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Re: Dropsy? question
What you describe is classic for dropsy, but dropsy is a general term meaning edema (it's an old term for that in humans). Edema is the presence of too much fluid in the tissues and can have a number of causes. However, in fish dropsy is almost always caused by bacterial infection and in my experience as a pathologist, almost always is due to Mycobacterial infection. The latter is a ubiquitous organism that most often causes problems in heavily fed fish, most likely due to degradation of water conditions. It is essentially incurable and I would recommend disposing of infected fish and tending to water conditions to prevent it occurring in others in the tank.
>I recently lost two fish to what I think is dropsy. They swelled up and
>their scales stuck out. In the same tank there is a male Fp walkeri which
>appears to be perfectly healthy. My questions are: Is this really dropsy
>and if not what else could it be? How contagious is this disease? What do
>I need to do to keep if from spreading to other tanks? Now that I've
>removed the dead fish what do I need to do to the tank before I put other
>fish in it? And finally if it is dropsy what causes it and is their a
>treatment that works?
>Tank parameters are temps in the high 70's, hard water, regular water
>changes at least monthly, some plants, basically a well established tank.
>The only thing I had done differently than normal was to feed this tank
>moina (sp?) and mosquito larvae that I raised outside. However I also fed
>the same food on the same day to several other tanks with no problems.
>Thanks for the help.
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Barry J. Cooper
Department of Biomedical Sciences Home address:
College of Veterinary Medicine 27505 Riggs Hill Rd.
Cornell University Sweet Home, OR 97386
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