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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My koi has been un well and acting strangely trying to jump

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My koi has been un well and acting strangely trying to jump etc, for some months, we have treated for parasites a few times over the summer but since the weather has become milder, she has started to become unstable, her tail end is rising to the surface and she can't get deep, could she be egg bound? I have given her salt we did introduce some more koi earlier this summer, she has never mixed with other koi previously
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
What are your water parameter readings just now? pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates?
Any visible skin changes on this wee lass?
Is she in an outdoor pond? If so, is your aerators/water filtration system on?
Any abdominal distension?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have tested the water often and levels are normal, no skin changes or distension just the fact that she was actually upside down 3 days ago and since the salt she has gone nose down and constantly fighting to stay upright she is in an outside pond, she has t fed much over the summer and hasn't eaten since the end of October, I've put wheat germ in just in case she's hungry, she's quite a big fish
Thank you,
First, I do have to note that if you have not checked the water parameters in the past 24 hours, its ideal to do so now. Remember that reading only represent that moment in time and water levels can alter very quickly (and we'd want to make sure we can rule out ammonia playing a role here). As well, you didn't mention your aeration set up for the pond, but do make sure it is on with this mild weather. Many people will turn them off in colder weather but as our winter is being uncharacteristically warm, we have fish with increased oxygen needs and that needs to be addressed (since it can cause head standing in some sensitive fish ).
Assuming those are all normal, when we seen signs of this nature, the most common cause is respiratory/gill based. That said, this sign can be induced by a range of issues. This includes bacterial disease (most often in the gills), parasitic burdens (ie Anchor worm, lice, Costia), and koi herpes virus. And just to note, if the others are carriers (and thus have some immunity), this may be why she is the only one affected.
Now since she is in a pond, it is advisable to relocate her to a hospitalization tank. This will allow you to keep a closer eye on her, on her water, and make it easier to treat her. As well, it will allow you to gently raise her water temperature. Ideally, we want the water to be in the mid 70*F's, but need to raise this slowly (1 degree an hour, as long as she shows no stress with this).
As well, aquarium salt can be of benefit in these cases. Since it is not clear what you have done (baths vs. water treating), I would note that you can treat the tank. With salt treatment, we could start her on a 0.1% salt concentration (by adding 1 teaspoon per gallon) When adding the salt, we usually pre-dissolve the salt in tank water before adding. And then do so slowly into a high water flow area of the tank.
Furthermore to narrow down our differentials without stressing her, it would be worth having a look at her gills and see if you can see any parasitic cysts or 'filament' looking worms on the tissue. If you see either, then consider using Dimilin. To cover against bacteria, we tend to use Tricide Neo with MediKoi (pelleted diet), as they work quite well for gill based bacterial infections. If she won't eat, then the Tricide Neo alone will hopefully do the job.
Overall, we have a few concerns for her signs. Therefore, we'd want to consider the above steps to address as much as possible for her and give you the best chance of removing the causative agent here.
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 as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you I will follow your advice, the aeration system has been running at all times, we do have a vynal adult paddlig pool we can use for a hospitalisation tank which can be errected in our garage, we will go to our local equiptment shop to see if they hve a pond heater we can buy, I am sorry my answers are a bit erratic, due to being at work all day, as the fish has been our only koi for so many years and she has never been ill before I dont really know what to look for in her gills what are the signs ? can you actually see them? and do I gently pull the gills open to look, will this hurt her?
You are welcome,
No worries, you caught me just before I popped away for the evening.
That sounds like a good plan of action. I suspect she has been bombarded by everything they were carrying as she likely had little exposure and thus immunity as they will.
In regards ***** ***** you can just gently lift the covering tissue slightly to have a peek down into them. Or you can see if she takes deep enough breaths while she you are holding her in the water. Ideally, you will want good light behind you (or a head torch) we'd be looking for gill inflammation (so much more red and swollen then usual) and we can see the parasites (but they are tiny) so using a magnifying glass can help you catch them if present.
Of course, if you are struggling, then that isn't wholly necessary since we are covering most bases. But if we did, then we could sedate her with a few drops of clove oil in her water to relax her so we could check.
Take care and good evening,
Dr. B.
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