Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

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Note - if you do not normally do large water changes, doing a sudden, large water change could shock your fish by suddenly changing their established water chemistry. Clean water is still your first goal, so in this case, do several smaller (10%) water changes over the next day or two before starting any large ones.
sgoorland
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Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by sgoorland » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:46 pm

My 15 year old, 10 inch, Porcupine, “Fugu”, appears to have unfortunately gotten lockjaw. He exhibits all of the same signs as what I’ve read throughout the relevant posts on this forum. He generally has good energy, typical behaviors, he tries to eat, he just can’t open his mouth enough to get a good piece of food in. Historically, I’ve fed him Key West pink shrimp, since it comes without additives from Whole Foods. I am sorry to say that I didn’t realize this shrimp would create this problem, as all of the posts on various forum discuss krill. I have now read the Wet Web Media post on thiaminicine and learned that it likely is in the shrimp.

The issue has gone on for two weeks now since it first started. I had fed him one large size shrimp, he was fine, two days later he tried but couldn’t open his mouth. It’s been that way since. He tries, just can’t seem to open his mouth and get it. There is what I believe is some good news: he is eating. I’ve been able to (at risks of my fingers!), hand feed him small octopus tentacles every day. It’s a slow process, but his mouth is open enough that i can just get an end in there, and he sucks it in. It’s not the belly filling food he’s used to getting, but i do believe it’s keeping his energy levels up.

Octopus appears to have significant vitamin benefits, but I’m not able to find any data online to show that it contains the B1 necessary. I have a supplement but he refuses to eat food soaked in vitamins. I’m considering injecting it into the small tentacles. However, I’m trying to determine if that will be enough, or if I need to switch to the tube feed method described in an old post here. That post was a wonderful description of a cure through tube feeding. It won’t be easy, but I’m all-in to get Fugu well.

I’ve tried to reach out to local marine biologists, but I was looking for any thoughts folks with any similar experiences had generally, and specifically with regard to whether the small tentacles a day are enough or if its time to jump to tube feed. And if tube feed, I’m assuming its ok to mix the Spirulina Brine with tank water to inject in his stomach? Finally, can dosing vita chem with B1 into the tank itself assist (I have read B1 dissolves in water?).

Thanks so much for your thoughts. My parameters are below.

Scott G.
West Palm Beach

180 G., pH 8.3, temp 77-79, phos .1, Nitrate 3, Nitrite .01,

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Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by Pufferpunk » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:36 pm

Have you tried doing a search for Kelly Jedlicki's info on this? Looks like you might have found some of it. I would definitely try injecting the octopus & also try live earthworms.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

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Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by sgoorland » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:04 am

Thanks. I have done some digging through her posts. Was able to find an old post about tube feeding, and one indicating she was authoring a paper on lockjaw, though there was no link to the paper. Haven’t been able to find much more? I will be picking up a hypodermic needle today to inject the octopus. Will look into earthworms. Though the more I read, it sounds like tube feeding may be an easier way to get the vitamins in. But with him able to eat, it may be that hand feeding is less stressful. I understand this is a long road with recovery typically taking months. I’m committed to it.

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Pufferpunk
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Posts: 31157
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
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Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by Pufferpunk » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:23 pm

Good luck! There is another person with a porcy here now, going thru the exact same thing! You 2 should compare notes.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

sgoorland
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:35 am
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Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by sgoorland » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:12 pm

Glad to connect with the other, can you point me to where?

So I’ve been pretty lucky! I’ve managed to get vitamin laced food into Fugu every day. Because his mouth can open slightly, I started to try to hand feed him small slices of squid. It took a couple of weeks to get him used to taking food from my hands, he’d run or hide. But over time I was able to shake it and pretend like it was his normal feeding tongs, and he started to let me closer. It takes a long time to aim right and get it into his mouth, but once I do get a small part in he sucks it in. So I obtained a hypedermic needle at the pharmacy, and I’ve been injecting Vitachem into the squid slices. While he still can’t open his mouth fully, he’s actually been eating well. 3-5 slices of squid a day.

I’m also dosing vitachem at 50% doseage every 3 days into the tank. Bob Fenner advised me that the B1 will remain in the water without breaking down for a few hours, which should allow at least some to get into Fugu’s system.

Sticking with this method for a little while. But I’ve got the tube feeder constructed and ready should it be necessary. Fugu’s energy levels are high. Given that he’s a 10 inch, 15 year old, I figure I’ll know when he’s better when I lose a finger!

sgoorland
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Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by sgoorland » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:22 pm

Great news, Fugu is doing fantastic. Over the last month, I was able to feed him the vitamin injected squid every day or two, four or five pieces. His mouth is opening wider, and i no longer have to hand feed, he takes it from his feeding tongs now. He looks and acts healthy, and each week I can tell his mouth is a little more open. I really appreciate the info I got here! If anyone would like to know more details on my methodology let me know, glad to help others in the same boat.

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Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 31157
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by Pufferpunk » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:19 pm

Wow, great save! Not many have done it.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

sgoorland
Puffer Fry
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:35 am
Location (country): USA

Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by sgoorland » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:46 pm

So now a new twist. Fugu has been doing great. Eating well, mouth opening. Yesterday afternoon we noticed his left pectoral fin clamping to his body. We thought it was an injury of some kind. But he still ate plenty. Today we noticed that the top of that fin is turning white. And then we noticed the same with his tail And the tip of his dosal fin. It almost appears as if the skin is disappearing. And it changed very quickly within 24 hours. He is still swimming around but more lethargic and hiding more. My only guesses are either an infection or that I put too much Vitachem in the food? I’m pulling him from the display tank and putting him in my 30 gallon quarantine. Considering dosing something like Kanaplex which I have on hand, and trying to feed squid without the vitamins. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Pufferpunk
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Posts: 31157
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by Pufferpunk » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:25 pm

Look up Vibro
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

sgoorland
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Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by sgoorland » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:53 am

Wow ... well that’s incredibly frightening! Bob Fenner last night recommended dropping salinity quickly to 1.015 in the QT, which I did. We hadn’t discussed Vibrio, but he recognized whatever it was appears to be moving fast. Interestingly, I didn’t see it progress overnight, and this morning his left fin was able to be used when he swam. The posts here suggest Kana, which I have on hand. Can Kana be used in hypo?

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Pufferpunk
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Posts: 31157
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by Pufferpunk » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:44 pm

What's the purpose of hypo?
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

sgoorland
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Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by sgoorland » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:30 pm

I can’t say I understand for certain, but Fenner indicated that the precipitous drop might assist with osmosis which could help halt progression of the disease. I spoke with a marine biologist from the Mote Marine Research Institute today, and he suggested he thought the hypo would help as well. I can say that the first 24 hours the disease progressed very quickly, in the last 24 hours not much has changed. This morning I took the plunge based on research I read around here and other places and dosed Kana and Nitrofurazone, which are supposed to attack Vibrio better together through the skin. Some good news is that he ate today, vitamin enhanced squid. And he’s been swimming all day, albeit appearing a bit dazed, but reactive when we come near. Perhaps the best news is I found a local exotics vet who works on fish, I have a 10 a.m. with her. Have to bucket him to get to her, but I’m all set and ready to go with everything to safely aerate and get him there.

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 31157
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by Pufferpunk » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:01 pm

Poor guy... Unfortunately, Vibro (flesh-eating disease) is rarely cured but you seem to have great people guiding you thru all this!
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

sgoorland
Puffer Fry
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:35 am
Location (country): USA

Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by sgoorland » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:24 pm

So I was able to get to the vet today who took a sample off his tail. She said that there is no evidence of any bacterial microbes, but that it is blanketed in white blood cells. She indicated that means whatever treatment I have is working. His spirits are up, and the damaged skin areas are scarring over. She directed me to continue the treatment regime. She couldn’t say for sure whether it was Vibrio or not, because of the lack of the bad guys in the slides. So I’m hopeful I caught whatever it was in time. Plus now I have a personal “wet vet” who can come on call. For anyone in South Florida, I highly recommend Dr. Love at Lantana Atlantic Animal Hospital. The toughest part was the transport to and from. Had to bucket, aerate, etc. She doesn’t see first timers as home visits, but future will. When she clipped a tail sample I had to hold him, as expected he inflated. Despite my best efforts he got an air bubble. So I had to transport back and burp him (thanks to the directions here!!), reacclimate to the QT, and put back in. I turned down the lights and he got some much needed R&R! He’s now reacting much better, swimming much better, and relaxed. The idea to get a local vet was from Mote Marine, I highly recommend it for anyone here, their the only ones that can prescribe some of the serious stuff, and have access to significant databases.

User avatar
Pufferpunk
Queen Admin
Posts: 31157
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Filbert, the 12" T lineatus
Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Greenville, SC
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Porcupine Puffer Lockjaw

Post by Pufferpunk » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:57 pm

Wow, all great stuff here, I love it! This is always what I want to hear about on this site. I actually hesitated to pay to re-up the fees to keep this site open today. So glad I did!
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

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