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rocmills

Battling Mouth Rot

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UPDATE:

Wish I had better news, but I actually think Lucy is getting worse. After running the course of the Binox, I went back to just daily 50% water changes with salt and a wee bit of extra Stress Coat.... a dose of PimaFix every now and then, but not daily. The afflicted area is still as large as in the photos at the top of page 3 of this thread, maybe larger, and is getting awfully close to the one nostril. Her eating has declined again, and her activity level has decreases dramatically. She seems to spend most of her time floating near the top of the tank at an angle like this \ with the tip of the red area out of the water, but not her mouth out of the water. She isn't gasping for air (the tank has a very large air stone) or looking for food. She just hangs there until something startles her. Maybe it's just boredom. She has also developed a small "bulb" of white on the top of her tail fin - looks a bit like ich, honestly. And there are red streaks that look like veins throughout the tail.

I find myself now wondering if the tank itself, or the filter, or the bio-wheel, aren't housing something nasty that is keeping this stuff from going away. Perhaps another PP dip and a PP tank cleansing is in order?

The main tank, though, has finally cycled and I have crystal clear water there all the time now. I find myself again wondering if I should return her to the main tank - but I have many concerns/questions before I would do such a thing.

I've had no luck finding the other neosporin-like medicine recommended by Trinket, either.

Trinket, do you have any more suggestions? If not... when do I know it's time to help her on her way? I felt she still had some quality of life before as she swam around the tank quite a bit and seemed normal except for the ugly wound... but now she just seems so sad, and I don't know what to do.

--Roc

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:yeah: Put on your happy faces, gang, Lucy is almost completely better!

All the red is gone, now the wound area is just a bit fleshy colored and swollen. I imagine she is going to have some pretty terrific scars, and I doubt that her mouth will ever return to normal. But she is eating again quite vigorously, swimming around the tank like a happy little fishie!

Will try to get a picture over the weekend.

Thank you everyone for the support and advise!

--Roc

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Oh my goodness!! What wonderful news! :D After your last post I was feeling so sorry for you and her... I'm so glad that things have turned around!!! I can't wait to see new pics!!

Thank you for sharing your good news!!! :exactly

Debbie

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Here's a happy face or two :D:D What wonderful happy news. Good ol' Lucy. She is a survivor - a champ :#1 . And so are you for hanging with her and not giving up :hi5

Well, this goes to show that healing takes a whole lot longer than we ever imagined sometimes and Lucy's story goes to show where there is life there is ALWAYS always hope.

Give her a treat from me. This news made my day :D

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I had her a good week or more in un-medicated water... just salt and Stress Coat, and she was getting worse, backsliding to when those ugly photos were taken and it was breaking my heart. She had stopped eating and stopped swimming around and I was emotionally trying to prepare myself for the clove oil ordeal.

Trinket's post about giving it time reminded me that back at the beginning of all this the Fish Guy at the local store had told me it could take up to 3-4 months for Lucy to get better.... So I told myself I would give her to the end of April before doing anything drastic. I had also promised my family that I wouldn't spend any more money trying to save her, I would use what I had on hand (and believe, i have a lot of meds on hand at this point) and let nature and Lucy decide what to do next.

It ocurred to me that maybe whatever was causing this had gotten established in the hospital tank itself... in the filter or the airstone or even just on the walls of the tank. So I put Lucy back in the 10 gallon and did a complete PP nuke of EVERYTHING in the hospital tank, even the bio-wheel though I knew that would kill the BB as well. I didn't dip Lucy again, though.

Then I found some gel food that had just straight penicillin in it, and it didn't cost but a few dollars, so I went ahead and bought it and started giving it to her. After not eating a thing for many days, Lucy LEAPT on this stuff and gobbled it up! At least, I said to myself, she wont starve to death. After a couple of days on this stuff, the wounds were healed up! No more red, no more ugly exposed flesh. The area still looks swollen, and I don't know if that will ever go away or if she is just going to have a mouth area malformed by scar tissue for the rest of her life.

Between the PP and the gel food, it seemed to do the trick.

As of this afternoon, there isn't even anything that I would call pink... okay, maybe very pale pink. But she is swimming around again, splashing water around when she can. I may continue with the medicated gel food for another day, but then I think she is done. I even managed to put peas inside the gel globs so she was getting extra nourishment.

I plan to keep her in the hospital tank until the end of the month, then I hope to reintroduce her to the main tank.

Will go downstairs right now and see if I can get some pix.

Oh yeah, I think we have to change Lucy's name. Spent some time in the sexing threads and have come to the conclusion that Lucy (now to be called Luc pronounced Luke) and Little Ricky are boys, and that Ethel and Big Ricky (now Ricki) are girls. LOL

--Roc

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Oh Roc, this new picture brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful story. What a tremendous fighter Lucy is!!

If she should be scarred with this, it is a tribute to her fight. Her battle scars. You will always look at her and be so proud of her strength and willingness to survive. You can also see your love and caring in it as well.

What a fabulous story - with a storybook ending!! :heart

Debbie

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No No No No!

<insert much bad swearing and screaming here>

Lucy/Luc is not dead, so don't go there, don't mean to scare anyone.

An hour ago, I was marvelling that even the wee bits of pink in the photo I took yesterday seemed to be less noticable today, so much so that I was going to take another photo.

Went downstairs 15 minutes ago with the intention of doing just that, but when I got to the bottom of the stairs and looked across the room at the tank, I could tell something was terribly wrong!

The mouth is red and BLEEDING! From the looks of things, it seems that Lucy tried to scratch her mouth against the air wand... it was knocked all askew and is the only thing in the tank that is abrasive (it's just about the only thing in the tank, period, except for the fish and the intake part of the HOB filter).

I totally freaked out. Hubby totally freaked out. We removed the bubble wand and put a bubble disk in the tank instead. Did an immediate 50% water change, vacuuming up the waste in the process. Added 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon removed and triple dosed with Stress Coat.

I do not believe that the disease or infection has returned, this is clearly an injury. Maybe the healing wound was starting to itch and in rubbing against the bubble wand she just ripped the "scab" right off. While vacuuming the tank, I know I sucked up lots of bits of what looked like the ragged bits of dead flesh that are still clinging around the mouth.

Should I do anything different to treat the wound now? The salt is only at 1% or .1% ... 1 teaspoon per gallon. Should that be increased? It just looks so terrible again and she thrashed around quite a bit when the salt went in... gotta sting with an open wound that fresh.

Is there anything else I should do? Does the salt content need to be increased? I was planning a 100% water change and tank cleaning tomorrow....

--Roc

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Oh no.... Poor Lucy, and your poor family!! :(

I can't help you as far as salt goes. I hope someone will be on soon to answer your question.

The poor fish.... I hope it'll heal soon. :k055:

Debbie

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hi Ive read your thread and just wanted to try and help a little ...it is most likley itchy...do you have stress coat with aloe vera ? ..sounds like your doing thr right thing !!my fingers are crossed for lucy/luc ..I just went through a long haul with tail rot right to the nub and going up the back he absolutly was at deaths door now months later ..it is not complete but I see signs of scale growth...so don't give up!! you will get there..good luck ..give lucy /luc my best ...that fish is a true fighter his/her pics look sooo painful I just wanted to give him a hug :cry1

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I'm sorry roc. This is such a long haul for you all. This time 'Lucy' is going to need really perfect water, salt to 0.1% and some of the melafix you have there again.

The trouble with sore areas that have been then injured is that he may try to scratch and will be uncomfortable. The salt is tremendously effective at reversing osmotic flow of important body fluids when there is an injury so that he feels better and it also acts as a sticky...trapping some bacteria from entering the fish.

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Trinket,

Had already planned a full water change today, so that is no problem. Will keep the salt at 1 teaspoon per gallon.

My concern at this point is that Lucy will do it again. The current air stone is one of those large discs that sits on the bottom of the tank... I can easily imagine Lucy going nose first into it and rubbing back and forth... the surface of the disc is like sand paper.

Since I am not medicating anymore, is the extra air strictly necessary? What if I lower the water level an inch or so and let the filter splash into the water more, can I do away with the air stone entirely so that there is nothing abrasive in the tank? This is a 20 gallon tank with a bio-wheel HOB filter, single chamber.

I also see him/her head a lot which I think might be from the annoying bits of dead flesh and skin that are hanging off the face now. There is one right on the edge of the mouth that actually goes in and out of the mouth like a party streamer when the fish breathes. I'm thinking it's stuff like this that caused the need to scratch himself.

--Roc

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Yes you can certainly change the air bubbler for extra surface splash.

The medicated food that worked...you could maybe try another course of that too.

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Thanks, again, Trinket.

I just observed the behavior which caused the re-opening of the wounds. Luc was swimming around with strings of dead flesh hanging off the mouth and started shaking his head. At first, it was slow like he was shaking his head NO at something; then the shaking got more vigorous and he started to dart around the tank, shaking the head more and more, then BANG CLATTER SPLASH... it all happened so fast I could hardly track what was happening. The small, soft air stone we put in yesterday as a test, and the intake tube for the filter were knocked about and the clatter was him coming out of the tank and banging against the hood. Even if I remove the small air stone, which I will, I can't prevent the leaping out and bashing against the hood or filter intake tube.

Am continuing with the Melafix, which I started yesterday, and the daily water changes.

The battle continues...

--Roc

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Hi Roc, :k055:

I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in your struggle. We are all behind you, hoping for the best for Lucy/Luc.

She almost seems to be her own enemy right now, doesn't she. :( The poor silly fish.

I hope things heal up quickly for her. :hug She's a fighter!

Debbie

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Thanks, Debbie, I really mean it. I don't know if I could have come this far without the support of everyone here at Koko's (and the support of my family, of course). The advise and encouragement I have received here have given me the strength, and determination, to keep going.

I may have to rethink the hood on the hospital tank, though. The inside of the top isn't smooth - there are hard lines that Luc can damage himself on if he comes straight up out of the water. I rarely use the light, but the tank does need some sort of top on it - jimmeny, given what I saw today, had there not been in place a lid I think the silly fish would have flown half way across the room!

Anyone have any ideas how I can top the tank with something the fish can't damage itself on or leap through?

--Roc

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What about using some plexiglass for the hood? You may have to have it cut to fit, but it would be smooth, would still let light in, and would keep Lucy safely inside. :idont

I'm glad that you're getting the support you need here. It's so much easier when you know you're not alone. :hug

Debbie

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what an ordeal, Poor Luc and you. I have no advise sorry but I am loosing many of my Koi to Mouth rot and have boaught many meds and treatments with no success.

Where did you find the gel food with the penicilin in it?

I make my own gel food, is there something like that I could buy with out

a script for to add?

I'll keep a good thought for your fish. The pics look like he's getting better.

I hope the scratching is from the healing

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bluiis,

I'm not sure if it's the same food that Roc feeds Lucy, but there is a line of antibacterial foods by Gel-Tek for fish.

Here is a link to the site with the products available - here. There are different types, so you'd need to be sure to get the right one. I'm pretty sure you need the Tetracycline for Columnaris, but check with Trinket to be sure. :)

Roc,

How is Lucy doing today? What she keeps doing reminds me of regular kids. They get a scab and they just can't leave it alone. Pick pick pick!! :blink:

Debbie

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Yes, Gel-Tek is the brand I found. And thanks for the link, too! I've been looking for a non-medicated gel food and now I see that such a thing does exist. I wonder if the non-medicated stuff is also treated with pheromones (the stuff i have is and it certainly makes Luc insane with the desire to eat the moment i drop it in the water).

Yes, Debbie, you are absolutely right-on with your analogy.

Luc looks pretty good today, no evidence of mouth-bashing in the last 24 hours. He's still eating the Gel-Tek and the occasional bit of other food I try; still swimming around quite normally, but is also back to spending a fair amount of time with the top of the mouth out of the water. Not sure what this behavior is, unless it is an attempt to dry out the wound or get relief from the salt in the water - though the salt content is not high. It isn't gasping, there is more than enough oxygen in the water, so I'm pretty stumped as to what motivates this behavior. It also isn't hunting for food as he actually gets annoyed if we try to drop food into his mouth when he is doing this.

--Roc

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How is your pH roc? Stable? Other than that the mouth up could possibly be a comfort thing I suppose..

Low salt at 0.1% shouldn't do that, I have seen it happen at 0.3% though.

He has made it past the worst with your TLC , hang in there - just a little more time.. :heart

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To be honest, Trinket, I haven't tested the water in a week or so since I've been doing daily water changes and using so much extra Stress Coat. I will try to remember to do full battery of tests tomorrow or later this evening. He is only doing this when the wound is still a bit raw, this behavior stops once the red goes away - until he bashes himself up again and the cycle starts over. Part of the key at this point may just be to remove all things he can scrape his mouth against.

I've ordered some of the vitamin ehanced pheromone gel food since it really seems to work so well on him. He has lost weight and it is still difficult for him to get most foods into his mouth, but the gel kinda floats in the middle of the tank and he'll just mosey up on it and slurp it down without much work.

--Roc

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Good, I'm actually thinking whatever he will eat easily works at this point.

No I was just wondering about the pH because with extra w/cs that can go up and down a bit. My fish do hover near the surface when the pH is bouncy.

Keep us drilled :)

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Hi Gang!

Wow, I can hardly believe it's been over two weeks since my last update.

Not much to report, I'm afraid.

The columnaris is well and truly gone, but our new issue is the endless cycle of face-bashing which keeps reopening the wounds. Everything will be going great for a few days, swelling starts to decrease a bit, redness disappears, wounds close... then the dead skin starts to slough off and it tends to create these party streamers around the mouth. When Luc breathes in, he sucks in the string of dead skin; when he breathes out, the streamer shoots out like a New Years Eve toy. This seems to be the source of his irritation and after a while the darting and spastic behavior ensues and he smashes himself into whatever object is handy... the filter intake stem most often, but I've also witnessed him just CRASH head-on into the side of the tank and even that will break open the mouth wounds again.

Between the swelling and the scar tissue, I fear the opening of the mouth is getting smaller and making it more difficult for Luc to eat. He seems to respond best to the penicillin gel food - though I got two larger bottles of the non-medicated, vitamin-enriched gel as well, he doesn't seem to be interested in that. The non-medicated gel is green and I wonder if he is having trouble seeing as the medicated stuff is bright red. Further, I can ususally wait a moment or two and witness him eating the red stuff, while the green stuff just floats around the water until even my patience is exhausted and I walk away. When I was exclusively feeding the green, I also never saw poopies in the water - which have returned when I went back to feeding the medicated food. Are there dangers from giving him too much penicillin?

Other than lining the tank with foam sponges, any ideas how to keep this poor fella from re-injuring himself over and over again, or is he destined to spend the rest of his life in the hospital tank?

--Roc

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