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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11466
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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We have a five year old Angel fish. He has on one eye and is

Customer Question

We have a five year old Angel fish. He has white on one eye and is now laying on its side at top of tank. We have pit him in the emergency tank. And treated him with furan, and erythromycin. Not getting better any suggestions
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the fish. What is the fish's name?
Customer: Owen
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Owen?
Customer: No
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.


I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with a special interest in fish. I'm sorry to hear of Owen's illness. Soem additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take.

Is the eye with white on it also swollen?

Is there swelling on any other part of his body?

Are all of the other fish that shared his tank all right?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Eye is not swollen and no other body part is either. The other fish have not been affected. Also tank water in emergency tank is in normal range as well was the 55 gallon tank.
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for getting back to me. Bacterial infections are the most common cause of a cloudy eye, and such infections can spread to the entire body. I do want to mention some other possibilities. An injury could be responsible. In that case, the condition is probably permanent. Another possibility is a tumor behind the eye.putting pressure on it. Again, there would be no treatment.

The problem is that the Furan you used treats both gram negative and gram positive bacterial infections. Erythromycin treats only gram positive infections. But, between the two of them any bacterial infection Owen might have should have been cured. If you want to try yet another antibiotic, Kanamycin has been found to be especially good against eye infections. Because Owen is floating on his side, I suspect the infection is not only in his eye. If he has a tumor pressing on that eye, it is likely that he has tumors affecting other organs, too.

I'm sorry to give you less than good news, but I believe you deserve honesty. You are not likely to get good results with any over-the-counter medications. Your best chance of saving Owen is to have him examined by an aquatic vet. Many of them do make house calls, so you wouldn't have to transport Owen anywhere. This link will take you to a directory of fish vets:

The other option would be to continue to try other medications, such as kanamycin. If he doesn't improve, the most humane thing to do might be to end his suffering. If you decide on that choice, let me know, and I'll tell you the most humane method (there's no additional fee).

I hope that whatever you decide to do, it will work out well. If you have more questions, just let me know.


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Anna thank you. I kind of figure since no other fish had any problems it would be an internal problem. What is the most human way to end his suffering?
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.

You're welcome. From what you have described, I think that would be best.

If you decide to go ahead with euthanization, you’ll need some clove oil (eugenol) and some vodka. Clove oil is sold in pharmacies as a toothache remedy. It is used as an anesthetic for fish surgery. First take some water out of the tank. Measure it and keep track of how much it is. Put the water in a small container just big enough for the fish, and then put in the fish. Next take a small jar or bottle and fill it with water from the tank. Add a drop of clove oil, and shake well. The clove oil will emulsify in the water, which should then turn white.

Pour some of the clove oil/water mixture into the container the fish is in. After about 10 minutes, the fish should be asleep on the bottom. If he isn’t, add more of the clove oil/water. When Owen is asleep, add 25% vodka to the container. That means if you used one cup of water to begin with, you’ll add 1/4 cup of vodka. The vodka is what causes passing. The clove oil prevents pain. Wait about 20 minutes. Check to see if he is still breathing through its gills. If the gills don’t move for one minute, the fish has died.

I have used this method many times, and it has always resulted in a peaceful passing.


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.

You're welcome. I'm so sorry that you are losing Owen.


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