Last Updated: 12/26/08
These fish are severely enlarged due to kidney malfunction. This is beyond just dropsy, and there are no scales sticking out. Go to the fish dropsy photos page to see photos of fish with dropsy.
Dead goldfish photo, tummy down on the left and tummy up on the right, 10/14/01.
This is a dead comet goldfish on 10/14/01 from my 1800 gallon pond who suffered from a bizarre affliction. Over a period of two years, this ordinary comet got bigger and bigger, like a basketball. Diseases like dropsy and tuberculosis kill much sooner than that and give raised or ruptured scales or lesions. Her scales were not abnormal until they literally burst upon her death. Her body wiggled like a bowl full of jelly. Perhaps she had a kidney malfunction preventing her from ridding her body of excess water. Some suggest she had a tumor although her entire body was huge. Another person suggested the fish had ascites which is essentially dropsy but without raised scales. It usually involves kidney problems. Only one other fish of dozens in the pond shows a similar problem. That comet is much smaller and has had a large body only on one side for over two years (perhaps a tumor?). Not all health problems can be solved.
Cheryl sent me this photo of her poor upside-down pond goldfish on 2/23/06. The goldfish had severe fluid retention. She had been slowly growing. Her scales were not sticking out so it was probably not dropsy but a problem with osmotic regulation due to failing kidneys or something. I think the problem was the same as the "basketball" goldfish that I had, shown above.
This is a dead paradise fish with bloat (perhaps dropsy, tumors, and/or fish tuberculosis).
Dead paradise fish on 6/19/07.
This poor paradise fish was severely bloated. The fish got fat slowly over a few weeks. I think it was more than just dropsy, perhaps fish tuberculosis again. You can see how the blood vessels have burst due to the huge size of the fish.
Here is a photo of Homer, my male betta, from 12/13/08 when he was moderately bloated up
(filled with fluid). As I type this on 12/26/08, he is huge and probably will not live much longer.
If this were dropsy, he would have gotten fat quickly with scales sticking out. Instead, he has
slowly gotten larger. It seems to be fluid filled (from kidney malfunction) and not due to a
tumor, although I cannot be sure.
Homer continues to get larger. I can see through his body to the other side. It is just full of water
inside. This photo is from 1/8/09:
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