Hyper Pigmentation and Lesions- Fish TB?
I work at a pet store, yesterday a customer attempted to return a fish (bala shark). He did not bring a water sample nor did he care to discuss any husbandry, basically he just dumped the fish and demanded his money back but with out a receipt he was SOL... I can't give any details about tank mates or water conditions.
Any way, the fish had large very dark splotches on the underside by the head and the top of the back behind the dorsal fin. There were small open sores that do not have any growths on them. The fish was very thin and had a slight bump in the spine behind the dorsal fin.
The fish was not alive but I am concerned it might have been fish TB. I did not handle the fish directly, It was in a zip lock baggie and I did was my hands after handling it.
It's possible... (TB is impossible to diagnose without a microscope dissection) but I would expect that the buyer was an idiot, put it in with an uncompatable tankmate, and it got beat up really badly.
I feel bad for the fish if it got thrown away... should have euthanised it.
If you look at my Soil Substrate guide part 1 in my signature, there's an essay written by D. Walstad about fish TB..
I have never actually seen fish TB, but I agree with redchigh about the Bala Shark being beaten up-- very unfortunate. I would think the owner would have noticed him being beaten up that badly, though. If another fish in the tank just went at him suddenly, creating those wounds, that doesn't account for the shark's skinniness, which makes me think the aggression was happening for an extended period of time, keeping the shark from eating.
I know you mentioned this guy was an a#@h@le customer who just dumped the shark and demanded an unwarranted, undeserved refund, but I wonder if there would be any way to contact him to ask him what happened to the fish. After all, if it is fish TB or another disease, other fish at your store could be in danger... he might not care, *sigh*, but it's a thought...
Unfortunately I have no idea who he is or how to contact him. I had never seen him before, but that's not saying much since I don't live at the store. For all I know he didn't even buy the fish from us, I'd reckon close to 40% of attempted returns are fish bought at other stores.
It's just concerning to me because lesions, hyper pigmentation, weight loss and curved spine are all "classic" FTB symptoms...
I did try to look at his hands for the "fish keeper syndrome" sores and didn't see any, but they take weeks to develop. If he comes back freaking out on us for making him sick I'll know for sure.
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