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rocmills

Battling Mouth Rot

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How's luc? Did you find somthing to prevent him hurting himself so the healing can continue?

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Goodness. Poor Luc :heart . It' s like an act of frustration, that crashing himself into the sides like this.

It is so unusual to see a fish still fighting and yet not completely better after all this time and all the things you have tried for him. I know it can take months but how long has it been now?

Is there a chance of another update mouth pic roc?. Not out of the water, the impression is quite different. In the water if you possibly can take one, I'd like to see exactly how it looks now :unsure:

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Trinket,

I have a doctor appointment after work today, but when I get home this evening I will try to take new pix of Luc and also some of Ricki who has developed a LOT of red splotches on his body and fins - so many that it has me worried a bit.

Water has continued to test fine in both main and hospital tanks.

--Roc

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Well, the little bugger would not face the front of the tank no matter what I did, so I finally reached in and held him facing the camera. Note that only moments before this was taken, he bashed himself into the filter intake stem again hence the fresh redness.

100_4554.jpg

This is about as bad as it gets after a good bashing and thrashing round... in another couple of days it will look better. If I can time it right, I hope to get some video of the strings of dead skin party favor thing I was describing before.

Anything I treat this basic wound with that wont stress the fish too much? I was thinking some Pimafix... or should I just stick with the salt and extra Stress Coat?

--Roc

(oh, trinket, could you please take a look at the photos of Big Ricki in the "Red Blotches" thread? will be posting water parameters there shortly)

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roc~

It still looks like the main issue to me. Just not completely healed yet :idont I think you can try the pimafix or melafix, whichever one worked best last time. We have done so many antibiotics now, it is really time to stop those I would think. Let immunity take over again from here. At least he's eating.

I know the party streamer look ;) I have seen that on a fish with columnaris type mouth rot. It's inside the mouth and gets blown out, poor doll.

Just watch that pH with your low kH - as any acidic pH is going to make that sore mouth sting.

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Trinket,

You really think the columnaris is still present? Luc has been off antibiotics for a while now, except for the occasional dose of the penicillin food. The mouth starts to heal very well if left alone for a few days, which it wasn't doing when the columnaris was in full bloom. I still have plenty of Binox if we have to try that route again, but I'd rather hold that as a last resort. Maybe I can get another pic after he's had a day or two without bashing the wound and making it look so ugly again.

Added the pH neutralizer to the hospital tank, not sure what else to do but wait at this point. Luc is eating well and keeps his fins at full mast, swims merrily around the tank when he isn't holding his mouth out of the water. Hopefully, the pH balancer will help with that. Forgot to get any pima or mela when I went to the store, so for now will make due with extra doses of Stress Coat.

As for how long we've been at this... that's easy, I discovered the problem on New Year's Eve which makes it very easy to date.

--Roc

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5 months and not completely healed. Well Luc has me foxed. i think hes pulled through such a severe case of mouth rot that I cannot imagine this is going to get worse or regress, perhaps the bashing and scratching is as you say just aggravating small wounds that are having a job healing up. It was the party streamer things that made me think some columnaris might still be present as that is a feature of the disease. Anyway, the melafix and good water I still feel are now your best approach.

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The party streamer thing only happens once the mouth has started to really heal up, then you can see bits of dead skin starting to peel off the mouth and the face bashing commences. If he could just get past that stage, I think everything would be fine. I'm going to continue with the pH balancer and everything else to try and keep the water as perfect as possible.

Do you think applying neosporin to the wound would help any?

--Roc

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Luc's mouth is looking pretty good today.

100_4645.jpg

100_4649.jpg

Of course, this is about the time he usually starts bashing himself around the tank... so I'm glad I got photos of the before part of his progress. If we could cut the face bashing out of the loop, if he could stay like he is now without hurting himself more, I think we could finally put this battle behind us.

--Roc

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Perhaps you could manually clean off the streamers of dead skin before the face-bashing starts, and thus reduce the irritation, and fend off that behavior. I imagine it would be incredibly difficult, and dangerous, to hold him still and get in there with tweezers/very small scissors, but it might be worth the effort.

However, I don't see anything in these photos that resembles the "party streamers" you mentioned...?

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Penguin,

For a change, the streamers seem quite minimal. I only noticed one tiny one while taking those photos yesterday, so maybe we are over the hump. Time will tell. I thought about shooting a wee bit of video that might show it, but too much activity around the hospital tank tends to freak him out and he'll start flashing around the tank. Maybe I'll get a chance to sneak up on him today.

Didn't make it to the LFS for the test kit yesterday (was feeling a bit under the weather), but I'll be off this morning and Luc will get a water change later today as well.

I put some of the Binox back in the water a few days ago, and I think that has helped some.

--Roc

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Penguin,

Well, I hope you got a good laugh out of that suggestion! I tried to catch Luc so I could swipe a fresh sponge across his mouth in the hopes of dislodging some of the dead skin... I think I got one swipe, but just barely. He does not like to be caught. There are streamers now, and I'm going to try to get a few seconds of video with the digital cam - maybe I can get a screen cap so you can see what I mean.

Until then, the hospital tank API test results are:

Amm: .5

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0

pH: 7.5

I'm not too suprised given that there is almost no place for bbs to grow in the hospital tank, though I did just give it a dose of Cycle in the hope that it would help some.

Gave a half dose of Binox with a 75% water change and 1 tsp. per gallon salt.

--Roc

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Never tried posting video before, so I hope this works.

Here are two short clips that show the party streamer effect when Luc's mouth starts to heal up:

http://s270.photobucket.com/albums/jj84/ro...nt=100_4693.flv

http://s270.photobucket.com/albums/jj84/ro...nt=100_4694.flv

The first clip just catches it once, the second one he is facing away from the camera for a bit, but you get the idea at the end. Cam recorded them as *.mov, which I don't have the capacity to edit.

--Roc

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Very good videos. I see exactly what you mean. Yikes I wouldn't want to cut those with scissors or pull them with tweezers myself though. It seems some damage is in his throat, way deep. Either that or you are witnessing a pH crash. A pH lower than 6 will have the skin peel off in strips a lot like this.

I have just read you have a pH of 6 in the other tank. Can you check Luc's water, I think you need to add baking soda immediately and get your pH stabilised.

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Trinket,

Luc's pH is 7.5 - I thought that was correct?

It is the main tank that has the low pH, and I did buy some pH stabilizer, so I will go have a look at what the bottle says right now and treat accordingly with the stablizer or with some baking soda.

--Roc

Edited by rocmills

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I have confirmed that the hospital tank pH is 7.5.

The streamers are gone today, without any face bashing! Maybe Luc is getting over the hump... I certainly hope so. There is a tad of ammonia in the hospital tank, so I am going to put a bag of zeolite in there if I can... otherwise, will just continue to treat with Ammonia Lock (or whatever it is, memory fails me suddenly).

Bought some Prime for both tanks - actually bought three different bottles of stuff that is supposed to jump start a cycle, etc. Both tanks are getting water changes again today.

--Roc

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Wow. I'm new to the board but I must say I really hope your fish is finally getting better. I read thru your thread the other day and I can't believe how much you have gone through!! I feel insane for having to take care of mine for a few weeks and you've been doing it for months and months with so many problems. I'm very impressed with how much you've been doing and I really hope the face bashing is over with!!!

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roc~ pH of 7.5 is absolutely fine hun but if you have been showing either ammonia or nitrites these tend to pull the pH around. Swings in pH that you may not have noticed could have occurred and acidic pH burns strips of the slime coat off like this, more likely to occur in an area that is already sensitive and wounded.

Watch out for the bags of zeolite, if I remember right they only last about a week (depending how much ammonia they are absorbing). When they reach their locking capacity, the "bound" ammonia can leak back into the tank :o They need replacing frequently.

You are almost there and Luc is looking so much better. Hang in there, everyone here is rooting for Luc's complete recovery and you are doing just great with him :heart

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Trinket,

Seems I have wiped out the local supply of zeolite bags, at least in the size that will fit my set up. So I bought one of those cartons of ammonia absorber (looks like a half gallon milk carton)... this stuff says it can be poured directly into the filter or bagged. But it also claims to be "rechargable" by soaking the stuff in a salt solution every couple of weeks. Have you heard of this before? Is it safe to recharge the stuff, or should I just use it up once and toss it?

Going to look into mass ordering zeolite bags online this evening...

--Roc

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Wow, I can't believe how great Luc's mouth looks today! Not only is the color good, but there are no more streamers and it also looks like the swelling has gone down significantly.

I've order some... Jump Start? Special food from GFC for fish that have been sick and taking medications.

Hospital tank pH is holding steady at 7.0 ... which I hope is a good thing.

--Roc

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Well, I think the battle is almost won.

The swelling has gone down, the redness is all gone, I haven't seen strings of flesh in nearly a week. Luc is eating like a little piggy... taking food 4-5 times a day and eating every last bit within minutes.

Took this picture tonight, though I had to reach in the tank and hold him still because he DID NOT want his picture taken, lol.

100_4711.jpg

You can see what I think is scar tissue and that his "lips" and the little "fangs" he had on the corners of his mouth (kinda like a koi) are probably gone forever. But this all looks like fresh flesh to me. Now, if only I can get the nitrates under control in the main tank, I may be able to re-introduce Luc to his mates. I just hope they haven't forgotten who he is and don't beat up on him when the time comes.

--Roc

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Wow, it's been a long battle. I'm glad to hear that he's feeling better.

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Excellent job roc, Luc looks like a new fish. The most telling thing being he has his appetite and old spirit back! I bet he'll enjoy company when you finally get him back into the main tank. He is a beauty and despite all the problems he has proved how long and how hard fish are able to fight disease given 1) commitment from their owners and 2) a bit of body weight and background immune strength to ride on. Congratulations to you both :exactly

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Congratulations Roxie!! It's a relief to hear that Luc is almost back to normal, after almost 6 long months of quarantining and treatment. You should be PROUD!!!

:heart:heart

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Thanks, everyone! Luc fought as hard as I did. Gotta say, though, at this point he is probably one of the most expensive goldfish there ever was! And if the other fish even *think* about beating up on him when he goes back in the main tank, we'll be having sushi for dinner!

Truly, though, I couldn't have done it, and Luc would be long gone, if all you folks here (especially Trinket) hadn't given such great advice and, even more importantly, so much wonderful support and encouragement. Y'all deserve as much credit and the fish and I.

--Roc

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