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garmon

Swim Bladder And Fish Anatomy Discussion

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ok so a while back i had a lionhead suddenly come down with dropsy and was floaty. the tank was/is healthy and none of the other fish were affected by any visible problems. soo i started feeding him with metro med and epsom salt . he deflated .. he wasnt actually pineconed all the way. he never lost his appetite but he started to become a sinker. so hes been struggling for 3 months now with the sinking . once he started to give up i considered putting him down. once he got to the point that we had to actually put the food right next to his mouth to eat it was time to put an end to his suffering. i had been convinced he swallowed a rock or a small snail and it was lodged to far down to see. i had river rocks in there but there were smaller gravel size peices in there. so after he was dead i asked hubby to open him up and see if he swallowed a rock. i couldnt do it but after all this time and all the things ive done to try to cure him i had to find out what the problem was. so he opened him up and found that the swim bladder was full of water with a tiny bubble in it. i couldnt find any info on this.. the bladder was in tact just full of fluid. to my knowlage the swim bladder is supposed to be full of gasses. there was no rock or anything. could someone tell me how this may have happened . i did some googling but didnt find any info .

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I know that Dropsy's is where the kidney will fail and makes the fish not able to get rid of fluids, so in that thought, im thinking when the fish was sick it could of pushed hard on the swim bladder causing a small tear in it allowing liquid to get in side.... :(

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so the swim bladder was supposed to have air not fluid right.. i just wanted to make sure i did the right thing by putting him down. and there was nothing more i could have done. all the other organs ''looked'' healthy. i found something that might be interresting http://www.nationalfishpharm.com/fish_diseases/swim_bladder.html

i think if i saw this sooner i may have been able to correct this problem.. but i had no idea that the swim bladder was full of fluid until the autopsy so hindsight etc .

this link was interresting because when people say swim bladder problem it sounds like one issue. and that constipation is the cause. this looks like an array of problems with the swim bladder cause either sinking or floating depending on the cause . and most of the time its bacterial.

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i wanted to add that the floating came before the semi pincone look so i was doing the fasting and peas thing since it is standard practice when one is floaty. so im guessing constipation was never the problem. there must have been a bacterial infection that inflamed the swim bladder or spread to the swim bladder. i bet if i went a full month instead of 2 weeks with the metro med it may have cured him.. had i known.. i was just trying to get the dropsy down. i guess the lesson i learned is that floatyness dosnt equal constipation and if fasting and feeding peas or purging with peas dosnt work and a fish is still floaty than a course of med food may help.

the swim bladder looked almost like a level you know how the bubble moves around .. it was like that . i agree it may have had a small tear or the fluid diffused through it .

Edited by garmon

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This is a very interesting discussion topic...

I have a telescope who has been totally floaty ever since dealing with dropsy. Actually during the dropsy she was sunk to the bottom and stuck there, but after being treated with antibiotics now she floats.

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the whole thing with treatments (excluding meds) is trial and error. we suggest fasting and peas first, if that's not it then we move on. you can't go back and say "well I should have done this" "I shouldn't have done that".

perhaps your fish was already done for, excuse my frankness, but thinking that feeding an additional two weeks of med food would have solved it is just wishful thinking. med food isn't going to fix a any organs in the body if they are already badly damaged. say your fish's swimbladder was ripped, the med food isn't going to fuze it back 2gether.

swimbladder issues are 2b expected in fancies, their bodies are so compacted and all of their organs are smushed together tightly.

I'm not going to comment more on this, but if I went back and thought about what I could have done differently to save my fish I would be a complete mess.

I believe Imo (Trinket) will have really good insight into your case and she can also explain swimbladder issues and symptoms better than I can.

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i was just shocked because i always thought floaty/ sinking = constipation. that link had a list of symptoms that included water filled swim bladder and suggested a sulfa drug. so i was bringing up the fact that bacterial infections can cause sbd. had i known that and treated sooner instead of fasting so much i might have had a different outcome. that would explain the dropsy following the floatyness. im not really beating my self up because i realize theres never a way of knowing when it comes to internal organs. i mean im pretty proud that he lived three months after the dropsy.

that link was interesting to me because it separated the types of swim bladder symptoms. it would explain why some jack knife, some flip. some wobble and some sink. its not all just one disorder as i had thought. i guess i really want to understand my fish more and hate grabbing at straws when someone isnt acting right.

i guess sbd is common but ive been keeping fancys only on and off since i was 10 and only had terminally floaty fish 2 times. one was my first and then this one. i just wish there was some place we could take our fish or learn really how to diagnose and treat them. its all guesswork and that is the hard part of keeping fancies i guess.

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In my experience fish with swim bladder problems typically float first, sometimes for long periods of time. If the problem isn't corrected (sometimes it doesn't seem possible to even do so) then the fish sinks, and sadly, stays that way. The quality of life after that really depends on the fish I think. I once kept a sweet little lionhead (my little Elaine) in that condition for a year. She was hand fed and still 'swam' across the bottom, her quality of life seemed good. But I have had others who were clearly miserable in this condition.

That is VERY interesting about the water in the bladder. As Koko mentioned, it may have to do with the kidneys. I am also wondering if the fish floating in an inverted position might have some effects on its physiology that somehow forces water into the bladder. Definitely something to think about....

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I have seen this. It is interesting. The fish feels very suspiciously heavy when taken out of the water at death.

What has happened is tank water has entered. Airbladder malfunction: sometimes the tube connecting the airsacs, the physostome, gets blocked, temporarily or permanently. That's the little tap device that closes off water and only allows gases into the airsacs. In a worst case scenario like this water can enter and fill the swimbladder causing total malfunction. The fish will flipover.

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the link was interesting, but I just don't know how you check to see if your fish has one of the symptoms. for example, "the swim bladder contains purulent fluid. Large numbers of bacteria are found in the fluid and the wall" and "The wall of the swim bladder is hardened" ....only way I can think of checking these things is some type of surgery...and that would be too risky I would think? usually you wouldn't know about these things until after the fish has died and you open it up. :undecided:

i just wish there was some place we could take our fish or learn really how to diagnose and treat them. its all guesswork and that is the hard part of keeping fancies i guess.

I really do agree with you on this. and what I've found is Koko's. I mean, this place is the only option for most of us. I don't have any fish doc's in my area and the scientists who work out in the Potomac river have no interest in helping me so Koko's is all I have.

Edited by Martha

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ooh.. interesting topic.. and interesting link.. i personally haven't had any real problems with swim bladder.. amico the ryukin on and off, but once he migrated to the big tank, no problems.. peas usually helped him. i too am impressed with your findings garmon.. as a fancy fish owner i have found this thread to be very educational.. thank you for posting it..

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I have seen this. It is interesting. The fish feels very suspiciously heavy when taken out of the water at death.

What has happened is tank water has entered. Airbladder malfunction: sometimes the tube connecting the airsacs, the physostome, gets blocked, temporarily or permanently. That's the little tap device that closes off water and only allows gases into the airsacs. In a worst case scenario like this water can enter and fill the swimbladder causing total malfunction. The fish will flipover.

thank you so much! that makes sense. i was wondering how the air bladder got the air in it . i just figured it was diffused through or something. todd was in the kitchen and said umm you need to come look at this i was like no way.. then he said i think the swim bladder is full of water. i told him to take a pic because i couldnt look at my fish that way. but i ended up looking bc the pics werent good. i didnt see any tears or leaking . then i started googling and i found something that said some fish have oil in their swim bladder so i was like wait.. is this normal or not. i was planning on keeping him alive. he was swimming to eat and then would sit. his color and wen looked good. then the past week or so he started to get that panicked look in his eyes.. there is a look fish get when they are in distress. and he started to lay on his side. he couldnt lay straight up and he quit swimming to his food. if he hadnt had that look i wouldnt have put him down. but seeing that swim bladder really looked painfull. it was squishing the other organs.

martha yes that was my point, that link was interesting but you would need xrays or an exam by a fish vet.. it just made me realize that sbd could be a whole host of problems. i suppose you could feel the fish to see if the swim bladder is firm or see if he is heavy but still is guesswork. i too am grateful for kokos. fish are = to the dogs and cats for me. its like one of them being sick and not being able to take them to the vet. actually the other day we decided it was time but i cried so todd put him back in the tank. it took a minute to accept.

has any one ever used a syringe to deflate a swim bladder. i saw an article on that as well in my research.

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