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The Goldfish Sanctuary Emergency Checklist

If your goldfish exhibits any of these symptoms, an illness may be indicated. Disease in goldfish can be contageous and often fatal, so immediate action is required. If treated in time, however, many goldfish do make a full recovery. (Also, goldfish diseases are rarely transmittable to humans). Please contact your local petstore or vet if you can't make a diagnosis from this information.

List by Affliction

Anchor Worm - symptoms: fish scrapes against objects, tiny white-green worms are attached to a wound on the goldfish, ulcers
Black Smudge - symptoms - fish has black areas on body or fins which develop and spread over the fish rapidly.
Constipation - symptoms - fish has difficulty passing feces, feces trail behind fish
Dropsy - symptoms - a swelling of the fish's abdomen, sometimes with scales sticking out
Finrot (aka Tailrot) - symptoms - ragged fins, white 'edge' to fin
Fish Lice - symptoms - fish may scrape itself against objects, 1/8 - 1/4 inch parasites are seen attached to the fish's body
Gill Flukes - symptoms: rapid gill movement, fish gasps at water's surface, gills coated in mucus, fish scrapes itself against objects, parts of gills may be eaten away
Ich (aka Ick, Whitespot Disease) - symptoms: tiny white dots on fish's body and/or fins, rapid gill movements
Fungus (aka True Fungus) - symptoms: fuzzy grey, white, or dirty-white growth on body, or eyes
Fungus, Mouth (aka Body Fungus, Columnaris) - symptoms: white, grey, or grey-white patches or fluff around the mouth, white or grey areas on skin or eyes
Pop-eye - symptoms: eyes protrude unusually away from the head
Septicemia - symptoms: red areas or streaks on fish's body, fins, or bases of fins, protruding blood vessels at fin bases, lack of appetite, sluggish or very sluggish behavior
Skin Flukes - symptoms: fish scrapes against objects, fish becomes mucus covered and colors fade, frayed fins, red areas on skin
Slime Disease - symptoms: frayed fins, sluggishness, dulled coloration, damaged gills, death
Swim-Bladder Trouble - symptoms: goldfish has trouble swimming or maintaining equilibrium
Tailrot (aka Finrot) - symptoms - ragged fins, white 'edge' to fin
Tuberculosis - symptoms: weight loss, ulcerous wounds, protruding eyes, faded colors, fins clamped shut
Velvet Disease - symptoms: fine gold dust speckled on fish's body and/or fins, rapid gill movements
Wasting - symptoms: fish's head appears larger than normal, fish appears to be losing weight

List by Behavior

APPETITE, LACK OF - see: common causes, septicemia
FINS CLAMPED SHUT - see: tuberculosis
GASPING - see: tank size, gill flukes
GILLS, RAPID MOVEMENT - see: tank size, gill flukes, ich, velvet disease
NERVOUSNESS - this may indicate any stressful situation. Any disease, dirty water, or overcrowding are all candidate.
SCRAPES ON OBJECTS - see: dirty water, anchor worms, fish lice, gill flukes, skin flukes
SLUGGISHNESS - see: septicemia, slime disease
SWIMMING TROUBLE - see: Swim-bladder trouble