What is dropsy?
Dropsy is a set of symptoms caused by any one of several goldfish illnesses.
Like most goldfish illnesses it is often poor water quality that leads to onset. Dropsy can be caused by viral infection, bacterial infection, parasitic infestation or cancer and commonly leads to kidney failure. Unfortunately goldfish are more prone to dropsy than other fish.
Unlike some goldfish illnesses, dropsy is not hard to diagnose.
Goldfish dropsy symptoms are:
- The belly is swollen (this can best be seen by looking at your fish from the top)
- Often the eyes are swollen too
- The goldfish's scales stick out like an open pine cone.
Because dropsy can be caused by any one of a number of goldfish illnesses, it is hard to treat. Secondly, when a goldfish has full-blown dropsy there is very little that can be done to save it. If caught early, treat for parasites and bacterial infection and check the quality of the water. However, if it is chronic dropsy caused by cancer, there is nothing that can be done. Internal organs will be damaged beyond repair and the goldfish should be disposed of humanely.
Bad water quality is the cause of many goldfish diseases, including dropsy. That's why it is important to change the water frequently. 25% of the water of your tank needs to be changed weekly. Use a siphon to draw the water off the bottom, taking feces and other debris with it.
Also feed your fish with variety and good quality food.