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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5160
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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One of my Kio fish has been laying on the bottom of my

Customer Question

One of my Kio fish has been laying on the bottom of my backyard pond for about 4 day and is not feeding. I have removed it this evening into a small holding tank and have found it has 2 small spots on the top of its head that are circular and slightly dark. The other 5 fish seem to be doing fine and eating well. I have a photo of the injured area but have looked through 100's of photos online and can not find anything that looks like this. I have no idea what to do to treat this or if it's something that could affect the other fish. 2 of my Koi are over 10 yrs old. My pond is only about 500 gallons. Please help:)
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Can you post your photos for me to see these lesions? To do so, you can use the paper clip icon above your text box. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, just post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web link here for me follow.

Can you confirm that your pond water parameters (pH, nitrates, ammonia, nitrites) are all normal?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We have had quite q bit of rainfall over the past 2 weeks that made the water rather dirty but did a 1/4 water change on Sunday of this week and added chlorine remover and Microblift to the water. The PH was good, ammonia was slightly high and nitrates we good. We have 2 pumps with filteration on both and a UV light on the waterfall pump also. Both filters are cleaned weekly and the water is very clear other than when it was overflowing due to the rains. I noticed this fish on Saturday of last week laying in one spot on the bottom. He would dart around when other fish disturbed him during the "excitement of feeding" but always come back to the same resting place. We observed this for several days until yesterday evening we placed him in a secluded holding tank (using water from the pond to fill the tank) to look at him and found the lesions. This morning I have found that there is white foam on the top of the his holding tank that I'm assuming is created from stress? We do have a small pump going and the tank is about 30 gallons. I'm adding photos of him as well as the pond.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Pond photo
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

Now since the photo is a bit hazy and underwater, can you tell me if the lesions look slick or fuzzy at all?

Does the one closer to the eye look raised in 3d, as it does in the photo? (where the one further looks more ulcerative)

Any redness or inflamed blood vessel changes along the tail or fin?

While I await your reply, I do want to note thus far that the foam is likely protein loss related and could be due to stress, waste build up (which will be quicker in a smaller tank), but also could be related to bacterial/fungal proliferation due to the lesion or systemic issues. And I have to note that while the lesions are what we can see, I am concerned that this goes further then just skin lesions since he was bottom sitting and had appetite loss. So, while high ammonia would be one differential for black ulcerative type lesions, his bottom sitting makes us wary of systemic disease (especially since the nitrates were hopefully <20) being afoot for this lad.

I await your reply to those further questions

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm at work until this evening but will check for the blood vessels any other things that may be noticeable. It was dark last night when we moved him but this morning I was trying to examine him more closely and both areas on the head appear to be more indented in than raised. I'm going to send you a couple more pics I took to see if you are able to see them better. I didn't find anything noticeable this morning on him that stood out but I have not checked his underside yet.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

If you are able to do so, that would be grand. Otherwise, the 2nd photo there is a bit clearer and I can see the depression lines on the paler lesion. Both actually look like ammonia burns (a chronic and more acute one), though again do have a check for vasculitis signs because his bottom sitting/appetite loss do make me concerned that the skin lesions are a minor issue and a sepsis is lurking for this lad.

Best wishes and speak to you later,

Dr. B.