Last dose of meds with no improvement (large pics)
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #1
Jayme
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Last dose of meds with no improvement (large pics)


Ok so I noticed when one of my Hillstream Loaches came out of hiding last week that something was very wrong with it's tail. There were red streaks at the base of the tail and although I know the fish is scaleless it looked like the "scales" were raised and some flesh was missing and color had faded from the area. The tail is also torn and missing bits. I was thinking perhaps the fish had caught his tail on something and then it got infected somehow. My normal perams are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0 nitrate but I had recently started dosing ferts and at one point a few weeks ago the nitrate went up to 20-40 ppm (so hard to tell the color in the vials) so I had stopped dosing completely 2(?) weeks ago until I can figure out more appropriate dosing. I wasn't able to come up with an actual diagnosis but after reading post after post on various forums I decided to try Maracyn based on symptoms.

I went and purchased Maracyn and Maracyn Two (I had read it was recommended to treat with both simultaneously if unsure of exact issue) and managed to catch the fish (what luck!) and moved it from my 50 gallon to a 5 gallon QT for treatment.

Today was the last day of the treatment of both meds. I treated according to package directions, full dose for 5 days, despite warnings of only doing half doses for scaleless fish.

Loachy has not improved and I'm not sure what to do next. I did see it eat food the day before yesterday and it is moving normally other than it was hiding more yesterday than usual. I have included some cell phone shots, best I can get since fishy doesn't like to hold still or come to the front right now.

Other info:
I've had this fish for several months and the only "newer" members of the tank are assassin snails and tiger shrimp.
ph 8, kh/gh 7, temp ~76, weekly water changes (normally, I have not done a water change in QT during treatment) I have cycled media in the QT tank as well and have been keeping on eye on perams, 0 across the board.

Any help would be very much appreciated. I have already spent more on the meds than I paid for the fish but I really want to try and save it as I have a strong sense of responsibility for the health and well being of all my critters. Thank you.

EDIT: I should note as well I have had the light in the QT tank off during treatment because I read the meds can be sensitive to light. I have also added an air wand in addition to the normal filter to increase oxygen since I read the meds can decrease that as well. The bubbles you see on the body of the fish are from that, it likes to hang out in the bubble stream.




Last edited by Jayme; 12-24-2012 at 09:21 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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I do have some PraziPro on hand but it doesn't seem like it would be anything that would treat. I'll try that next I suppose, I don't think it could "hurt" anything anyway.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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I would suggest water changes, as large as you feel comfortable doing with him, particularly if the courses of medication have finished. Clean water is essential to healing, and I'm not sure why your nitrates still read zero after five days with no water changes (of course, this may be a very small fish compared to what I'm used to).

I had good success with kanamycin (Kanaplex by Seachem) - a bit harder to find but actually less expensive than the more easily found Maracyn and Maracyn 2 medications by far. I also used a salt dip (less than five minutes in salt water) and had some improvement after that, which may not be something you want to try with a scaleless fish.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:14 PM   #4
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I'll start water changes back up again tomorrow since the first meds are done and look around for some Kanaplex. I might try a light, short term dosing of salt along with water changes, but I don't feel comfortable doing a bath. Thanks!
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:05 AM   #5
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I had a goldfish with a similar issue. It took two rounds of medicating to get her feeling better. I treated with maracyn and maracyn 2 for the normal 5 days, and she didn't look at all improved and I was considering euthanising her, but decided to finish off all the meds I had. After about day 8 she got MUCH better. More than half her tail had been eaten away at that point, but it's been slowly growing back. So I guess I'd recommend giving it at least one more round. I transferred about half a cup of gravel from the main tank to the QT tank when I moved her over, and that was enough to keep the ammonia and nitrites under control. I put some in the filter and scattered the rest on the bottom of the tank.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CytoEric View Post
I had a goldfish with a similar issue. It took two rounds of medicating to get her feeling better. I treated with maracyn and maracyn 2 for the normal 5 days, and she didn't look at all improved and I was considering euthanising her, but decided to finish off all the meds I had. After about day 8 she got MUCH better. More than half her tail had been eaten away at that point, but it's been slowly growing back. So I guess I'd recommend giving it at least one more round. I transferred about half a cup of gravel from the main tank to the QT tank when I moved her over, and that was enough to keep the ammonia and nitrites under control. I put some in the filter and scattered the rest on the bottom of the tank.
I was kind of wondering about only a 5 day treatment. Did you do a water change after the initial 5 days or just keep dosing?

I put a bag of established media from my 20 long in the QT filter so I wouldn't need to do water changes as often.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:35 AM   #7
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If I remember correctly, I did ~50% water change before starting the second round. The nitrates were pretty high at that point, as this was a decent sized goldfish in a 10 gallon QT tank. I suppose it may not be necessary if your not seeing any increase in your nitrates though.
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:34 AM   #8
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Instructions for Maracyn and Maracyn II are for a water change then you can repeat the 5 day treatment.
It can work.

Or switch to a different antibiotic. My understanding is M & MII are rather mild. Something stronger like Kanamycin may be a better choice for an internal infection.

As little salt as 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons is OK, and is generally OK even for fish that do not care too much for salt.
Dissolve the salt in some water and add a little bit every hour or two until the full dose is in the tank.

Hilstream Loaches are very high oxygen fish, so yes, do all you can to keep the water highly oxygenated.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:43 AM   #9
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Did a big water change (tested the water first to make sure things were still stable, all zeros) and started back on the Maracyns. I'm still going to look for some Kanamycin tomorrow when things are open again.

I noticed today the red streaks look like they "might" be getting better, however I now see some small "fuzzy" bits on the body of the fish. I hope it's just some random weirdness and I'm just thinking the worst, hard to get a good inspection angle.

Still eating well, behaving normally.

I'm assuming it's NOT a good idea to add salt while treating with the antibiotics in this case?

Thanks for the ideas everyone!
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:57 AM   #10
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Good luck! I'm not sure what the fuzzy bits might be...I know that when my goldfish was sick she was shedding her slime coat like crazy...was really gross and looked horrible. But it cleared up around the time her tail started looking better. Hope you loach gets better soon!!
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CytoEric View Post
Good luck! I'm not sure what the fuzzy bits might be...I know that when my goldfish was sick she was shedding her slime coat like crazy...was really gross and looked horrible. But it cleared up around the time her tail started looking better. Hope you loach gets better soon!!
Thanks! I'm just glad behavior and eating haven't been affected, keeps me a little more sane about the whole thing. Everyone in the main tank still looks perfect and no signs of whatever this is on anyone else, thank goodness.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:02 AM   #12
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It has hemorrhagic septicemia...It's caused by poor water quality normally. I'd treat wit ha topical antibiotic and fix the water conditions.

Remember that identifying what disease a fish has is way more important than tossing antibiotics at it. Certain infectious bacteria are resistant to different antibiotics. Like some only kill gram-negative bacteria and others like tetracycline are more broad spectrum killers.

The fuzzy stuff is probably a fungal growth that's a secondary infection caused by lesions from the bacteria.

If it's a bacterial septicemia I'd continue dosage with maracyn 2 and DO NOT quit using it until the problem is gone. You'll only make it much much worse/incurable if you give up and switch to another medication. If you can find a vet to prescribe some kind of topical antibiotic that'd work too. I used neosporin/peroxide to treat one of my koi. It worked great.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:41 PM   #13
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Well I've never had poor water quality and all my other creatures are fine. Like I said the only time I've had any nitrate (and not even at dangerous levels) at all was when I was dosing ferts (which I had stopped BEFORE the fish got ill) so if that causes poor water quality then I guess that was the problem. I do weekly water changes and run extra air wands (I have one that goes along the entire back of the tank) and sponge filters in the tank since I got the loaches to make sure they have enough oxygen.

I woke up this morning and the fish had passed away during the night.

I suppose it would be a good idea to bleach the tank and anything that came in contact with the sick fish. I guess I'll throw out the filter media I was using in there also since bleaching it I'm sure would leave some kind of residue even with lots of rinsing.

I was just reading about the bacterial septicemia and it talks about eating foods infected with bacteria. Before I saw the sick fish I did feed a raw zucchini for everyone to munch on. Usually I would blanch veggies but this time I just rinsed it and tossed it in. Maybe bacteria was introduced this way and caused the illness on what I can only assume was an immunocompromised fish?

Whatever the cause, I do believe I did what I could with the information I had and tried my best to save the fish, still very sad though. If I had known it was bacterial septicemia earlier I would have tried medicating some food, although I'm not sure if that would have worked since this fish is already picky with what it eats and those meds smelled positively horrid. I know that water quality was not the issue. I will blanch all veggies from now on since that's the only "new" thing that was put into the tank.

R.I.P. little Loachy.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:14 PM   #14
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Next time I'd focus on diagnosis more and sticking to one medicine only.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:34 PM   #15
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that is a bacterial infection of some kind. see it more in betta than most other fish and i just lost a guppy to it clear out of the blue. she was fine one day and tail gone and base of tail a little worse than that the next day. not sure what caused it but almost always fatal from what i have read. i dont think it was the raw veggies. i just did a really big water change and have not seen any other sick fish since. the only thing i did was raise the temp in the tank. might have just been a week fish. i didnt bleach my tank or anything the like. only thing i did do was treat with melafix and lower the temp back down. some times there is no way to know y the fish get that way. sorry you lost the fish
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