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Desperately Looking For Help Regarding Sick Goldfish


Booyah
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Hi all, I am currently dealing with the worst bacterial infection I’ve ever had to deal with on my goldfish of 7 years. Vet is finally stumped so I bring you guys the case.

My goldfish, named Booyah, is 7 years old. He’s lived in a 55g by himself for most of his life.

For years, Booyah has had a couple red lines on his fins. Because he’s had it for so long, I didn’t think much of it.

Three months ago, I bought a heater and raised the temperature in Booyah’s tank slowly over the course of two weeks. It was about 76F when I woke up one morning and realized Booyah was swimming in all manner of different ways. Assuming he was constipated, due to his fancy body shape, I fed him peas over the next week. With no change, and his eyes seemingly bulging, I moved to step two.

I started looking for cures to what I believed was a bacterial infection, possibly Septicemia at the time. Being in Canada, it’s very difficult for me to obtain medications without a vet, and so I contacted the nearest one to me (2hrs), raced there and back with the vet’s prescription of Erythromycin, and began treatment. No change. Next attempt the vet prescribes Amoxicillin and Green Malachite, and there’s no improvement again—though I will say his popeye was noticeably better around this point. No change, once again. The red lines were getting worse, and my poor boy was losing color due to stress among many other things, and so the vet prescribed me a second round(??) of Erythromycin, which again did not work.

It’s at this point where the vet said he was stumped and I had already exhausted hundreds of dollars in examination fees. The treatment has been ongoing for at least 2 months now, and I—as I’m sure many others are surprised that Booyah is even alive still. He has been fighting very hard.

I treated Booyah with Kanaplex in his food, and again there has been no change. In the last two weeks, he’s grown what the vet believes to be lymphocytes on his tailfin, as well as showing virtually no improvement in his ability to swim or with the red lines. I have also been giving him Epsom baths every other day.

I am unsure of what to take for the next step, so I’m kindly asking if you guys have any recommendations to please let me know. I should add that Booyah has recently been moved to a 20G hospital tank to administer treatment, but my vet prescribed all his previous treatments in his 55g tank, so I will provide the readings of the 55g as that’s been his home for the last ~6 years.

  • Ammonia — 0PPM
  • Nitrite — 0PPM
  • Nitrates — 20PPM
  • PH — 8.2
  • Temp — Avg.72, was turned up to 76-78, but has since been put back at 72. (About a month ago).

I do weekly water changes of about 30%. Tank is 55g and has been set up for over 5 years.

Booyah is the only fish in this tank, nothing new was added at the time of his illness.

I feed Booyah omega goldfish pellets and have been for years. I also fed him frozen & thawed bloodworms at the time (have since stopped due to his inability to get them) and tried to feed him vegetables but he hates them for some reason. (Getting him to eat the peas was no easy feat).

I have attached images of Booyah's current health condition. Any additional information or pictures can be supplied as needed.

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With antibiotic medication you have used and the epsom salt baths  I would have expected to see  an improvement by now if it was a bacterial infection what I would do is add aquarium salt directly to his tank 1 table spoon for 1 gallon start at 1table spoon for 3 gallons and gradually increase it over a couple of days I would also treat with seachems metroplex in his food 

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On 8/2/2021 at 12:53 PM, Colu said:

With antibiotic medication you have used and the epsom salt baths  I would have expected to see  an improvement by now if it was a bacterial infection what I would do is add aquarium salt directly to his tank 1 table spoon for 1 gallon start at 1table spoon for 3 gallons and gradually increase it over a couple of days I would also treat with seachems metroplex in his food 

Hi! Thank you for your reply! 

Should I stop the Epsom salt dips entirely while his tank is undergoing the use of aquarium salt? Is it safe to use the aquarium salt a day after he's had an Epsom salt bath? I know it's unwise to combine them so I just want to be sure I won't be creating more problems for him.

As far as Metroplex, I am indeed trying to get that, but in Canada all fish medicines are banned unless prescribed by a vet so it's been painfully difficult to get anything at all that I need.

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First off, I want to commend you for your "pull out all the stops" effort to save your fish. It is always special to see a bond with any pet, and I appreciate your determination, and wish Booyah a complete recovery.

Colu always has solid advice on here, so I think it would be good practice to follow the aquarium salt guidance in the tank that  was recommended. I have used Epsom salt Baths (no more than 20 mins at at time) while the main tank had aquarium salt, and never had any noticeable issues doing so. I was treating a prolapse at the time.

Also, quick question. If Booyah was at 72 degrees for years, what was the root cause of raising it to 76? Was that done gradually? Sometimes a quick change in temp can cause stress, though I wouldn't think 4 degrees is a huge increment, though I have not kept goldfish either.

Metronidazole is the active ingredient in Metroplex. If you cant find thatthere, perhaps you'd have better luck finding API General Cure, or Fritz Paracleanse, as both have that ingredient as well.

I have one last option to explore, though it will be a tough find:

API Triple Sulfa.

It is a broad spectrum antibiotic that sometimes works when Kanaplex doesn't. I had luck with it for Columnaris, where Kanaplex was unsuccessful. (It works better in higher PH, so I have read.) I am looking at the back of the box now, and the fist thing it says it treats is Hemorrhagic Septicemia, which may be applicable in your case.

 

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On 8/2/2021 at 5:15 PM, quikv6 said:

First off, I want to commend you for your "pull out all the stops" effort to save your fish. It is always special to see a bond with any pet, and I appreciate your determination, and wish Booyah a complete recovery.

Colu always has solid advice on here, so I think it would be good practice to follow the aquarium salt guidance in the tank that  was recommended. I have used Epsom salt Baths (no more than 20 mins at at time) while the main tank had aquarium salt, and never had any noticeable issues doing so. I was treating a prolapse at the time.

Also, quick question. If Booyah was at 72 degrees for years, what was the root cause of raising it to 76? Was that done gradually? Sometimes a quick change in temp can cause stress, though I wouldn't think 4 degrees is a huge increment, though I have not kept goldfish either.

I have one last option to explore, though it will be a tough find:

API Triple Sulfa.

It is a broad spectrum antibiotic that sometimes works when Kanaplex doesn't. I had luck with it for Columnaris, where Kanaplex was unsuccessful. (It works better in higher PH, so I have read.) I am looking at the back of the box now, and the fist thing it says it treats is Hemorrhagic Septicemia, which may be applicable in your case.

 

Thank you very much, I didn't think I would get so attached to the little guy when I first got him but 7 years later he's been with me through so much and always put a smile on my face. I'm determined to do everything I can so long as he's still fighting.

I've followed Colu's advice and added the aquaium salt. Will raise the concentration slowly! I've also ordered the Metroplex, but there's no guarantee on when it will arrive.

To answer your question, I had heard that raising the temperature to a slightly warmer one would do him better so I decided to buy an Eheim heater and slowly raise the temperature. I was careful to do it slowly as he's lived in colder water most of his life - I agree that 4 degrees isn't much, but since it happened around the same time, I figured it would be best to include any details that would potentially add more background to better help me with this situation. I was planning to keep it at around 74-76 for him!

I will try to find API Triple Sulfa! It seems it could be useful in my situation.

 

On 8/2/2021 at 6:31 PM, Colu said:

Yes i would stop the  epsom salt baths while treating with aquarium salt and metroplex

Thank you very much! I'll start the aquarium salt and stop the epsom salt then. I have ordered the Metroplex and hopefully it will be here soon.

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