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  1. #1
    Junior Member Rank = Fry Koiz's Avatar
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    Oct 2019
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    Serious Jaw Injury – A Very Hard Lesson (WARNING: Distressing Photos)

    This is a really hard post to write but I feel I should as there are lessons to be learned and shared.

    After months of parasite woes, I thought I was finally out of the woods when I came out Tuesday morning to find my Yamabuki had a really terrible injury below his jaw. I took some photos through the window and emailed them to Paula Reynolds at Lincs Fish Health (eternal thanks to Freddyboy for this referral because she is wonderful), and Simon Grundy of Japan Koi Import (an immensely likeable chap, but more importantly a Zoologist with a wealth of knowledge and experience with Koi et al). Armed with their responses, I sedated to investigate further. I removed the hanging flesh, dried the wound and treated twice with Kusuri Anti-Bac (alcohol based iodine that apparently penetrates tissues more effectively so is not washed off when returning to the pond). I’m not ashamed to say I did all this with blurred vision as I was crying at the extent of the injury I discovered.

    Paula’s response to the subsequent photos was that whilst it may be possible for this to heal, the chances of recovery in my unheated pond in winter were limited. Antibiotics may also be necessary, but again – they are no use in low water temps. To set up a hospital tank now would take many weeks, and require large daily water changes in the meantime, which is just not practical in my situation. Simon’s response was that in my pond there was a 10% chance of survival, but in a heated quarantine set up that could be 40-50%. When he offered for me to bring my fish over to him – I cried all over again!

    So, that’s where he is right now. I drove Yama over to JKI yesterday morning which is only some 30 mins away, but felt like the longest journey ever as I was trying so hard not to stress my fish any more than he was already. We have some seriously bumpy roads in the Fens – and I made a good few enemies from fellow drivers en-route! (Note to self: put banner in back window saying “transporting fish – driving slowly – please pass” next time!).

    He’s now in a heated tank with two buddies for company, receiving some ‘Simon magic’ and I’ll keep you posted on how things progress.

    This isn’t a ‘valuable’ koi, but he was my brothers and I’ve had him for 5 years, so he’s about 10 years old. I adore him as much as all my fish. Which is why I feel so awful about how this injury occurred. The only explanation I can come up with, after going through the pond with a fine toothed comb, is that he must have impaled himself on the sharp edge of a cut cable tie that was holding one of my pond lights in place, and as he tried to free himself he did all this horrific damage. I’m a big fan of cable ties (and duct tape for that matter – not sure what that says about me!), and my pond lights are attached to a length of black square downpipe so that the cables run through the pipe and the lights sit on top. This is then lowered down onto the shelf and sits against the front wall so the lights are angled up throughout the pond. I’m able to pull it up to clean and it keeps everything very neat. It’s been like this for two years with no issues, and works really well. However, for some reason it was not sitting flush against the wall as usual so there was a gap in which the fish could forage and the cut edge of a 3mm wide cable tie, only about 10mm in length, was sticking out the back and I think that is what he caught himself on. I feel so stupid for not thinking to wrap the cut ties with tape. Needless to say I have redesigned my light bar using electrical tape so there is absolutely no danger from it now, but this was a very hard lesson to learn, and my poor koi has paid the price.

    I tell this story as a warning and a reminder to check, check and check again for the smallest of hazards in our ponds.

    I hope that no one will berate me for my oversight as I honestly don’t need to feel worse than I do already but if this helps anyone who may have used cable ties in their pond to go check just how safe they are, then it was worth sharing.
    Thanks, Wendy


    11,500L Raised Pond, BD, Draco, Nexus 220, 55W UVC, 2x10k Aquaforte Varios, Skimmer to Waterblade

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  3. #2
    Dont beat yourself up bud.Every day is a learning day.Weve all made mistakes.Big of you to admit yours

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  5. #3
    I'll start with a cliche....Let he who is without sin throw the first stone. Can't see many coming your way. It's impossible to consider and prevent every possible threat which might present itself over the lifetime of a koi.

    Hey, i reckon you are brilliant for posting this on here. It could save other fish even if yours doesn't pull through. Which he now has a better chance of doing, thanks to your dilligence.

    I have also learned from your post. I had no idea that antibiotics only worked at certain temperatures.

    Several methods of "dealing with" cable ties....

    1 The easiest being, don't trim the end. Have it angled either up out of the water or where it will cause least risk of injury.

    2 Wrap the cut end in old liner or better still some self amalgamating pipe tape.

    3 This only works if the thing isnt already in situ.... Melt the trimmed cable tie with a heat gun until it's no longer sharp.

    Please though, NEVER, EVER, EVER use a fine tooth comb to go over a pond. You risk puncturing the liner Not to mention how it'll look next time you comb your hair. Think of the tugs.

    Would you keep us updated please?

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  7. #4
    Can anyone see my post in this thread. I cannot. I foolishly left a 20 minute gap in the middle of typing it. I forgot that distraction is forbidden on this forum.

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  9. #5
    Yes its visible

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  11. #6
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    Wendy, I think you did very very well. As that looks a nasty wound.

    Massive thanks to Simon Grundy of Japan koi import in taking your koi in to heal properly,dont think I know of them but I think they need to be known.

    These things happen Wendy and I have had a few,let us know how he gets on.

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  13. #7
    Junior Member Rank = Fry PascalMal's Avatar
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    Oct 2019
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    View First Unread

    For the past couple of weeks the View First Unread button at the top of each thread has not been working for me. Anyone else having that problem?

  14. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    Nice one on posting wendy. And as said. Don t beat yourself up.
    Good on the fellow to help look after your fish.
    Cable ties. What I do. Is cut as short as possible. And put sealent. Where I have cut it. If in the pond. Just a tip for you. It gets rid of sharpness on the cut tie.
    Fingers crossed for your fish. In recovering

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

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  16. #9
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    Very nice of Simon to help, what a great guy!

    Fingers crossed it comes right- looks like its so far not affected the cartilage and bone mouth structures too much so there has to be at least a chance of recovery.

    There is one rule of koi- if they can find a new and silly way to hurt themselves they always will.
    I have a kohaku with a scar in the beni on its head from where it tried to climb into a floating skimmer in my old pond after some for that had gone in there. They are experts at self harm!

    If I've ever needed to secure anything in the pond I cut off a spare strip of pond liner and tie it around with a knot as its soft. I wouldn't personally use amalgamating tape or similar as there are some toxic chemicals in them (all be it at a low level for the volume of water, but still).

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  18. #10
    with a bit of luck and heat it will be ok, i had a similar issue at the beginning of the year where i took 1/2 the polly carb off of the grow on which is 2 sheets and in a feeding frenzy a kohaku went nuts and jumped in to the edge of the cover scalping its self down to bone, in that case i just left alone, the tank was at 22c and it healed really fast considering there was a 50p size chunk of its head missing and it surprised me how thick the skin on the head actually is! yours will need a bit more care as the wound is on a part of the fish that has movement but fingers crossed for you mate

  19. Thanks Ajm, john1, freddyboy, RS2OOO Thanked / Liked this Post


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