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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 15655
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Large Golden Orfe (14"). Floating on his/her back but still

Customer Question

Large Golden Orfe (14"). Floating on his/her back but still breathing. Swim bladder problem? Has several patches of fine whitish fungal like coating on parts of the scales. Have removed him from pond and it is now in a pond salt bath. Am I doing the correct thing? What else can I do?
JA: IÂ’m sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: A fish! Golden Orfe.
JA: OK. How old is Golden Orfe?
Customer: around 8 years
JA: Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: The rest of the fish in the large pond appear to be ok.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. How long has he been like this?If you stimulate him, can he swim normally or is he trying to swim upside down?What is the salt concentration in his hospitalization tank?Is he eating? When did you last see stool?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I've only noticed him floating on his back in the last 2 days. He's not trying to swim but is just floating upside down. He was removed from the pond and put into a reasonably strong salt bath (hospitalization tank) an hour or so ago, but he is now in another bath with just pond water. He is not eating (nor have I tried feeding him since he was removed from the pond) and because I have a large pond (appx. 10,000 litres) with dozens of fish I would not have been able to see his stool. I will be able to now. It also has a diaphanous, mucous(?) - type tissue on its sides. I have not tried feeding him since removing him from the pond.You should note some significant other information which was another large Golden Orfe died a couple of days ago. I originally dismissed this as a one-off occurrence but now I'm not so sure. This fish did not appear to have swim bladder issues nor did I notice any mucous-kind of tissue on it, unlike my sick fish.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** I understand that he doesn’t’ want to swim and is just floating. Though the reason I asked if he could swim normally when stimulated to do so is because this can tell us if we are facing a swim bladder issue (since they cannot right themselves when they do have to swim) and a severe lethargy +/- nitrate toxicity (which tend to swim normally when prompted before tiring and returning to floating abnormally). So, it is worth checking this to help make the distinction between the two. Otherwise, I would try feeding at this stage since you have not already. And since we have a swim bladder concern (constipation being one of the most common reasons for this), do aim to feed a fiberous foodstuff. Often we will use shelled cooked peas, spinach or Daphnea from your local pet store. If this is causing swim bladder compression, then often if we can clear out the gut thus will normalize. Of course, if we have an abscess (inside or outside the swim bladder) or compression from a tumor or enlarged organ then we may not see improvement even if we get things moving in the gut. Further to all of this, I am glad to hear that he is back in pond water at this stage. Support with salt can be of benefit but large/concentrated salt baths can cause harm if used too long. So, if he didn’t respond to that bath, we’d refrain from any more at this point. Though since he is in pond water, I would suggest checking the water parameters (pH, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia. That way we can ensures no nitrogenous waste issues (nitrates especially) are playing a role in precipitating signs. And if we did find it was an issue, then partial water changes until we have a normal level would be indicated. Finally, since you noted fungal type patches, I do suspect you are actually seeing columnaris. This is a bacterial infection that can cause primary disease but also compromise weakened fish. Therefore, we may need to consider targeting this if it is severe. To do so, we tend to use Kanamycin (Kanacyn). Alternatively, you can also use erythromycin (plain Maracyn) or tetracycline in combination with minocycline (your Maracyn-Two). Both kanamycin and minocycline are antibiotics, which are considered fairly safe for the tank’s biological filter, but at high dosages, kanamycin can harm the bio filter so take the necessary precautions with your filter and monitor water parameters. Overall, we need to tread with care here. While this could be a swim bladder issue, the fact that we have had 2 poorly fish in a short space of time does make me more wary of a tank or bacterial issue. So, we’d want to take the above steps with this wee one to help give this fish a chance to recover despite its guarded current prognosis. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

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