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Injured koi

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  • Injured koi

    Hi, I am after a little bit of help!
    I checked on our fish this morning and couldn't see the koi in concern, but had to leave for work before having time to have a closer look. When I came home i saw him swimming around oddly and saw he had an injury on his back. It is quite big and he is missing a big chunk of his fin.
    What can I do to help his chances of recovery? There are 11 other fish in the pond, which is about 3000 litres I believe. I have 4 goldfish, 3 tench and 4 tiny orfe, I had another koi but lost him at the beginning of the week, I suspect something injured him too as there were marks by his tail. The pond is covered at the minute with a net which I'm hoping will stop any future predators, but I have had this koi for quite some time so really want to give him the best chance! Thanks so much for any advice.
    I'm new on here and I can't work out how to add a photo, but this link may work: image for larger version

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  • #2

    You definitely have a predator. Until you can figure out what predator and how to protect your pond from it, all fish are at risk. It will keep coming back until every fish is gone.

    That is a serious injury. I expect antibiotic treatment will be needed to save the fish, but I have doubts anything will work to save it long term. Secondary infection is the number one risk. You can try a topical treatment. The following is a review of topical treatments from one of the active members of KOI, the koi health group. Although talking about treating an ulcer after a parasite infestation, all wounds can be treated the same way. Your fish has such a big wound, it will be especially vulnerable.


    While treating for parasites is very important, treating the resultant ulcerated area is equally important. Some will say to use hydrogen peroxide, then iodine, then dental adhesive to cover the wound. I have no argument with using all three, if they are available and you're proficient treating with all of them so the koi is not left on the table too long. Most people are not that proficient. I've treated many many koi and until recently the only topical I've ever used was iodine. It is extremely effective. Swab the wound thoroughly making sure to get underneath the skin and/or scaled edges. Remove any loose scales during this treatment as they will fall off anyway. This is generally a one time treatment.

    Further swabbing if any healing is evident will injure the new tissue which is slowly forming around the wound(pale pink to white in color). Further deterioration of the ulcered area after a thorough swabbing indicates the need for a more accurate parasite discovery or a more accurate dose of antibiotic or a change in the antibiotic used.

    An alternative to iodine is gentian violet. This seems to work equally well and since it initially colors the area and then fades as it wears off is equally as valuable as iodine as an indicator of healing. Gentian Violet is available as a non-prescription med at most Walgreen/CVS pharmacies.

    The third method which I have used and have had extemely good success when nothing else seemed to work is a 50/50 mix of Tricide Neo and Silvadene(a burn cream). This mixture works where most other topicals will not. Silvadene is a prescription product. Work this mixture in slowly and allow it to "stand" for a total of five minutes. Wipe off the paste at that point and revive. Inject an appropriate antibiotic such as Fortaz at this time, along with an single injection of vitaminC. Although the common thought is that injectible vitaminC boosts the immune system, the truth of the matter is that vitaminC is primarily used to reduce the pH of the body thus weakening the bacterial infection primarily to the effects of the antibiotic.

    A fourth method is a drop of water on a tiny number of potassium permanganate crystals is only suggested if everything else seems to have failed. This not only kills any bacteria in the area but has a detrimental effect on the flesh which it touches. It kills tissue in the area, so be careful how far you swab with this. I have used it in extremely difficult cases where it becomes a kill or cure situation. I have had very good success using it but I have only used it after I've tried everything else. The area treated takes up to several months to recover where areas treated with iodine or gentian violet are a few weeks.

    Potassium Permanganate is an Oxidizer! It is a dangerous chemical if used improperly! Use protective clothing and gloves. Wear goggles/eye protection!

    1. Iodine first.
    2. Gentian Violet second.
    3. Tricide Neo and Silvadene third.
    4. Potassium Permanganate fourth.

    Swabbing is generally done with Q-tips. Where the surrounding scales are deteriorating I pull them, clean and treat the area to hasten the healing process. A strong tweasers is needed to pull scales.


    • #3

      Note: Application of topical treatments requires sedating the fish. You can search this forum and others for how to do that.


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