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Old 02-04-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
BruceP
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Default DEflating a Goldie

We have a rather large (6"w/o tail) oranda that has been floating upside down or more correctly on his side for about 8 months. He is healthy and eats well, just can't right himself. We've had other fish from time to time that this has happened to and they usually die but not him. He has a bulge on his gut that is about the diameter of a quarter and sticks out at least 3/8" or so. Has anyone ever tried inserting a hypodermic needle into the bulge and suck out whatever it is that is in there????? I think I have some 23g needles around here that would probably be big enough.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
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Bruce, first you need to figure out where it is. It could be GI, swim bladder, etc Depending on what it is, you might be able to do it.

Is there air in his poop?
Does it ever seem to change size?

Are you considering just letting him be, or considering euthanasia anyway?
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:11 PM   #3
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Default I'm with Corrie

Freezer i think, I only fix this by putting them outside in Spring, you are a long way off
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:31 AM   #4
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What's the quality of life if you are swimming upside down all the time. We could get into a discussion of ethics and 'fish feelings' here but I won't. I don't even know if he is producing milt that could be used or if it could be extracted because of the bulge.
Thanx for the replies, anyway.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #5
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I have done this a few times in the past and although its not quite the last resort it's not for the faint hearted.

The first thing you need to consider is whether it is a problem with the swim bladder (over inflation) of if it is air in the gut or abdominal cavity. What you don't want to do is stick the needle in the wrong place and damage any internal organs. Before you start get 2 seperate buckets or bowls and transfer the fish to one of them. Have an air stone handy to aerate them. Move the fish into one of the buckets and add a couple of drops of clove oil to sedate the fish (use gentle aeration to mix the clove oil, it is an oil and doesn't want to mix with the water) Watch the fish closely you don't want to put the fish to sleep but you need it to be pretty unresponsive (sedating it stops it wriggling when you stick the needle in and causing all sorts of internal damage). Once it is sedated use the needle to deflate the fish (aim for the centre of the area that is uppermost when the fish is floating, which should give you the shortest route to the air pocket).

You need to use a needle with a wide enough bore that is easy to blow through (there will not be much pressure behind it and you want it to naturally deflate through the needle (don't use a syringe)). Pop the fish gently and gently squeeze the body cavity once you hear a slight pop or hiss as the air comes out to get as much of the air out you can then remove the needle (don't apply any pressure if you see blood or fluid coming our of the needle). Place the fish in the clean bucket and aerate well (swim the fish in the current if necessary) until it comes round then place it back in the tank (preferrable a quarantine tank) and if you have done it correct it will now be sitting on the bottom of the tank.

Treat with salt of you feel necessary to reduce stress and help give a little bouyancy until it adjusts itself. This procedure is best carried out by a vet if you have any worries about doing it, and unless you can work out what is causing it it may just happen again in a few weeks or months time. It does work but there are no guarantees.

I have done this a lot when collecting wild cod and other species for public aquaria when their swim bladder expand when they come up from depth and it is the only way to keep them alive. I believe also that anglers in Australia and shown how to do this as in certain areas they have a catch and release policy and fish caught at depth would float on the surface and be eaten by gulls when released if not "pop'd". In those cases though it is the swim bladder, in the case of goldfish it could be the swim bladder, gas in the gut due to the fermentation of undigested food or other problem with the gut or body cavity.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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LOL Bruce, don't go all crazy on us now. What Todd and I are getting at is that there's two main reasons for this, and the way you would do it is different for those two.
You need to figure out if it's GI, which you would do one way, or air bladder, which is a little different way.

If you still want to vent the fish, let us know, and we'll try to walk you through it.

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Old 02-06-2011, 12:27 PM   #7
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drktodd....... Thank you very much for that explanation. I would have used a syringe had you not posted. Can you recommend a gauge needle? I will probably try it. A procedure like that doesn't bother me. This is not an emotional tie problem rather a matter of economics. When I pay big money for a breeding male I'd like to get more than one batch of fry from it. It was also about the best show quality fish we had... hate to loose it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:28 PM   #8
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Corrie.... Thanx... you know my sarcastic replies.. LOL
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
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Bruce, a large gage needle that you can blow through is fine for a fish as big as a cod, grooper, etc, but this is a 6 inch goldfish.
The gage you have, 23, would be about right and since you already have that, use it.

The overall technique is the same, but you need to decide if it's GI or air bladder first. The angle you would go in, and where you would poke will be a little different.

Slap a picture of that bad boy up here and let's take a look at it.

I would bet, being an oranda, it's GI........
To help figure that out, is there air in the poop?
Does this place ever seem to change size? or always stay the same?
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:33 AM   #10
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Default Same problem - please help out!

Hello fellow goldfish keepers,

I'm having the same problem with my goldfish.

She's a female fancy goldfish and she's been swimming upside down for about a month now - probably also due to swimbladder problems. Still has a great appetite, but has become very lethargic in the last week.

I'm worried that the swelling on her side may be crushing her internal organs or something.

Been feeding her peas daily since she started swimming upside down. Her bowel movements are normal - no air bubbles there. They are also bright green, from the peas, I am guessing.

I am hoping to deflate (fizz/etc.) my goldfish, I have got an insulin needle (23 gauge) however I'm unsure where to insert it. Have looked at anatomy diagrams for goldfishes, but they are not very helpful.

The swelling is on her left ventral region. Her right side appears normal.

Tips for inserting the needle? It is unfortunately a syringe, but I thought that I could perhaps remove the plunger, which should allow air to flow freely out.

Please help! I know this is an old post, but it would be helpful.

Picture attached, picture is on its side, I'm not sure how to rotate it.
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File Type: jpg swimbladder problem.jpg (90.2 KB, 32 views)
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