Dropsy?

mrsclem

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Got back from the ER today ( got stung by over 20 yellow jackets) and went to check on the fish. The pond is over crowded as I have been working on repairing our old pond. My largest koi has been looking fat lately but I figured since they have been raiding the plant rings he was just eating too much. Now his scales are sticking out! There is no way I can catch him and isolate him. I have medicated food and he is still eating. What else should I do as far as treatments? I had planned on cleaning the filters today but things just didn't go right and now this. Wasn't able to test water as the yellow jackets are next to the pond. I did check it earlier this week and everything was ok except nitrates were still a little high but still in the safe range. Help!
 
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addy1

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wow mrsclem, get better. I have no clue on what to tell you to do, but sending best wishes. Those suckers hurt

found this

The treatment regimen that worked on the lucky koi who survived this year was feeding it triple antibiotic food and keeping him in .3% non-iodized salt. This was such a no-nonsense approach and so basically simple! The triple antibiotic food kept the internal infection at bay while the salt prevented water from seeping into the sores or skin of the koi and keeping his protective slime coat intact.
That leads me to believe that there is hope for a koi or goldfish who has dropsy as long as the fish is still eating.
Emergency Procedures

  1. Perform a salt treatment.
  2. Begin feeding with triple antibiotic food.
What to Expect Next
Once, by a small miracle, the swelling goes down and the scales are no longer sticking out any other complications such as fin rot or ulcers that are still present should be addressed. Treat them as you would ulcer disease and be careful to treat them gently. This survivor has gone through a lot of stress and we certainly do not want to give him more than he can handle.



The other Stuff I read was water changes and the salt
 

DrDave

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Scales sticking out, bloated, eyes bulging... Get it into a Hospital tank and treat with antibiotics. I had one that was upside down on the bottom and came back with this treatment. A livestock supply store will have a bottle of 100 for about $18 US.
Find a way to catch it or it will die without this treatment.
 

j.w

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Sorry for you with getting stung by all those bees and sorry for your poor sick fish. Hope you can get tx for him soon. If you can get your hands on a seine net you could catch him easy.
My friend up the road has koi and she uses this all the time to catch them.
 

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mrsclem

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I got him moved to 150 gallon stock tank with salt. Local farm supply here only has powered antibiotic for poultry. I will check Tractor supply in the am. As soon as we moved him, he went belly-up but when he got close to the airstone he started moving again. He was swimming around eating up plants this morning but I didn't get a close look at him. Amazed how fast this was. I did get some antibiotic food into him before we moved him.
Hopefully the meds will work for him as well as the steriod pills are doing for me. I'm allergic to antihistamines so no benedryl. Tonight no swelling or burning, just a little itching.
 
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j.w

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Glad to hear you got the fish moved to a QT tank and that you are starting to feel better also.
Hope fishy gets better too :cool:
 

addy1

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Glad to hear mrsclem, I was stung by one of those yellow ones, stayed bruised for over two months. And it did hurt, I can't imagine how bad it was for you.
 

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Well I hope you both get well soon. I always keep a bottle of antibiotics on hand, if you have to go look for it at a store, it is usually too late for the fish.
 

fishin4cars

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First off I would like to thank my wife who is graceous enough to type all this directly from Koi Kichi By Paul Waddington. This would have taken me a hour to copy if not more for me! LOL This is the only write up he has in the book on raised scales. I also found two books that recommended the same salt treatment with bacteria medicated foods. Hope this helps.
A koi develops raised scales on the belly and flanks in the first stages. This usually occurs in cold water periods. This is followed by raised scales developing all over the body which gives pine cone effect, eyes protrude and the koi rests, usually motionless on the pond base. Whilst these symptoms are by no means common, they do occur from time to time and usually fall into two categories namely one we can cure and one we cannot, both problems having similar symptoms. It is a matter or urgency that koi suffering with these symptoms are given urgent attention to avoid the next stage when the raised scales become infected and lesions break out.
I would recommend that a separate container is filled with pond water and the Koi is placed into this container and aeration is added, cooking salt should be added immediately at the rate of 0.25% salinity and water temperature should be increased very slowly at the rate of 60F. After one day, cooking salt should be increased to 0.5% salinity, when water temperatures exceed 55F the symptoms of raised scales and bulging eyes should have disappeared. In this case the Koi completely recovers and it is likely that the initial problem was the one of distress caused by long periods of fluctuation cold water temperatures.
In this case when this method of treatment is used and the Koi continues to deteriorate, it will almost definitely be a female koi that has also developed internal problems whereby her eggs have not be ingested in the usual way. The eggs inside her decay and becomes foul. on several occasions I have tried to remove all the foul smelling liquid with no success and in ever case of this I have seen the Koi deteriorates and death occurs. In both these cases the symptoms are not contagious.
 

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I don't dispute this remedy, but it is more complex than what I did that actually worked for me.

All I did with mine is remove it from the pond. Place it into a 85 gallon HT, add antibiotics at 1 capsule per ea 10 gallons, and do a 25% water change daily, while repeating that dosage for 3 days. I didn't monitor or care about the temperature.

My Koi went from upside down, at the bottom, to swimming within 8 hours to nearly perfect form in 1 week. I released him back into the pond and he is now part of my breeding group in the lower pond.

When I removed it from the pond, it looked like a pinecone about to explode. My research told me that the cause is usually a lot of mulm built up on the bottom of a pond. It gets stirred up and the bacteria causes the dropsy.

Keeping it simple makes it possible for most folks to save their fish.

Good luck, and I hope you get the meds soon.
 
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mrsclem

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I checked the tank early this morning - he didn't make it. In hind sight, I should have realized something was wrong earlier in the week when I saw it looked like he had change to female with eggs. This is the first time I have had to deal with dropsy and I'm hoping the last! I'm rally worried about the rest of the fish so today I will be doing a big water change while showing hubby what needs to be done in case I cannot get down there to do it myself. I will get the antibiotics and keep them on hand with my other treatments.


Onefish was our big boy in the pond and I suspect the reason we got so many ghost koi babies each year. I had planned on selling his big friend Twofish this year but I will rethink that now.
 

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addy1

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Sorry to hear mrsclem, and that is one pretty fish you have there.

Did you get rid of the yellow jackets? I have had to kill off a few nests, they can live anywhere they want as long as it is not near where I need to be.
 

mrsclem

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Thanks Addy- Not sure if the yellow jackets are gone or not. We did locate the nest and sprayed it but this was the 4th nest so far this year. I'm not sure I even want to go outside anymore. I will miss the big guy, all 32" of him.
 

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That is so sad mrsclem, so sorry you lost him.

I have not found any nest this year. Always on the watch for them. Maybe it is the influx of frogs, birds, toads that is keeping them away. don't even see them drinking out of the stream or pond. I do see those brown wasps, the paper nest ones, their nest go bye bye anytime I find one.

the last sting was my ummm boooob---ie! lmao, swollen red bruised for over two months. hurt like all get out.

I have read those wasp catchers actually attract them, so never have hung one up.
 

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Very sad news mrsclem and sure hope the other fish will be alright.
 
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mrsclem

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Thanks everybody. Did a good cleaning of the filters today and about a 30% water change. The filters were a mess. I will need to really keep up on them till we get the other pond up and running again. I had the new bog framed out yesterday and was getting ready to put the liner in when I got stung. Final count of stings is 35-40! Hubby got stung by one last Friday and his foot is so swollen he can't get a shoe on. He went to the doctor today and they put him off work till next week! They also put him on the same steroid treatment I got. My swelling and redness is gone, just the itching to deal with. Watch out for these bad bad bugs!
 

addy1

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Good thing you were not allergic to them! that is one heck of a lot of stings.
 

fishin4cars

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So sorry to hear about you and your fish. Always sad to lose a loved pet, and that's no joke about that many stings! I've been popped by one or two, I can't even begin to imagine being bitten that many times. Maybe a little good news to report, Supposedly getting the water conditions better is the best plan of action as (From what I read it is not contagious in Koi), Don't know that is 100% correct but at least it is hope!:)
 

mrsclem

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I checked with the local Tractor supply and they don't carry the antibiotic capsules. I found a web site California Pet Pharmacy that has bottles of 250mg 60ct for under $10.
2 bottles ordered just in case. Maybe someone else may need to order from them.
 
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