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Whirling Disease in Goldfish?

Discussion in 'Coldwater Illness and Disease' started by squabeggs, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    ...didn't know if possible I thought it only occured in Salmonids? Anyone?

    Anyway, here is my situation. Spartan, one of my best goldfish recently developed what appeared to be a case of constipation. I fasted and fed skinned peas which produced a little poo, but not the cleansing which I has hoped for. Then I noticed that the swelling was not symetrical. He seemd to eat and swim normally, just occasionaly resting on the bottom. I continued to sparringly feed peas. Then just last night I noticed he was spinning violently around the tank...exactly like this...
    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLirWEFLIV0[/YT]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLirWEFLIV0

    ...except in my case he seems bent and cannot straighten out.

    I immediately put him in a clean 10gal quarrantine tank...he is about 5-6 inches of common goldie. I added a bubble stone, and Whisper 20 filter for aeration/filtration. This was at midnight last night. This morning I ran out to petsmart and picked up some marycin II and began treatment. I figure if it is not a tumor, It might be an internal bacterial infection. I don't know how it would have just come on since nothing has changed in the tank for months (5+). I'll see if this helps, if not I'll probably have to euthanize. I'll try and get pics. His detrioation only took a matter of a couple of days.

    Should I add some aquarium salt? if so how much?

    - No pineconeing
    - asymetrical swelling in belly/gut
    - curved spine
    - spinning while trying to swim
    - Water tests are good.

    Side note...he was in a tank with my other 3 goldies...they have lived together for as long as I've had them. Should I clean their tank, and treat them..even though they currently show no signs? Or just watch them closely?


    This sudden unexplained illness just bugs me. helpless etc.

    Thanks for the help...any help.
     
  2. excuzzzeme

    excuzzzeme Stroke Survivor '05

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    Whirling Disease (WD) is caused by the exotic parasite Myxobolus cerebralis (Mc). An antibiotic will not help.

    Ther are several different strains of whirling disease, all cause by a variant parasite. The common method of transport of introduction is Tubifex.

    Just because you might feed Tubifex does not mean your fish will get it. Sometimes it can be introduced from a hatchery. Only a histology and necropsy can identify it clearly. It does cause deformation of the infected host.
     
    #2 excuzzzeme, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  3. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    I've only ever fed them pellet, flake and veggies....If it is WD, I wonder how long it can lay dormant. They were in a pond over a year ago. Since then they have been in indoor aquariums. I'm hoping it's not something exotic like WD...maybe just a big gas via bacteria or even a tumor...I don't want to lose any other fish this way. I'm gonna keep watching and treating for now...if no improvement soon, I'll have to make the "final" decision. :(
     
  4. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    Did a little research, and I'm 98% sure it's not whirling disease. The curved spine could be caused by numerous things such as nitrate toxicity, My water tests between 10-40ppm (40 being max @ weekly water change..) Generally stays around 20 and under. So it could be due to that. If they have been exposed to high nitrate before (very possible under previous ownership..and mine, but I try my best to keep it in check) they can become more sensitive. Different fish have different sensitivity levels, which would explain why the others haven't shown any signs of reaction to nitrate.

    Anyway, I'm still going with a internal bacterial infection. Day 2 of Marycin II treatment is showing a tiny bit of improvement...enough to give me hope. He managed to swim across the 10 gal. hospital without spinning today. Fingers crossed, but still prepared for the worst.
     
  5. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    Day 5 of Marycin II....sitting upright in tank, swims around unsteadily, but not consistently spinning. Still seems a bit bloated on the one side. Spine is not curved anymore. Not much of an appetite. Breathing fairly rapidly. I think he might have a touch of popeye as well. Still doing better than before.


    I hope he continues to improve. Still no idea of what happened to him. I'll see if I can somehow get a video posted.
     
  6. Somervell

    Somervell AC Members

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    How frequently are you changing water in the 10? So many goldfish diseases/conditions can be vastly improved by pristine water conditions. Usually in my hospital tanks, I change aout 50% every day, depending on the condition that I am treating. If you are using an antibiotic, that may not be possible. My first thought from your post was nitrate poisoning, but I am not one of the goldfish gurus.
     
  7. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    Day five is the last day of the treatment schedule, so tomorrow he gets a water change. Then possibly a round 2 of treatment. I have been keeping a close eye on water quality. Nitrate in the Hospital tank is just over 5. Nitrite is zip. Ammonia is zilch. I thought about nitrate poisoning too, but main tank is kept between 10-30...
     
  8. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    Video...

    Here's a quick vid of Spartan during one of his bad moments...you can see his swollen side and spin.
    http://www.montana-aerialphotography.com/fish.html

    After 5 days of treatment he sometimes still spins like this, but most of the time he is just sitting upright on the bottom of the tank.

    Anyone?
     
  9. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    Still alive, and appears to be improving....Hello? Anyone?
    ...man, it's quiet in here lately.
     
  10. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    Appears to be on the mend. Swelling is down, Eye is back to normal, eating and pooping regularly and I haven't noticed him spinning for a while. 3 more days of the second round of treatment. We shall see.
     
  11. Flaringshutter

    Flaringshutter Befriend a feeder!

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    squabeggs, I can't for the life of me think what this could be. Nothing comes to mind that would 1)cause that kind of spinning and 2) improve with antibacterials. The only thing that MIGHT be possible is an infection in the gut, some kind of bacteria that's releasing air into his bowels and causing him to uncontrollably roll onto his back, where he struggles back upright, then rolls over, then back upright, etc. I'm glad to hear he's on the mend though. Keep up with the treatment and be sure to hold those nitrates down. Best of luck to you and him.
     
  12. squabeggs

    squabeggs Fish Stix

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    Well...Spartan appears to be that much closer to re-introduction. He is still ostracized in the QT....for now.
    - 2 rounds of Marycin II treatment with a few days and H20 changes in between.
    - Aquarium salt was added to the tank water after round one of the M2. (2 tbs/10 gallons)
    - He is now on about week 2 of clean, salt free water.
    - Fins are standing at attention...specifically the dorsal...hence the name Spartan.
    - Still not perfectly symmetrical (never has been), but not obviously bloated either.
    Couple more weeks of observation and he will be cleared to hang out with his buddies once again. :D
     
    #12 squabeggs, Oct 13, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  13. Lupin

    Lupin Registered Member

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    Glad to hear Spartan is recovering.:)
     
  14. shiloh23

    shiloh23 AC Members

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    Ahhh, My fish is doing the exact same thing. What do I do?
     
  15. nomommythatsmyfood

    nomommythatsmyfood AC Members

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    I have had expiriences with what you describe...in many diff fish. We had a black skirt tetra at my store that had a ripped fin on one side and that made him swirl like a mad man...I also just lost my babyblack moor due to swim bladder issues. he wasnt twirling as violently as in the first video (couldnt get yours to come up) but he was still twirling, but at the surface. Becareful that you do not over medicate...we have had fatalities at the store due to people who do not follow directions and over medicate. Also...any type of medication you use takes air out of the water...i would add additional aeriation if needed. From what people have told me on here...chunk the flakes, they are no good and only use sinking pellets if you are going to use pellets...fresh veggies and brine shrimp or bloodworms for protein...some ppl mix them together and add jello then freeze...

    have you noticed any reddening of gills or anywhere on the little guy? I know you mentioned amonia/nitrate poisoning and that can cause the little guys to swim crazy and rapidly but I dont think that this is the case...but I would still keep a very close eye on your parameters, nitrates < 5ppm...even when treating you can do small WC to help flush out toxins.

    btw...what color is his poop? Lupin told me that if it wis white it could indicate internal infection...

    good luck sweetie I hope that something I said helps...just hang in there and dont euthanize yet...i had to put my little Mr. Moor down and it broke my heart! I would just continue checking here...sometimjes it takes a little bit to get responses...and look all over the internet for other sources. if you have a really good lfs...not petsmart...but like a locally owned store, give them a call and see what they say! you could also try to PM Lupin...he seems to know all!!

    mucho bueno luck =)
     
  16. MischaStewart

    MischaStewart Registered Member

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    I am new to this site, but after reading your post, I have had a VERY similar case, but the only difference was my gold had something growing from its side. About 6 months ago i noticed my fish had a large, about the size of a new eraser on a pencil, white mass growing from underneath the scales. While I was taking him out of the main tank to put him in the therapy tank the white thing fell off, leaving an open hole in his side. I treated the therapy tank with a bacteria treatment, parasite treatment and an antibiotic. fish got better.

    when I fished out the white mass from the main tank it had a very specific metallic smell to it. odd if you ask me.

    I am now in day 2 of treating my gold again, but this time he is spiraling, and had the large white thing come from his side in the same spot. Today it fell off leaving the same hole, just more red, I don't see the white thing this time. the only time he is not on swimming erratically is when he is resting on the bottom of the tank. the spiraling has been going on for quite awhile, but the scale loss and the growths are very recent. i hope the therapy works. i hope the infection hasn't damaged his ability to swim permanently.
     

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