Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Betta Fish Disease: Dropsy

Dropsy is a very common, very fatal disease that attacks the betta fish's internal organs. Very little is known about dropsy, except that it causes kidney failure. No one knows what causes dropsy, but here is what we do know.
Dropsy is very easy to diagnose in a betta fish. Your betta fish will have raised scales that look like tiny ridges along his body. This is easiest to see from the top of the fish. Your betta will also be very swollen in it's stomach region. This is due to fluids building up under the skin. Essentially, your betta fish will look like a pine cone.
Unfortunately there is no cure for dropsy. In very rare cases, Tetracylene, Kanacyn, broad spectrum anti-biotics, and other betta medicines have been known to work, but usually by the time symptoms appear the internal organs have been too damaged. Any betta exhibiting signs of dropsy should be immediately isolated. Epsom salts may be added to your betta's water to make him more comfortable, as Epsom salts will lower the amount of fluid retention, but this is not a cure. If your betta fish does have dropsy, it will usually die in about five days, although it has been known to take up to fifteen days. If your betta does show dropsy symptoms, begin treatment immediately.
Although we don't know what causes dropsy, there have been some suggestions that live food is linked to dropsy. Feeding your fish non-live food may prevent your betta from ever getting dropsy. Also, warm, clean water and a nutritious diet is essential to a betta fish's health and will prevent most diseases.