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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11545
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Just found our large koi dead on its side...floating

Customer Question

Just found our large koi dead on its side...floating sideways. It's eyes were glassed over and has red and yellowish color under its left Gil.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the Koi's name and age?
Customer: Big Birtha. About 20 years of age.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Birtha?
Customer: She was swimming at the surface of our pond for about three days. She was also gasping for air.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in fish. I'm so sorry for the loss of Big Bertha. Some additional information will help me determine if you need to take steps with your pond, and what may have caused her death.Have you tested the water? If so, what numbers did you get in parts per million(ppm) for ammonia and nitrites?Do you have other fish? How are they behaving- anything out of the ordinary?Have you introduced any new fish in the last 6 months?Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We introduced 9 new fish (births included) 4 months ago.
The amonia is 0. The nitrate is 0. The nitrate is 0. The ph is 8.2
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm glad to hear your water is good.Do any of the remaining fish have any symptoms?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. A few splash...bertha never splashed.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Bertha's symptoms all point to gill disease. It may have been an infection, or it may have been an infestation of gill flukes. If it was infection,
the other fish are not in danger because such infections are usually limited to one fish. Gill flukes, however, do. The splashing you are seeing can indicate parasites like gill flukes. When the fish jump out of the water or rub against the sides of the pond, it can mean something is irritating the skin. They are trying to get rid of the cause. Flukes can infest both the scales and/or the gills. Sometimes they start in the scales and move on to the gills. At that point, breathing becomes difficult, and you'll see gasping at the surface. The red and yellowish coloring under the gill was the final symptom.I would treat the pond with an antiparasitic medication to be on the safe side. Praziquantel is a good one. You can buy it in pond supply stores and pet stores or online.There is one other possibility, but I hope it isn't what's wrong. Koi have been increasingly subject to viral diseases which can't be treated. They have about an 80% mortality rate. These diseases are often brought in by new koi. They often infect the gills and cause symptoms like you saw. But if that's what it is, we would expect to see symptoms in other fish very soon.In summary, I would treat with praziquantel, and then keep an eye out for any symptoms. If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope no other fish will get sick. I'm sorry for your loss of Bertha.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!