth, hardly any of my fish will ever see a scissor near their heads.. :lol:

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