Fish Health - Ulcers

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Ucers are external bacterial infections, bacterial erosions and bacterial sepsis of Koi carp. There no such disease as ulcer disease.

Ulcers the result of a infection and you have to find the infection before you can start any treatment of the ulcers. The wrong treatment such as formalin is like pouring petrol on a fire.

mouth ulserNot all ulsers are on the fish's body.

Aeromonas is the course of most ulcers and bacterial mortality in Koi. This bacteria is linked to other disease conditions such as abdominal dropsy, carp erythrodermatitis, hemmorhagic septicemia, to name but a few, and poor conditions will aid any of these.

There are findings now that aeromonas is not the main invader but a virus known as rhabdovirus carpio, and that aeromonas rides on its back as a secondary infection A so called opportunistic secondary attacker. This occurs when the fish is under stress (poor water). Others think that rhabodovirus is a known-infection and is found by incidental findings. Active immunization I feel is a fairy story.

ulserResistance and susceptibility depends on the condition of the fish's environment. To enable fish to recover from ulcers you need a check list
  1. Are fish over crowded
  2. Do you have ammonia present in the pond
  3. Do you have nitrites in the pond
  4. What grade of food have you been feeding. Be honest with yourself if it's been rubbish.
  5. Have you had or do you still have any parasites in infectious numbers
  6. Have you tried to treat with any other treatment other than injection (only injections will work)
  7. How dirty is your pond and filter - don't guess have a look!
  8. You need a water temp above 20°C. Raise the temperature or use a hospital tank running at20°C If you don't, you are wasting your time.
  9. When did the fish last feed or have they been going off there food - think.
  10. Water condition - has the pond gone milky or murky or is it smelly. I've been to ponds and been told yes all is OK, but when I've checked the filter base the smell has made me ill.
You need to know all of the above and correct them before any injection treatment begins or your fish will just die no matter how hard you try. The infection you are dealing with has been around for millions of years and it knows all the tricks! Never under rate aeromonas or you will be the loser every time.

Ulcers mean stress. Look at some of the reasons.

Parasites result in stress they may carry bacteria into lesions by direct route e.g. flukes are known to carry aeromonas on their hooks.

Temperatures below 65°F slow down the distribution of antibiotics through the tissues.

THE main courses of ulcers in Koi carp is poor WATER. A Koi carp's outer skin cut in poor condition whether it be parasites or water, is like pulling a balloon through a holly bush - you know it will burst. The same applies to aeromonas infections. Aeromonas is present in all bodies of water just waiting for the flashing light called stress.

I will not go into injections as I've seen too many fish killed by their misuse.

ulserThese two pictures show massive fluke infection in the white outer ring of this aeromonas infected ulcer. This type of ulcer at this advanced stage has only 30% change of recovery as sepsis may also be present at this stage.

The main cause is mechanical injury, inc. spawning.

If fukes are present in large numbers in pond (due to poor water) when the fish injures itself, flukes will attack the wound making the fish flick and scratch so opening the wound and removing scales and allowing the bacterial infection to get a hold. The result needs no explanation.ulsers

Treatment now available contact us

A full blown aeromonas spp bacteria infection - at this stage heat injections and salt with acriflavin, and then only give yourself a 30% recovery chance. Also, check outer white ring for columnaris and flukes.

UlcerYou can see this infection is well into dorsal muscle. This will have a very low percentage of recovery as much of the under lying tissue will be affected. In fact this could be a abscess of long standing.