Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bacterial Ulcers

Bacterial ulcers can be one of the most difficult Koi Fish problems to handle. Effectively treating the ulcers can take a lot of time and experience. However, the success rate can be very high, unlike bacterial gill diseases.

What is an ulcer?
An ulcer is a break in the skin extending through all the layers and is usually accompanied by inflammation. Without treatment, the ulcer slowly gets bigger. Many times, it is caused by opportunistic bacteria already in the pond or tank.

Ulcers can be caused by damage to the skin from parasites or chemiclas or from trama caused by breeding efforts or handling. If only one fish is affected, a health issue specific to that individual is probably the cause. If several fish are affected, there is likely an environmental issue. It is very important to establish the underlying cause to be able to effectively treat the bacterial infection.

It is hard to give a general treatment for bacterial ulcers because it really depends on the specific environment and circumstances of each case. If several fish are affected, it is important that they are examined to determine the full extent and spread of the infection. It is important that all of the infected fish are treated at the same time, otherwise, the untreated fish will continue to get worse and act as a reservoir of infection. Treatment can be in topical treatments, medicated food, bath treatments, or antibiotic injections. The aim should be to resolve the problem in 2-3 weeks. If there is not marked improvement during this time, the treatment plan needs to be reevaluated.  


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