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Bloated - very bloated. Still has heart appetite and doesn't…

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Bloated - very bloated...

Bloated - very bloated. Still has heart appetite and doesn't appear to have buoyancy issues however have just noticed this evening it seems to be gasping for air on bottom of tank

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What sort of animal are we talking about?

Sorry - fantail goldfish

Veterinarian's Assistant: Maybe I'm confused. I thought you had a problem with a pet. Is that correct?

Fancy goldfish in an aquarium with one other

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the goldfish's name and age?

I have had it three years

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the goldfish's name?

I haven't named it...

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about ...?

No both fish have always been healthy and thriving but I've noticed over the past 4 -5 weeks this ones belly becoming very swollen. I thought constipation and have fed them shelled peas but it's not very happy tonight

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Pet
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Answered in 46 minutes by:
12/26/2017
Pet Specialist: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 23,477
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Now to see him with bloating and no changes in buoyancy suggests that the cause isn't directly affecting the swim bladder and constipation sounds less likely. Therefore we'd be concerned he has organ enlargement, a tumor, or dropsy (fluid build up in the abdomen that can arise from viral or bacterial disease or even organ failure). And all can potentially affect oxygenation and circulation leading to the gasping as he is bottom sitting (of course those latter signs can also be a feature of nitrate poisoning).

With this all in mind, I do have to note that his prognosis is guarded. Though we can take a few steps to see if we can treat those more treatable concerns. Therefore, the first thing to do is to check your water quality. Make sure you pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are within a normal reference range for a tank. If the nitrates especially are too high, then we need to start slowly doing partial water changes (aim for 50% over 24 hours, doing smaller percents of that though the day. Of course, remember to dechlorinate and let set to room temperature.

As well, to help reduce any fluid build up distending him, you can treat the tank with (non-iodinized or aquarium) salt. I usually advise with salt treatment, to aim for 0.3% salt concentration, which would be three teaspoons per gallon. To get to that 0.3% salt, I'd advise adding 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water to your tank 3 times, with each teaspoon being 12 hours after the last. When adding the salt, I usually pre-dissolve the salt in tank water before adding. And then do so slowly into a high water flow area of the tank. The salt will help pull the fluid from his abdomen as we are changing the osmotic flow. And as he has a companion you could choose to do all this in a hospitalization tank so we don't make any changes to the standard tank or affect the other fish.

Finally, to cover against internal bacterial differentials, we'd want to consider covering him with a combo treatment of doxycycline/kanamycin (ideally a 2 week course). Alternatively, since Aeromonas (gram negative bacteria) is our most common culprit you can also use erythromycin (plain Maracyn) or tetracycline, but treat simultaneously with minocycline (your Maracyn-Two) for the Aeromonas. Both kanamycin and minocycline are antibiotics, which are considered not to be harmful to the biological filter, but at high dosages, kanamycin can harm the bio filter so take the necessary precautions with your filter (and if it is out, then you need to keep a close eye on the water parameters as you treat). Or again we can use a hospitalization tank. Also injectable antibiotics can be an option for treating this fish (ie Baytril), but this requires a prescription from a veterinarian who has physically examined the fish.

Overall his signs do raise a few concerns and as it has been progressive constipation is not likely the cause. So, we'd want to use the above to try to treat those conditions we can address for him and give him a chance here.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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