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Old 04-25-2004, 08:14 PM   #1
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Platy with bent spine

Hello all,

I'm looking for advice on how to treat my platy that has a bent spine. I've searched all over the web and it seems that its not treatable, and I should just 'put it to rest'. Is there really nothing I can do? This is the second fish in my tank that has such disease. The first one died after 4 weeks or so, and I dont really want another fish to end up the same.
Can you tell me what really caused this bent spine? Is it contagious to other fishes? I have 5 other fishes in the same tank, 2 of them are newborn fishes, and I really dont want it to happen again.
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Old 04-25-2004, 08:26 PM   #2
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Can you take a picture of it? I've never seen a picture of this condition before. Here was a discussion going on about a Molly and a "broken" spine. Kate had success with hers, so who knows, you may not have to put it down.

Quote:
http://www.aquaria.info/index.php?na...wtopic&t=23035
Quote:
Originally Posted by katestjohn
I had this happen to a molly. SHe compensated and did just fine. If the fish is eating and not getting picked on, let it be. You'd be surprised how long they can live and compensate.
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Old 04-25-2004, 08:29 PM   #3
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I think I've heard that that can be tuberculosis and that it isn't any more curable in fish than it is in humans....another possibiligy is spironza(sp.?) I'm pretty sure that isn't curable either, but I honestly don't know. tuberculosis is contagious.

I'm pretty new to all this so I don't know if there is anything you could do to stop the spread except increase the salinity a bit to help their immune systems.
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Old 04-25-2004, 09:03 PM   #4
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[center:27d5251db4] Welcome to AA, Blackpearl!! [/center:27d5251db4]
More than likely it is simply a birth defect. If the fish can live with it, that's fine; however, care should be taken not to breed this animal.
My brichardi produced a couple of fry with vertebral malformations, as described in this thread:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=22833
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:01 AM   #5
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I don't think it's a birth defect because he was still 'straight' until 2 weeks ago when I noticed he hasn't been eating. I've had him for 6 months.

I'll try to take a picture later today if I can. The pictures I took always turned out blurry.

I can see that the fish is still struggling to survive, thats why I don't want to let him die.
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:13 AM   #6
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That's why I thought it might be fishy TB....sorry that really sucks if it dies
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:47 PM   #7
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Sorry BP, in your original post, you didn't say it was a recent problem. If it is a disease and it is spreading, you need to isolate your ill fish and start treating the tank. If the fish is struggling to survive, it may be best to put it down and put all your energies in saving the rest of your fish.
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:08 PM   #8
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Thank you everybody.
I will separate the fish as soon as I get back home today.
Any suggestion on how to 'let it go'?
I heard of freezing but not sure of how to do it.
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:14 PM   #9
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Mercy killing is discussed in this thread:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=22335

For future reference on Freshwater Diagnostic Charts:
http://www.aquatronicsonline.com/hobbyist/hobbyist3.htm
http://www.clubjungle.com/fish_chart.pdf
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:52 AM   #10
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Honestly I don't think you should play god and put it down. I know it's hard to watch a fish suffer but you don't reallly know how the fish is feeling. He/she may be just fine. Death is the worst thing that can happen to this fish and killing should not even be an option. If I posted this too late & you have allready done so I suggest you don't go "putting down" other fish who may become ill considering fish often do recover. Even if you know what the disease is and it is uncurable, you should still let the fish die on their own. BTW Iam sorry that this happened to your fish but some things you just can't control.
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:29 AM   #11
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on the other hand, if they aren't equipped to deal with a separate tank for an ill fish and have to make do with something vaguely inappropriate, is that really any better? And in all fairness one can't continue to allow the infected fish to possibly pass on the infection.

So leaving aside the debatable issue of just how intelligent fish are and the ethical issues dealing with suffering and responsiblity, euthanasia may be the only responsible option left.

As for playing god. Isn't that what we do when we keep fish in the first place. Or perhaps we shouldn't medicate them at all since that is in fact playing god by fixing something they would have very little ability to fix on their own. Playing god works in both directions. You can't pick and choose for other people where to apply it. Of course, this is really a massive theological argument that I generally have to speak to once a month so I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see it the way I do. And I wouldn't particularly blame you. I would ask you consider that when we keep creatures as pets we have a responsibility to act on their behalf and on the behalf of the community around them(meaning the other fish) To try to save that fish at the cost of the others would be irresponsible. And to keep the sick fish alive in less then adequate surroundings would likewise be irresponsible. There is a point with all things, when their greater welfare must be considered. And keeping a sick fish alive who would have very quickly died in the wild is not necessarily a mercy.
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:12 PM   #12
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First of all how am I choosing anything for anybody? I could say the same thing to you. I am simply giving advice and merely stating MY opinion just like you or anyone else on this site.

And as for playing god, just because you keep fish and take care of them doesn't mean you have the right to kill them too. The only time I could think to where euthanasia would be appropriate is when the fish can transmit the disease to humans.

And as for everything you described about "responsibility", you are really just doing it for yourself than for your fish. Of coarse, it's way easier to kill a fish than to go out and buy a separate tank for it right? And every serious aquarist I know is equipped with one so they don't have to worry about it passing it on to their fish community. Plus why torture yourself trying to figure out what is wrong with the fish and spend money on medications when you can just "let it go" right? The truth is, in most cases when people put fish down (not even just fish but animals in general) they are thinking about themselves. And as for suffering and pain, you really don't know how much pain the fish is feeling in the first place plus suffering is a part of life. Deal with it. By making it die faster to end the suffering isn't necessarily a mercy either.
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:45 PM   #13
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wow. Must've hit a nerve there. We'll let me put it to you this way. We as humans can cause animals to continue to live long past the time were their quality of life is anywhere close to good. We make them live not for their sakes but for ours. Which is selfish. Anyone who forces an animal to live in pain and incurable debilitating illness is doing it for themselves. Not for their pets.

I agree that people often put pets down for lack of patience or money on their part. And that is shameful. But this is not the case here. The two most likely causes for this bent spine issue are both iccurable and highly virulent. For example, fish tuberculosis cause large cysts to form on or around the spine and for the spine to eventually warp. Eventually the fish dies because the nervous system shuts down. I believe. Doesn't sound like much fun for Mr. Fish does it.

I don't protest buying medicines and trying to heal pets in fact nothing puts me in a rage like a person who takes on the responsibility of a pet without full thought to what that entails. Likewise, sometimes that entails making sure their death is quick and as painless as possible. If you (in the general not the specific) aren't capable of that maybe you shouldn't own pets.

I'm not advocating the premature 'killing' of ANY animal...even humans. But I do request that you not react with a knee-jerk assumption that your way is the only right way. Ethics are far more complicated than that and people make a mockery of life trying to boil it down to: death bad-life good.

And you ARE trying to choose for people by telling them that there way is wrong and shameful without spending much consideration on their motivations. People make mistakes, including getting into hobbies unprepared but you aren't the morality police and there are better ways of expressing your views than outright condemnation of anything you don't personally hold with. You aren't expressing an opinion, you are passing judgement.

As for not knowing what the fish feels. Well to that, neither do you. If you knew that the fish was in horrible and excruciating pain would you still force it to live. Just because they can't tell us they want to die doesn't make it less possible that they do. I personally don't believe in forcing animals to suffer to assuage my own guilt at being ineffectual and healing their illnesses. My viewpoint has every bit as much moral validity as yours. The only difference between our stances is that I respect your views and make an effort to look at your motivations rationally and logically whether I agree with them or not.
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:25 PM   #14
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Nope no nerves hit on my part. Sorry if you ASSUMED that I was telling people what to do but that is not the case here. I am giving advice based on what I think and what I would do & never have I ever said "THAT IS WRONG, BE ASHAMED" so please don't put words in my mouth. I respect your views just as you do mine.

And yes I don't know what the fish feels and neither do you so maybe since you don't exactly know then maybe you should't attempt doing something you might regret later. Also, you can't "FORCE" anything to live. You can only LET it live.
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:37 PM   #15
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you can cause an animal to survive much longer than it should or could on it's own. That's not so much letting as it is contriving. but *shrug* this is semantics. And I certainly didn't mean to place words in you mouth. However, your phrasing did sound quite condemning. *shrug* If you didn't intend to be I'll just have to take your word for it. However, I'm not particularly jumpy so you might want to look at the way you phrase things.
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