I'm not sure if this is the right place for this thread but I just wanted to document this particular case so that maybe it will help others.... I would like to apologize in advance if I shouldn't have posted it here ^^;
Lilith (female, copper CT)
I received her from Thailand back in March 2012. Last summer I went away for an intership and left Lilith being cared for by my parents. When I returned her belly was a bit swollen. I kept an eye on it but thought perhaps she was just plump.
Bloating (increasingly as time went by). Small open light brown area near ovipositor (I imagine it was some of her guts being pushed out through a small tear). No buoyancy issues. Scales still flat. Great appetite. Normal respiration (as judged by operculum). As the bloating worsened, it became apparent that her belly was filled with some semi see-through liquid.
Over the past 5 months or so, I tried everything... cutting down on food, pea treatment, kept her water as clean as possible, up the salt and temp. Most recently, I tried treating her with kanamycin. Research on catfish shows that has good absorbancy rate in fishes. Also one of the causes of bloating are internal infections with gram negatives, which might also lead to fluid buildup. (I know some people are against antibiotics. I work in a microbiology lab so I have access to just about any common antiobiotic and I understand the risk of building resistance and overdozing. That's why I waited until resorting to this)
As nothing seemed to be working and the bloating simply worsened, I feared that soon the pressure buildup would be too much for her organs (in fact, I'm sure it has taken its toll on them already). So I read a few stories of people draining the fluid from their bettas and decided to attempt it....
I used clove oil to anesthetize her. The amount was 3 drops in 3 cups. In about 3 minutes she began gasping for air and becoming agitated. I took her out and she stayed still, her gills moving. I used an insulin syrenge (29G), the smallest needle I had, and drained about 1/2 ml of yellow liquid. I stopped because I saw her gills stop moving. Placed her into a cup of her old clean water and within seconds she began moving her gills. I placed the cup (with an aerator inside) floating in a 2.5 gallon with a heater (82 F) and clean water (conditioner and 2 tsp salt). She will be acclimated slowly if I see her get back to normal, and continued on kanamycin (the cup she is currently in has kanamycin since I took it from the water she was in before the drainage)
She is laying over the areator. Operculum and pectoral fins moving. I see her getting air from the surface. She seems to be breathing faster than normal. I will keep an eye on her. I plan to do a second drainage in a week or two depending on how she looks, but for now I'm just hoping she makes it through the night.
Before the drainage
"Operating Room" (the white plastic had some of her tank water and wet gauzes)
After drainage (sorry it is dark, I didn't want to disturb her... I will get a better one tomorrow if she seems to be doing better)
There is still a significant amount of fluids and I expect it to build up again but... at least it's less than before