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How Long Does It Take For A Goldfish To Die From Dropsy?

Guest ElenasALH

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Guest ElenasALH

[*]Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? normal (checked it yesterday, do not have test kit with me right now, on test kit- 0ppm)

Nitrate level? normal (still have to check test kit)

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 7.4

Ph Level (KH/GH) out of the Tap?

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) strips and drops

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running?2000 gallon pond

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? tetra pond filter (2000) with pump.

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? change at least 10 % every two weeks

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 15 (around 4-5 inches) includes two koi

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? decholirnator when adding water

[*]Any medications added to the tank?no

[*]Add any new fish to the tank?no

[*]What do you feed your fish?food from goldfish connection

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? pinecone

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..? behaving what a goldfish usually behaves like.

I have a goldfish that survived during the winter of 2007 in a 2000 gallon pond. When spring came (beginning of may), I decided to to a partial water change and I removed the goldfish (He was the only goldfish in the pond, decided it was best to start off when only two, but only one survived during winter) into a quarantine tank. Within a day, it developed dropsy. Its been almost two months now and he is still behaving normally, following the rest of the goldfishes I added and always trying to swim upstream whenever I turn on the waterfall. Now, I read on some forums that dropsy is not contagious, but other forums says it is, so I am thinking of removing the goldfish with dropsy into a quarantine tank. I used to have a goldfish that had dropsy and it only lived for about 2 weeks. I spent nearly $100.00 on the meds, medicated fish food (medigold), and a whole bunch of other equipment trying to treat that goldfish's disease, but everything I did was useless. Now, I just wanted to know from others who had goldfishes with dropsy if my goldfish has a high probability of surviving with treatment or is it better to just euthanize the goldfish. Thats why I asked for the life expectancy of a goldfish with dropsy, because I am thinking that if my goldfish was able to survive for at least two months, the cause is probably a bacterial infection that can be treated. I just wanted to know if the treatment regimen is worth it.

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I have much less expertise than others around here, but I would venture to guess that this is an impossible question to answer. "Dropsy" is a general term and there are a number of different underlying problems that could cause it. Some cases involve an overwhelming bacterial infection that destroys the kidneys (hence the swollen body) and quickly kills the fish. Other cases are more chronic and slow-progressing in nature. I think that this is why there is some controversy about whether dropsy is contagious -- there is no single cause. I have not personally had a fish with dropsy (touch wood), but I can tell you that several members around here in the past month or so have successfully treated their fish for dropsy.

By the way, the current recommendation is that you feed Metromeds (as opposed to Medigold) for dropsy. Medigold contains a medication that can push already compromised kidneys over the edge. Metromeds, on the other hand, seems to have quite a high success rate in treating dropsy. If your fish has hung in there this long and still acts like he feels well, I would recommend that you get the Metromeds and give it a try.

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My personal experiences with dropsy have ranged from fish that pinecone and are dead within a day or two to my special oranda that has pineconed about 5 times on me and has bounced back with metromeds each time. During his last episode he was too weak to eat for himself so I had to hold his head up and feed him and his scales were sticking out so far that just this gentle contact would knock them off. It sounds like your fish is fighting hard to live so maybe if you intervene and start treatment it could just be the thing to bring it back from illness. It's always a personal decision, but for me, not giving up on my fish has yielded some extraordinarily positive results :)

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Guest Corrie

ElenasALH, hi

If I had to bet, I would bet on costia.

Dropsy is not a disease, virus, or parasite, etc and dropsy is not contagious. Dropsy is a symptom that can be caused by a bacteria, virus, parasite, cancer, etc anything that can do damage or cause blockage to internal organs. The fish is just retaining fluids. The cause certainly can be contagious.

Goldfish commonly carry costia, their immune system can usually keep it at bay.

Costia is a cold water parasite - flagellated protozoan - and infections are usually seen in the beginning of spring. It is also common for costia to cause dropsy. Common for costia to infect the gills - "always trying to swim up stream" - and common for costia to abate when the water warms up - "been two months now and he is behaving normally"

How long does a goldfish live with dropsy?

Depends on what caused it.

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If your fish has been behaving absolutely normally for 2 months with this symptom + he is the only fish like this, you can rule out an outbreak of external parasites. Your fish, displaying no other symptoms besides peritonitis/dropsy is most likely suffering from renal failure caused by a build up of internal fluids - either as a result of a swimbladder osmotic malfunction, a metabolic disorder, possibly internal worms (as worm colonies expand they can push out the scales and they do not necessarily cause behavioral symptoms) or egg impaction.

Epsom salts may be all thats needed here to help eliminate fluids. If you have a cycled tank inside to QT him with 1/4 teaspoon epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) per 10 gallons of water that might be the thing to try first.

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