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Old 02-01-2013, 07:28 PM   #1 
valen1014
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Betta Drainage Procedure

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 ^^;

Name:
Lilith (female, copper CT)

Background:
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.

Symptoms/Observations:
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.

Previous treatment:
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....

Procedure:

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)

Status quo:

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.

Now pictures....

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

Last edited by valen1014; 02-01-2013 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:36 PM   #2 
Caii
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Wow- that's crazy! Any idea as to what it is? What caused it? I'm sure she feels so much better! I hope she makes it through the night as well; you're very brave to help her, but I'm glad you could do something. Bo and I'll be rooting for her- keep us posted!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:46 PM   #3 
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Aw thanks, I really appreciate it! ^^; I will probably be up all night checking on her >< I think it's an internal infection because it was a build up of yellowish liquid. If it had been intestinal blockage I think the swelling wouldn't have been so far back and I would've drained browish stuff (my guess...) Plus, I've seen her poop (although very little but I think that's because the fluid is putting pressure on her guts). Unfortunately, I was stupid and threw away the liquid, I could've tried to see if bacteria would grow from it and if they're sensitive to kanamycin. I guess next time I will do that.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:54 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valen1014 View Post
Aw thanks, I really appreciate it! ^^; I will probably be up all night checking on her >< I think it's an internal infection because it was a build up of yellowish liquid. If it had been intestinal blockage I think the swelling wouldn't have been so far back and I would've drained browish stuff (my guess...) Plus, I've seen her poop (although very little but I think that's because the fluid is putting pressure on her guts). Unfortunately, I was stupid and threw away the liquid, I could've tried to see if bacteria would grow from it and if they're sensitive to kanamycin. I guess next time I will do that.
I know what you mean- when I first got Bo, I couldn't sleep because I kept getting up to make sure he was alright! XD
I'm still incredibly paranoid about his health, but it's simply a sign of our love for them, I suppose

Internal infection? Oi... but to think, you've pretty much done everything under the sun in terms of conventional betta care. Wouldn't something have worked against that?
Could you do some sort of biopsy or analysis?
Whatever it is, I hope that it goes away and that the worst is over.

Don't worry, I'm sure she'll pull through. You seem to be doing your very best for her, and she won't give up without a fight ^_^

I'll be keenly awaiting your next update on your tough little girl!
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:18 PM   #5 
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Update (day 1):

Well, she definitely made it through the night!! (thank god). I had an alarm go off every 2 hours through the night to check on her -.- She is still breathing heavily (although I think she was breathing heavily before the drainage anyhow). She stays in the bottom most of the time so to make it easier for her I cupped her again. Temp: 80 F. Salt: 2 tsp/2.5 gallon. Conditioner. Straight up kanamycin 3.3 micrograms/ml.

She still has some fluid left but it doesn't seem to be much more than the day before. The light brown open area near the ovipositor got smaller, so I definitely think the pressure was beginning to push her guts out a bit. Good to see that it is better. She has a little red plug where I passed the needle. I hope it is just a clot/scab to seal the hole. Oh and she ate the 2 bloodworms I gave her with a lot of appetite! Even right after the drainage last night she ate a pellet.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:40 PM   #6 
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What salt are you using? you need epsom salts for this and maybe antibioitcs.

What color is the poop?

Can you fill this out: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:38 PM   #7 
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Does she really need that aerator?
I hope she gets better!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:42 PM   #8 
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Is it possible that she got eggy and couldn't reabsorb the eggs or release them? That could cause some terrible pain and swelling such as that in her. That does happen to females occasionally, I'm always terrified it will happen to my girl, but so far so good.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:25 PM   #9 
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You're so brave to do that! I admire you for going above and beyond for your fish. I hope she makes it! Keep us updated!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:33 PM   #10 
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Originally Posted by majesticstorm View Post
You're so brave to do that! I admire you for going above and beyond for your fish. I hope she makes it!
Ditto!!
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