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View Full Version : The insides of my fish are coming out. Help.



sapphiresea
02-14-2010, 9:35 PM
In all my years of keeping fish, I have never seen anything like this. I have a school of seven threadfin rainbowfish in a 29 gallon tank. I left last night and came back tonight to find one of my females in bad shape.

It's rather had to describe but it seems as though her intestines are coming out of her anus. There is a large pink lump coming out of her that looks like her own tissue. Has anyone had anything like this happen before?

I'm attaching a photo to help with identification. The white specks are just air bubbles. For now, I have moved her to a ten gallon quarantine tank, but I don't know where to go from here. Can someone please help me ID this!?

Sammysaddiction
02-14-2010, 11:49 PM
I have no idea what that is. However, I hope it was just a large poop. :) Bumping for someone that may have an idea.

mellowvision
02-14-2010, 11:51 PM
probably worms

Pearl
02-14-2010, 11:54 PM
Are you sure that's the anus?

jbradt
02-14-2010, 11:57 PM
Looks to me like a prolapsed rectum. Not 100% sure, but that's what it looks like. To my knowledge there's no real way to treat it.

sapphiresea
02-14-2010, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the responses. I am not sure if that is the anus. The pictures definitely do not do it justice. It is large, pink, and perfectly cylindrical. Any more ideas?

sapphiresea
02-15-2010, 12:00 AM
Looks to me like a prolapsed rectum. Not 100% sure, but that's what it looks like. To my knowledge there's no real way to treat it.

This is what I was thinking as well! When you see it from the underside, it looks like a prolapsed rectum. Unfortunately, I can't get a good picture of that because I don't have a macro lens. What should I do? Let the fish live out its life in quarantine?

arise1dwr
02-15-2010, 12:00 AM
all i can think of is poop sorry...

Pearl
02-15-2010, 12:06 AM
The first thing I would do is inspect the fish to make sure that's the anus. I've never seen a vertebrate where the anus wasn't placed directly below the tailbone.

Pearl
02-15-2010, 12:11 AM
After looking at some pictures of threadfin rainbows, I suspect that the fleshy pulp may be the remains of a fin.

jbradt
02-15-2010, 12:17 AM
This is what I was thinking as well! When you see it from the underside, it looks like a prolapsed rectum. Unfortunately, I can't get a good picture of that because I don't have a macro lens. What should I do? Let the fish live out its life in quarantine?

I would probably keep it in QT for a couple of weeks with daily water changes and see what happens. If it is the remains of a fin, it should start to heal up pretty quickly with clean water and maybe some pima/melafix (can't remember which one atm). If it hasn't started to heal after a couple weeks... it may be time to euthanize. :uhoh:

sapphiresea
02-15-2010, 12:20 AM
After inspecting my fish, I am 95% sure that is the anus. I can assure you that it is definitely not an injured fin. Her fins are completely intact. Unfortunately, you cannot tell that from the picture because her fin is black and clear against a black background. Also, whatever it is is quite wide and cylindrical, not at all like a fin. Thanks for the suggestion though. Keep 'em coming!

Pearl
02-15-2010, 12:30 AM
De Nada. And hopefully someone with more expertise than me will take the time to answer your questions. Good luck.

mel_20_20
02-15-2010, 1:24 AM
I'm sorry for your troubles. I've seen a case of prolapsed intestine that recovered after fasting for a couple of days and then feeding nuked english pea.

This is what it looks like. Callamanus worms look more... worm like... this looks more like an intestinal prolapse.

The fish may not recover... but it's worth a try to fast for a few days... then feed english pea that is nuked in the microwave, remove the skin, it needs to be slightly mushie... and you could add some garlic juice to make it irresistable....

I don't know if this will do the trick... but I can't think of any other suggestion. I hope that your fish will recover from this.

BioHazard
02-15-2010, 7:02 AM
Definitely not a fin. I agree with the prolapse diagnosis. Follow mel_20_20's advice, and keep the water PRISTINE.

Cerianthus
02-15-2010, 3:53 PM
Maybe clump of intestinal parasitic worms?

Google for images of all known intestinal worms.

Turbosaurus
02-15-2010, 4:05 PM
Why the instance on worms? appears to be a prolapse and I would treat accordingly. Clean water, and fasting. You may have to euthanize if she deteriorates, but for now there is no reason to suspect worms.

Why the peas I wonder? And why English peas? Do you think you could use soaked split peas since they are just dried shelled peas- becasue peeling peas seems like a lot of work. I've never tried it, I am just guessing. can you just squeeze out the insides?

pinkertd
02-15-2010, 4:09 PM
It's a prolapse. There was another one not too long ago on AC, I'll see if I can find it because I think the fish ended up being ok.

Here's the one I remember on Marl's discus. I don't see how it turned out, but I'm pretty sure the fish was ok.

http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205806&highlight=prolapse

And while peas were recommended to clean the fish out, epsom salts will do the trick gently and very fast, even if the fish does not feel like eating.

http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63866&highlight=prolapse

Chrisinator
02-15-2010, 4:18 PM
My guppy had some sort of prolapse. It looked exactly like that with the red thing coming out. I had to net her out to see and this was a picture of her. There isn't really a way to treat it. Mine lasted about a month. She just died this week but the prolapse disappeared and then reappeared from time to time. I thought it was worms but she seemed to be the only one affect. I doubt the prolapse killed her but I think it was from my new fish beating her up.

A few times it looked like it was coming out from her stomach and not her butt like yours.

Here's the pic: (Had to take her out of the water but she seemed fine afterwards)

knight4th
02-15-2010, 5:38 PM
ive seen this before at work, not sure what it is, but i feed it sweet peas with no extra sodium added, and treated with Lifeguard, 6 of the 10 recovered, the other 4 died, not sure if its the same thing though.

sapphiresea
02-15-2010, 9:06 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. The prolapse looks slightly bigger than yesterday. I will try treating it with a combination of salt, fasting, and eventually, peas. Wish me luck! I'll keep everyone updated on her condition. I'm interested on hearing from anyone else who has had this happen. Thanks again!

mel_20_20
02-15-2010, 9:08 PM
...Why the peas I wonder? And why English peas? Do you think you could use soaked split peas since they are just dried shelled peas- becasue peeling peas seems like a lot of work. I've never tried it, I am just guessing. can you just squeeze out the insides?

Dried split peas may be too firm, unless you soak them a couple of hours.
I've wondered about english or sweet peas in the can, but I think canned peas are so over done that they will just disintegrate once squeezed out of the skins.

When you nuke frozen english peas (usually 30-40 seconds) they will squirt right out of the skin, in fact they slip out easily. You want the pea to be slightly mushy as it squishes out, not firm hard pea halves that pop out.

I've seen fish more picky about the pea if it's too firm, but more likely to go after it if it is softer and easier to tear apart.

Pinkertd
"And while peas were recommended to clean the fish out, epsom salts will do the trick gently and very fast, even if the fish does not feel like eating."

Pinks advice is spot on. You may not be able to get the fish to eat the pea and certainly this is gentle and works. Good point Pink.

mel_20_20
02-15-2010, 9:20 PM
Sapphire, here's a link to a thread in which grannylvsfish had a platy with a similar condition. She did recover. This thread is a quick read, just two pages. I hope this will be of encouragement.

http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181777&highlight=molly+prolapse

mel_20_20
02-15-2010, 9:23 PM
Granny used regular salt, which I would not do. I'd do as Pink advised and use epsom salts, along with fasting, and the point (in the other thread) about keeping her away from other fish that may pick at the protruding tissue is very important.

Keep us posted, we're all pulling for your little fish.

sapphiresea
03-01-2010, 6:03 PM
Here's an update for anyone who may still be following this thread. The good news: the fish is still alive! The bad news: the fish still has a prolapse. I followed the treatment outlined above and used a combination of epsom salts and peas. There was minimal change in the prolapse. For a while, it turned very pale and almost white - like your skin after you soak in the tub for too long. Afterward, it turned back to the original pink and lately has gotten a little bit red, which concerns me. I'm keeping the water pristine, which should hopefully help ward off infection.

Does anyone have suggestions on what to do now? The fish doesn't seem lethargic at all. I think it can survive with this, but I'm not sure. I am reluctant to place it back in the main tank because, as Melody pointed out, other fish will probably pick at it. For now, it seems to be doing well in a ten gallon quarantine tank. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Troycool
03-01-2010, 6:53 PM
It does look like a prolapse. You could try fasting it for a few days and then feeding veggies to help clear any constipation that can make it worse. Feed tiny bits of cucumbers, romaine lettuce, cooked green beans, cooked shredded carrots, etc. It is not a natural thing, developed through selective breeding. The organs can't get enough space in such a compressed body. Overeating can cause obesity too, further compromising their health. If you can separate it to another tank it would be easier to manage its diet and keep it safe. Hopefully the prolapse will reverse but there is danger of another fish damaging its tender vulnerable tissues if it stays in the main tank.