Common Names: Dropsy
Dee disease
Bacterial kidney disease
Salinity: Freshwater
Description: The first thing to make completely clear is that "dropsy" once associated with degenerative kidney disease in koi and various salmonids is now a general term associated with any condition that causes the swelling of the body and the pineconing of scales, be it regional or causing inflation of the entire body. Dropsy is therefore actually a symptom of underlying, organ failure and damage , and not a disease in itself. Dropsy is primarily caused by organ failure , especially the kidneys and liver. The swelling itself can be from a number of causes from of gaseous bloat produced by the activity of bacterial respiration or necrosis, or the inability to expel additional fluids usually vented by the body via the renal system. Obesity ,constipation, and swim bladder failure can also trigger bouts of dropsy by causing compaction on the renal system, thus triggering organ failure. Massive systemic septacaemia caused by rotting tissue, bacteria and protozoa may also trigger dropsy.
Symptoms: Spots
Treatment: The approach to treatment is difficult since any one of a myriad of diseases must be considered as having a potential for being the underlying cause if dropsy , and treated appropriately. Drospsy being a general indicator of a severe problem rather than a mild one tends to mean that if treatment is to be effective it must be carried out quickly and with as much consideration for the renal system as possible. Ironically most incidences of dropsy are caused by bacterial infections such as aeromonas hydrophilia, and as such should be treated with antibiotics.Unfortunately the presense of dropsy in itself means that using antibiotics may be difficult. Most antibiotic drugs react within the liver and kidneys to create a systemic toxin that kills the bacteria, and this puts a workload on those aforementioned organs at a time when they are already badly damaged or impaired. Antibiotics may kill as many fish as they save, and because of this it becomes extremely important to treat the fish early in its condition for maximum probability of survival. Periodic dropsy is usually a problem that is dietary in origin, and often aggravated by the presence of parasites such as roundworm. Deparasitation procedures are extremely risky at this time, yet again because of the medical impact of drugs on the renal system. Further difficulties in treatment arise because quite simply the renal system has to protected from harm, and the that means the priority must be on pre-medication conditioning of the fish to reduce swelling and impact on the organs. Starve periods, and a certain amount of osmotic rebalancing using salt baths can be helpful, but there will be a delay in getting medication to the root cause of the problem. It is small wonder most fish do not survive once full blown dropsy has occurred. Quite simply it can be said , that any fish showing dropsy is in an advanced state of organ failure be it permanent or periodic. Decisions on quarantine must be taken carefully to balance the risk of losing the fish against the survival of its cagemates. For any fish in a state of organ failure a move to an uncycled quarantine, or a subjection to different temperatures can quickly become a fatal experience.Often the bacterial causes of dropsy are easily treated, as long as the other fish have not already ballooned. Hepatic lipidosis is a condition that habitually causes dropsy. The prognosis for dropsy in conjunction with hepatic lipidosis is usually untreatable and almost guaranteed to be fatal. A liver so damaged will not recover and the dropsy will be the final symptom before death.
Comments: A condition that is rife with wives tales and rumours as concerns the appropriate treatment. More rubbish is talked about dropsy than perhaps any other condition. Most treatments are haphazard at best, simply because most keepers believe that dropsy is a disease rather than a symptom of many potential underlying diseases. Treating it takes some real investigative work, and the fishkeepers whole regimen of care must be pulled into question, so that any potential underlying causes are discovered as expediently as possible. There is no effective general treatment protocol or single effective medicine against dropsy. To reiterate, it is a symptom, not a specific ailment.
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Submitted By: longhairedgit
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