Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm and Tours | Kona Hawaii › Forums › Seahorse Life and Care › Sick female– GBD, I think
- This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 16 years ago by Pete Giwojna.
May 20, 2007 at 12:30 am #1206carrieincoloradoMember
My female seahorse Zoe has lost her appetite and her belly is swollen. I thought maybe she had a clutch of eggs and was feeling moody. I picked her up and moved her toward the feeding station (she was a little worried, but she\’s hitched on my finger before) and it was then I noticed that she has a hard time swimming and ended up floating back to the top of the tank. She had been hitched to the same spot since yesterday, and I tried target feeding her last night to no avail, so I know she has not eaten in almost 2 days. I have Diamox that I aquired right before I bought the seahorses, and since she doesn\’t want to eat I am setting up a tupperware QT tank that I used for the fry for a time. I guess I prefer that to a bucket, that way I can see her really well. The problem is that I don\’t have any live food for her to tempt her and we\’re having a cash flow problem right now, so I don\’t think I can order anything in. Besides, how fast could I really get it??
Post edited by: carrieincolorado, at: 2007/05/20 03:03May 20, 2007 at 12:33 am #3590carrieincoloradoGuest
PS, I have one LFS and one not so LFS, and neither of them sell live food, otherwise I would be on my way right now. I hatch BBS for the Pixies but it would take something like 10 days to raise them to a good size for her to eat. How long can she last without eating? If the Diamox makes her lose her appetite even more I can’t hope that she’ll be back on the frozen mysis for at least 4 days, right?
I added a red slime algae treatment to the tank, which made a bunch of bubbles, and I think that is why she is sick. I really feel horrible..May 20, 2007 at 7:15 am #3596jarabasGuest
I ordered some Snickin Shrimp from George at Seawater Express-
I got them the next day, Nevada to Boston. They aren’t cheap, but maybe not too pricey either.
JanMay 20, 2007 at 7:51 am #3598Pete GiwojnaGuest
I’m very sorry to hear about Zoe’s problems. If her abdomen is swollen and she is having problems with positive buoyancy, then it does indeed sound like a case of internal Gas Bubble Syndrome. It’s excellent that you had the foresight to acquire some Diamox before you even received the seahorses, and I would begin treating her in your hospital tank right away.
The current thinking is that the proper dosage for most seahorses is 250 mg of Diamox per 10 gallons (Dr. Martin Belli, Keith Gentry, and all). Crush the proper amount of the Diamox tablet into as fine a powder as possible (a blender may be helpful for this) and dissolve it in the QT tank at the dosage suggested above. Perform a 100% water change using freshly mixed saltwater that has been preadjusted to the same temperature, pH, and specific gravity as the treatment tank each day, and administer a fresh dose of the Diamox each day.
For best results, Dr. Martin Belli now suggests maintaining the Diamox treatments for up to 7-10 days or until all signs of positive buoyancy and GBS have cleared up.
That is a difficult dilemma regarding the live foods, but I would suggest that you try to obtain some of the post-larval white shrimp from Seawater Express in as timely a manner as possible. They provide bite-sized white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) in batches of anywhere from 50 to 1000 each for fairly economical prices. They are hardy, easy-to-keep and disease free. I recommend getting the smallest of the "Snicking Shrimp" they offer in order to entice Zoe to eat during the treatments:
Seawater Express Inc.
Organic Shrimp Farm / Hatchery
it may take a couple of days for the shrimp to arrive, but Zoe is unlikely to feed while her abdomen is so swollen anyway. Hopefully, the medication will have a chance to reduce the swelling and the live white shrimp will stimulate her appetite and get her eating again when she’s feeling a little better. I certainly hope so — your diligence and foresight in keeping the Diamox on hand in case it was ever needed deserves to be rewarded.
In the meantime, check your dissolved oxygen levels, Carrie. If they are higher than normal, it may indicate a possible problem with gas supersaturation, which would be relatively easy to address.
Best of luck treating Zoe’s problem with gas bubble syndrome, Carrie!
Pete GiwojnaMay 21, 2007 at 2:39 am #3604carrieincoloradoGuest
I just did the 1st 100% water change for Zoe, she looks worse today than yesterday, it seems like her tail is weak because she doesn’t really hitch, she’s just up at the top of the water. Her breathing is a little fast, but not too bad. I ordered 100 shrimp from Seawater Express, thank you both very much for that suggestion. He is sending them tomorrow, since today is Sunday, so by Tuesday I should have something to entice her. She refused to look at the food this morning. Her belly is still big, she doesn’t look pinched or anything, and I have put a boig handful of Chaeto from my fuge in there in case she might snick a pod or so. But that’s doubtful since she is just sitting at the top…. 🙁
So Pete, should I continue for the 7 days, then? I know she would feel better to go back in the big tank with her tankmates, and if she was eating I could target her with gutloaded shrimp. Assuming she gets her appetite back….May 21, 2007 at 8:13 pm #3609Pete GiwojnaGuest
It sounds like you are doing everything possible to help Zoe. It was a good thought to include a nice big clump of Chaetomorpha turf algae in the treatment tank so that she could snap up live ‘pods if she was so inclined and able to get them, and hopefully she will have an interest in the Snicking Shrimp when they arrive.
If she is able to eat the snicking shrimp, then you could consider returning her to the main tank and administering the Diamox orally by injecting it into the Snicking Shrimp. But otherwise I would continue the prolonged immersion in Diamox for as long as it takes to reduce the abdominal swelling and return her to normal buoyancy.
Internal Gas Bubble Syndrome (GBS) is is the most dangerous form of this affliction because any of the internal organs in the abdomen can be affected by the gas emboli that form in the seahorse’s blood and tissue, yet there are no outward indications of trouble at first, making it difficult to detect the problem until the condition is well advanced and serious damage has been done. The gas emboli occlude vessels and capillaries, thus restricting the blood flow to the affected area, which is what makes the internal form of GBS so insidious — irreversible damage can be done to vital organs or organ systems before sufficient excess gas builds up within the coelomic cavity or gas bladder to cause positive buoyancy and alert their keeper to the problem.
When treating internal GBS, the outcome often depends on which internal organs were involved and how soon the problem is detected. In my experience, the prognosis and chances for a successful outcome are much better when treatment is begun while the seahorse is still eating. Unfortunately, that can be difficult to accomplish when you’re dealing with Internal GBS because the seahorse remains largely asymptomatic until it becomes bloated and begins to float.
It’s possible that gas emboli have also migrated to the seahorse’s tail via the dorsal aorta and that that’s why she is no longer using her tail to hitch or grasp onto things right now. Now it’s just a matter of seeing if the problem was detected early enough for the Diamox to help and reduce the swelling and other symptoms.
Best of luck treating this difficult problem, Pat. Here’s hoping that the Diamox begins to have an effect and reverse some of her symptoms and that she has an interest in eating the live white shrimp when they arrive.
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