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 How to Prevent and Treat Popeye?

How to Prevent and Treat Popeye?

Pop-eye, or exophthalmia, is a condition in which the eye of the fish is swollen and protrudes abnormally from the eye socket. It can affect a single eye or both. This can indicate an underlying disease or disorder and should be investigated immediately

1.What causes Popeye in aquarium fish?

Pop-eye is most likely a symptom of an underlying disorder rather than being a disease itself.

There could be many causes for popeye.

Physical injury

If only one eye is affected, it is most likely to be caused by physical injury which is a result of an infight with another fish or scraping the eye against a harsh object in the tank. Infection can affect a single eye, or both and may be caused by bacteria as well as parasites. If the fish suffers from both popeye and dropsy, or other internal problems, such as organ failure resulting in the fluid build-up, the prognosis is bleak. The fluid retention increases the pressure, forcing the fish’s eyeball outward.

Poor water condition can also cause pop-eye. Fish that are more sensitive to water conditions are most vulnerable, but ifthe water quality is not checked and corrected pop-eye will eventually affect most fish. Popeye is most often seen in crowded aquariums where fish are kept in unhygienic conditions with infrequent water changes, typically goldfish and large cichlids.

Cloudy eyes are quite often a sign of a problem with water parameters or at times be caused by damage to the cornea.

1. What are the Symptoms of popeye?

One or both eyes might appear to be bulging out and may remain clear, cloudy or discoloured. Physical injury can give the appearance of bloodstained eyes. If the infection is severe there is a possibility for eye rupture, which could result in blindness of the affected eye.

2. Is Popeye contagious? 

Popeye itself is not contagious, but the causative agent of the disease could be. Normally only one or two fish get affected by the problem, but if a rise in infections is noticed then it is better to check for the water quality or an infectious agent.

3. Can fish die from pop eye in fish?

Popeye by itself is normally not fatal, but affected fish could die from other problems, such as septicemia and Hexamita infections. Popeye could damage the eye severely sometimes resulting in permanent damage or blindness. 

4. How do you treat Popeye in Aquarium fish? 

The cause of the popeye determines its treatment method. Water quality should be monitored for cleanliness, pH levels, ammonia or nitrites etc. Fish tanks must be kept very clean, and water must be changed weekly.

Feeding good quality foods should be ensured, to support a healthy immune system. In case of injury, palliative care using aquarium salt or at times Epsom salts is advisable.

Quarantine Fish that are clearly infected, in order to treat them with a wide range of antibiotics. If several fish are infected, it may be necessary to treat the main tank with a broad spectrum of antibiotics.

 Popeye encompasses three different sets of problems and hence treatment is more complicated. First there is damage to the cornea. Next there is fluid retention behind the fish’s eyeball, and finally there are risks of secondary infections. 

Antibiotics and antibacterials can prevent the damage to the cornea from turning worse into full-blown popeye. But once it develops, different medications will be essential, medicines that are preferably administered through food rather than water. In the case of Betta fish use ampicillin in the fish tank and clear out the water every third day. Administer the medicine for a week even after your fish's popeye has been cured. If detected early, medicines like erythromycin, minocycline, trimethoprim, or sulfadimidine etc can be used.

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