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FishDeals.com | Aquarium Fish Disease Identification, Diagnosis & Treatment
 
Dropsy - Identification & Treatment

Major Sick Fish Diseases:

Much has been written on the topic of stress & disease, below is summary to help guide you throughout Dropsy prevention and identification. Please feel free to send any comments or suggestions to Ask An Expert.

 Ask a Question in the Sick Fish Stress & Disease Forum

Name: DROPSY
Symptoms:
  • Big fat belly, not pregnant
  • Huge Swelling of Body
  • Bulging sides and stomach
  • Scales almost popping off
  • Scales may be forced outward
  • Eyes may pop out

  • Symptoms of Stress & Disease
  • Dropsy General Description
    Dropsy is not really a disease. For all intensive purposes we will call it one. It's really an internal bacterial infection usually caused by poor water quality.

    Fish may recover with no treatment and may die despite it. There are multiple possible causes. Sometimes it's not contageous, but sick fish should be isolated and treated since determining the actual cause may be impossible. The swelling is because the fish is absorbing water faster than it can eliminate it, and it can be caused by many different problems. High nitrates are one thing to check. Internal bacterial infections, including fish TB, are other possibilities. If there are no water quality problems, you may want to attempt antibiotic treatment in a separate tank.

    There are multiple possible causes. Usually caused by kidney damage. Kidney damage may be caused by overuse of drugs or a disease. Eventually the swelling will cause the scales to raise, giving the fish what is called the "pine-cone" appearance.

    You can best see this by viewing your fish from the top. Fish may also stop feeding, appear off-colour, become listless and/or lethargic, have sunken eyes, and hang at the top or stay at the bottom of the aquarium.
    Dropsy Treatments
    Dropsy is not very contagious; however, Fish usually die from this, but in some cases where the problem is due to bacteria, if detected early enough, it can be treated.

    It's possibly the hardest internal bacterial infection to cure. There are a number of medications available such as penicillin, tetracycline and naladixic acid. The fish usually doesn't make it. By the time the scales begin to raise, however, it is very fatal to the fish. Salt baths can help to draw the fluid out of the fish. A variety of medications can be purchased that treat dropsy, which sometimes occurs due to an internal bacterial problem. Medications for external bacterial problems only will not be effective for this problem.

    Dropsy Prevention
    Poor water conditions are often the culprit. Gouramies, Cyprinids (barbs, danios, etc), guppies, betta and goldfish are prone to this disease. Goldfish are said to be somewhat more prone to dropsy than other fish. High nitrates are usually the culprit. Clean Water, is a must! Clean Water, should I say that again? Good water conditions prevent this.
    Image Gallery of Dropsy
    #!/usr/bin/perl print "Content-type: text/html\n\n"; # find out the day of the year my $day_of_year = (localtime(time()))[7]; # define the path where the images live "." is the current directory $path = "."; # read all the jpg filenames from the directory into an array opendir(DIR, $path); @files = grep { /\.(jpg|gif|png)$/i } readdir(DIR); closedir(DIR); # sort the filenames alphabetically @files = sort( {lc $a cmp lc $b} @files); # count the number of images $no_of_images = scalar(@files); if($no_of_images > 0){ print "Submit more images to: Ask An Expert

    "; foreach $f(@files){ print "Aquarium Fish Dropsy\n"; } } else { print "No images have yet to be posted for this disease, please send one: Ask An Expert

    "; }





    Dropsy Frequently Asked Questions

    Have a Question, please post one here, Ask An Expert

    #ImageDisease TitleTop 3 Symptoms
    1. Ammonia Poisoning
  • Red streaking on the fins or body.
  • Purple or red gills.
  • Fins are torn & jagged.
  • 2. Anchor Worms
  • Tiny white-green or red worms in wounds.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Ulcers may appear.
  • 3. Black Spot
  • Small black speckles on body.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Small black smudges on fish.
  • 4. Cataracts
  • White or grey "foggy" eyes.
  • Eye looks like it has a slime coat.
  • Tendency to bump into things.
  • 5. Cotton Mouth
  • White "Cotton like" fungus on the mouth.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • White spots on mouth, scales, and fins.
  • 6. Curved Spine (Fish TB)
  • Curved or Crooked Spine.
  • Lesions on the body.
  • loss of scales.
  • 7. Dropsy
  • Huge, Fat, Bloated Belly.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Scales almost popping off.
  • 8. Fin Rot
  • Fins turn Jagged or whitish and die back.
  • Fins look like they were ripped off.
  • Fish is not eating.
  • 9. Hole in the Head
  • Hole in the head.
  • Small sore on head.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • 10. Ichthyophthirius
    (white spot or ick)
  • Small white "salt-like" pimples on fins & body.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • 11. Neon Tetra Disease
  • Restlessness.
  • Whitened areas deep into the fishes' flesh.
  • Spine may become curved.
  • 12. New Tank Syndrome
  • Sudden Death.
  • Cloudy Water.
  • Unexplained Death.
  • 13. Oodinium (velvet)
  • Fine grey-gold to whitish 'dust' on the body.
  • Very rapid gill movement.
  • Scratching or flashing.
  • 14. Parasites (External)
  • Large ugly sores on body.
  • Skin looks grey in patches.
  • Fish swim aimlessly.
  • 15. Planaria
    (white hairlike worms)
  • Small White Hairlike Worms.
  • Tiny, Wiggley Worms often found in the substrate.
  • 16. Pop Eye
  • One or both eyes protrude from the head in an unusual fashion.
  • 17. Skin / Gill Flukes
  • Fish gasps for air at the water's surface
  • Gills open and close rapidly
  • Gills are covered in mucus
  • 18. Swim Bladder Disease
  • Erratic Swimming Position
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Fish will be unable to maintain buoyancy
  • 19. Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Scoliosis (Curved Spine)
  • Reduced Growth
  • Anorexia (Lack or Loss of Appetite)
  • View Symptoms per Vitamin
  • References/Further Reading

    The Manual of Fish Health
    Dr. Chris Andrews, Adrian Exell and Dr. Neville Carrington.
    New Jersey: Tetra Press, 1988

    Handbook of Fish Diseases
    Dieter Untergasser
    Translation by Howard H. Hirschhorn
    T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1989



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