How To Treat Swim Bladder Disease in Goldfish

Never attempt to treat a goldfish from swim bladder disease if you are not even sure that it is suffering from this disease. You know that the pet has swim bladder disease if it keeps on floating on the surface or staying at the bottom and has a hard time going up, down, or any direction that it normally does. Fish with normal buoyancy but tends to stay in one place is probably suffering from a different disease. Once you are sure that it’s a swim bladder disease, and then start to treat the goldfish.

  • Learning the Cause of Swim Bladder Disease: It is very important to target the root cause of the disease before trying to treat the gold fish. Below are the usual causes of this disease on goldfish and other ornamental fishes:
    • Diet. Fish foods should be prepared as instructed by the manufacturer or the veterinarian. Most goldfish pets get the disease by eating dry foods. Although the foods have stayed in the water, they are still dry and could expand inside the fish’s bladder. Thus, abnormal buoyancy happens.
    • Anatomy. Among the ornamental fishes, goldfish is among those so-called globoid-shaped fishes. Its natural anatomy makes it at higher risk of suffering from swim bladder disease. Your pet’s guts are squashed up, making its swim bladder function abnormally at times.
    • Bacterial infection. Dirty tank water can put the goldfish at higher risk of bacterial infection. This is unlikely the cause, though, because only a few pieces of evidence can prove this. However, bacterial infection is true in rare cases.
    • Virus. Certain viruses attack the goldfish’s epithelium. This causes swelling of the part. So, the epithelium becomes too thick for the pet. Gas cannot pass in and out of the body, so, the gas is trapped and abnormal buoyancy occurs.
  • Treating Swim Bladder Disease in Goldfish: As the old saying goes, “prevention is always the best cure.” But sometimes, you just can’t do any prevention tips at this time. Treat the goldfish immediately by one or more of the following ways:
    • Feed the goldfish with peas. A Veterinary Medicine professor at North Carolina State College has been doing this to treat swim bladder disease with impressive success rates. The pea is believed to destroy impaction inside the bladder, and in turn, helps the fish swim normally. It may not be backed-up with study yet. But at least, it is worth a try. Simply thaw two peas, remove the hard coating, and feed them to the goldfish.
    • Don’t feed the goldfish. It’s time for the fish to go fasting for at least three to up to four days. Fasting alone is already a good remedy for breaking up impaction. Don’t worry if your goldfish becomes hungry. It’s needed, anyway, and the pet can survive even up to a 10 days without eating anything.
    • Stick a needle in the goldfish’s swim bladder. This can be scary if a common Joe will do this. You’ll literally stick a needle into the bladder to let out some air. If you are afraid to do this, then better let a veterinarian do the treatment.

If none of these helped, then better bring the goldfish to the nearest veterinarian. The case might not be as simple as the common swim bladder disease. Maybe the goldfish needs major surgery to remove the problem part of the swim bladder. For now, you can’t do anything but to assume until the doctor tells you what is really happening to your pet.


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