Dojo Loach Tumor


I recently received a golden dojo loach from my friend yesterday. This loach is 5 years old and 8" long. I've noticed that it's had a tumor for a while now, but now it's cut open. It looks like it ruptured or something. It was living with only a pleco of the same size. They never fought, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to help the loach. It appears as if he has a cyst on his face now. I don't want him to die, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to possibly ease his pain. Any ideas?

Here are some pictures of him (he's in my tank now).

Full body

Open tumor (it looks like it's healing)

Other side (more exposed)

Tail (seems like it's skinny)

Face (with the cyst)


All that I can offer is that some fish seem to develop benign tumours, in which case the damage is mostly cosmetic, and really the only available treatment would be pristine water, and perhaps a broad spectrum antibiotic if any signs of opportunistic infection appear.
Should the tumour be malignant, which only time or a biopsy will tell, I would, with the greatest respect, suggest euthanasia.
I know that that does sounds harsh, but I truly believe it a kindness.
On a brighten note, most piscine tumours seem to be benign in my experience, in which case you only need watch that it doesn't grow to the extent that pain becomes an issue.
I believe that some parasites can also mimic a tumour, so you might wish to look that, but whether you wish to, or are able to preform minor surgery you must determine, and at the end of the day do what is best for the fishes' comfort, even if that is sometimes hard to take. Best of luck, rick
A quick thought after taking a second look--the growth on the body looks almost like an infected injury, so trying an aggressive antibiotic regimen might be worth a try, as an infection could also cause swelling. Perhaps you could get a history from the guy you got him from.
The cyst under the eye I would not worry too much about unless it grows to an unmanageable size.


The wound appeared after I last saw the fish a month ago. The fish just had the tumor, no open wounds or cyst. I think he got stuck in a decoration because my friend said that he "had to pry him out in order to save him." I'm not sure if that's how the loach obtained the injury, but it definitely wasn't there previously. Apparently, the growth started out small and has been growing over years. Upon examining and observing the fish, I believe that it's just a tumor. It seems to be healing, however, and hopefully it's benign. He doesn't appear to be in pain, but he loves exploring the plants and crevices that are in his new tank. I'm hoping that the cyst will shrink and that it was just a random flare up, but I'm not sure. I've thought about euthanizing him, but I just wanted to give him a chance first and let him adapt to the tank. Maybe what he needed was pristine water. He was living in water that was dirt brown and I couldn't even see him, not even the pleco! Pristine water will definitely do his wound some good. He's currently in a tank being treated by QuICK Cure, but I'm wondering if I should add an extra dose of Aqua Safe or Stress Coat as well. Thoughts?

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