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Getting Vaseline Off Fins


spillie

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OK, well, I just got home, and both my fish who pineconed and were upside down are are still alive and now both eating and acting like they feel generally OK. Sophie is back to her previous level of disability (able to swim normally, and dive down, but upside down at the top at rest. Scooter still upside down continually.

However, the petsitter put some vaseline on Scooter's tum as it was so red on Wednesday, and it looks like it got on his pectoral fin and now it is "glued": to his belly and quite red looking (the fin, not his belly, which is no longer red--the vaseline helped with that). I tried to gently wipe it off, but can't seem to get it off. How can I get it off? Very concerned about this fin.

He also has a hole in his front pelvic fin (though not bloody or anything), no idea what that is from, it was not there when I left, though that fin also has black ammonia/medication burn healing marks. What should I do? They are in 75 degree water and still on metromeds (day 16). I am doing a big water change right now as Nitrates are much higher than usual.

Wondering if I should put salt in?

Do I keep or stop the MM?

Is is possible to get the vaseline off or what should I do about this fin?

Big QT Tank :

size: 29 G (filled to about 25 G)

filter: HOB cycled aquaclear/200 gph

PH: 8.4

Ammonia: 0

nitrite: 0

nitrate: 40 (am doing water change now to bring this down--no idea why this is so unusually high. Did a 100% water change 7 days ago).

temp: was about 78, taking it down to 75

medications: light epsom (1/4 teasp/25 gallons--taking it out now with this water change), eating only metromeds for 16 days, vaseline on Scooter's tum (2 x). also biobandage (daily).

Fish: 2 orandas

Unusual signs: Lots of black from healng ammonia/medication burns, esp. on Scooter (jus a wee bit on Sophie). Still upside down (Sophie: often, Scooter, continually). Bloody looking fin plastered to body on Scooter. Hole in another fin in Scooter, not bloody. Red marks on Scooter's tum gone, but fin looks awful and he can't use it. Both eating normally now, however. But very concerned about this fin.

Ornaments: silk plants dangling over edge for them to rest under when upside down at surface (helps them keep their tums moist), blender jar (Sophie can swim down and rest in there now), a bubbler, a silk plant on the bottom (Sophie also positions herself under it to stay down at rest).

Boy, this has been really rough on these fish since they pineconed 2.5 weeks ago. But they are, despite all and ongoing upside-down floatiness, eating eagerly and much more energetic.

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I was googling and found that baby oil supposedly takes off most of the vaseline. But I don't know if baby oil is safe for fish.

EDIT: plus you'll need to get rid off the baby oil then too, but that might be easier since it is more liquid than the vaseline.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang
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Oh, thanks for looking for an answer for me, OYF~! Do you think baby oil might clog the gills? Inspired by your googling, I googled too and found something that said rubbing alcohol would break vaseline down. But, I have no idea if that is safe for fins--and also think not good for gills. What to do...

Also wondering if I need to switch from MM to another antibiotic? (or just back to regular food). I am sure the red fin is due to the vaseline, but not sure what to do about it, whether it is bacterial or irritation, etc.

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This is strange... I wish I had some advice for you. I think I'd be really wary of using the baby oil or rubbing alcohol on the fish though. If I had to choose one, I'd choose the baby oil. I'm pretty sure the rubbing alcohol would be bad, especially around the gills. I wonder if hydrogen peroxide would help remove the Vaseline? I know it can be used as a topical treatment, so it seems like that would be okay for the fish. You'd still have to make sure not to get it near the gills or eyes of course.

I'm really glad to hear they are both still alive and kicking! I think I would do a small dab of HP on the place where he has a hole in the fin. Just as a preventative. I think 16 days is long enough with the metromeds, and they should probably go back to regular food now. Make sure someone else confirms that before you do anything though, because I'm not totally sure.

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Did you try removing the Vaseline just with a tissue? The thing is that it probably stuck on well because the fin was relatively dry - usually the vaseline doesn't stick to a fish that much. I would just try to gently wipe it off. It is oil, so anything acidic will get it off. But you don't want to add anything acidic to the fish. I would wipe if off enough for you to just 'unglue' the fin. Then it should slowly come off by itself in the water.

Is the hole red or anything? I have a fish who has a perfectly round little hole in his fin, very strange, but I just let it heal alone.

They are no longer pineconned right? THen you could do a couple of large water changes to get all the epson out and then replace it with regular salt, just to help heal the fin.

As for the hydrogen peroxide, if you want to use it, just remember it has to be diluted. I use the 3%solution and dilute it 9parts water and 1 part HP.

:)

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This morning, in the light, I could see that his situation is much worse than I could tell it was last night.

I wiped the fin some more and moved it from his belly, and can see he has a red line in the middle of his belly. When done, though, the fin still does not fan out in the water, still stuck together. The base of the fin and where it attaches looks white and mushy. He is listing to the side, I think because he has not been able to use that fin, and is developing a lump (like, distended) to the right of his belly on the bad fin side, perhaps as that side has been listing out of the water. Perhaps an internal infection starting. I don't know, but he looks much worse than when I went away for sure. Still eating, though and no pineconing.

I just took this pic--it looks dreadful:

http://i409.photobuc...ie/IMG_3362.jpg

So, I have:

1. Done a 75% water change (last night)

2. Dropped the temp to 75

3. Not yet added salt, but will, I think.

4. Fed MM again today (would a different antibiotic be in order?)

5. Biobandaged the red line/fin base)

The poor guy-and he is such a little trooper. Help.

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Ouch that does not look good. Suggestion for you: Get a length of airline and start a siphon through it (you may need to suck it to start it), lift that side out the water and use the airline water to spray the vaseline off and maybe spread the fin if you can. You'll need to put him in a bowl below the level of the tank to get the suction through the airline but the thin diameter of the airline should allow you to get a decent flowrate up without hitting him with high pressure water, and you can keep him in water all the time you wash him apart from that small area. Let me know if you want me to re-explain that...it's not particularly well worded but I wanted to get something up!

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Great ideas, I will try both gentle washing and follow that up with the Q-tip. Fortunately, there was a pack of them in the hotel that I brught back with me.

I think I will also do another water change today, then add salt.

I am going to pop him in his blender jar then and see if he won't stay underwater. It is open at both ends, so there is good flow, but it is smooth glass and his usual choice of place when he is at his normal level of disability and can swim down there. I am concerned about further air exposure at this point, so that may help. He is still eating and perky, but I do feel terribly sorry for him...(and so sorry I had to be away this week). I expect at this point it will soon be clear that he is either clearly getting better, or clearly getting worse. I have no idea how this will go. Sophie is clearly getting better now....but last week I was seriously considering euthenizing her as she was not eating.

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I rinsed with the airline tubing, then q-tiped--some stuff came off on the Q-tip (vaseline), but the fins still stayed closed Tried spreading and wiping, still they were stuck. Then wiped with hydrogen peroxide with a fresh Q-tip and that seemed to get enough off as the third step to have the fin a bit more open. But it is not fully spread (and may have shut again--but this was still progress). Also dabbed HP on the red bit. I put him back in the blender jar as all this was quite a bit of handling, but think I wil repeat this later tonight to see if I can get more off so his fins can open. Quite alarmed, though, by his listing and the lump/distended area that seems to be developing on his side. His body is slightly hooked. Am again changing water and will add .1%salt (it's cooling now).

I think I'll keep him on MM until a Mod stops by, as bad things seem to be going on inside him. If he were not eating, and still eager to do so, I would probably euthenize at this point--but I do not believe he is ready to give up himself, so how can I...

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I don't want to push you to do anything you don't want to do... but I really think organ failure is happening with this fish and he won't make it despite your best efforts. If it were my fish I'd probably euthanize at this point, as difficult as that decision would be :( Typically the "C" shaped curve of the body indicates organ failure, and certainly his previous dropsy indicates organ failure as well. Just because the dropsy is under control at this point doesn't mean the underlying problem (probably organ failure) is fixed. I feel terrible writing this to you, but I wanted to give you my honest opinion. Do whatever you feel is best, and I will support whatever decision you make, but at this point I certainly think it would be kind to euthanize. Big hugs :hug

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Thanks, Sakura, I appreciate your thoughts on this and the support. I do not want to be unkind, or for him to suffer, I am so fond of this fish. If I had been here all week, this would probably be clearer to me, but the thing is, I do not know precisely what happened with the pet sitter, nor do I do know if the listing/ slight hooking is his attempt to keep balance with his pec fin unusable and his forward fin with a big hole in it, (all this on the same side) or if it is organ failure. He is still eagerly eating. I am ready to do it when he stops eating, or if he hooks more, or something happens to indicate that he is on his way out, but right now, I am not sure how much of this is which particular problem. He is in the blender jar now, I'll see how he is in the AM. I do believe it should be clearer then which way he is going. HP was a great idea, by the way, and in combo with the others seems to have released his fin a bit.

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Be very careful w/ how much you hp-it pierces their slimecoat and removes cells-good as well as bad. I know you're just trying to get the vaseline off-but wanted to let you know that it is not a benign agent to them. Good luck,Spillie-my heart goes out to both of youheartpump.gifKeep us posted00001649.gif

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Thanks--I'll be careful. Just took fed him, he looks about the same, but still very interested in food. The fin is a bit more (but not fully) open due to the washing/Q-tip/tHP reatment earlier today, but I did not mess with it again tonight. He's resting in the blender jar and the tank has .1% salt. Tum is submerged and he is resting in a comfortable spot so does not need to struggle to hold his position. I'll just have to see how this goes..

Yes, I think the petsitter may have (unwittingly) aggravated the situation if the vaseline is the cause of the fin issues, but she was concerned about the red from air exposure on his tum and so tried to address it. It was just very bad timing that I had to go away for work this particular week, and now I am not sure what is what, exactly and so unsure of how to proceed, whether he has a chance of recovery, etc.

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Thanks--I'll be careful. Just took fed him, he looks about the same, but still very interested in food. The fin is a bit more (but not fully) open due to the washing/Q-tip/tHP reatment earlier today, but I did not mess with it again tonight. He's resting in the blender jar and the tank has .1% salt. Tum is submerged and he is resting in a comfortable spot so does not need to struggle to hold his position. I'll just have to see how this goes..

Yes, I think the petsitter may have (unwittingly) aggravated the situation if the vaseline is the cause of the fin issues, but she was concerned about the red from air exposure on his tum and so tried to address it. It was just very bad timing that I had to go away for work this particular week, and now I am not sure what is what, exactly and so unsure of how to proceed, whether he has a chance of recovery, etc.

Sunday AM Update: Well, no worse today, really about the same. Still eating eagerly. The fin that got the vaseline still cannot open and is kind of white and mushy looking. I tried wiping it off some more with a damp Q-tip this AM, but it did not seem to make a difference. The red line/mark on his belly seems to be darker, not a bright red line any more. Bad fin side still distended, seems a bit less so than yesterday and his body seems straighter. He is resting back in the beloved blender jar--where Sophie somehow found a way to join him last night. She, btw, is pretty much back to her previous level of disability.

I do have melafix, I know there are varying views about how effective it is--would it help the mushy-looking vaselined fin?

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it almost sounds like if the fin is dead and disintegrating? maybe the blood supply to it was cut and now it is dead?

I would salt more than melafix. What level of salt are you at? I would go up to 0.3 as long as nobody is pineconing.

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hey Spillie,what's the current temp in your tank? I'm wondering if maybe turning it up to about 80*F wouldn't help the vaseline come off better?It might enable it to more 'slide off' or disintegrate. Either way,increased temp should help w/ healing.

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Yeah, that is kind of what it looks like. Maybe the vaseline closed off the membrane. I don't know what to do about that, really at a loss.

But think I will pass on the melafix, if only because I am wary of adding new things to water with fish in less than a good state of health. Scooter's out of the blender jar now and alternatively busily swimming around the top of the tank upside down and then hanging out. I'll pop him back in the blender jar in a bit.

He is not pineconing, gills seem to be normal color.

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I lowered it to 75, it was at 80 for 2. 5 weeks. But, higher is good for fighting infections, too, right? Maybe I'll up it again as you suggest (and maybe it will indeed help get this awful vaseline off). I have lots of aeration, so should be OK.

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