View Full Version : goldfish with a stuck mouth

10-30-2004, 4:24 PM
my goldfish apears to be unable to open his mouth, ive checked him for any signs of illness but there is none, he has been sitting at the botom of the tank and has been swimming around when food is put into the tank he swims up to it and tries to eat but his mouth doesnt open. please help :thud:

10-30-2004, 7:12 PM
He may have gravel stuck in his mouth, if so, you will have to pry his mouth open and remove it with tweezers. I am not at all certain that is it, though. You might try the Puregold site, and ask the experts there, maybe they have an idea.

08-17-2005, 1:40 AM
One of my Goldfish has had his mouth stuck shut for about 2 weeks now too. He swims over to the food and tries to eat it but is unable to get it in his mouth. Sometimes it looks as if he's trying to suck the flakes into his mouth. Once in a while you can spot him open his mouth a very tiny bit. His two goldfish tankmates have began to surpass in him in size and coloring now. He seems sad somehow and tends to hangout by himself. When he visits the top of the tank he skims his forehead above the water, but is not gasping for air. His gill movement is active, so I am unsure if his closed mouth is causing him great stress, but I imaging he is not comfortable. I haven't found any answers online, and all the shops I have visited and asked have no idea what I'm talking about....It's very discouraging...

08-17-2005, 8:02 AM
I would lift the fish out the tank using a net and press the underneath of the mouth as this should make him open up so you could look inside. Sometimes if they dislocate the jaw this may happen but usuall the mouth would stay open.

08-18-2005, 11:42 AM
OK, I tried opening his mouth to see inside. I couldn't get it open. How much force do I use? Should I take him competly out of the water and attempt to open it or keep him in the water? He shakes around a lot when I hold him and I keep thinking about 'shaken baby' syndrom and worrying about it with the fish. (I know it sounds strange) He's small, only about 2.5 inches, so I'm afraid to hurt him. He is opening his mouth a small amount every once in a while, but he is no longer attempting to eat food :( He just stares blindly at the other goldfish while they dig around the gravel. Also, twice after I attempted to open his mouth, I noticed several (2 or 3) small air bubbles arouned his mouth. So of course I start thinking of Gas Bubble Disease. But there arn't any air bubbles on my glass or the other fish. So I dont know if he burped or what. He's becomming a little thin and I haven't seen him poop in over a day so I think I'm going to call the vet and see what they think I could do.
Let me know if anyone has any more ideas....

08-18-2005, 2:57 PM
I wouldn't be too woried about getting goldfish in my hand and holding it tight (not crushing it of course). Also, there is no harm if you extract the fish from water for 10 seconds to take a look inside its mouth. I'm almost sure its a gravel pebble that is stuck inside as this happens quite often because goldfish always dig the gravel. It is a good idea to make sure that the pebble size is either much bigger or much smaller than the fish's mouth.

08-18-2005, 6:22 PM
Phone the vet, it could be disclocated or as already said something is wedged. Let us know what they say. Usually taking it out the water opens the mouth or pressing under the mouth. Never heard of this before, sorry i couldnt be more help.

08-19-2005, 12:03 AM
The closest vet that treats fish is about +40 min away. To bring him in for a visit is $47. :rant2: And I work from 8am to 4:30pm. Any suggestions about vets? I've serched on-line and I can't find anything or any1. I tried again to open his mouth & had no luck. I dont understand. I'm getting really upset! And so is my fish Moe. :sad:

08-19-2005, 12:16 AM
Just curious, how are you trying to open the mouth? Methods/techniques/tools?

08-19-2005, 12:24 AM
Well I took him out of the tank and held him in one hand. Using my other hand I pushed on his under jaw/throat, and I tried his chest area too. He wouldn't open his mouth at all, not even a little bit. Is there some other way I should try? I'm new at all of this, I've only had these guys since the begining of May.

08-19-2005, 7:31 AM
Personally I would try to use some tool to actually open up the mouth. Something like a screwdriver. Obviously you must be extra careful and the tool should be thin and smooth without sharp edges. Also use minimum amount of force. The fish's "lips" are not permanently attached to the jaw. They can be moved a bit independently from it.So if the jaws are locked you might still be able to open up lips just enough to look inside the mouth and see if there is any obstruction and if there is, see how it is wedged and what's the best way to open up the mouth to extract it.

I'm just talking theory here since I have never dealt with this myself. But while we lived in Europe I went fishing frequently as a kid and most popular fish in lakes and rivers were carp and crucian which are essentially wild ancestors of goldfish. So we have had experience with their mouth structure while trying to remove the fishing hook :)

08-19-2005, 2:15 PM
Like was said, you'll need to pry the mouth open.
If you are correct that the fish isn't eating, and hasn't been eating, then he's going to die if something isn't done. So, you either let him be and he dies, or you try to fix him and he lives or dies. Time to try to fix him.

Rick Romance
08-19-2005, 9:44 PM
koivet.com (http://www.koivet.com/html/glossary/glossary_cat.php?category=Symptoms&name=Symptoms&intro=Symptoms)

this site may be able to give some help

08-25-2005, 12:23 PM
Any update on how this fish is doing?