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Skinny disease

Posted By: Tom Waltzek <tbwaltzek@ucdavis.edu>
Date: Sunday, 30 May 2004, at 3:31 p.m.

Howdy Loachers,

I wanted to make a few comments about the condition that has been called skinny disease. In the last year or so I have been going to LFS and wholesalers in my area looking for fish with this condition. I like many of you notice this condition most often in clown loach fry and kubotai. So when I have seen this disease I have tried to obtain some specimens to perform a necropsy on the infected fish. As far as the clown fry go I have seen a few internal parasites like dignetic flukes and such but nothing to get excited about (that is to help explain the disease). Anyway, a few months ago I had a kubotai that was slowly but surely wasting away. He was in a tank that was heavily fed but had numerous other loach species. To make a long story short I decided to sacrifice this poor little loach to loook for internal parasites. When I worked this fish up in the fish disease diagnostic laboratoey where I work, I was astounded! The fish was full of Myxobolous spores. This is the protozoan parasite that causes huge losses in the rainbow trout industry. Anyway, I haven't been able to locate any other skinny kubotai so I don't know if this was an isolated case or whether these parasites could be responsible for skinny disease in kubotai and possibly other botia species. I have read and talked to fish health specialists that say that wildcaught botia species are usually plagued by nematodes and intestinal coccidians. Anyway, understanding the relationship between stress (i.e. transport and poor feeding) and a possible parasite cause will be critical in unraveling the skinny disease mystery.

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