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    Thread: Sudden Illness

    1. #1
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Sudden Illness (UPDATED! BIG TROUBLE!)

      Hello folks,

      One of my koi is exhibiting sudden and severe symptoms, and it has me puzzled.

      First, here are the water quality stats:

      Ph 8.3
      Nitrite 0
      Ammonia 0
      Nitrate - minimal (not zero, but close).
      KH - 10 degrees
      Salt - 0.25 - 0.4% (my salt meter picked today to crap out on me)

      The koi in question is the only one currently affected, though I did have some kind of parasite or bacteria attack earlier in the season that has caused a different koi to have an ulcer on it's underside (healing now).

      This koi has peeling of the skin on the head, and one pectoral fin is bloody from edge to edge. That area around the pectoral fin is a little swollen, and the shiroji there is noticeably more yellow than it should be. The fish is lazy and does not want to swim, and after I gave it a salt dip and returned it to the pond I noted that it had trouble keeping upright and tumbled in the slow current before settling to the bottom. After the salt dip it is moving around again, but previously it spent the whole day on the bottom.

      I noted a small amount of blood from the vent during the dip. No ulcers.

      I have performed a scrape on a fish 2-3 weeks ago and could not find any parasites. This fish was struggling during the salt dip and so I did not have time to perform a scrape.

      The city I am in uses chlorine, at least the last time I inquired. I have seen the peeling on one koi earlier this year (not the same koi) and after a PP treatment the peeling stopped. I have not seen the other symptoms this year, however, other than the one fish who had a nasty ulcer appear.

      Here are some photos:



      Any thoughts on what this could be?


      UPDATED - See last posting
      Last edited by Otrex; 09-22-2017 at 02:33 PM.

    2. #2
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      I should note that after the salt dip I am doing a PP on the whole pond at 2ppm as a precaution.

      I do have Prazi and MicrobeLift Broad Spectrum Treatment on hand, though I hesitate to use the latter until I know my salt level is 0.15% or lower.

    3. #3
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      Why do you keep salt in the pond at all? That's the worst thing you can do on several fronts including the problem of getting rid of it before you can dose some types of medication. PLEASE, get rid of the salt and stop using it. It is really of no real benefit other than treating for a Nitrite spike, regardless of what you've read or been told.

      this one needs antibiotic injection(s) with either Baytril or Amikacin. This is very similar to an ulceration and will become one within the next couple days. At appears to be bacterial in nature and internal as opposed to external. The fact that you had other/similar issues previously this year belies an issue with water quality/filtration/stocking density/feeding levels.
      Mike

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      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

    4. #4
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      You don't mention nitrites and also your city water could have chloramines which is chlorine and ammonia. In the one picture, the eyes look blurring which could be chemical burn. What are you adding to bind your city water?

      Don't add any treatment like Prazi yet. This fish needs the best water possible. Do you a quarantine of separate tank you can use and heat the water?
      My opinions in ER and on this forum are mine only. Use my advice at your own discretion.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."


      K.O.I.

      Member: EIHIOICGI

      http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...nd-Information

      http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...06#post2606106 Show thread

    5. #5
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      When I called the town 2-4 years ago they said "We use chlorine, and I know because I'm the person that orders it". Maybe that has changed in the interim? I am using Sodium Thiosulphate for that reason. Maybe I should switch back to a retail water conditioner, and therefore this peeling skin may be a separate issue? Strange that only 1 fish is affected if that is the case, right? You'd think they would all get the same burns and peeling skin.

      Unfortunately, my yard is so small that it has no room for a quarantine tank.

      As far as water quality, I changed a static media bed to a moving bed this year, and added additional aeration (water gets aerated 3 different times in a cycle). Other than an initial bump in Nitrite as the moving bed cycled, the rest of the year I've not had even the slightest ammonia or nitrite. I've also sold 2 fish away to reduce stocking levels (now 13 koi for 3100 gallons). To be honest the new pond never shows any ammonia or nitrite, but I wanted to upgrade to the moving bed in anticipation of heavier waste loads. Waste never sits on the bottom of the pond and the water is very clear. If it's a filtration issue, I wouldn't know where to start because I've got a lot of filtration in operation, probably comparable to something like a 5000 - 8000 gallon pond would have.

      Will a broad spectrum treatment such as the microbelift I have on hand have any effect on this? Injectible anti-biotics are nearly impossible to obtain in Canada.
      Last edited by Otrex; 09-15-2017 at 06:01 PM.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      Why do you keep salt in the pond at all?
      I run up the salt to 0.5% in the coldest part of the spring where water temperatures hang around the death zone (which I think is 52F to 58F, though I am not good with Imperial measurements). I know a lot of koi keepers in Canada (and I assume the Northern US) swear by salt because of the difficult water temperature conditions that time of year). Are you saying that salt has no effect on the koi slime coat during these tougher weeks?

    7. #7
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      It's not the slime coat that you should be concerned with as it's not a temperature dependent factor and thus the need for salt use is no longer recommended. Salt no longer has any effect on most all parasites due to fact of it's overuse in the industry regardless of water temp or concern for the so-called "aeromonas alley" syndrome. If you'r pond has been running for at least 3 years or so, there shouldn't usually be any problem with bio being able to handle the problem on it's own provided a person doesn't start feeding too soon in the Spring.

      This doesn't really appear to be a temperature dependent issue, nor solely a water supply issue on it's own merit. The fact that you changed your bio filter upset the entire system and could have been the cause for your earlier problems. This type of issue belies a water "quality" issue even though not all fish have been infected. It's one where a fish with a weaker immune system could have caught it or it's just one of those unfortunate problems that rear their ugly head from time to time.
      Mike

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      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

    8. #8
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Okay, that's good feedback, thank you.

      This fish in particular was having a great year, adding 50% in size. While I don't weigh my food too closely, I do think I'm on the lighter side of feeding (4-6 times per day in Summer, but an amount totally consumed inside 1 minute). And from a filtration standpoint, a Zakki Sieve, a moving bed, an S&G and a Bakki Shower, all for just 3100 gallons.

      The only changes this year were the moving bed (though I backed way off on feeding waiting for it to cycle), and changing to Sodium Thiosulphate instead of retail water conditioner. I also changed the food, but I changed to Hikari Gold instead of Tomigai (so arguably no worse). I also added 3 new fish, and I wonder if they brought some bacteria with them? 2 of them appear completely healthy (my jumbo tosai, thankfully) and the other was the one ultimately affected by the previous ulcer I mentioned. However, it was in the pond for a month before I noticed the ulcer.

      If injectables are not possible for me (in Canada, everything requires a vet to sign off, and yet no vet is willing to sign off on koi which they do not treat), can I try a Oxolinic Acid bath? I don't think that requires a prescription and the Koiphen calculator says its suitable for instances where Baytril would be called for.
      Last edited by Otrex; 09-15-2017 at 06:41 PM.

    9. #9
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      I don't know if you can get Tricide Neo, or its twin Neocide 3, but those are good water borne triple antibiotics that are good for treatment when injectibles are out of reach. The use of the broad spectrum treatment can be done with the salt level that you have, though it is off label. John Fornaro of Hanover Koi Farm about half way down this page https://www.hanoverkoifarms.com/koi-treatments/ discusses his testing and use of Proform C (same as broad spectrum treatment) with salt at very high dosages. So to keep from having to remove all of the salt before treatment. I don't know what has happened to the fin, but it looks similar to some net pulled fins that I have seen and it will settle back down over time, but keep a very close eye on it. The peeling could be slime coat build up and shedding, and this could be caused by costia or some of the other parasites, which will be killed by the broad spectrum treatment.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

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    10. #10
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      I see a LOT more than just an "irritated" fin. It will NOT get better on it's own. This fish will die without intervention. And, as to the salt level, some say that's true, but if the label doesn't buy it, then I don't trust it.
      Mike

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      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

    11. #11
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Yes, the swelling, discoloration, and blood from the vent are very concerning to me.

      Will this Microbelift broad spectrum treatment be effective at knocking back the bacteria? Or is it strictly a parasite treatment? I realize, of course, that the fish in question may have an internal bacteria attack ongoing too, but if I can protect the other fish with a broad spectrum treatment I would certainly want to try it.

    12. #12
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      As none of the other fish are having any issues, I wouldn't be too worried about them as this is an isolated condition IMO. The broad spectrum products are mostly parasite treatments. In this case, I would get the TricideNeo if at all possible short of antibiotic injections. this one is starting to look like the infection is going to go septic in a very short time. Notice the swelling of the chest area already forming.
      Mike

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    13. #13
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      I am sad to report that this koi died overnight. I think what is most distressing is the fact that this fish was swimming and eating happily just 48 hours ago with no obvious signs of illness and then went downhill quickly.

      I suspect that the 2ppm PP treatment may have finished it off, though if it was in such bad shape as to die under those conditions, maybe it was a merciful end.

      I am very worried for my other koi.

    14. #14
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      Very sorry for your loss. Don't mean to sound heartless but how about an internal autopsy?

    15. #15
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      Based on the pic you provided of this fish, this much infection didn't start 48 hours ago. It's been going for probably more like a week. It just started showing more severe signs to make it more obvious. I can be difficult to see the start of some of these issues as they're under the body and if you can't see that area while they're feeding or otherwise, this can be what you get. Yes, if there was actually blood coming from the anal vent, this fish was more than likely hemorrhaging internally and there was nothing you could really do by the time it did become visible. I feel this is an isolated case of something being wrong internally with the fish due to possible internal damage that would not affect the rest of the population. I wouldn't do anything more to stress the other fish as they're most likely fine. Yes, the pp treatment most likely put this fish right over the edge.
      Mike

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    16. #16
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      Other fish still look okay, though I note one Showa is a bit docile, just kinda floating around, though no obvious signs of ulcers or other issues. I know that's not the only measure of fish health; I suppose if I were in 2ppm PP I would feel a bit off too. It's just that all the other fish, including the one with the (healing?) ulcer are all swimming around as per normal and he is not.

      Speaking of the Showa that originally had an ulcer: He appears to have had that ulcer slowed down (salt dip, cleaned wound). But given this information, I wonder if I should just assume his ulcer must be getting worse and bowl him out for treatment? It's on his underside and so it is really hard to see much unless he is feeding (he still feeds aggressively). It seems like the prevailing opinion is that a salt dip and PP treatment is not enough to reverse an ulcer?

      I don't like the idea of treating what isn't present in the pond, but at the same time I cannot afford to replace some of the koi that are left, so if they die, I think that would be it for me. Would something like a Bifuran treatment be advisable? I don't know how hard that is on the fish, but if it had good internal/external anti-bacterial properties, maybe that would save this thing happening again. As noted, if this illness was present for up to a week and I was unable to see it until it was too late, how many other koi could potentially be affected too? Koiman, I know your opinion is that this was isolated, but something about the previous fish getting an ulcer makes me nervous.


      Finally, any chance that this was a parasite related attack and the bacterial issue was just a secondary matter? They say that the parasites attack and then the bacteria seizes the opportunity to attack, right?
      Last edited by Otrex; 09-16-2017 at 07:21 PM.

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post
      Very sorry for your loss. Don't mean to sound heartless but how about an internal autopsy?
      I spent several years in the funeral industry, and unfortunately I don't think I have the stomach for that kind of thing any more.

    18. #18
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      Without being able to scrape and scope any of the remaining fish like this showa, is rather hard to diagnose and further recommend any type of chemical treatment. At least you could do would be to remove the Showa to a bowl and put it down with MS222 or clove oil if you can't get the MS222, and inspect it thoroughly. If the ulcer has gotten worse again, you could always treat with iodine on a q-tip to thoroughly get in/around the wound, and then use something like denture powder or "bag balm" to seal the wound before returning to pond. You could then simple catch a couple of the other fish and just roll them over to quickly inspect the entire body and return to the pond if no further action is warranted. Your "assumptions" are normal for most people but they don't really mean that much other than to at least investigate further to ease your mind or confirm you suspicions.
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    19. #19
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      many need to have ms222. it is way better than clove oil. less stress and you can treat quick and return pond right away

    20. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Otrex View Post
      Other fish still look okay, though I note one Showa is a bit docile, just kinda floating around, though no obvious signs of ulcers or other issues. I know that's not the only measure of fish health; I suppose if I were in 2ppm PP I would feel a bit off too. It's just that all the other fish, including the one with the (healing?) ulcer are all swimming around as per normal and he is not.

      Speaking of the Showa that originally had an ulcer: He appears to have had that ulcer slowed down (salt dip, cleaned wound). But given this information, I wonder if I should just assume his ulcer must be getting worse and bowl him out for treatment? It's on his underside and so it is really hard to see much unless he is feeding (he still feeds aggressively). It seems like the prevailing opinion is that a salt dip and PP treatment is not enough to reverse an ulcer?

      I don't like the idea of treating what isn't present in the pond, but at the same time I cannot afford to replace some of the koi that are left, so if they die, I think that would be it for me. Would something like a Bifuran treatment be advisable? I don't know how hard that is on the fish, but if it had good internal/external anti-bacterial properties, maybe that would save this thing happening again. As noted, if this illness was present for up to a week and I was unable to see it until it was too late, how many other koi could potentially be affected too? Koiman, I know your opinion is that this was isolated, but something about the previous fish getting an ulcer makes me nervous.


      Finally, any chance that this was a parasite related attack and the bacterial issue was just a secondary matter? They say that the parasites attack and then the bacteria seizes the opportunity to attack, right?
      You need to be concerned about the Showa that is being docile and just floating around. That is an indicator that something is wrong.
      people like to vehemently defend their purchases and find it incredulous that anything could be better

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