View Full Version : white spot on tail

11/03/2005, 12:16 AM
So when I had my girl down in front of the tank eating (FINALLY!!) I noticed her tail had a little white spot on it. Can anyone tell me what that is? And what I need to do if it's something bad?


11/03/2005, 05:43 AM
Oh no..I tried two beautiful horses in my fuge a couple years ago,they were WC.I hope that is'nt the same thing as mine had.It was a flesh eating bacteria...it started at the tail.:( It took them both pretty fast.

11/03/2005, 08:50 AM
I would be concerned with the spot! If this is flesh eating bacteria, aka Marine Ulcer Disease, it needs to be treated quickly to not only prevent loss of the horse, but to keep it from spreading to the horse(s). The sooner the diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the higher the odds for survival.

Do you have a hospital tank? Any meds on hand? Quick access to antibiotics?

Short term, I would move the seahorse to a quarantine/hospital tank with good airation. Wouldn't bother with bio filtration as proper doses of antibiotics will wipe it out. Water changes will be needed daily during treatment. Slowly lowering the temperature down to around 69 degrees may help slow down the bacterial growth.

If you have neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment, I would apply that to the wound/ulcer. To do this, wash your hands thoroughly, wearing gloves, gently lift the horse so the wound/ulcer is out of the water and pat dry with a paper towel and place a small amount of ointment on the wound. Then let the seahorse go or place it back into the tank. Remove the gloves and wash up again.

There are some differences in recommendations as far as which antibiotics, but most all recommend a wide spectrum antibiotic. Neomycin and Triple Sulpha are often recommended and we have a high percentage of success with them.


11/03/2005, 09:08 AM
I don't have a hospital tank set up right now. we had to take it down because it had a leak and now i'll have to find a place to set one back up because we have so many tanks running right now but i'll do so. I have triple sulpha in tablet form, is that what you're talking about? If not where can I get them? I assume when you say neosporin, you're not talking about the generic OTC drug that we can get in pharmacies.

11/03/2005, 09:19 AM
Neomycin and triple antibiotic ointment you can buy in tube form from Wal-Mart are the exact items Dan is talking about. You can put them directly on the horse as stated above.

Triple Sulpha is a tablet which dissolves in you tank. It is a good anti-bacterial for external diseases. It won't hurt to do both (the neomycin and triple sulpha) at the same time.

You will want to make sure your Q tank is pristine. If the bacteria breaks the skin, it will be open to any infections. This could kill her faster than the spot on her tail.

Your girl is probably not going to like all the attention and will probably pout and sulk. It shouldn't hurt to put the male with her in the Q tank for company, and try to keep her eating all you can. It might be a good idea to order some SW ghost shrimp, or red shrimp from OR to keep plenty of movement in front of her in hopes she will eat well and keep her strength up.

Good luck with your beautiful horses!

11/03/2005, 09:20 AM
was just reading the library on seahorse.org and it said that other symptoms of the bacteria are cloudy eye, rapid breathing and swelling (I assume in the affected area) but she's got nothing other than that tiny white spot on her tail. I'm still going to quarantine her as soon as I get the needed antibiotics, but wondering if those symptoms are only present when the bacteria is over a larger area of the body? Also, will the spot on her tail grow back over after she's treated?

11/03/2005, 09:26 AM
oh, I posted right after you luvbunny and so just got to read your post. When I had to use triple sulfa in my tank before w/ my reidi's a long time ago, it was just a powder that dissolved in the tank like you said, so I can actually buy triple sulfa in ointment form?
If that's all I need I can pick it up today and get the tank running. Are there anyother antibiotics that I need?

11/03/2005, 09:32 AM
April is correct, by using both the neomycin and the triple sulpha together it creates a syngerstic effect.

If this is indeed a bacterial infection, as I suspect, it could be still localized and you won't see systemic symptoms. This is good!

Normally a localized area like this if correct will grow back if it doesn't go to far.

I wouldn't put the male in with her unless he is showing symptoms and needs to be treated as well. My fear would be if this is contagious, longer exposure could make him susceptible to it as well.

I prefer a 10 gal tank for hospital tanks, but that is not the only option. In a pinch, even a 5 gal bucket can work. 10 gal tanks are nice because you can observe and dosing is easy.

There are several brands of Triple Sulpha available. Most are fine. If you go with the Neomycin, keep in mind the standard loading dose is 250 mg and you will need enough to replace 50% of that each day after a water change and standard treatment is for 10 days.

Neomycin can be found in some LFS, but most brands do not have high enough recommended dosing. There are places to order online, but you will need to have it expressed in order to have it in time. Sometimes you can find it in a pinch in Farm Supply Stores in a liquid form either called Neomycin or Biosol.

You guys are posting faster than I can type.

The Triple sulpha is normally in powder form. It is different than the triple antibiotic ointment. Most of these have neomycin and sometimes other antibiotics in them.


11/03/2005, 09:32 AM
oh! almost forgot...my male is pregnant. how is that all going to affect him if I put him in the q-tank w/ her? I don't want to lose his babies...

11/03/2005, 09:36 AM
seems like we posted at the same time. I guess that leads me to ask another question then DanU...so I need to use Triple Sulfa? Or triple antibiotic ointment? I already have Triple sulfa that's in powder form and I have always just dropped it in the water and let it dissolve.

I won't put the male in w/ her in that case. I hav a 10gal stand I can set up beside their hex so he can at least see her and vice versa

11/03/2005, 09:40 AM
Quite possibly it could effect him. If he is not showing symptoms, I would hold on moving him. If he should show symptoms, then I would treat regardless of the pregnancy. Keeping him and having more fry is better than losing him and hoping you have success with the fry.


11/03/2005, 09:49 AM
so I need to use Triple Sulfa? Or triple antibiotic ointment?
Both! The ointment is a topical treatment and can be helpful in localized infections. The Triple Sulpha is for a bath and used in the water. You are right about it dissolving in the water. I dissolve in a cup of water and mix well and then add to the hospital tank.


11/03/2005, 02:17 PM
I hope I am wrong.:( I tried the antibiotic ointment as well..to no avail.
My horses acted normal,and showed no other outward signs.Do you have a local forum of friends that might have a hang-on filter and a small tank you could borrow?

11/03/2005, 03:02 PM
The use of a topical only may or may not be sufficient depending on many factors such as the bacteria involved, the degree of the infection, the general condition of the seahorse, etc. I would assume it isn't and thus the recommendation of a wide spectrum antibiotic as a water borne formulation. IME, the combination of the two has a higher success rate.


11/03/2005, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by DanU
The use of a topical only may or may not be sufficient depending on many factors such as the bacteria involved, the degree of the infection, the general condition of the seahorse, etc. I would assume it isn't and thus the recommendation of a wide spectrum antibiotic as a water borne formulation. IME, the combination of the two has a higher success rate.


listen to Dan! get all three and be ready to use the neomycin and triple-sulfa together in your QT tank. watch your seahorse carefully, keep an eye on your ammonia level in QT tank. i battled a systemic bacterial infection with my WC female comes - we're not out of the woods yet but i'm keeping my fingers crossed. if you notice any abnormal breathing, lethargy, stiffness, post asap for guidance.

i don't want to scare you, i just want you to be prepared. get as much food in both of them as possible and be ready to act quickly. hopefully, this will not spread and your beautiful horses will be okay.

11/03/2005, 07:10 PM
I can't get neomycin anywhere around here w/out a prescription so I'm going to have to order it online. Can I start treating her w/ the triple sulfa and the ointment and have the neomycin overnighted and add it as soon as it gets in? Or is it going to harm her to start adding it later?

11/03/2005, 07:16 PM
ok, I'm looking online and there are a dozen different neomycin products. Is it just Neomycin sulfate? Neomycin-Polymyxin-Dexameth? I'm getting dozens of different results when I search for it online...

11/03/2005, 07:52 PM
Yes, I would start with the Triple Sulpha.

Neomycin Sulfate is fine. Here is link to one place that carries it: http://www.nationalfishpharm.com/products2.html

Let me know where you get it from and/or brand and I will try to help with dosing.

How is the wound looking this evening? Same or worse?


11/03/2005, 10:12 PM
actually, found Biosol in a small farm store in Boise. So i've got everything now and setting up a tank to put her in. will an airstone suffice rather than a HOB filter?

11/03/2005, 10:19 PM
Airstone will suffice.

On the Biosol, it comes 200 mg/ml. You can use 12 ml as the loading dose if you are using the 10 gal. When you do the 50% water change add 6 ml afterwards with 1 Triple Sulpha.

How is the wound looking?


11/03/2005, 10:24 PM
it's a little tiny bit bigger i think but she won't let me get a good look at it.

11/03/2005, 10:34 PM
Let's keep a close eye on it. The bath meds can take 24 to 48 hours before they slow this down. If we can't arrest it, we may need to take another course or meds.


11/03/2005, 11:36 PM
i'm getting the tank to a reasonable temperature now before i switch her over. mixing up the antibiotics and have them ready to put into the tank. I assume it's ok to put the ointment on her tonight also?

11/03/2005, 11:47 PM
what temperature is your QT tank at? i slowly lowered mine to 68 when i started my girls treatment (mother nature was extremely kind to me we, had a nice cool spell here when i had to start).

like dan said, it will take a couple of days to kick in so don't be alarmed if you don't see anything happening. also, make sure to check ammonia twice a day.

11/04/2005, 12:30 AM
Will do. she's in the tank, antibiotics administered and going back in a min, once she's calmed down to put the ointment on her tail. She's definitely one ticked off horse at me right now...I'm sure if looks could kill...she would have struck me dead by now

11/04/2005, 07:06 AM
Make sure there is lots of water motion in the tank. One airstone might not be enough for a 10 gallon. Airstones will also soften the motion, so maybe just the rigid tubing airline. Bigger bubbles will move the water better.

Your fish needs all her natural defenses to fight this pathogen.

11/08/2005, 12:26 PM
Any updates on the condition of this sick SH....?

11/08/2005, 02:19 PM
I hope the treatment is working, those flesh erosion conditions can be really touch and go, but catching it early helps increase your chances of success.

11/08/2005, 08:45 PM
she hasn't gotten worse so far, haven't seen drastic improvement but it looks slightly like it's starting to head. We're going on day 6 of treatment, so she's still got a min. of 4 days left and I'm hoping that something starts to change. She's starting to get a little skinny but at least she's eating which is a good sign.

Suzy, I actually have a filter on the back of the tank too for more water flow, but I only have a piece of filter floss in there so that it catches any debris that it sucks up which makes cleaning the tank once a night slightly easier..I just empty it everyday.

11/09/2005, 12:56 AM
sounds good so far, good luck! I recommend that if she is not entirely clear by day 10 that you continue treatment, either with the same meds or a different one for another full course.

11/11/2005, 08:17 PM
Ok, so I'm on day 8 of the treatment for her...triple sulfa an neomycin in the water and neosporin on her tail. Change the water every night and add the antibiotics back into the water, and the ointment on her tail (which never sticks for more than 5 min) and for a while she wasn't getting any worse but she definitely hadnt improved at all over the time, and now it honestly looks like it's getting worse very slowly. The spot isn't drastically larger, but it is bigger than it was at the beginning. I need to do something different and have no idea what to do. Need some direction guys. Thanks

11/11/2005, 09:50 PM
So now I see she has a white stringy poop...which, someone please correct me if I'm wrong, means she's got internal parasites? I think I'm going to lose it b/c the clown and neon gobies in our nano mysteriously developed ick overnight (after not having anything for months) and the orange spot goby in our tank has suddenly had his entire tail "bitten" off (or it rotted overnight). There seems to be something wrong w/ every one of our tanks....

11/11/2005, 10:04 PM
this is really just so frustrating. I had an account created a while back at seahorse.org but when they got hacked my account got deleted and now I had to resign up and I was hoping to ask someone there, their experience because I know a lot of people there have lots of time involved in their horses, but I can't post anything!

11/11/2005, 10:26 PM

i had to re-register also and my girls not doing so well either. i have to ask when did you purchase her? i got mine on october 14, she's about 4 - 4.5 inches (crown to tip of tail). is yours the same size?

i wish i could advise you on what to do, mine has been on neo3 and i've now switched to tube feeding and administering baytril from my vet with the tube feeding as she developed her "spot" after 8 days on neo3, she fell ill on october 28 so i've been trying to beat this thing for a while now. from what kg tells me the fact that she developed this spot while on the meds isn't good. the past two days she has passed a white substance as well, but mine is not stringy. i really can't say what it is as i've never seen this before.

i'll pop over there and do a search for stringy stuff, i remember reading a post about it once but can't remember what was said. i'll see what i can find.

does it look like the photo in this thread? http://forum.seahorse.org/index.php?showtopic=18220&hl=white+stringy

do you have an account at syngnathid.org?

11/11/2005, 10:38 PM
I'll post a link on your behalf.. hopefully that will not upset anyone. Look for it in the emergency forum.. my handle there is the same as here, Samala. Good luck!


11/11/2005, 10:46 PM

Appreciate the post. I got mine about a week after you got yours. I bought mine around the 21/22nd of Oct I think. Things have been kind of a blur the last couple weeks because of so many things going on. She was in the main tank for only a week before I noticed the spot on her tail and moved her to a hospital tank. She's been on neomycin and triple sulfa for 8 days, plus the neosporin everynight too. And of course today I notice the white stringy poo from her, and she's just not moving as much, she's not hitching as quickly as she was, and she definitely doesn't put up a fight when I have to take her tail out of the water now (but maybe that's just b/c she's used to the routine by now)...she still hitches, just that she'll wander around the tank for a bit first instead before going to the plastic plant that i have in there.

11/11/2005, 11:04 PM
boy, this is one time i can honestly say, "i feel your pain" and truly mean it. as we have the same species, purchased within a week of each other, both undergoing treatment for bacterial infections, i understand completely what you're going through. i saw a male and a female not long ago at the lfs where i purchased mine and they did not look good. i seem to remember reading a few posts within the past month of tigertail purchases, it would be interesting to see how many purchased during the past month or so have developed these infections.

day 15 of treatment for me, as i am also doing hyposalinity treatment, i've gotten reeeeeaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllly good at making water at 1.011 :) i'm trying to get my tank back down to 68 (at 69 now) and after checking the weather forecast actually went out and purchased an ice probe chiller as i don't have air conditioning.

if you need any diamox PM me as i have plenty.

11/11/2005, 11:13 PM
Sarah, I didn't see your post until just now. I really do appreciate your help. My sn on seahorse.org is the same as here, delta_zeta, and I can read anyone's reponses thusfar. I just can't post anything period or PM anyone. I basically have no privilages as of yet b/c I just got finished reregistering

NanoLurker - would a hypo treatment work for my horse? How's yours responding to it? I have a yellow clown goby w/ ich in another hospital tank right now that i'm doing a hypo treatment w/ but we just put it in last night and are still lowing the salinity. Actually, we're going to try a freshwater dip to help along the process. I'm wondering if a FW dip would be benficial to my Comes. I didn't do that w/ her when I brought them home because I've always been nervous about it w/ my horses, just afraid something is going to go wrong.

I live in southern ID so i don't have to worry about heat, in fact, it actually gets really cold here at night now so I have to keep a heater in her tank just to keep it from going below 69 at night. I know the pH in her tank is 8.0 right now and I'm wondering if I should raise that. I've always kept it at 8.0 instead of 8.2 in my seahorse tank because that's what it had been coming out of our RO system as, and I try to stay away from adding more chemicals to the water than necessary.

I'm not really familiar w/ diamox. What's it's use for?

11/11/2005, 11:39 PM
i don't know about hyposalinity right now for yours, i would wait to hear from kg or someone more knowledgable. you also need to have a refractometer to do it. i chose not to FW or formalin dip to mine prior to putting her in QT so she has been in hyposalinity since october 22 (i'm a big ol' chicken and don't like to do things quickly so it took a week to drop it to 1.011). i was using it as a prophylactic treatment for protozoan/parasites. i've read pros and cons for it.

as for the diamox (acetazolamide), it's for the treatment of EGBD, IGBD, pouch flushes. good med to have on hand, especially if you have male seahorses.

11/11/2005, 11:43 PM
Oh, ok, I do remember reading about GBD, because one of my old Reidi's had IGDB but rather than treating her w/ diamox i did a compression chamber of sorts for her. It actually completely got rid of it in 2 days, it's just tedious taking off a gallon of water every hour until you're down to the chamber she's in, and I'm sure she didn't enjoy being in the dark the whole time, but I'm happy she was treated in only 2 days vs. a week or more w/ antibiotics.

11/11/2005, 11:46 PM
if it just weren't so late at night I'm sure others would be on, but it's midnight where most of them are, or later at that so I'm sure I won't hear much until tomorrow morning at the earliest...

i'm still doing the same treatment on her, but tonight I just decided rather than doing a 50% waterchange to just go ahead and do a 100% waterchange. I took her out and kept her in a container, cleaned the tank and sponge filter out, scrubbed it down, then put it back up, remedicated w/ the full dose instead of the halfdoses i was doing when i did 50% changes. When I put her back in tonight I spent a little more time getting the neosporin on her tail, I dried off a larger spot on her tail actually, and spread the neosporin over a larger area and it seemed to stick a little bit longer this time. I just want it on her tail long enough to reap some of the benefits of the ointment. I was tempted to try the bio-bandage by hikari, but I can't seem to find anyone's experience w/ that product.

11/12/2005, 01:24 AM
they'll be along shortly. i'm having a wonderful night: toilets gurgling, pH was off in the water i mix for my QT tank, broke the temperature controller for my new chiller, cat knocked glass cover into tank, i reached in to take it out. normally not a big deal to reach into tank but as i have a nice new cut on that hand probably wasn't the smartest thing in the world to do. think i better head on to bed. i'll check in tomorrow.

11/12/2005, 01:28 AM
Thanks nanolurker. keep me up to date on your horse and their treatment. i'm sure we're probably experiencing a lot more similarities than we probably realize so hopefully I can take something from what you're doing.

11/12/2005, 02:08 AM
oh, and the things this horse has put me through. when i get a good nights rest i'll tell you her behavior and other things i've observed since this all began. i think you're good to go at that other place ;)

11/12/2005, 05:00 AM
DZ, I am sorry to hear that the horse is not responding to the treatment. This is not a good sign. If I am not mistaken, you should be at around day 9 or so of treatment. If the she is getting worse, I believe a different course of meds are in order. I would really like to see KG's input here, he was not available when this began, but is now I believe. He is the best at diagnosising and recommending meds.
I believe your posting issue has been resolved.
Sarah, I too hope no one gets upset at trying to help a member with a sick horse.
NanoLurker, I caught up on your threads. I see KG is advising you already. I would follow his lead.


11/12/2005, 09:35 AM
Delta Zeta, I'm sorry you've been affected by the problems we've had with the hacker. Your account has been approved and you can post again at seahorse.org. Any problems, email me at keith DOT gentry AT seahorse.org. I answered your Q there -
link here (http://forum.seahorse.org/index.php?showtopic=23205)

11/12/2005, 06:34 PM
i got most of the meds KG suggested and posted everything on seahorse.org about the meds. hopefully someone can help me if KG isn't around because it's probably very very late where he is.

11/12/2005, 06:54 PM
he's still awake - go look

11/12/2005, 07:15 PM
he did just respond to my post over there on the org. thanks nanolurker :) unfortunately w/ all the meds i was able to get, the maracyn II is freshwater...NO ONE seems to carry the SW version of it. :( not to mention i spent ALL morning calling vets around the valley trying to find a vet that would even be willing to look at the horse, but the ONLY dr. we have around here that does fish ONLY treats Koi. It was just frustrating

11/12/2005, 07:24 PM
Ah, but if he treats koi he should have ready access to Baytril! Unless you've got it already.. I would go pound on his door early Monday morning. Hopefully between all the stuff you are starting you will get some results. (PS: happy to help in the only way I could.) I've had great results with Baytril on really awful bacterial infections in koi and old cichlids that people were super attached too. We did injections with those though.


11/12/2005, 07:26 PM
i'd wait for confirmation on this but i believe the only difference is the amount you dose with. i'm a little tired and stressed right now as tonights tube feeding was, shall i say, interesting. my horse does not like to be handled.

check your pm as well :)

11/12/2005, 07:37 PM
when i was administering neosporin, she just got to the point where she didn't fight anymore and I believe it was just because she's getting so weak. I need to get food in her... :(

11/12/2005, 07:52 PM
sent you another pm nano...about tubefeeding

11/12/2005, 09:22 PM
got it and responded before i read this. when did she last eat? is she still showing an interest in food or has her appetite just decreased?

edit: there is a supply and grocery list on the link i sent you. i don't have a screen so i used a super fine fish net to screen the gruel. i just pulled it taunt before i poured the mashed gruel on it then used the back of a spoon to work it through. i didn't push too hard as i didn't want to force large pieces that might block the catheter through.

11/12/2005, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Samala
Ah, but if he treats koi he should have ready access to Baytril! Unless you've got it already.. I would go pound on his door early Monday morning. Hopefully between all the stuff you are starting you will get some results. (PS: happy to help in the only way I could.) I've had great results with Baytril on really awful bacterial infections in koi and old cichlids that people were super attached too. We did injections with those though.


you're right sarah, and as baytril is also used on dogs i don't see why he can't help her. after two days of tube feeding with the bayril i really wish i could just administer it via injection. probably not wise to introduce another site for a possible infection.


11/13/2005, 04:25 AM
unfortunately w/ all the meds i was able to get, the maracyn II is freshwater...

I popped back into this thread kind of late. I'm so sorry she is not responding to treatment. Weakness and lack of appetite are not good signs, it is often hard to bring them back. :(

It may be too late for this, but I think I remember that you treat saltwater using freshwater maracyn at 2x the recommended dose.

Nanolurker, sorry for your problems as well.

11/13/2005, 02:33 PM
was talking to another hobbyist the other night, and they said it's a very good chance that NanoLurker got her ponies from the same shipment mine came out of... :(

11/13/2005, 05:00 PM
thanks Lisa D.

that's my theory as well delta_zeta. how is your male doing?

11/13/2005, 06:59 PM
the male is going amazing. He is healthy, a little on the skinny side but likely b/c he's so active, but he eats like a pig. When he's tired of running around searching for pods, he'll go to the food dish (which has a tube that runs to the top of the tank, and hang upside down on it and stick his nose up the tube trying to see if there is any mysis that's falling down from it. He's such a character, so much personality. He spends at least an hr or two though everyday on the side of the tank that faces his mates hospital tank and just swims up and down watching her as if he's trying to get to her. :( makes me sad, but at least he knows she's still around...

11/13/2005, 08:12 PM
that's good to hear. before mine feel ill she was quite the little character as well, she liked to swim and snick the mysis in freefall. i think i remember reading that yours liked to do that too.

well, we're doing what we can for our girls. tonights feeding actually went rather well. i need to check and see exactly how much i should be attempting to get in her. i think yesterday it was only around .25 cc, tonight was about .30 cc. the first time i pulled up about .6 cc of gruel then pulled up the prescription of .05 cc baytril, then pulled up to enough to get to the 1.0 cc like marc had. i know it got mixed in a a little because i wanted to make sure i didn't have any air in the syringe or in the catheter. i only prepared .6 cc's tonight and she took only .3 cc's. i've read some conflicting amounts on tube feeding so if anyone here knows what we should be shooting for (maybe a minimum amount) that would be great. i'll check with kg and let you know what he says.

edit: okay, i posted my question on amounts over in that other place :) hope you don't mind, but as we're fighting the same fight i thought i'd give kg a break and only have to answer it once :)

i also did the betadyne wash. do you think it's working for yours? i gently patted it dry and then dropped some on it. for some reason i thought it would stain the spot, maybe it's not because of the dilution. anyhow, let me know.

11/13/2005, 10:05 PM
don't mind at all nanolurker.

shot you a pm though too. had several questions for you