Help Betta With A Wound/ulcer That Won't Heal.

KelRednip

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Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 24
How long has the tank been running? 2 years just over.
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 28oC
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) One Betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Twice a, week
How much of the water do you change? 20%
What do you use to treat your water? Seachem Primw
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Vacume once a week

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? ApI test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10-15
pH: 7-7.5

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day, fast once a week.
How much do you feed your fish? Small pinch
What brand of food do you feed your fish?fish science, bug bites
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?both mainly frozen, dried twice a week

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 1.5 years.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Week ago.
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Wound/ulcer that's not improving.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Waterlife Myxazin
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? No

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
My betta has a wound/ulcer on his side that's not healing & is getting g gradually worse rather than better.
He had a cut (or what I thought was a cut) in the same place around 8 weeks ago, he went clamped & off his food. I treated by tubbing him with meth blue & daily water changes. He healed up fine & quickly.
Last week I noticed that the area looked a little rough, though nothing of it thinking he'd scraped himself. But this week I noticed it had opened & on Thurs it had some fuzz on the wound.
I moved him to my filterless hospital tank (I use prime & change 50% every 48 hrs) & he's into day three off Waterlife Myxazin but its getting bigger & it seems to be the dead scales around it that has the fuzz not the wound.
He's currently acting fine & eating well.
Any advice where to go if he's doesn't improve after Myxazin?
I have access to most recommended meds.
I have tried to get pics but he won't stay still & I can't get a video to upload.
Thanks & sorry for the essay!
 

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Repolie

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Sores and ulcers are usually caused by an infection of gram negative bacteria.

I suggest you try treating Furan 2 or Kanaplex if there's no improvement because both medications are broad spectrum antibiotics which makes them effective. Continue to keep the water clean to promote the healing process.
 
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KelRednip

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Repolie said:
I suggest you try treating Furan 2 or Kanaplex if there's no improvement because both medications are broad spectrum antibiotics which makes them effective. Continue to keep the water clean to promote the healing process.
Thank you.
I have Kanaolex, bought it from US before I knew I shouldn't (from the UK where we don't have access.).
Fingers crossed I can get this guy better, he's the happiest boy I've had.

UPDATE.
Just dosed that third dose of Kanaplex last night.
No change It’s still progressing at quite a quick pace, it’s gone under & just starting to go up his other side. I though we’d turned a corner but nope.
Do I keep going for another three doses?
Do I try to get a different antibiotic like Neoplex? I have Metrolex but that reads like it’s not appropriate.
I’ve also got Sera Baktour but this was more for if I could get it to stop progressing.
Anymore help would be great.
 

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At this point you'll have to be patient and hope for the best. Medication doesn't work in one day, it often take several doses as well as following the directions to a "t".

When your sick with a common cold you take drugs to help you feel better. Drugs won't get rid of the common cold in 4 hours, it takes a matter of days or weeks.
 

lilirose

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Please stick with the meds you're using and don't switch to another midstream. As long as he's eating and acting normally, you have a decent chance that he'll get better, but it will take time- and switching meds after two or three days isn't giving it time. I'm not sure of the directions for Kanaplex (also illegal where I live) but remember that, not only do you need to give the meds time to work, but also that healing from damage like that won't happen overnight.

It's really hard to be patient when your Betta is ill, but patience is what is needed here.
 
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KelRednip

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Thanks guys. His last dose is up today.
I'm going to do a second dose back to back.which Seachem recommended & then it's a week's rest before re assessing.
Its just distressing seeing him literally being eaten away.
He's still eating albeit a little less & a little less acrive but to be honest he must feel miserable with the wound & antibiotics.
 

lilirose

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KelRednip said:
Thanks guys. His last dose is up today.
I'm going to do a second dose back to back.which Seachem recommended & then it's a week's rest before re assessing.
Its just distressing seeing him literally being eaten away.
He's still eating albeit a little less & a little less acrive but to be honest he must feel miserable with the wound & antibiotics.
Good luck! Please keep us updated. One idea is to use your phone to grab a photo every single day... That will make it easier to see progress over time. Sorry if you've already thought of that.

If he takes a turn for the worse, then it's time to consider other actions.
 
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KelRednip

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lilirose said:
Good luck! Please keep us updated. One idea is to use your phone to grab a photo every single day... That will make it easier to see progress over time. Sorry if you've already thought of that.

If he takes a turn for the worse, then it's time to consider other actions.
Thanks I will keep updating.
He was hiding all day in his cave yesterday but he’s out & about acting normal today. I fact it’s hard to get a pic of him today as he’s dancing all over.
 

lilirose

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Dancing all over is a great sign, unless he's acting itchy and rubbing against things. But actively swimming usually indicates improvement!

I find that if I can't get things to hold still enough for a photo, a short video does the trick.
 
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KelRednip

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lilirose said:
Good luck! Please keep us updated.
Back with an update.
He's done two rounds of kanaolex & we still have fuzz. It seems to be still progressing but slower than in the beginning, it doesn't look like it but I think that's because the fin has gone.
We are on the second day of a weeks rest.
He's still eating, not very active but is swimming & getting air fine. He will twitch occasionally, I assume the wound is irritating him.
Where to I go from here?
I have no idea if it looks like it's healing, there's new white patches in the cut (I've attached pics)
I have Neoplex that's arrived & various other non antibiotics meds (UK).
 

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lilirose

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I can't see your photo- there's an issue with the forum at the moment, so it's not your fault.

Maybe step up the water changes a bit, try 50% three times a week? I often preach that frequent water changes will cure almost any Betta illness, even when water parameters look fine. I didn't say that to you before as it was pretty clear that there's a fungus happening here. I'm starting to wonder if you have bacteria and fungus...in which case I'm afraid all I can advise is more water changes. I'm not sure about the wisdom of using an antibiotic when there is a fungus present. Of course I'm not a veterinarian. I know in humans it's not a good idea as antibiotics can allow fungus to thrive.

The twitchiness you're describing is probably itching.

The good news is that he's eating and he's not getting worse. This is an extremely good sign- I know it doesn't feel like it when your pet is still ill, but I have seen so very many cases where Bettas get sick and they just get worse and worse no matter what is tried.

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful but you have my support.
 
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KelRednip

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Thanks for your reply. My current water change is 100% every other day using Prime.
The fuzz looks like it’s only on dead tissue, though I can’t be 100%. I’m happy the spread has slowed down, though I’ve noticed a new red spot tonight.
It’s a lot of work but he’s worth it. I’ve been treating the bacterial route, maybe after a break I’ll try something for the fungus but milder.
I was advised esha 2000/Myxazin or Paraguard to begin with but chose Kanaplex as it was just spreading so fast, maybe now one of those would be useful?
I’m very wary of using antibiotics when they’re not needed.
I am off to look into the fungal side of things.
 

lilirose

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Wow, okay, after looking at your photos (I can see them now!), I'm going to change my judgement. I'm thinking parasite and bacteria, not fungus, especially as it is not really better after antifungal treatment. And that looks...a lot worse than it did before, at least to me...it went from a sore spot to a gaping wound.

I am forever telling people on this forum not to panic. But if this were my fish I'd be throwing everything possible at it.

Also, if there is activated charcoal in the filter you use, and you haven't already removed it (the charcoal), you should do. It will remove the medicine from the water. I think I'd actually recommend installing a cheap sponge filter for the time being- you know the black kind that you attach to an air pump, that most people think are ugly? You can get one for less than £5 on Amazon. Normally I'd advise against removing the old filter completely, because that's where the beneficial bacteria live, but if you're treating with antibiotics, likely the beneficial bacteria are already gone. Keep a very close eye on your water parameters (test every day for now) and do a 50% water change any time you see any changes, even if it's "only" nitrates.

But you still should not panic. The fact that he's eating and swimming says there is still reason to hope. I'd say his colour also doesn't look bad, but he's white, so it'd be hard to tell, haha- but he doesn't have the "miserable dying Betta" look I've seen far too often. He's not my fish and I don't see him every day, so you might disagree and I would yield to your judgement.

Please continue to keep us up to date.
 

AvalancheDave

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It looks like Saprolegnia is a secondary infection. The rest looks bacterial. I would try trimethoprim-suflathoxamezole or ciprofloxacin.

Might end up cheaper in the long run to find a vet and get injectable antibiotics.
 
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KelRednip

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AvalancheDave said:
It looks like Saprolegnia is a secondary infection. The rest looks bacterial. I would try trimethoprim-suflathoxamezole or ciprofloxacin.

Might end up cheaper in the long run to find a vet and get injectable antibiotics.
I actually read about that last night.
My problem is I'm in the UK where we aren't allowed antibiotics (though I have managed to get Kanaplex, Metroplex and Neoplex from US) & hard to find a vet that deals in fish but I will have a look. Thank you.

lilirose said:
Wow, okay, after looking at your photos (I can see them now!), I'm going to change my judgement. I'm thinking parasite and bacteria, not fungus, especially as it is not really better after antifungal treatment. And that looks...a lot worse than it did before, at least to me...it went from a sore spot to a gaping wound.

I am forever telling people on this forum not to panic. But if this were my fish I'd be throwing everything possible at it.

Also, if there is activated charcoal in the filter you use, and you haven't already removed it (the charcoal), you should do. It will remove the medicine from the water. I think I'd actually recommend installing a cheap sponge filter for the time being- you know the black kind that you attach to an air pump, that most people think are ugly? You can get one for less than £5 on Amazon. Normally I'd advise against removing the old filter completely, because that's where the beneficial bacteria live, but if you're treating with antibiotics, likely the beneficial bacteria are already gone. Keep a very close eye on your water parameters (test every day for now) and do a 50% water change any time you see any changes, even if it's "only" nitrates.

But you still should not panic. The fact that he's eating and swimming says there is still reason to hope. I'd say his colour also doesn't look bad, but he's white, so it'd be hard to tell, haha- but he doesn't have the "miserable dying Betta" look I've seen far too often. He's not my fish and I don't see him every day, so you might disagree and I would yield to your judgement.

Please continue to keep us up to date.
I run sponge filters so I have spare ones & air pumps.
I took his normal tank down, Inc filter to steralise it. Plus I soak all equipment used so I'm not cross contaminating.
Yeah he looks nothing like any previous betta, I've had when poorly. I just want to try & stop it speeding near his vital organs.
As long as he's looking happy & OK to keep fighting, I'll spend the money & keep going.
I'm also realistic but I'd like to know I've done everything I possibly can. I have Aqua Sed just incase.
Thank you for all your help you've been great!
 

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I don't think the first picture in your second picture post is a good photo. It looks like the wound has separated from his body; however, I think it is because of the camera angle rather than his current status. Either way, your second set of two pictures is quite concerning. The betta appears to be getting worse, and I am thinking that he might be getting caught in an ornament again since the first post.

You said that previously, your betta healed on his own with your treatment and without antibiotics. If it is the same thing, then he doesn't need antibiotics. He needs just to be clear from any new bacteria while he heals on his own. A long term bacteriostatic antibiotic that keeps any new bacteria in check could help with that whereas a short term bactericidal or short term aminoglycosides, such as kanaplex, would be more helpful with with killing any flesh eating bacteria if there is any rather than getting his wound from an ornament.

For the white stuff growing on your betta, aquarium salt could get rid of it if it is fungas although another poster thinks it isn't fungus, but I think that is because of the camera angle, like I mentioned.

It is unfortunate that UK residents don't have more readily access to antibiotics. I am not sure about neoplex, but I think it can be used as a long term aminoglycosides and can be used up to 3 weeks to keep bacteria in check as your betta heals on its own if he doesn't have flesh eating bacteria. If he doesn't have a flesh eating bacteria, then I am talking about using an antibiotic, such as neoplex, just to keep new bacteria from forming or producing any more as he heals on his own.

So in summary, based on what you have, one course of treatment you could do is long term just neoplex and just methylene blue that you said you have as your betta heals on his own. In the intermediate term, you could also use some aquarium salt to get rid of his fungas.

Again though, one reason he might not be healing or might be getting worse is because there is an ornament that is still causing problems, which is what I am thinking.
 

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I didn't think to ask about what's in his tank as far as decor. I always do a "snag test" for a Betta- take a nylon stocking or pair of tights (pantyhose to any Americans reading along) and run the nylon all over the ornaments in the tank, any spot that the Betta can touch. Anything that snags the stocking, even a little bit, is not Betta safe. Hopefully you haven't overlooked anything like that.
 
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KelRednip

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Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.
Ornament wise he has the coconut hammock & a coconut cave. They're all smooth, a woman on Facebook makes them for bettas.
I will retest them again to rule them out as they do have some silicone on them.

This fish has had issues since I bought him really. He flashes a lot on & off so the first time this happened I assumed he'd cut himself, then the cut went red & he got a tiny red mark near his tail. I tubbed him did 100% changes everyday & kept him in meth blue till he healed which was about a week.
This was about 2months ago.
Regarding the flashing, he's been wormed, antI flukes, checking pH is stable 7-7.5, even tried a suggested mix of tap & RO water, he gets two to 20-30% water changes a week to stop any pH swings (shouldn't be bust just incase). He has never stopped in the 11months I've had him, **** do it less but not stop.
Now this has floored me, by far the hardest thing I've came up against.

If I use the neoplex would I do daily meth blue baths? I assume you can't use both in the water.
He's also in a filterless hospital tank, do you just re dose the neoplex after every change, it says redose every 6 (not sure I don't have the box, I'm at work) days but obviously with no filter that can't be done?

Couple more photos from yesterday.
I'll take the hammock out to be safe. He has other resting places. They're not great as his pecs get in the way. IMG_20190617_194201.jpg IMG_20190617_194141.jpg
 

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Flukes are difficult to treat. Noga's book lists nearly 20 different treatments and notes that you may have to try many of them before you find something that works.

Worms are less tricky to treat but not that likely to cause flashing.

I also wouldn't rule out an external parasite.

It might be nice to have skin scrapes and gill biopsies examined under a microscope by a vet.
 

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Okay, those pictures make the issue look a bit less severe than the others- in the pics yesterday, it looked to me like a deep gouge and that his insides were about to fall out!

Silicone is very smooth and soft, I can't see it causing the issue. Coconut can be rough, however. I "snag test" items even when they are sold for Bettas, as you never know when something might have been missed.

You say he has other resting places- that implies that there are other items in the tank that you haven't mentioned? Also you said you thought he had cut himself- but if there is nothing sharp in the tank, how could that be?

Please note that I'm not implying that you should remove everything from his tank as this would stress him out more. He needs places to hide and rest. The snag test is quite easy and simple and can be done on items that are wet (meaning, you can take an item out of the tank, snag test it, then put it back).

Forgive me for the extensive questioning, I'm only trying to help you figure this out.
 
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KelRednip

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It's fine I'll happily answer anything.
He has a stick on soft plastic betta leaf & two silk fears that are fine silk strands.
I say cut simply bacause he flashes & I put two & two together but could be that the original sore hadn't fully healed & came back.
Yes that other picture makes it look bad, bit I am concern that we are getting close to his insides.
AvalancheDave said:
Flukes are difficult to treat. Noga's book lists nearly 20 different treatments
Wow Ive tried two so far!
 

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I'm thinking "fears" is meant to be "plants"? Are you certain there are no wires or sharp parts in them?

Flashing is usually indicative of an itch, though, which brings us back to square one.

He's missing a lot of scales for sure- but as long as he's eating and swimming, he has a good chance of recovery.
 
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KelRednip

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Fearns that was, nope no wires on them.

Well his original flashing was the Gill area, hench why I treated for flukes. He stopped for a few months then started again randomly.
The recent flashing is on the wound area, so I'm assuming that's itching him.
I'm hoping to get the wound sorted & then reassess the original flashing if he still does it.
He's keeping me on my toes that's for sure l, my other boys will be feeling neglected at the is stage.
 

ap4lmtree

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KelRednip said:
If I use the neoplex would I do daily meth blue baths? I assume you can't use both in the water.
He's also in a filterless hospital tank, do you just re dose the neoplex after every change, it says redose every 6 (not sure I don't have the box, I'm at work) days but obviously with no filter that can't be done?
Yeah, I meant using neoplex as something to prevent bacteria. I didn't mean it would help heal the wound other than prevent any bacteria from attacking the wound while the betta heals on his own. I am not sure if it is the best for that, but I think it is good because you can use it long term to do that whereas with kanaplex you can use only short term. You would redose neoplex every water change if the water change is 100% and less than 6 days.

If you are not using a filter, but are doing only 30% water changes, then maybe your tank is too big rather than 2.5g or less. You said you do this to prevent pH fluctuation. Such fluctuation would happen if you do use RO water, which doesn't have calcium and other buffers to stabilize the water. I personally don't use with RO water because it takes so much tweaking with buffers and ph.

Because he itches it, I am not sure if he has something else now, but you said you think it is because the wound itself itches him. If you say he has had gill flukes, most people begin with prazipro as their first line of treatment for flukes or flashing.

The methylene blue would act as a redox to make his cells more optimal for taking in oxygen. Other than a redox, I am not so sure it is effective at other things, such as binding to bacteria or parasites. You can use it as a bath or in the main tank. For temporary baths, you can do double dose as you watch the fish.

I think the main thing is figuring out how he got the cut though. What about the edges of the screw in that hammock in your picture? If not, then I don't know what else it could be.

In addition to this, in your third set of pictures, it does look like the bottom part of the wound is healing or closing up.
 
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He's not so good tonight breathing is a bit fast & frequent going for air. Only ate a small amount too. I think the bottom part is now getting very very close to his insides. The original wound on his side looks not as bad.
I've put in some meth blue & crossed my fingers.
His main tank is now stripped & being thoroughly cleaned. I'll be starting from scratch again with decor.
The edge of the screw could be a possibility! I'll have a feel & see what its like.

Regarding the cut, the first time it happened it looked like a cut then it healed over fine after using meth blue.
The second time it started in the same area but with slightly raised scales. I thought he'd flashed & scraped himself it just got worse rapidly.

I quit using the RO water mix after I finished it as I was seeing no improvement at all.

Ive heard prazipro recommended alot, I used eshas one (name escapes me) but I think it's prazi, could be wrong & NT Lbs anti-fluke.
The small regular changes were recommended to me to try but obviously they haven't worked either but obviously is good for the water quality.
His usual tank is/was filtered its just the hospital tank that I run unfiltered as my usual go to med is meth blue.

Thanks for the replies.
 

ap4lmtree

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KelRednip said:
He's not so good tonight breathing is a bit fast & frequent going for air. Only ate a small amount too. I think the bottom part is now getting very very close to his insides. The original wound on his side looks not as bad.
If he is having really difficult time, then it might be best to stop using all medications completely for a while.
 
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KelRednip

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I've gone down & he's still with us. Not any worse which is a surprise. He's just in clean water at the min with some Indian Almond Leaf. Little less fuzz today. The test is will he eat later.
 

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One or two days without food or with little food are not a huge problem. You're looking for long term trends at this point when it comes to feeding.
 
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KelRednip

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He ate a couple of granules.
He's swimming arounnd a little more today & not hiding away. Still breathing a bit hard.
All the fuzz is gone now, there is a new white line appeared in the wound which I hope is a sign of new growth, probably too early to tell but I still hope! I really need a better camera.
IMG_20190619_145229.jpg
 

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That is excellent news. I hope one day you'll be able to show us what he looks like when he's healthy, he looks like a gorgeous fish.
 
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KelRednip

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Fingers crossed, I know how fast things can turn.
He’s a beautiful boy when he’s well & very happy. Shame his ears will never be the same but I’ll take tatty ears over the alternative any day.
 

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Fins will grow back- I've seen fish who had only stumps left due to fin rot end up with normal, lovely, flowing fins once they heal. It just takes time.
 

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Just for future reference, Furan-2 has done wonders for me and my fish that have suffered any body wounds. If there is visible body damage that will not heal well or fast on its own I use Furan-2 for 6 days, total of 3 doses, and they are good as new. I have had fish that I thought were beyond help and Furan-2 brought them back even better than before. I would always keep some on hand just in case. Good luck!
 

lilirose

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Meliodas said:
Just for future reference, Furan-2 has done wonders for me and my fish that have suffered any body wounds. If there is visible body damage that will not heal well or fast on its own I use Furan-2 for 6 days, total of 3 doses, and they are good as new. I have had fish that I thought were beyond help and Furan-2 brought them back even better than before. I would always keep some on hand just in case. Good luck!
Unfortunately, the product you mention is illegal for sale in the UK, where the OP lives, as it's an antibiotic. This info might be useful to anyone in the US who reads this post, though.
 
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KelRednip

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Albus decided to give up fighting tonight.
I'm heartbroken.
Honestly thank you to everyone who's given advice on here, you have all been fantastic & I really appreciate it.

Screenshot_20190620_204808.jpg Screenshot_20190620_204647.jpg
 

lilirose

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I'm so sorry for your loss. He was really beautiful. Hope we will see you here again one day.
 

ap4lmtree

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You took care of him for 1.5 years, which is longer than most my betta fishes have lived. Within the last two years, I have had 13 bettas -- multiple at a time, including 4 right now --, so I have had 9 have died within the last two years. Your betta lived longer than almost all my 9, so you treated him well and he lived a long life compared me and mine at least.

Some of my bettas had very unique personalities that it is difficult if not impossible to find even fragments in other betta fish. I am grateful that I have smartphone pictures and videos to help me remember my time with them though.

I'm sorry that he could not be saved and he did not survive. I was rooting for him, and I had hoped he would make it.
 
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KelRednip

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Thank you!
I have one boy who I've currently had for 2years 4months, so he'll be roughly just over 2 1/2, he's from a pet shop so no idea his age who I got him. He's a proper old boy now rests most of the day & you have to give him time to wake up befire feeding him.
I currently keep 5 well 4 now, all pets no breeding. All have different personalities.
Albus was my Mr Happy & would always greet me, so I'll miss that.
 

lilirose

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KelRednip said:
Thank you!
I have one boy who I've currently had for 2years 4months, so he'll be roughly just over 2 1/2, he's from a pet shop so no idea his age who I got him. He's a proper old boy now rests most of the day & you have to give him time to wake up befire feeding him.
I currently keep 5 well 4 now, all pets no breeding. All have different personalities.
Albus was my Mr Happy & would always greet me, so I'll miss that.
I'm so glad to hear that he wasn't your only Betta. They all have unique personalities, like you said, and cannot be replaced- but hopefully the others will help keep your spirits up.
 

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