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Author Topic: A black mass on my fishes side  (Read 924 times)
Tweaver500
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A black mass on my fishes side
« on: November 20, 2011, 07:23:03 PM »

I have a pet goldfish alone in a 10 gallon tank.  She is about 5 yo and so is the tank. She had an large mass about size of a large gumball or super ball) on her side.  We went to the local fish stores and tried 3 different treatments.
 #1. API Pro series “Fungus cure” containing 3mg Victoria Green B, and 30mg Acriflavine per dose.
#2.  API Pro series “T.C. Tetracycline” Anti-Bacterial Fish Medication containing 500 mg Tetracycline Hydrochloride per dose
#3. API Pro series “General Cure” Anti-Parasitic Fish Medication containing 250 mg Metronidazole and 75 mg Praziquantel per dose.
The mass turned black and we were hopeful that it would die and fall off.  Instead it has grown.  At one point it split open and to our surprise, it bled.  It looks like a black rock with white pieces.  It is only attached in a small area, but we have been afraid to try to cut it off and have no idea where to go to get help.  Now it is so large she is having trouble swimming and has been on the bottom of the tank for 2 days.  If she had been a dog we would have taken her to the vet to put down.  Is there ANYTHING we can do to help her?  Or is there a way to PAINLESSLY & humanely euthanize her? 
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Goldiegirl
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2011, 07:42:40 PM »

I am sorry to hear your fish is so ill! Sad

It is hard to diagnose the problem with certainty without any photographs, but based on your description the large mass on your goldfish sounds like a tumor to me. Tumors have a variety of contributors: poor water quality and a diet low in nutrition. There is no "treatment" for this problem exept to amputate the area or euthanize the fish. The medications you used were not intended for your fish's problem, so obviously they only made it even more irritated and most likely killed much of your beneficial bacteria. The first thing you should do is to test the water. Your ammonia and nitrite should be 0, nitrate under 40 ppm, and ph less than 8. Also, does your tank have a filter? If so, what kind? And what % if water changes do you do each week? Poor water quality is a major contribution to illnesses of this kind. It is recommended to be doing 50% water changes weekly with a gravel vacuum to keep your tank clean and your fish healthy. What kind of diet are you feeding your fish? A varied diet rich in vegetables, protein, and live foods is essential for a healthy fish. Just feeding your fish a few flakes every day doesn't give your pet the nutrients it needs to keep up a good immune system.

Some fish can live for years with tumors (though they often have impaired swimming and/or eyesight), others die quite soon. Some people on this website have personal experience with the amputation of such things (I know Ron had a similar problem with his fish F.B. and maybe he'll chime in) and may be able to help you better than I regarding treatment. But if you do decide to try to cut off the mass you need to do the process carefully, quickly, and disinfect the area with a substance such as hydrogen peroxide afterwards to avoid infection.

If your fish really seems to be suffering the most humane thing to do would be to put her to sleep...the best way to do this is to put the fish in a plastic container of water and put that in the freezer. This is a painless way to euthanize fish, as they go into a state of hibernation eventually the heart just stops.

This is a picture of a fish with very severe tumors. There are black ones up by its head and gills. Is this what seems to be growing on your fish?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 07:53:25 PM by Goldiegirl » Logged
Nossie
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 04:59:10 AM »

Goldiegirl summed it up really well, and I hope Ron will come here to share some advice about the tumors too Smiley

Do you have a vet around there that specializes in fish or other small animals? They might be able to help if you'd take some photos with you and ask, but usually they're more keen on caring for show quality breeders or koi carps.
Since the tumor is on the side, it shouldn't be harming the fish too much, it's probably the worsened water quality caused by the medication used. Do a few 50% water changes and vacuum the gravel, try to add some beneficial bacteria as well (Like Stress zyme or "fluid filter medium"), that might help! If not, it would be a good way to prepare the tank in case you decide to remove the tumor. Some sterile surgical scissors would probably be easiest to use and you would lessen the chance of cutting too deep.
Oil of cloves is used to either sedate or euthanize the fish, depending on what you'd decide to do (the freezer would be easiest though, as Goldiegirl mentioned.)

I hope everything will sort out for you and that your fish will make it Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 11:23:42 PM »

Cheers Nossie and Goldie, been away for a few days fixing my nephews laptop which had been taken over by virus's and worms, unfortunately the worms are not the physical type, lol...
I found with the tumors we had amputated on F.B. were on the end of the tail so they were quite easy to amputate, you said it is only connected by a small area? if so amputation may be an option to help/save your fish... if you dont want to do it yourself you may find a fish or pet store with someone who will do it for you... I was lucky and found someone locally who see's and does this a lot...
To amputate the tumor's on F.B.'s tail they used a surgical scalpel with a fresh blade, they also sometimes use a pair of surgical scissor's which have fine blades and are very sharp. they then snip the tumor off, this may be your best bet... my main concern would be bleeding from the wound if you decide to amputate, you may try appying some cornflower to the wound if it does bleed, that should help stop it a bit (if anyone has a better idea to treat bleeding, please post it).. you should be able to get the scissors or scalpel and blades from a drug store or chemist as it is called here in Aus. Hope this is of some help... > Ron
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laurencasualty
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 11:42:53 PM »

can you use styptic powder on fish...?
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Tweaver500
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 12:05:13 AM »

Thank you all for the guidance and input. I am sure the is a fish Dr. in my area, he was recently written up in The Orange County Register, I am also certain I cannot afford his services at this time.
I did a 50% water change shortly after I posted. It seems to have perked her up a very tiny bit, but not enough to get her off the bottom. It's almost like the tumor is weighing her down.
I have a few questions.
First, how would you use oil of clove as a sedative, and second, is it corn starch or corn flour, and how would I apply it to the wound?
Also Should I treat again with the Tetracycline after Amputation?
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Nossie
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 04:42:31 AM »

Are you testing your water? (pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate) The medicines you used might have destroyed your eco system so you'd have to cycle the tank again, and this could be the main thing bothering your fish.

The clove oil should be added to a container with tank water (NOT THE MAIN TANK!) and only a few drops, I don't remember the dosage, but you could maybe try and call the vet you mentioned, he'll probably know Smiley
You should let the fish into the container and she'll soon enough calm down and more or less stop breathing. You cut the tumor off quickly and put the fish back in your tank, hold her in front of the filter outtake to get some water flowing through the gills and she should wake up Smiley

I think he said "corn flower" and I don't know how that works, sorry. But on the other hand, I'd advice you to avoid treating the tank with any more heavy medicines, just let it cycle, and rather follow Goldiegirl's advice and apply some hydrogen peroxide to the wound instead Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 05:16:43 AM »

yes, as Nossie said its cornflower and it is usually used to help the blood clot on and around the wound if there is bleeding... when they cut off F.B.'s tumors it was done without sedating her, and she didn't even flinch a bit (she's such a good fish) there was a small bit of bleeding but that clotted as soon as she was back in the water...  considering where your fish's tumor is, you should be prepared in case of excess bleeding... if you dont have any cornflower I think you can also use Mercurochrome to pad the wound a bit, from memory it also has some antibiotic properties. And I dont know if this is true but I think someone once posted here that you can seal the wound with superglue? has anyone else heard of this... would be interested to know. Cheers 
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Nossie
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 06:34:20 AM »

Superglue was used quite a lot in the military to repair cuts and the like, still today many tattoo artists and piercers (probably even medical professionals too) use it to seal small wounds on the fingers and hands to protect from contamination under the gloves Smiley
It would probably work just fine on a fish too since it dries so fast!

I believe the cut on my face was glued with superglue, at least it wasn't sutured Smiley

I'd like to add as well, that in F.B's case, it was probably easier to remove the tumors since they were on the tail, since this one is on the side of the fish it might hurt more, and the fish will probably be more nervous.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 01:39:23 PM »

Glad to hear she perked up a bit! Water changes always help...like Nossie said, are you testing the water? Bad water quality can cause bottom sitting AND tumors, so I would seriously consider taking a sample of your water to your LFS for testing, or purchase a test kit (pricey, yes, but every aquarist should have one). Also, you didn't mention if your tank was cycled or not. That is crutial for goldfish. When dealing with sick/injured fish, it is important to provide a good diet so they can heal up faster as well. Live foods and veggies are common foods used when treating a sick fish.

Good to hear that Ron chimed in with his background of a fish with tumors...him and Nossie can help you best.

I would say that because the tumor is only attatched by a small area instead of on the whole tumor, keeping the area clean would be my main concern lest infection set in after the proceedure. Dabbing the area with peroxide daily would be best until it heals up. If this was my fish, I would also consider adding a concentration of natural, non-iodized salt to the water to prevent the area from getting infected as well....probably 3 tablespoons per 10 gallons pre-disolved in tank water and poured in gradually.
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Ron H
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 10:03:34 PM »

great follow up advice Nossie and Goldie, and yes F.B.'s tumors were a lot easier to deal with for amputation, and as for the superglue I think one of it's original uses was in surgery etc. cheers fishlovers
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Skwishee
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2011, 07:59:22 AM »

I'm afraid I don't know much about tumours with goldfish, but a website I lurk on has a ton of useful articles, which you may find useful.

This one is about sedating fish (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
There is also one or two articles about tumours;
(Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
(Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

The above procedures were carried out by vet's, so I'm not sure how you would go about removing such a thing by yourself. As others have said, it would depend on the size of the tumour, how it is attached etc etc
Are there any other vets with fish experience you could ask?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 08:02:06 AM by Skwishee » Logged
Tweaver500
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2011, 12:57:03 AM »

About 2 weeks ago I amputated the black mass from her side with little or no bleeding. There was no change in her condition. I tested the water with my kit, and all levels were within tolerence. Sadly today I had to put her down.
I first added a clove oil mixture, and then added Vodka, which is what I gathered from my research is the most humane way to to put her down. I know it's st*pid, but I cried. We don't have kids here, just our pets. So as silly as it seems My wife and I will Miss that gold fish.
Thank you all for your kind advice and I truly hope this never happens to you.
Sincerly Tony
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Nossie
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 05:13:52 AM »

I'm so sorry Sad
But there's no reason to walk into a goldfish forum and feel st*pid for crying over your fish, all of us have, whenever it happened, regardless of age. I really understand how you feel. All the best to you and your wife Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 12:21:37 PM »

This is the best place to tell us that you cry over your fish!  Wink I'm sure all of us fish lovers have at one point or another...my mom even cried when I lost my black moor she loved best due to internal injury. You get attatched to the little buggers and it really hurts to see then suffer.  Cry So sorry it was too late for the girl...

Just remember that from all of the times when we mess up or the fish don't make it we learn something from that experience. I have lost many fish from when I first began keeping goldfish and it's easy to feel horrible and want to never own one again. But each time we have a tragedy strike we learn something useful about what not to do or something we could do better. Don't beat yourself up about it and you are not any more st*pid than any of us were when we were inexperienced at keeping goldfish.

Again, super sorry for your dear little fish.
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Ron H
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2011, 11:45:24 PM »

Sorry for your loss Tony, we all have been there with our fish and pets, its hard, but we move on, just try to remember the good times and enjoyment you got from your fish, and what that fish has taught you about fishkeeping that you can apply in the future maybe... regards > Ron
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Skwishee
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Re: A black mass on my fishes side
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2011, 04:57:25 AM »

I echo what others have said.

Sorry to hear for your loss  Embarrassed
I wish you all the best for the future x
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