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  • Results 1 to 9 of 9

    Thread: Koi with Major Tissue Damage

    1. #1
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Koi with Major Tissue Damage

      Hello everyone,

      I haven't been around in a while, and did not hope this forum would be where I would start upon my return, but unfortunately, I've got a koi with a critical problem.


      About 4 weeks ago, I went on a 2 week vacation, and while all my fish appeared healthy before and after my trip, something clearly harmed this fish. I have been having constant raccoon attacks in the past few weeks as my neighbour has an overgrown yard next door and all manner of wildlife live in there (just 50' away).

      While I'm not exactly sure it was a raccoon attack that started this problem, one of my koi has a large gash on his lower section, just behind the pelvic fins. And it seems that infection has taken over too because what might have been a small tear/wound appears "eaten-back" by bacteria. I *suspect* a raccoon caused damage while we were away and then the wound sat there rotting. And because the pelvic fins did such a good job hiding the damage, it took a while for me to spot it too.

      Unfortunately the damage is now quite large. Large enough that this koi's innards are exposed and protruding. The tissue itself does not look diseased and I was not able to spot much, if any, dead tissue around the wound. The problem is that so much skin is missing, I'm not sure how to get this closed up.

      The fish's behaviour is completely normal. Strong swimmer, eating like crazy... sheer luck that I spotted this at all because it was so well hidden (and he likes to stay deep).

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      Water parameters are all normal, with nitrate being a little bit high.

      pH ~8.3
      Ammonia 0
      Nitrite 0
      Nitrate - one colour up from 0 (cannot recall that scale - 50ppm?)

      In the immediate aftermath of spotting this, I have sedated him, applied a lot of iodine to the affected area, then covered with denture powder and liquid skin. Then I injected 1.5ml of Ceftriaxone before releasing him back into the water.

      Any thoughts on how to proceed here?

      Thanks kindly for the assistance.
      Last edited by Otrex; 08-13-2019 at 06:49 PM.

    2. #2
      jimfish98's Avatar
      jimfish98 is offline Supporting Member
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      That looks more like a tumor that may have split the koi open. It is bulging massively on the sides as well. Is the protruding part hard?



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    3. #3
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by jimfish98 View Post
      That looks more like a tumor that may have split the koi open. It is bulging massively on the sides as well. Is the protruding part hard?
      It was actually very soft. I was able to push the innards back in again, but unfortunately with little support they just fall back out. However, very soft - I actually made the ceftriaxone injection deep into this area and then sealed the injection site with the denture paste and liquid bandage.

      My koi are fed quite well, and so I think the bulging at the sides is just good eating. It's not as bad as this photo looks, but I'll see if I can get a picture from above.

    4. #4
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      My best guess of direction to go would be to find a family friend that is a vet or physician and ask them to come and suture that gash open, as a friend with skills, not as a professional as neither would be able to perform the work in a professional capacity.

      "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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    5. #5
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Yes, I will try to find someone who can help. Unfortunately just a couple hours later and the liquid bandage has largely come off, so despite the quality of the water I'd not want an open door for bacteria.

      Anyone else find it strange that around the wound is so clean and free of necrotic tissue?

    6. #6
      Hope J is offline Senior Member
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      It doesn't look infected to me, like you said it's very clean. It just isn't closing because it doesn't have anything holding it closed while it heals. Closing it could also cause it to get infected tho because the bacteria and puss *could* back up once clised. I used to be a FF/Paramedic but I don't know how to do sutures :/

    7. #7
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Just wanted to update this post, and sorry it took so long.

      I called a very talented Koi friend, and we sedated this koi and stitched the wound closed using all 4 hands. I focused on gently pushing the organs back inside while my friend used dissolving sutures that I obtained from a local vet (the longest-lasting ones they had). We used a series of 4 sutures to try to protect against any 1 of them failing, but because a large portion of the flesh had disappeared there was not enough skin left to cover the organs. Closer to the tail we were able to get the edges of skin to touch, but towards the middle there were gaps of up to 1". This process took some time and because we did not want to suppress this koi's breathing for too long, we were forced to partially revive and then re-sedate over the 30 minutes that this process took.

      Another antibiotics injection, some liquid bandage, and then back into the pond. Both the koi expert and myself thought the fish had, at best, a 50% chance for survival.

      Now, 9 weeks later, with winter closing in, the koi is still alive and eats like crazy. I have kept an eye on the koi's underside as much as possible, but don't want to net it out for fear of it thrashing and tearing open the suture. That being said, based on what I've seen at feeding time, it appears that the stitching is disolved and the skin has found a way to bridge over the organs. Pretty amazing stuff if I'm not mistaken about what I'm seeing. I'll try to do a full net and inspection just before putting the greenhouse cover on (which I have to redesign thanks to a new neighbour building a giant shadow-casting house 1' off the property line).

    8. #8
      Hope J is offline Senior Member
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      Excellent!!!!

    9. #9
      ademink's Avatar
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      That's amazing!! Hoping it has fully healed. One for the books, for sure.
      Andrea
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