Emergency- Betta Fin Completely Ripped Off

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by sophi, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Hey all, let me start this post by saying that I'm in complete shock as to what is happening with my poor betta right now. I just got home after being away for 3 months, and my betta had been suffering with a battered tail for quite some time. However, the second I got home, I was completely horrified... His entire top fin, aside from a small strand, was COMPLETELY GONE. My mom takes care of my tanks and literally either didn't notice it (which I fail to believe as this is something that literally can't be missed) or it had just happened within today somehow. I will post pictures tomorrow, right now he is resting and I don't want to disturb him, but I have absolutely no clue what I can even do for him. His entire fin is gone, and along his body, you can see bits of flesh sticking up. We have no idea how this happened or what he ripped his fin on.... he's been in this tank for over 3 years and never had anything like this happen.

    I'm just at a lose for words, he looks absolutely horrible... his tail is just about rotten down completely, his top fin has now been pulled off... and yet he is still somehow swimming and being his sweet self. I feel absolutely awful right now, I know it was a freak accident but I can't but help think I could have somehow prevented this. Ugh, I'm just speechless.

    Here's what I've done so far in the midst of panic. I took him out of the water and performed a quick procedure using Meruchrome on his tail and the top part of his missing fins. There is a large opening of flesh that I was trying to sanitize and make sure it wouldn't become infected. as well as was trying to help disinfect his rotten tail. I then did a 90% water change, dosed with aquarium salt, threw in an almond leaf, and also dosed a treatment of Kanaplex. For food, I'll be soaking his food in garlic guard and Vita-chem, and dose the Kanaplex every 2 days. Is there anything else I can do for him? He is acting normal for now, but... I just have the worst feeling that he isn't going to pull through this. He has barely any tail fin left because my mom wasn't proactive in treating it while I was away, and now his entire top fin is gone... and I worry how he will even be able to swim soon. I'd appreciate any advice at this point, I'm just in a state of shock right now. ):

    Edit; Forgot to post tank specs;

    8 Gallon heated/filtered tank
    Planted with driftwood, rocks, etc
    Water change weekly
    About 78-82F

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  2. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    I'm so sorry, it sounds like he has fin rot that's advanced into body rot. Kanaplex is a good strong antibiotic, so it was a good choice. Keep his water as close to spotless as you can without diluting the meds with too many water changes. Maybe a 25% before each new dose? I might also use a touch more kanaplex than the directions suggest. Depending on the kind of wood and it's placement in the tank, I might also take the driftwood out for now.

    Usually with fin rot I suggest adding live and frozen foods into their diet to help them heal and rebuild tissue, but you might want to put that off for now. You could risk introducing more contaminants while his immune system is already stressed.

    This might not be my place, but I don't think there's much chance that this happened overnight. If the fin was torn off, it would still be in the tank somewhere. Fin rot usually takes some time to work down to the body of the fish. It might just be a very aggressive strain, but for your fish's sake, I hope your mother just didn't keep up with his water changes.

    Good luck!

  3. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks so much for the reply, glad I'm on the right path. I will try to take out the driftwood but unfortunately, plants are tied to it and all of it is connected as one so I may risk ruining the tank and plants. I may just have to move him to my 10 gallon empty QT tank for safety reasons.

    Also, I think it was ripped because she literally told me she had never noticed it, plus there is one tiny strand of healthy fin left on the top. We also did find a large chunk of something transparent and fin-like on the bottom of the tank, so I really think he just ripped it off on something. My mom does weekly water changes, she has been doing this for 3 years and only now have we ever had a problem with this betta. His tail has been a battle and unfortunately I'm not here long enough at a time to keep fighting it. Was hoping 1-2 water changes per week would fix it, which is what my mom had been doing, but it seems to be more aggressive than I thought. She definitely didn't tell me how much worse it had gotten though, so I'm really trying to fix the damage caused... but this new fin thing, I feel like no one could have missed that. His tank is pretty densely decorated so I really do feel like it's been ripped out vs fin rot since it's a clean tear, plus there's a small strand left and we had found what looked like part of his fin on the bottom of the tank. /:

    I'll post pictures in the morning. What worries me is that there seems to be exposed body tissue at the top, which is where i gently dabbed on some meruchrome to hopefully prevent infection. It was slightly red and did look fresh, so hopefully I got there on time. Is there a suggestion as to how often I should do this meruchrome treatment? I know it's extremely stressful to them but I'm able to get it done within 1 minute so it's worth it if it helps... I also have methylene blue if that would help t through doing dips?

  4. TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    Pull any carbon out from the filter I think for the meds. Can't help with the other questions. Sorry, good luck.
  5. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    Poor guy - sounds like you are doing everything right for him. Try to take a deep breath and give him some time with the treatments.
    Apparently, Kanaplex can be combined with Furan 2 (nitrofurazone) which work together in severe cases like yours - if you have access to it. I'd see how he's doing after the first round of Kanaplex (combined with your other efforts) and then decided if you think it's necessary.
    If only we could hug our fish :(
  6. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    Re the Mercurchrome, you'll have to use your judgement on whether continuing to do that outweighs the stress it may be causing him. It might be a bit easier on him to do methylene blue baths, 15 min a day for a few days. That would 'medicate' all of him, including parts you can't see any damage on, vs. the dabbing. Just my opinion, but do what you feel works for you. Please keep us posted!
  7. TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    Note, Kanaplex will reduce his appetite somewhat. I used Kanaplex with Furan 2 for a suspected Columnaris outbreak and it sent my tank into a mini-cycle.. so watch for that as well if you go that route.
  8. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks, TexasGuppy - yes it's a strong combination. I should have warned OP about potential 'side effects'. It's only really recommended for very serious situations, like yours with Columnaris, and OP's severe fin/body rot. Use with caution!
  9. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Okay I'm glad to hear I'm on the right path. I just fed him 3 pellets soaked in Vitachem and Garlic Guard, which he ate up pretty quickly before retreating back down to rest again. I can pick up some frozen food if that's a better option, but I figured pellets would soak up more of the liquid vs. worms or brine shrimp. I also dosed his tank with 8 drops of Vitachem as well. I've turned his lights off just now so he can try and just rest, but spirit wise, he seems alright... though he definitely isn't his normal, wiggly self. He must be in such terrible pain right now... I can't even imagine what he's feeling.

    I attached a picture of his fin. As you can see, part of his flesh has been ripped off too and he has just a small amount of fin that wasn't ripped. I have no idea if it will ever regrow, seeing as the entire fin is literally gone. I can only hope he bounces back... We've had him for almost 4 years now and I just love him to death. Can't even think about losing him to such a stupid, freak accident like this. ):

    I'll continue the Kanaplex for the recommended dosage, then see if I need to escalate it with the Furan. In that case, would I do a second round of Kanaplex as well? The container says only a maximum of 3 doses should be used, so would I wait for maybe a week before re-dosing the Kanaplex + Furan?

    Attached Files:

  10. NaivaraNew MemberMember

    Is that the same betta in your profile picture?
  11. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    No that's one we had a few years ago, poor guy passed from Dropsy. He was a stunner though. The one pictured here has been with us for 4+ years now and was always in pristine condition. He got fin rot after I stupidly forgot to plug his filter back in after a water change and it was off for an entire week while we were on vacation. Came back and saw his tail beginning to rot, and it's been downhill since. Then the whole ripped off fin happens. /:
  12. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    I would do 2 rounds of the Kanaplex, along with the mercurchrome or m. blue baths. Between those and the Vitachem and small daily water changes, that should move things in the right direction. If you feel it's necessary think about a third round of Kanaplex plus Furan 2. Keep in mind it isn't going to heal overnight! As long as he's eating and his activity level improves, those are good signs. Right now the main thing is to prevent any infection or further deterioration where hes the most vulnerable. His colouration is beautiful by the way!!
  13. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Hmmm, so should the 2nd round of Kanaplex be immediately after the first dose? And if I don't see any improvements by the end of this first dose, should I go ahead and add Furan with the 2nd dosing? I'm assuming I need to do a water change before the 2nd round as well? Also, how often should I be doing the Meruchrome procedure? I don't want to over-stress him at this point since he's so vulnerable, but I'm so worried about infection. The top of his body where the flesh is all ripped up is a little red today which worries me... I was thinking the hydrogen peroxide would be more gentle and could be done daily, even dosing it in the tank if needed. I was going to net him just barely out of the water and just quickly swab the infected body area, and then pour a few drops onto his tail. Since hydrogen peroxide can go into his water, I figured that'd be the safest way of at the moment vs. doing Meruchrome everyday... What are ya'lls thoughts? Should I just swab/dab the infected areas, should I dose some into his tank? I just want to make sure the reddening doesn't worsen...
  14. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Also what worries me is, if his body/flesh is infected, can I still apply meruchrome or hydrogen peroxide to it as long as I stay away from his gills, or will that hurt and burn him? The flesh seems exposed at the top so I'm desperate to keep it from getting infected, but have read everywhere that you should never swab their bodies... Not sure what I can do.
  15. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    Can you post a new pic of him, so we can see the red area? I don't have any experience using peroxide, maybe someone else can answer that one.

    One round of Kanaplex is 2 - 3 doses, 48 hours apart. I would do the first round and see how he's doing before you do a second round or add the Furan to the mix. Do a partial water change in between those doses, right before adding the meds.

    Give the meds some time to work. Believe me, I know how hard it is to feel like you are doing everything possible for him, but it still doesn't feel like it's enough. :( He's a very lucky fishie to have such a dedicated caregiver. :)
  16. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Alrighty, I did the 2nd dose of Kanaplex earlier after seeing that his tail was a little bloodied still. I think I'm going to do another round of Meruchrome tomorrow on both his tail and upper body just to be on the safe side. That, or I plan on trying out the Hydrogen peroxide thing and just netting him barely out of the water and dabbing some on quickly, since it's okay if that gets in the water. That'd also be a lot less stressful than the Meruchrome, and at this point, I need him as relaxed as possible so he doesn't get worse. He is still eagerly eating his pellets soaked in Vitachem and Garlic Guard and today, he seemed much more active so I'm hoping that's a good sign. After looking at the top fin area, it actually doesn't look red anymore; I think it may have been the lighting that fooled me, so that's good that it doesn't physically appear worse.

    I've also ordered some stress coat and Furan 2, just incase he goes downhill or the wound becomes infected. After his 3rd dose of Kanaplex in 2 days, I may hold off on the medicines for a few days to see if any healing begins. If things get worse, I'll do a combination of the Kanaplex and Furan 2. Seeing how Kanaplex can be fed, would it be more effective to give him it that way vs. dosing in the water? I have Focus which helps bind it to the food, and he's still eating as of now. Any thoughts or things I should change?
  17. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds like you are doing great! I'm glad to hear it may not have been quite as red as you first thought.
    Re the Focus, I wouldn't worry to much about combining the Kanaplex with his food - I believe that is more for boosting its effectiveness when treating internal infections. Your guys issue is strictly external, so dosing the tank should be fine.
  18. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Just a quick update; My baby Norman seems to be doing good still. He's eating like a piglet and seems to be handling the medicine well. I went ahead and did the hydrogen peroxide thing yesterday and managed to quickly dab a little on his top fin area. However, seeing by his reaction, I knew it was incredibly painful so I mainly just dabbed it onto his fins and tail. The bloody patch I saw on his tail seems less blood and red today, and the top fin area isn't red still and remains normal colored. I don't see any changes as of now but at least there's no signs of infection popping up. I'll continue through with the 3rd dose of Kanaplex tomorrow after doing a small WC, and then begin daily methylene blue baths as well ( just found the bottle so I'll start that as part of the treatment plan). Once the 3rd round of Kanaplex is done, I'll do a full WC and just start doing small WC's every other day + the hydrogen peroxide treatment as needed. Hopefully the top part of his body begins to scar and heal in time, and I can only hope it doesn't get infected the second I go off medications. The slime coat and Furan 2 should be in today or tomorrow so I'll be dosing extra slime coat into his tank the minute it arrives. Hopefully my baby recovers, he's still so sweet and trusting after all that I've been doing to him the past few days. He's just a little sweetheart. ):
  19. AlgonquinWell Known MemberMember

    Glad to hear he's doing well. He's in great hands!!!
  20. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Well a little update; I finished the 3rd round of Kanaplex on Monday and basically just have been using clean water, almond leaf, and salt the past few days. The tips of his tail were blood red yesterday, however seem better today... but the top of his body is looking a little bit strange. I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is the start of a fungal infection, or if it's just dead skin falling off possibly? I've attached pictures below.
    He is still eating great, water is staying clean, and he's even feeling well enough to make a bubble nest. So I'm not sure if that top fin area is healing and what I see is maybe just dead tissue, or if it's become infected. What are your thoughts?

    I'm trying to avoid more medicines if I can but I do still have plenty of Kanaplex + Furan 2 on standby if needed... Just not sure what to do at this point.

    Attached Files:


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