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Old 10-05-2014, 04:46 PM   #1
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I think my betta has dropsy

For almost 48 hours now, my fish has been acting lethargic. He will not eat. And he looks quite bloated. I managed to get a picture of him. I have 5, this one looks like the best one.

He is bristly. He has been hanging out in his floating log. When he swims, he goes to the bottom and doesn't move much. Also he was hanging out by the heater & filter at the top of the tank and opening his mouth a lot. Not normal betta gulps, open, close. pause. open, close, pause.
I am looking up information online, but, I wanted to post here too.

What is the best medicine for this? The information I am reading says it's usually fatal. I almost started to cry before going to work. I spent some time with him and told him how much I love him and that I wanted to see him when I got home.

Also, my computer is out of order for the moment. I have an iPod touch. So my looking things up and ordering things is somewhat limited.

Please help!
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:50 AM   #2
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Usually by the time symptoms appear (it looks like he is bloated and his scales are about to burst) it is too late, it is from some kind of damage to internal organs, usually from bacteria.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:20 PM   #3
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I know... I figured that out when doing some research. I have Pimafix. Is that worth a try? Is it Betta safe?

I found online that Maracy and Maracyn-Two could maybe help. They had neither. A guy on the phone at the petstore said to try tetra fungus cure and it can treat bacterial as well. I am not sure if that is true or not and I dunno.

I really want to save him. I love him. He's still alive. sitting in the bottom of the tank right now. another hole in his dorsal fin. his bottom hanging fins (not sure what they are called) has a hole. didn't 4 days ago.

I really do love this little fish a lot. I am really upset about this A couple friends I talked to think he could have been sick when I got him and it's just manifesting the symptoms now. We've taken excellent care of him. Save a couple times with ammonia but that was taken care of fast.

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Old 10-06-2014, 03:17 PM   #4
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His hanging under fins have split. The bloated area is somewhat reddened :'(
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:42 PM   #5
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I added the pimafix. I couldn't do nothing for him today.

Fingers crossed.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:52 PM   #6
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He was doing better this morning! Not hiding in his log, swimming around a bit in front of the tank He has more holes in his fins unfortunately. His belly is really bloated But he seems to be feeling a little better.

We gave him an epsom salt mixture, slowly added to the tank over an hour. And more Pimafix.

Still no joy on food though... I am hoping to get some frozen food for him soon.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #7
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I sincerely hope the fish recovers, but the fact you are seeing red on the belly is not a good sign. It usually means an internal infection has gotten quite advanced, and the pine cone scales mean he's having trouble regulating his fluid balance.

I don't mean to be unkind, but dropsy is not curable. I've had four fish with this condition, and none of them survived. The one I tried to save ended up with his eyes popping out, before I euthanized him. I felt pretty bad when that happened.

The kindest thing, hard as it is, would be to euthanize him if he does not show some pretty dramatic improvement in a day or two. You can use clove oil for this. It is completely painless and won't distress the fish in any way. He'll just go to sleep and then you give him more of it, ending with some alcohol to ensure he does not wake up. I can find a link for you that explains how to do this. I know it's hard and I know you'd rather save him but sometimes the only thing we can do as responsible pet owners is save our pets some time suffering.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:26 PM   #8
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@Fishfur
Thank you

We will see how it goes for a couple days. I know its not curable I did come across some success stories online, so I am hopeful, especially since he is acting better today.

The reddened area is looking clearish now. its hard to tell, it's a bad looking bloat

I don't know if I could do that, but I know it would be the kinder and right thing to do. I'd be terrified to screw it up and cause him more suffering.

Another forum member has sent me directions previously, but links would be appreciated as well.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:53 PM   #9
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Thank you

We will see how it goes for a couple days. I know its not curable I did come across some success stories online, so I am hopeful, especially since he is acting better today.

The reddened area is looking clearish now. its hard to tell, it's a bad looking bloat

I don't know if I could do that, but I know it would be the kinder and right thing to do. I'd be terrified to screw it up and cause him more suffering.

Another forum member has sent me directions previously, but links would be appreciated as well.
Awe poor bubbles! If theres fluid build up perhaps there's some way to drain him??? Try researching that! I don't want to see him die!!! I feel like he's my fish now.


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Old 10-07-2014, 08:56 PM   #10
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I think my betta has dropsy

Can you take some more pictures with the light shinning on him? Maybe he just needs to pass a long string of poo?


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Old 10-07-2014, 08:59 PM   #11
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It's hard to get a picture of him. He used to not mind so much, he would pose for me :P, but now it kinda bugs him so. I do have pics but they are from the top view.

I will not squeeze him, it is dangerous. It is light colored now instead of red around the swollen area, or maybe that is from light.

The epsom salt in his water should help with the fluid retention. The Pimafix we are hoping will help with any fungal and bacterial issues. It's all we had at the time & it has helped some.

He is about the same now as he was this morning. Not better, but not worse. More alert, swimming around a little. Not hiding.

And thank you. I don't want to see him go either. He's only been our little betta for 4 months.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:21 PM   #12
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I still hope your fish recovers, but if not, here is some information you might need.

Under no circumstances should you try to squeeze a fish, either to make him poop or try to burst a growth, because the chances of doing extreme internal damage are far too high, plus, you'd have to anesthetize the fish for it to be quiet and enough for you to try such a thing anyway.

The following site has a good article on how to euthanize a fish humanely. You'll probably feel a bit sick to your stomach, I know I did, but it was no worse than when I had to have my poor old kitties put to sleep. Miss them all so much.

What Is the Most Humane Way to Euthanize a Fish?

And the last paragraph is some new information I came across. I had not heard of this product before, but the fact it is FDA approved for fish anesthesia is good to know. It's quite a bit more costly than clove oil is though.

Pure clove oil, or Essential oil of cloves, is often available at pharmacies or health food stores. As for the alcohol, any kind will do, it need not be vodka. If you get clove oil be sure it is marked pure or essential oil, as there are some other preparations that are not pure clove oil. Read the label.

Tricaine Methanesulfonate (TMS). This method is probably the most quoted by people with much experience in euthanizing fish humanely (i.e. for university experiments, etc.). TMS is also known as MS222 and commercially is known as Finquel. You can buy it from a pet supply store;*Drs. Foster and Smith carry it; a bottle costs $24.99 plus shipping and handling. You can also buy this from*PondRx*($14.99 plus shipping and handling for a 5 gram bottle) and*Argent Labs. According to fish biologist*Meyers' blog, simply by doubling the regular dose that you would use to anesthetize the fish will euthanize it. This substance is FDA approved for anesthetizing and euthanizing fish; it is the only product that is FDA approved to anesthetize fish.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:32 PM   #13
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I have no experience euthenizing pet fish but I work in an aquaculture research lab and I can vouch for the effectiveness of TMS/MS222 for both euthenasia and anethesia- I have had to use it for both of those there. The fish seem to go quite peacefully. I would recommend it.

But I really hope it doesn't come to that. I'm pulling for your fish!
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #14
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Thank you FishFur.

I would never squeeze a fish, and I will make sure the oil is pure. I should be able to obtain some easily if need be... I'll have to call the place tomorrow to find out for sure.

We lost our dear cat recently, and I feel like I am going through it all again. We got our betta the night before our cat passed on, and our betta helped bring us through the pain and sadness. He's brought so much joy to our lives since then. I am super attached to him. And now he is sick. I hate it
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:59 PM   #15
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Just wanted to be sure nobody else might see the advice to squeeze a fish and think it was ok. It's just not.

And I sympathize with the difficulty. I've lost more cats than I care to think about over the years, and other pets along the way, including a bird, fish, frogs, turtles, and horses. My one remaining kitty is now 17, bless her. I hope she stays a lot longer, but you just never know. Best of luck.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:03 PM   #16
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@Fishfur
I know It's definitely not ok.

Thank you. I'm sorry for your losses. We are thankful that our cat made the decision he was ready to leave this world and that we didn't have to make that decision for him. That was a horrible, horrible day. I haven't had many pets yet, but, I lost some hamsters when I was younger and I was devastated then too. I hope your kitty is around a lot longer too.

Thank you again. I don't want him to suffer. That is what is most important to me. We'll see how he is doing the next 2-3 days. If he is the same or gets worse, I will have to do that. Ugh. I was just so thrilled this morning when he was more alert and looking at us again It was horrible seeing him so lethargic and panting and hiding and
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:13 PM   #17
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I think my betta has dropsy

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Old 10-07-2014, 10:20 PM   #18
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Oops sorry about the squeezing suggestion that's what it said on google... Google usually doesn't know what it's talking about!


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You had good intentions but it's not a good thing to do. Maybe edit your post to take that bit out so no one else comes across it.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:20 PM   #19
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It's edited out now everybody who said something about it should edit their posts so no body comes across that either.


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Old 10-07-2014, 11:34 PM   #20
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I tried to give him some of the micro pellets we feed the catfish, but no joy. They are really small (the micro pellets) and I only put a few in. He may not have recognized them as food. He's had no appetite for four days now though, so there's that
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