Disease: Tuberculosis

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Disease: Tuberculosis Empty Disease: Tuberculosis

Post  Admin on Mon May 23, 2011 11:58 am



This is probably the deadliest of fish diseases, yet most people have never heard of it or know little to nothing about it. It can mimic a large variety of other diseases, making it hard to diagnosis. Only an autopsy can confirm mycobacteriosis. This is a slow blooming disease that may take up to 6 months to affect fish. Ultimately, the bacteria will attack the internal organs, especially liver and kidneys and cause organ failure (followed by sudden death). This is the only fish disease known to be contagious to man. The good news is, unless you have a very infected tank and stick your hands in there and have a big cut or a weak immune system, you will probably never catch it from sick fish. And even if you did, it will not kill you, mostly give you a nasty skin infection which may take a long time to heal. The bug does not like people much (it is a temperature thing), and seems to remain on the skin surface only. Also, just so you don't become all paranoid now, I must add that there has been VERY FEW documented cases of fish TB infecting people. And in most cases, as I said, the people either had a deep cut or immune system deficiency. The only reason I am mentioning all this is so you are aware of it. Don't worry, Mr. Betta is not out to get ya! LOL. Fish tuberculosis can be resident in water but has also been linked to live foods (researchers found cases of live foods infected by tuberculosis etc...), and is mainly passed by injection (eating contaminated live food, or eating a dead fish that was a carrier, etc...) Now you can understand the importance of staying away from fish stores where you can see a lot of dead fish! Pick your fish suppliers very carefully and favor a store or breeder that has high hygiene standards in their fish rooms or stores. As for me, as an added precaution, I have decided to not feed any live foods to my bettas (live worms etc), just to be on the safe side. ( However, microworms, vinegar eel as well as any home hatched brine shrimp are 100% safe and mycobacteriosis free Smile) ).

Affected fish will start deteriorating for no apparent reasons, losing weight (or not), showing deformities (or not), having raised scales (or not), fin and body rot (or not), gray lesions (or not), red patches inside the belly (or not). Sometimes they will seem fine one day and be oh so very DEAD the next. The one thing all the bettas affected by this terrible diseases have in common is that they will all (as in every single last one of them) die. So if you suddenly find a large number of dead fish in your tanks, and more die each day, there is a strong possibility you might be at war with fish tuberculosis (careful though, other bacterial infections can also have similar dramatic death rates).

I am sorry to break the news to you but you will NOT win that war because there is NO cure. Furthermore you will probably have to throw away all bowl, tank and fish gear because regular bleach does not kill this nasty bug. My advice? Stay away from live food and from sickly looking pet store bettas and as I said select your fish suppliers carefully. Oh, and do a lot of praying Wink.


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