How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question

Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 19588
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
60269376
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now

My goldfish got stuck in an ornament about 6 weeks ago. He

Customer Question

My goldfish got stuck in an ornament about 6 weeks ago. He was ok when we got him out - a few scales missing and a slight crimp in his tail but he has deteriorated and is now bent over - his tail is useless and sits almost touching one side of his body. He still feeds - it takes him a long time to manoeuvre but he does ok - but spends the rest of the time motionless at the bottom of his tank. I can't find anyone to tell me whether or not I should put him down. I am concerned he is in distress or pain but the fact that he feeds seems to suggest otherwise. Please advise?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
Poor Boodles,

His deterioration despite being initially mobile post trauma is quite worrying. Just to give me a full picture of his situation (since there are other potential causes for these signs that would make the trauma a red herring):

Can you tell me if you have checked your water's nitrate levels (since this can also cause the "bends" and bottom sitting)?

Can he straighten at times or is he always bent?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello


 


No I haven't checked the levels but keep his tank very clean. I do a 50% change once a week and a 25% change midweek if its looking bad. But I could get a testing kit from somewhere. He is permanently bent and can't straighten.


 


One of his two filters has just broken but usually there are two on the go as one wasn't quite enough.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Mirella,

If the other filter broke between the time of his injury and now, then it may be worth a quick check of the nitrates to see if this is our culprit. If this is high despite a good partial changing water regimen, then you may consider addressing this to see if Boodles signs improve. Otherwise, significant damage and TB would be other causes for the signs you are seeing with Boodles. And in those cases, prognosis for recovery is poor.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX ethical question of whether euthanasia is indicated, I have to say that if Boodles is not doing the things that are part of normal fish life, then this would be a indicator that euthanasia would need to be considered. While he is eating, being so incapacitated as a prey species (since goldfish are certainly not on the top of the food chain) would be terrifying and very stressful for him. So, even if he is eating, this is not enough. It would not be fair for him to remain in this state for the rest of his life. And in that situation, if the nitrates are not an issue then euthanasia would be best for him. In case you have not euthanized a fish before, I do want to include a link regarding the use of clove oil to do so (LINK).

So, do check the nitrates and hopefully we will find this at the root of his signs. But if the tests show that the nitrates are not >20, then this will be less likely and we'd need to consider letting him go to prevent him from suffering longer then is necessary.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 19588
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
Dr. B. and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks I will check for nitrates and really appreciate your honesty on the subject of euthanasia - its what my instinct tells me but its hard to find anyone who thinks a fish requires the same consideration as any other animal.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome.

Fingers-crossed, the nitrates will be acting up.

Otherwise, I know what you mean about fish getting the short end of the stick on ethical considerations. It is the same problem when you read research papers (as zebra fish are a common model for disease in a range of human studies). Fish have been shown to respond to pain in pain-based studies but since they are not terrestrial and often don't show dramatic signs (ie vocalizing, etc) that it gets overlooked.

Therefore, for Boodle, I would say that we need to approach his situation as we would with any pet species. If we found a cat or dog that was collapsed as he is and had a condition we were not going to be able to cure to get him back to normal, then we'd have to consider ending their suffering with euthanasia.

Anyway, I do hope the nitrates are our trouble makers. Still, if they are normal and thus ruled out, then euthanasia would be the kindest option for your lad.

Take care,
Dr. B.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr Scott Nimmo

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    137
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Dr Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    137
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2572
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1840
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrRalston/2011-10-18_1611_Vet.64x64.JPG DrRalston's Avatar

    DrRalston

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    169
    Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    104
    I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/petdoctor09/2011-12-14_51529_Picture1.64x64.jpg petdoctor09's Avatar

    petdoctor09

    Board Certified Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    72
    Veterinarian, General Practitioner