Jump to content

Help with sick goldfish laying on the bottom and tailed curled


Guest Joeybear

Recommended Posts

Guest Joeybear

Sorry if this post twice. I just wrote a big long explaination and lost it. I'm a new member and have a beautiful goldfish named Elaine. She is 16 years old.

She has been laying on the bottom of the tank on her side for 4 days now. She does want to eat, but cannot swim. Her tail is curled up, so I think it may be her bladder or constipation. I've changed the water several times a few weeks ago and she would bounce back for a few days, then be on the bottom again.

I just had the water checked again today and they said at the fish store that it is good. They gave me Bifuran to give her. Does anyone know about this. I'm a little nervous to give it to her, but at this point I feel so sad and do not want her to suffer.

She only eats shelled peas. That has been her diet for a long time. Flakes started making her float upside down about 3 years ago.

I hope she can recover. She is a very special girl.

Thank You!

.


  • Test Results for the Following:
  • * Ammonia Level
  • * Nitrite Level good
  • * Nitrate level
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    Other Required Info:
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? went to fish store.
  • * Water temperature? room temp about 73
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 10 gallons
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? lately every few days

  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 3
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 she is about 4 inches
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? every other day a couple of peas
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? NO
  • * Any medications added to the tank? NO
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Added extra salt to help nitrates which it did
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Her tail is curled up
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? sitting on bottom laying on side, tail curled up

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I'm so sorry Elaine is not doing well. 16 years old is an amazing age, and we hope we can be of help.

However, because of her advanced age, it is extremely important that we know as much as we can about her tank parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH). Pics/vid would be helpful as well, and I have a link in my sig that shows you how to do this. Would you be able to get a test kit (drop test) to check these things? In the mean time, I would stick to doing 25% WCs daily, to give her a steady infusion of fresh water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Welcome to the forum! I'm so sorry Elaine is not well.

Is there currently salt in the tank? How much?

Unfortunately, fish store employees often say parameters are 'fine' when they are actually not, for this reason (as dnalex said) it would be best to get exact numbers for your water parameters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Joeybear

I'll get a nitrate kit tomorrow. Has anyone used Bifuran for this. I'm a bit afraid to give it to her, and now sure how to use it.

Thanks for all the help and advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I'll get a nitrate kit tomorrow. Has anyone used Bifuran for this. I'm a bit afraid to give it to her, and now sure how to use it.

There's a master freshwater kit by API that measures ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. I would get that one, since it does everything you need it to.

I would refrain from using any medication at all right now, since we have no idea what is going on with her. If you could upload some visuals and get the kit to check parameters ASAP, that would be splendid.

At sixteen years old, I would say that her constitution is delicate. We want to avoid any and all treatments that can do her more harm than good. Bifuran is especially harmful, and this is what wikipedia has to say about it.

Furazolidone is no longer available in the US. Though an effective antibiotic when all others fail, against extremely drug resistant infections, it has many side effects, and as with other nitrofurans generally, minimum inhibitory concentrations also produce systemic toxicity (tremors, convulsions, peripheral neuritis, gastrointestinal disturbances, depression of spermatogenesis.) Nitrofurans are recognized by FDA as mutagens/carcinogens, and can no longer be used since 1991.[5]

Edited by dnalex
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporter

hello joeybear, welcome to koko's.. i have nothing to add other than i hope Elaine heals and to congratulate you on your success of good care for her spanning over 16 years and hopefully more.

could you provide a picture of her resting position? you can upload this to photobucket.com. you can create a free accout there and just paste the IMG link here in your post.. or a youtube video..

good luck with Elaine :heart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Joeybear

Here is a photo of Elaine. Ignore the white streaks just below the tail fin. It's a weird reflection. I took her out of her tank and put her in a bowl for a bit while I do another water change.

She still wants to eat, but still can't swim

http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r491/Marlinexuder/DSC02666.jpg.

Thanks again for any advice and help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Elaine is beautiful and I'm so sorry she is sick. Do you take her out of the tank to change water because you are changing all of the water? She would probably be more comfortable with a daily partial water change. Alex suggested 25% changed daily, which I think is fine. I suggest you take everything ornamental out of the tank.

You didn't identify a filter. Do you have one? If you do and you don't know the name and size, could you show us a picture of it?

You also didn't identify a water conditioner. A "water conditioner" usually means just the stuff you use to inactivate chlorine. Do you use one or do you have well water or other water that is free of chlorine?

You say she eats nothing but green peas. Peas are a very nutritious food, but I'm not sure there is any single food that provides complete nutrition. Does she reject all other food or did you decide to feed only peas because she floated on other food?

Clearly, you have been a good fish keeper to have a fish as old as Elaine. Please keep feeding us information so that we can try to think up something to help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Joeybear

Hi,

I've taken Elaine out of the tank for water changes, and only change about 25-30% water and add more salt to the 10 gallon tank (2 Tbsp.) I've used a little bit of Kordon AmQuel Plus ammonia detoxifier and a small amount of Water Conditoner (NovAqua). I've always been using small amounts of these since I've had her, only when I change the water.

She seems a little better today but still on the bottom and not swimming, but very alert. I've been lightly feeding her just a few mushed pea meats every 3 days.

About 3 years ago she was floating upside down on the top. I use to feed her flakes until this happened than I switched to the peas. She recovered after the peas, so I slowly went back to the flakes and she started upside down again. Someone suggest brine shrimp, but that didn't help either. I went through this a few times and realized the peas really saved her. So I haven't fed her anything but that in the last 3 years.

As far as sitting on the bottom, this just started over a month ago. I would take her out of the tank and do a water change, then she would recover and swim around for about 4 or 5 days, then go back to the bottom. I have noticed during this time, that her back tail was curled upward more than usual. It's just been in the last week now, that she hasn't been able to swim and is on the bottom laying on her side. She is still alert and moves her fins, when she sees me and will eat.

I'm still trying to find the right water testing kit. And I'm using a Tetra filter system for a 10 gallon tank. I know it could just be she is old, but I just don't ever want her to suffer.

Hope this information can help.

Thank YOU!!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Joeybear

One more question? Does anyone know if spinach is okay to feed? I'm wondering if she is really constipated, since I haven't seen any poop out of her.

Or it could be a bladder issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Spinach is fantastic to feed, as well as chopped up canned green beans (no salt). I do think that at her age, more veggies is better.

My favorite to feed is really well cooked baby spinach :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Spinach is excellent. Most vegetables are good for your fish. It's just a matter of what she will eat. That's why I asked if she rejected other foods. It's possible she has a nutrient deficiency if she has eaten nothing but peas for a long time.

When doing less than a 100% water change, most people leave the fish in the tank and siphon out the water. This is less stressful for the fish than taking them out. Since Elaine is used to being removed, it probably doesn't bother her much.

The fact that she used to perk up after a water change and then deteriorate after 4 or 5 days suggests that something is accumulating in the water that makes her ill. I suggest that you do daily water changes and see if that helps. You might also try very gradually increasing the amount of water that you change. There are very few situations in which more fresh water is not a good idea. One is when you have bad tap water, and the other is if the fish is stressed by too great a change in the water. That's why I say to gradually increase the amount of water you change.

You should be able to find the API freshwater master kit in Petsmart.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Joeybear

Elaine is still at the bottom and on her side. I did the water tests and all the levels were good. She will eat, but it is very sad to see her like this. I have noticed now, that underneath her belly, where the bladder is, looks a bit swollen and red.

It's been a little over 2 weeks now and I'm not sure at this point if she will recover. It may just be her time since she is 16. I hate to see her suffer and not sure if I should try the clove solution or just let nature takes its course.

Any advice would be much appreciated. :(

Thank You!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Do what feels right. You know Elaine well, you will know when she doesn't want to hang on any longer.

Here are my longwinded euthanasia stories, I hope the input puts your mind at ease to do what's best for you and your fish.

I accidentally poisoned my goldfish a couple of months ago. They suffered for way too long. Two died clearly in pain, and I euthanized the third when it was clear she wasn't going to make it either. I was too hopeful and I regret that I didn't euthanize them sooner.

On the other hand, my family had a wonderful adopted labrador for about a year. He had had some sort of head injury that made him have the worst seizures anyone in my family had ever seen or heard of. He looked possessed by particularly brutal demons, bashing his head repeatedly into the floor, scratching his face, but seemingly had no memory of them after they occured.

We quickly put him on epilepsy medication, which kept the seizures under control pretty well, but months later they reappeared. We upped the dose. He was great for a month or so more. Then the seizures reappeared, worse than ever. The vet said any more medication was going to damage his liver, but the cumulative violence from the seizure episodes had caused more brain damage, which would get worse no matter what we did. We put him to sleep, he was happy until his last day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Joeybear

Thanks adverbemonade. I'm sorry you had to go through that with your lab. That must of been very scary and heartbreaking. I love dogs. I lost a big 90lb. Weimaraner who died last summer. He was getting old and having a hard time walking, but I think had a stroke one night and never made it to the next day. I was glad it went pretty fast for him.

The decision to put an animal to sleep is very hard. You always have doubts if your doing the right thing.

My fish Elaine notices when I come up to the tank, I see her eyes move to look at me. Today I reached in and held her and got her to eat a smashed pea. She wants to eat, but just can't swim. I just don't know if she is in pain or not.

Also, I've heard of using Clove to put fish to sleep, but not sure of the proper way to do it or if you mix with anything. It seems like a strong oil to use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I'm sorry to hear that there has not been much improvement to Elaine. I wish it were different :(

As for what to do, this is one of those issues where I feel that only you can really make the decision on whether to let her go or not. You've had her for 16 years, and in that time, have certainly gotten to know her well. Whatever you choose to do, I am 100% supportive of that.

Having said that, here is the procedure using clove oil, just in case you want to look it over. I just want to re-iterate that I am not at all advocating this, nor am I against. It is only my intention to provide information.

Clove Oil

Notes: Clove oil is often used as an anaesthetic in fish surgery and would seem an obviuous method. However, promotion of the wrong method of use has cast a shadow over its effectiveness. Many websites suggest using vodka to emulsify the oil allowing the fish to absorb it easily, yet the alcohol causes great distress to the fish and then consiquently, to the owner. I have had many emails from disturbed owners telling me how their fish has appeared to be in great pain, leaping about in the water during this so called “humane” process of euthanasia. If used properly, it can be quite a gentle method to use, as revealed in the table. It is also easily obtained through health food shops and pharmacies.

Procedure: Place the fish in a container of around half a gallon of its own tank water. Take some more water from the tank into a jar or bottle. Add around 10 drops of clove oil and shake vigerously until the mixture has completely emulsified. Gradually add the mixture to the fish’s container. Leave it in the solution for 10 minutes. Some people choose to decapitate the fish afterwards to make completely sure the fish is deceased and not just heavily sedated.

It's taken from this thread.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/97229-euth/page__p__1157497__hl__euthanasia__fromsearch__1#entry1157497

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

If you do choose to euthanize her, the clove oil (NO vodka) method dnalex posted above, in my experience, is the gentlest method imaginable of euthanasia. They drift off to sleep peacefully, without showing any fear, and then with the overdose they die peacefully in their sleep. I wish the same option was available for mammals (including me, if I were terminally ill and in uncontrollable pain). I'm glad your weimaraner had a relatively peaceful natural death, you didn't have to take him to some scary vet (or have some scary vet make a housecall) that would have made his final moments uncomfortable.

I can't tell you if Elaine is feeling pain. If she eats, she still has some capacity for happiness, since eating is the ultimate goldfish pleasure. That'd be really awesome if she recovered and was one of those goldfish who got to live to be 20 or so, but she may not. Like dnalex said, of course, it is entirely your decision, and I support you in it too, and you have my sympathy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Oh honey, I'm so sorry you're having to make this decision :( I have used clove oil in the past with success. It was quick and the fish passed almost instantly. Good luck with whatever you choose :hug

Edited by horserider36
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I know you said you got the test kit, and you said the levels were fine, but what were they? Especially the nitrates? I am wondering, since she seems to like the water changes so much maybe more is better? I was also going to suggest gel food, since floating foods upset it so much. Although I am not the expert in these things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...