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Title: Help! Heron Attacked My Koi
Description: Heron Attack Koi

vettech719 - June 7, 2008 04:45 AM (GMT)
I am in desperate need of some help. Seven days ago my 15" Koi was attacked by a Blue Heron. I found the Koi outside of the pond, I am unaware of how long he was not in the water. He was breathing and gasping for water. The heron did alot of damage, several holes to his back, both side of his body bloody and a part of his front fin was cut up pretty bad. I put him back in the pond with little hope. The following day to my suprise he was still alive. I removed him from the pond and he is in a seperate tank. After 7 days I have managed to keep him alive, and his wound are starting to heal nicely. The problem I am having is he is listing to one side. He has use of him front fins and can go foward and backward, and up and down in the tank, is eating and pooping, but is laying on his side. I have been doing daily water changes, adding salt, airerating, started 3 days ago medicating with metafix, and have started doing physical therapy with him to try and get him to swim but he still falls to one side. I first thaught it may be a spinal cord injury (do fish have spinal cord injuries?), or a puncture to something that is keeping him from swimming properly, but now that the wounds seem to be healing I just do not know. Should I keep up my efforts or is there some other advice or meds I can try? Thanks for any answers.

Pool Guy - June 7, 2008 01:10 PM (GMT)
Hello vettech719,
Welcome to the forum!

Very sorry to hear about your koi being wounded. Glad to know you've been able to keep him alive. I wonder if his swim bladder was punctured in the attack. Robyn should be around eventually to offer advice ... I wish I had some for you. So far, though, it is a good sign that he's eating. It sounds as if you are doing everything you can for him. However, the physical therapy may be a little stressful at this stage of recovery.

Hope all goes well ... please do keep us updated on his progress.


KoiKrazy - June 7, 2008 05:16 PM (GMT)
Welcome V719! I wish I was welcoming you under happier circumstances. I have no advise for you but hopefuly Robyn will. I think it is wonderful that you are doing so much for your koi, an incident like that would devastate me for sure. That is good news that your koi is healing and eating, I really hope he improves. Good Luck and please keep us posted. P.S. How big is the container he is in now? I am wondering if he could "right" himself if he had a little room to get going better and work things out?

vettech719 - June 7, 2008 07:12 PM (GMT)
Thank you for you responses. I have him in a 66 quart storage container, so I am pretty sure if he could swim properly he would have enough room. From what I have read about the swim bladder this problem seems to make them float, and that he is not doing. He is laying on his side kind of bent. There is a puncture wound just to the left of what I think would be his spine. Could this paralyze him? His front 2 fins work well (considering the right one was almost torn off), but he is not willing or can't use his back set of fins. I look foward to anymore insite or suggestions. Thanks again.

frogman3 - June 8, 2008 02:40 AM (GMT)
I hope you put a net over your pond because he will be back. Is there any way you can keep your wounded Koi in a larger container? Even if he wanted to I don't think he could turn around in a 16 1/2 gallon container. Best of luck with your Koi.

Robyn - June 8, 2008 10:21 PM (GMT)
I'm so sorry about your koi! He's a fighter though. You may want to get some "Bio-Bandage" which is a topical gel-like antibiotic you can apply directly to the wound. Continue with the salt and MelaFix. 66 quarts is 16.5 gallons. That's not that big. If it's small for his size, that might explain the listing; he can't "get going." Also, keep an eye on the pH, ammonia, and nitrite in quarantine if you don't have it attached to a biological filter. My koi, Colin, once got a heron puncture wound but just one, and he never was out of the pond. Being out of the pond can result in bacterial infections over roughed up skin not to mention the puncture injuries. It's possible that the spine was injured; sure koi can have spinal cord injuries. Paralysis might be possible. I would worry about getting the puncture wounds fully healed before working with him to see if he's paralyzed, etc. Be sure to net the quarantine pond and probably your big one to protect the other fish.

Good luck!

vettech719 - June 9, 2008 01:20 AM (GMT)
Thank you all for your responses. I will keep you informed.

ScampersSharon - June 9, 2008 01:08 PM (GMT)
It must be heron season.........I've got one too! It sounds like you've got everything as under control as you can and I'm too new to have any advice but I sure have lots of sympathy!

We strung trip wires around the pond Friday night to try and deter our big nasty bird and he seems to be on a schedule that puts him eating MY fish around 9 am so you can bet somebody is lying in wait for him ........I just don't know what to do other than scare him off every day. The fish are pretty scared and have stayed around the bottom in the middle of the pond, and I try and feed them in the middle. I can't get a good count, but I did pull one corpse out of the skimmer on Wednesday and at least three injured but only one bleeding. All the named fish are still there, but I think he got 4 or 5.

SadieMay - June 9, 2008 01:24 PM (GMT)
Sounds like your koi has a pretty good caregiver. :) In my stupitity I wouldn't have thought of half the things you've already started. He might quit his listing to one side once that fin is healed. I've seen herons flying at my work, but none coming 2 miles south to my pond. whew :rolleyes: . My DH noticed a serious habit that my fish have developed. When I go to feed my fish..tho they do notice the big red bathrobe...I usually put my hand in the water down to my wrist. DH brought it to my attention that when our shepard drinks from the pond ALL the fish come up to see. If he liked live fish, he could have easy pickings with the mob. :( Guess the local cats are being well fed too. :D

ScampersSharon - June 13, 2008 12:45 PM (GMT)
How's your Koi doing today?

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