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Guest Iain

Pearlscale Dropsy?

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Guest Iain

Good to know it's survivable anyway. Looking very sorry for himself tonight. Those blisters are quite large now. Could be he's upset at missing his dinner tho since he lunged the wrong way. Will give him another feed in the morning...

Annette, thought you should maybe check your tapwater for ammonia. Think Sydney water may be going to town with the chloramine. When we set the hospital tank up we used somewhere close to triple the amount of dechlorinator (also does chloramine) and we were still getting readings of 0.5 ppm. Our main tank seems to be ok, guess the biological filter is working well. Might be a problem if you do a large water change for any reason and are using the normal dosage. May just be us doing something funny but probly worth a look.

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They could be using more chloramine with all this rain we've been having, all the runoff adds gryptospiridium and guardia to the water system. Thanks for the tip, I will post a thread in GD for other members.

edit: can you post in Goldfish Discussion about your chloramine test, thanks.

Edited by Fishmerised

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Guest Iain

Annette (& anyone else interested) -Not sure if you'd still be following this topic (been a while since I last posted), if you are I was wondering what you thought about feeding during the treatment of trisulphate. The guy at the aquarium suggested not feeding for three days (the period of a single treatment) then feed and do a water change (I forget the percentage suggested -I'd imagine something like 25%). If necessary I was to start another period of treatment; again without food. I wasn't sure what the reason for fasting was, I 've read elsewhere you shouldn't fast a sick fish since it weakens their immune system. Possibly it's to clear the gut out tho.

Our Pearlscale is finishing the first three day treatment tomorrow. Since he looks much the same should I retreat? Actually although he's still got the large blisters (slightly bigger than before) he is looking much less bloated.

A second treatment is really an increase of dose I'd guess since the trisulph is a salt and salts generally accumulate. We did give him the standard dose but the directions do say it is possible to use up to double the dose (at one time) for severe infections. If we treat again at the normal rate this will still be less than double.

Lastly.... any thought on what to do once the treatment does end. I'd guess a water change (or several) and continued isolation in the hospital tank for a while. If those blisters don't burst themselves within a week or two i'm thinking I may have to give him a topical treatment of strong saline solution or multicure straight to the skin in order to burst them and sterilise the wound. I'd rather not do this tho since it sounds stressful for him (and me). He's also got rather a few of those blisters....

I'm also going to have to look at treating the main tank with something, possibly anti parasite meds or antibacterials, hopefully something that isn't going to stuff the biofilter.

If anybodies got any suggestions I'd love to hear them. Till then I'll go back and have a read through everything so far. I could do with a spot of revision I think...

Thanks for everyone's help & support. So far so good anyway, hopefully it's a good sign:)

He's making me feel real guilty about the food thing tho...

Cheers -Iain

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I used to feed while treating them, I think the petstore is mainly worried about waste but feed sparingly and I never had any ammonia issues. I do a total water change and redose after 3 days, so I guess I wasn't accumulating any salts. The larger blisters might indicate the fluid leaving his body cavity as he also looks less bloated - a good sign. I wouldn't hesitate to even treat a third time. After treatment I kept my fish in fresh water for another week just to get their strength back.

Another reason fish get these bubbles is a swim bladder problem and quinine sulfa is recommended as a treatment but I don't know if we can get that here so maybe have to stick with the tri-sulfa. This could explain why your fish has lasted so long and seems in otherwise good condition. If this is the case then treating the whole tank wouldn't be necessary unless the blisters start busting then you could add some melafix for antiseptic healing properties.

Something else you may want to put in the whole tank is goldfish conditioning salts. Seachem makes some that I used to use, not the same as aquarium salt or sea salt, these salts are a mixture of minerals that are good for the electrolyte balance of your fish. Forgive my non-scientfic discription. If it is a swim bladder problem that is responding to the TS by less bloating, then conditioning salts may make the condition more manageable.

Well, so far so good, your fish has shown some positive response to the treatment so lets keep our fingers crossed. Good luck.

edit: Mark, a site I find very useful for diagnosis and treatment is http://www.fishyfarmacy.com regretably we aren't able to get their products delivered here but the info is good.

Edited by Fishmerised

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Guest Iain

Thanks-I thought the fasting might have been for that reason. I'll give him a feed tonight before the water change and then I might give him a tiny bit every day after that just to keep him happy. I thought it would be best to keep up the treatment for a while just to be safe and to give him nice clean conditions with low salt for a while after. The bubbles will obviously take time to change so I'll keep an eye on them. Will definately use Melafix after the trisulph treatment finishes.

Thanks for the tip about the goldfish salts too. Hopefully it is a swimbladder issue and that it's not serious, I'll have a readup on that.

I'll get the missus to get some buckets of water ready. We used some zeolite to knock off the ammonia that the water conditioner left in the tapwater last time. Took quite a while to do it tho...

Cheers, Iain

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Thanks for your help, Annette - I knew you could give some input! :hug

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How is the little pearlie these days, Iain? :)

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Guest Iain

Umm...Still a bit choked. The little dude went in his sleep Sunday night. Quite glad he didn't hang on too much longer though as the sacs of fluid were starting to cover him. Until Sunday he still seemed to be behaving normally, and looked relatively good since his body wasn't too swollen.

Those bubbles kept on coming tho and on Sunday he pineconed again suddenly. It was very sad since he'd managed to keep going so long. I'm guessing his kidneys must have been shot from early on, still you gotta try what you can. We kinda knew from the start it was a bit of a longshot but even so you don't give up hoping for the best. Thanks so much for your advice through this; we wouldn't have had a clue what to do for him otherwise.

To anyone treating dropsy I'd definately recommend trying the trisulph tablets as we didn't observe any discomfort at all from our fish, but I guess you've got to get in at the first sign of dropsy. I think our Pearlscale has probably had problems from before so he would've also been weaker to begin with. We gave him three treatments in a row at the recommended dose.

Towards the end we noticed what looked like a little bit fungal growth around his face, so when the trisulph was finished we did a total water change and treated with a multicure to take care of this. After a single treatment we did another total change to unsalted water with a bit of melafix. In the last day of multicure treatment we noticed that he had pineconed again, I guess the disease was fairly advanced and the water changes wouldn't have made things any easier on him. We managed to keep ammonia levels right down by feeding on the day preceding a water change and vacuuming up uneaten food immediately after he'd finished. We did try feeding him daily at one stage but with no biological filtration we found we were getting ammonia readings during the treatments when we weren't supposed to be doing water changes. Water was also quite alkali throughout treatment and always at the same temperature.

Salts were more uncertain since we had to use a lot of water conditioner (these are also a type of salt) to treat the unusually high levels of ammonia/chloramine in the tap water. Apart from the trisulph treatment (again salts) we didn't add any additional aquaria salts. I don't think osmotic shock would be a problem from these relatively low salt levels but we were tring to get the salt down as low as possible. One unusal thing we noticed was there seemed to be something coming out of solution during the trisulph treatment. This was whitish and felt slightly slippery. I don't know if this was the trisulphs, the binder or something else. It was a little bit of a worry since it lay on the bottom where the fish was. He certainly didn't seem to be irritated by it tho.

I don't know if there would be anything we'd do differently if the same situation arose. I think once a fish get's this weak you're really having to fight off everything going. I think with any sign of dropsy a treatment of trisulph would be the way to go, and if its serious or persistent a trip to the vet for a shot of antibiotics and to pick up medicated foods would be a good way to go. Our pearlscale had (apparently) quickly recovered from a few very short bouts of dropsy in the months preceding this last attack. If we'd treated back then he might have stayed a bit stronger.

Ah well, he's probably got plenty of company anyway. I think there might have been a few elderly liberal voters also making their exit this weekend too.

Thanks again and best wishes for the holidays,

Iain & Helen

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Sorry that your pearlscale didn't pull through. I agree that his kidneys probably went on him, and some fish deal with weakened kidneys for a long time before we see any symptoms.

You did great with your treatment regime and it's a consolation that your fish seemed pretty well throughout most of his treatment, that his suffering wasn't drawn out and that he went quietly in his sleep. May have slipped into a coma.

"If we'd treated back then he might have stayed a bit stronger." It's hard to say, if he had damaged or congenitally weak kidneys then earlier treatment wouldn't have saved him.

" I think there might have been a few elderly liberal voters also making their exit this weekend too." :ignore My lips are sealed. lol

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Guest Iain

He probably wasn't the healthiest fish around; hard work keeping a paraplegic pearlscale in a tank of comets (we won't be doing that again...) He could still move it when the food went in, a bit like a cannonball being fired, pretty charismatic for a fish, very sociable and seemed to like watching the telly when he wasn't sitting over the airstone (guess that's a bit like a jacuzi...) Ah well, we've had a few drinks to him. The other fish are doing fine, they're a lot bigger and hardier but we're keeping a close eye anyway. All seems to be ok.

Thanks for the help and encouragement, it's been a bit stressful but i've learned a lot from all this. I'll try and keep up with the stuff being posted; hopefully we can avoid things like this in the future but I guess you can never be too sure...specially with our water being so crappy. I might carry on looking into this and see what I can find out, I'll post something if I come up with anything interesting,

All the best,

Iain & Helen

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Awe, sounds like you guys were really attached to the little guy. I know how you feel, it's tough to loose a pet, even a fish, a lot of people don't get that. But here we all understand. :(

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