Re:Help white tail

Pete Giwojna

Dear Brad:

It’s good to hear that your seahorse is still hanging in there — without treatment, the affliction would have been fatal by now. Tail rot is a stubborn infection and highly contagious, so I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to discontinue the treatments and return the affected seahorse to your main tank with the rest of the herd.

It’s encouraging that your seahorse is still eating, and I can tell you that survivors of tail rot often end up missing the last few segments from their tail after the infected portion drops off. If you have halted the progress of the infection, that’s a very good sign. But for best results, tail rot should be treated for two consecutive weeks (Giwojna, Oct. 2003). In severe cases, the infected seahorse often requires a third round of treatments, thus completing a 21-day treatment regimen (Giwojna, Oct. 2003). It’s usually best to err on the side of caution with tail rot to avoid relapses, reinfection, or they risk of spreading the disease.

Since the seahorse seems to be responding well to the medications you have chosen, I would continue the treatments for at least another week. Before it was discontinued, tail rot often responded well to combination medications such as Paragon II, and the medications you have chosen fall in that same category. Furan2 is a good combo medication that consist of two nitrofuran antibiotics (nitrofurazone and furazolidone) plus good old methylene blue. That gives it both bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties, and makes it active against various gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Maracyn-Two is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that’s effective against gram-negative bacteria such as the pathogens that cause tail rot. I would keep up the treatments until the wounded appearance of the tail has healed and the seahorse is eating frozen Mysis enriched with Vibrance again so that it is ingesting a daily does the beta-glucan to boost its immune system and promote rapid healing.

Another indication that you have halted the progress of the infection and that healing is occurring is when the seahorse begins to use the remainder of its tail to grasp things and hitch normally again. It’s a positive development when the affected seahorse stops acting as if its tail is tender and too sensitive to grasp things with.

Also, when you are confident the seahorse has recovered fully and are ready to return it to the main tank, I would apply Biobandage to the affected portion of its tail once a day for several days after the seahorse is reintroduced to the rest of the herd as an added precaution. Biobandage is a combination of neomycin, a vitamin complex, and unique polymers that form a sort of "biological bandage" that binds the medications to the wound, thus helping to prevent infection and promote rapid healing. It can be obtained online from the following vendor:

Running your ultimate sterilizer on the main tank is also a good preventative measure.

Best of luck resolving your seahorse’s tale problem once and for all, Brad. Here’s hoping he makes a complete recovery.

Pete Giwojna

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