It is important to monitor koi health if there are any signs of diseases that might infect them. The best time to do it is during feeding time. Observe the koi behavior and if there are any changes in their behavior it is an indication of illness. It is not easy to treat the illness if it is severe already. Give them the best care and provide them with good water to live in order to boost their immune system.
Detecting diseases in their early stages: Signs and Symptoms
Any changes on the skin body may be problematic. If you notice any redness or some parasites like Lernaea (anchor worm) and Argulus (Fish Louse), you need to act quickly.
While healthy koi swim together, a sick koi leaves its group; sometimes the sick koi will just stay in the corner and sometimes it darts away and seems frightened. It may even start scratching on the pond walls if it has Lernaea and Argulus.
If the koi stays in the bottom of the pond with its pectoral fins open, this is an abnormal behavior. When koi are sleeping they stay in the bottom with pectoral fins closed but when they stay at the bottom and their pectoral fins are open. When you push them they will swim for a moment but they will soon sink again. It almost seems like they are disoriented and swimming erratically everywhere.
Usually, koi breathe slowly. So, if you noticed your koi gasping with mouth wide open in the surface of the water, appearing they are struggling to breathe, this is another indicator as well that you have a sick koi.
If your koi won’t eat you need to examine their excrements. If they are in liquid form this means that they have protozoa and this should be treated immediately.
Check the gills coloration and see if there are any changes. If they became white, black or deformed this is an indication too.
There are many ways to treat your sick koi – you can use oral administration, medicated bath, applications, injections, and operations.
When you are treating your koi via oral administration, the medicines are added to their food. It’s possible to find koi food that is already mixed with medication; but if you can’t find it, you can mix the medicine with your koi food making sure not to overdose. Sulfa, antibiotics, and furan are often used since they are dissolved in the water and soaked in the koi food.
In what concerns to the medicated bath, you can have a quickly medicated bath or a long one. The quickly medicated bath should only take 5 to 10 minutes and is mostly used for strong preparations like a saline solution and a potassium permanganate medicated bath solution. You should place the medicine in a small hospital or quarantine tank and then add the koi. You can use medicines like mercurochrome, methylene blue, malachite green, dipterex, and aquatic Terramycin. And you can also use human medication such as tetracycline and metrodanizole, salt, potassium permanganate, formalin, sulfa drugs and furan drugs. Carefully read the drug label for proper ratio to make sure you follow the drug dosage since an overdose can kill your koi.