By Jamie Boyle
Just yesterday I recieved an email from one of my readers whose goldfish is suffering from dropsy (also known as pine cone disease) that I thought I should share with everyone. Brian sent me this email along with pictures looking for some advice on how to treat his goldfish which is really sick:
I’m looking for some advice, I have a really sick goldfish, I have tried everything over the last few weeks & nothing seems to be working (Inc salt, medicine, peas etc..) he is very bloated & stays at the bottom of the tank mostly, when he does swim it is very slowly and lethargic & over the past 2-3 days he has become very black in color all over his body & fins. I have been changing the water approx 1-2 times a week in the hope this will help? But I am afraid I am no expert. I have attached a few photos for you to have a look, I hope you can help, I have had him for years & would hate to lose him.
Photos courtesy of Brian
I would like to thank Brian for sending me these photos of his goldfish. The only thing is I wish I would be able to help him in this situation more. You see dropsy is a bacterial infection affecting the fish organs causing the body to swell and also the eyes to bulge. There is no real way to treat dropsy. The best thing one can do is make sure you maintain excellent water quality and try treating your fish with aquarium salt. Aquarium salt is known to help treat a wide variety of diseases and can help kill parasites as well. Maintaining water quality with proper maintenance is the best way to try and prevent dropsy from occuring.
Another suggestion that Brian should do is stop performing 1-2 water changes a week. You see by doing too many water changes can mess up your nitrogen cycle causing further stress on your goldfish. Dropsy is usually caused by poor water quality in which I suspect that has caused dropsy to occur on his goldfish. After doing the water changes Brian should add beneficial bacteria after every water change and keep testing his water quality to make sure there are no ammonia spikes. Water quality is something people need to always make sure is kept up and tested to prevent goldfish diseases and parasites from occuring.
Treating goldfish for dropsy using salt and feeding them Internal Medicated Food for bacterial infections is about the only thing you can do. The prognosis for dropsy isn’t good at all. Dropsy is usually fatal and one can only try and treat their fish in hopes that he recovers. Hoping and praying is the last thing we can do just waiting to see if our attempts to treat dropsy works. Dropsy is a deadly bacterial infection and people should plan for the worse when they see symptoms on their fish.
I wish Brian best of luck and hope that his goldfish is able to recover from this deadly bacterial infection called dropsy.
The Goldfish Guy
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