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Thread: HELP: Swim Bladder Problem???

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    HELP: Swim Bladder Problem???

    Please advise regarding this situation:

    I have a large (approx. 30") female koi that on Tuesday evening was swimming constantly in wide circles around the pond. She constantly moves the pectorals to remain in motion. (Koi typically will move the pectorals once or twice and glide before moving the pectorals again. This koi is not gliding through the water at all. She moves the pectorals continuously.) She attempts to pause to reach food pellets floating on the surface, but cannot move herself to the surface to reach them. Instead, she starts to fall lower in the pond. She immediately begins swimming again, rather than drift lower in the pond. She seems to prefer being about 18" below the surface. Her constant movement disturbs the other koi such that they are not eating properly from the surface. When sinking pellets are given, she lowers herself toward the bottom of the pond, but cannot lower her head to the bottom to reach the pellets. She then resumes swimming closer to the surface tracing a path around the pond in a continuous movement. Once she is near the surface, the other koi feed from the bottom normally. Water parameters are fine... no ammonia, no nitrite and low nitrate (below 5ppm).

    This evening (Wednesday) the behavior continues. The only difference is that she tries more frequently to reach floating pellets on the surface. She succeeeded once in a dozen+ attempts. I assume she is getting pretty hungry.

    There are no symptoms of parasites exhibited.... no flashing, etc. All other fish are behaving normally, except for her interruption of their feeding.

    I believe it must be a swim bladder problem, but have no experience with this behavior, so I hesitate to assume anything.

    All thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

    I have done nothing at this point, not knowing what should be done, if anything.

    I have left her alone.

  2. #2
    Jumbo
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    Hi Mike, you might check with Thom B. He wrote of a procedure he developed to correct swim bladder infections - inserting a syringe into the swim bladder and extracting any fluid, injecting an anti-biotic into the swim bladder, and re-inflating. Assuming the issue is an infection in the swim bladder - the swimming behavior you're describing is definitely a swim bladder related issue.

    Best Wishes,
    Brady

  3. #3
    Guest Nancy M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Please advise regarding this situation:

    I have a large (approx. 30") female koi that on Tuesday evening was swimming constantly in wide circles around the pond. She constantly moves the pectorals to remain in motion. (Koi typically will move the pectorals once or twice and glide before moving the pectorals again. This koi is not gliding through the water at all. She moves the pectorals continuously.) She attempts to pause to reach food pellets floating on the surface, but cannot move herself to the surface to reach them. Instead, she starts to fall lower in the pond. She immediately begins swimming again, rather than drift lower in the pond. She seems to prefer being about 18" below the surface. Her constant movement disturbs the other koi such that they are not eating properly from the surface. When sinking pellets are given, she lowers herself toward the bottom of the pond, but cannot lower her head to the bottom to reach the pellets. She then resumes swimming closer to the surface tracing a path around the pond in a continuous movement. Once she is near the surface, the other koi feed from the bottom normally. Water parameters are fine... no ammonia, no nitrite and low nitrate (below 5ppm).

    This evening (Wednesday) the behavior continues. The only difference is that she tries more frequently to reach floating pellets on the surface. She succeeeded once in a dozen+ attempts. I assume she is getting pretty hungry.

    There are no symptoms of parasites exhibited.... no flashing, etc. All other fish are behaving normally, except for her interruption of their feeding.

    I believe it must be a swim bladder problem, but have no experience with this behavior, so I hesitate to assume anything.

    All thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

    I have done nothing at this point, not knowing what should be done, if anything.

    I have left her alone.
    Hi Mike
    It does sound like swim bladder. Last year Don C. (koicop) had an issue with his ochiba, Dr. Robert Hildreth did surgery on her. If you would like to tak to him I would be happy to send you his cell number. I have also added the link to the thread on the surgery.

    Good luck, with your fish.

    California Koi Vet saves koicops fish George

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Nancy: Please PM the contact info. Perhaps I can learn of another vet closer to me. Thanks for the link. I recalled the thread as soon as I saw it.

    Brady: Thank you for confirming my thinking. Using antibiotics has been in mind. (For me to attempt penetrating the air bladder is really scary. )

    Has anyone had success with a swim bladder problem by just using antibiotics? If so, what did you use?

  5. #5
    Guest Nancy M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Nancy: Please PM the contact info. Perhaps I can learn of another vet closer to me. Thanks for the link. I recalled the thread as soon as I saw it.

    Brady: Thank you for confirming my thinking. Using antibiotics has been in mind. (For me to attempt penetrating the air bladder is really scary. )

    Has anyone had success with a swim bladder problem by just using antibiotics? If so, what did you use?
    Phone number sent to you.

    From my understanding the antibiotics, need to be injected into the bladder, and also saline solution, to re inflate it.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Yep. I've reviewed Don's recent posts on Koivet regarding swim bladder infection (and summary of the Hildreth presentation at the San Diego Seminar). There is too little blood flow in the swim bladder for normal antibiotic injections to do any good. It seems that air bladder penetration is essential. I need a vet with access to the proper equipment. Don't know if I'll find one. Thanks for contact info, Nancy. Gives me some hope.

  7. #7
    Sansai
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    Have you talked to Vicki?

    She knows everything.

  8. #8
    Honmei
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    Mike,
    What about the younf vet that gave a talk at the CFKS show?

    Steve
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  9. #9
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Carolyn & Steve: Thank you. I'm pursuing those lines.

  10. #10
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Hello Mike . . .

    Sorry to hear your koi's developed those symptoms.

    FWIW, that's exactly how George W. behaved just before she started bottom sitting.

    I'm going to PM you my # -- as well as that of Dr. Rob Hildreth.

    If you can line up a vet that wants to give it a go, maybe my pictorial would help orient him and then Dr. Rob could help talk him through it?

    Best wishes,

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