Does my fish have Dropsy?

Does my fish have Dropsy?

Does my fish have Dropsy?

Dropsy is a term used to describe your fish who is swelling due to kidney disease. Usually, the signs of dropsy that are seen are a slightly swollen belly all the way to a very swollen abdomen so much that your fishes scales will stick straight out, causing your fish to look like a pinecone.

There are many things that can cause your fish to have kidney issues. Some common reasons are stress and Polycystic Kidney Disease. If your fish has Dropsy, first start by putting it in a quarantine tank. This can help eliminate the stress that may be in the display tank if they improve while in the quarantine tank, there is a stressor in the main tank that needs to be addressed. This may be poor water quality, parasites, overcrowding, or something else.

What are the symptoms of Dropsy?

  1. Grossly swollen belly
  2. Scales with abnormal appearance
  3. Bulging eyes
  4. Pale gills
  5. Swollen or red anus
  6. Pale or stringy feces
  7. Ulcers
  8. Curved spine
  9. Clamped fins
  10. Redness of the skin or fins
  11. Lethargy
  12. Refusal to eat
  13. Swimming near the surface

How to treat Dropsy?

If the infection is detected early and the fish are isolated for proper treatment, it is possible to save the affected fish. Treatment is geared toward correcting the underlying problem and providing supportive care to the sick fish. Here is a list of treatment steps to take:

  1. Quarantine: Move the sick fish to a "hospital tank." It is important to move any infected fish to another tank to separate them from the remaining healthy fish.
  2. Add salt: Add 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of water to the hospital tank. Low levels of salt in the water aid in the osmotic balance of the fish by making the water salinity closer to the fish's blood salinity. That helps the fish get rid of excess water accumulating in the body, causing dropsy. But, don't add too much salt as that can be unhealthy for freshwater fish.
  3. Clean water: Keep the hospital tank scrupulously clean, and perform weekly partial water changes, adding salt to the new water being added to the aquarium. Test the water in the hospital tank daily to ensure it is appropriate for the fish.
  4. Food: Provide the ill fish with a variety of fresh, high-quality food. Often this is enough to resolve the infection in cases that are not too far advanced if the fish is still eating.
  5. Antibiotics: Treat the fish with antibiotics, either in the food or in the water, if the fish does not immediately respond. A broad-spectrum antibiotic specifically formulated for Gram-negative bacteria is recommended, such as Maracyn-Two. A 10-day course is ideal for ensuring the infection is eradicated, but you should always follow the manufacturer's directions for duration and dosage.
  6. Observe: Keep the fish under observation for several weeks after the symptoms disappear.
  7. Maintain main tank: While the affected fish are quarantined, perform a water change on the original tank and monitor the remaining fish closely for the appearance of symptoms

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