So I posted a few days ago about little Ender's wormzilla poop. I have been treating him with fenbendazole + garlic guard + Seachem focus + brine shrimp. Yesterday was day 5 of medicated food, and the instructions indicate that 5 days is the treatment course.
He is still passing long, white, stringy poop. He is also slightly bloated. He has been in a hospital tank with epsom salts for 5 days now. I increased the ES dose last night with no reduction in bloating. He's behaving fairly normally, though he has been very timid in the hospital tank which I have chalked up to being pulled out of his home into this strange alien housing situation.
What would you do types of questions:
--Would you advise fasting him for the bloat or begin another medication regimen with medicated food and a different med (have general cure waiting as a backup)? I know he can't pass any parasites without pooping, and he can't poop without food, so I have been feeding him.
--Could the poop be anything other than parasites? Would you do a round of antibiotics next instead in case of bacteria?
History - He is behaving normally other than the white/stringy poop. No loss of color, etc. I generally know what I'm doing when things are going well, so his tank/housing are appropriately heated, filtered, changed regularly, etc. You can find details of his tanklife in my previous thread here http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=409866. Ender has never eaten pellets. He has always refused. So his diet consists of bits of Repashy meat pie (which is a pale cream color) and frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and live black worms. So I wouldn't expect his poop to be the normal "clay" color of my other pellet-consuming boys. However, I can't imagine his current fecal situation to be just normal.
Since we know for a fact he has internal parasites you are likely looking at a very large infestation. Remember that just because a parasite has died doesnt mean it will pass right away, you will expect him to take a whille to get his waste back to normal.
I suggest feeding him his meals and watch his bloating carefully, if he bloats badly after food scale his feedings back, but otherwise check the color of his waste. If his guests are gone soon his waste will go back to the same color as his pellets which is our sign his infestation is over. If his waste stays the same or his weight decreases then we can assume his infestation was so large that some managed to survive the treatment and he may need another round of medication to be worm free.
William, I must say that salt is not the answer to everything...in fact I've learned it's hardly the answer to anything. :/ Espom salt is useful, but only for certain things. I'm assuming you're talking about AQ salt, and that is really only helpful in cases of mild-severe fin rot, but even then people are iffy on it.
So, I did another round of treatment on Ender. I did 5 days of API General Cure. He is still behaving normally, no loss of color or appetite. I have noticed him every once in a while coughing his blackworms back out after eating them and then re-eating them (gross).
However, he is still having white stringy poop. I'm thinking the next course would be to treat him for a bacterial infection, but I'm afraid of putting his system through so many medications back to back. But then I worry if I stop treatment, whatever ails him that may be weakening from the meds may take hold in between meds.
He does not eat pellets. Never has. Is there any chance that his poop just looks white because of his diet? Probably not, but he is still behaving very normally. He eats brine shrimp, daphnia, live blackworms, bloodworms, and Repashy meat pie.
I have treated him with: epsom salts, fenbendazole, and API general cure - all delivered on bloodworms or brine shrimp along with garlic guard and Seachem's Focus. I can get any medication anyone may suggest, as I have several good and well-stocked LFSes.
A fish's waste will be the same color as his food in general so if you switch to a colored food for several days and watch to see if his waste changes to match you can see if there is a clear sign of anything going wrong (the daphnisa and other pale foodstuffs may be changing his waste, you are correct)
Can you post a new picture of him for us to look over? Has he perked up since the parasite medications or has he been oblivious through the whole thing?
Thank you as always for the good advice and responses.
I will see if I can get him to eat some more colored foods to see if that alters his poo. I was thinking of crushing up some pellets and mixing them with the Meat Pie, so I will try that.
He hasn't changed in behavior except for when I had him in the hospital tank, during which time he just hid. He never seemed "sick," just going by his behavior. The thing is, he has always been more skittish and less active than my other bettas. I kind of chalked it up to being a crowntail - I've never had one before, and I assume kind of like with dog or cat breeds that maybe different personality traits can be tied to different body/tail types? He has no trouble swimming around and always comes up to the glass when I go near the tank. His appetite is unchanged. He always eats well. He is, however, quite small and hasn't grown discernibly since I've had him. He had been at Petco for at least 3 weeks when I picked him up because I had seen him there several times. His tail is kind of funky-shaped and weirdly short and comb-like and he was very pale in his cup there, so he couldn't compete in looks with the other crowntails.
He totally freaks out at both the camera and my phone camera, so he's all stress stripey here. I had to just leave it at this because he got so pale and terrified. This is the best shot I could get of him this morning. I know it sucks, but it shows his profile. I'll try to take my time and get a better shot tonight with better lighting. The pale "stripe" along his undercarriage isn't there when he's calm.
His shape is pretty well defined in that picture even if his tail is a little on the stubby side of a crowntail. Since he had parasites he may have had a bit of growth stunting going on. He may or may not start growing the fin out once he is pest free, we can only wait and find out.
His belly paunch is pretty flat at this point which is good, watch his weight carefully too to see if he begins putting on some pounds which will be a good indicator. if he was used to having parasites his body wont be used to having its food all to itself.
Okay I need one last piece of advice. I haven't gotten a new picture because now Ender is hiding at the back of the tank. His stress stripes/paleness that I attributed to the camera freak-out have not gone away. He is suddenly hiding a lot, less active, and as I said pale. If I look closely, I can see stress stripes although they are not very prominent. He is not clamped or bloated. He is still passing small white stringy poop, but I haven't seen anything as big or alarming as the original long worm-like one. When he does swim, he does not seem to be having any trouble moving or going where he wants to go. He moves around from time to time, but spends a lot more time than usual just suspended in one spot - sometimes at the top of the water, sometimes at the bottom, sometimes just in the middle or on a plant. He's not laying on the bottom or on the plants but hovering just in one spot. His appetite is normal.
The most worrisome thing is that I have seen him start holding his body in an S shape. It's not constant. He seems to mostly straighten out as he is swimming. But when he comes to rest, the back half of his body curves. A little research has told me this could be: scoliosis, SBD, constipation, or fish TB. I think I can rule out scoliosis since it is a sudden onset and SBD because he is having no trouble swimming or balancing himself in the water. I don't believe he is constipated because he is passing waste and is not bloated. However, I have placed him back in a hospital tank with epsom salts and gave him medicated daphnia last night. I have started another round of fenbendazole, since that seemed to help his pooping the most.
I know there's no cure for fish TB. I do not think it is this because he has none of the other symptoms, but I know it's on the table because of the S shape. The other 2 fish in his tank (before I moved him to hospital) still have no signs of illness and are passing normal waste. I am, however, taking the normal universal precautions and keeping everything that touches his tank completely separate so there is no cross-contamination.
I'm not sure what the next course of treatment should be. I feel like I should treat him for bacteria after I finish this course of fenbendazole. That's the only thing I haven't tried. I do feel like he is weakening, and I know sometimes medications can be very harsh. However, I am at the point where I'm willing to be very aggressive with treatment because I feel like he is declining. His behavior was normal up until yesterday, but now he's clearly uncomfortable in some way that he wasn't showing before.
Thanks in advance for the help.
p.s. I wanted to add he has no lesions, loss of scales, odd patches on his body, etc.
Last edited by givemethatfish; 06-30-2014 at 09:53 AM.
Well it is a good call to give the parasite treatment a second try, hopefully this perks him up.
Now if you are willing to go aggressive and he doesnt perk up after his treatment here than the next thing to look for in an internal infection is to use an antibiotic. I personally use tetracycline but the US has other types available.
The S shape is usually either a desperate attempt to stay upright (SBD) or some form of spinal deformity or muscle spasm (TB and Scoliosis) So he may be having SBD but not necessarily be floating, merely tipping over a little as he tries to sit about.
For now I recommend also darkening his water up using indian almond leaf or failing that rooibos tea bags (decaf). The extra dark water will help to calm him down and hopefully bring down his stress striping.