Dropsy

This is the accumulation of excess water in the body cavity or tissues. It is a general term used to describe body swelling or oedema of the skin. The latter causes the scales to protrude and give the body a 'pine cone' appearance. It is frequently associated with protrusion of the eyes due to fluid and commonly called 'pop-eye'. Dropsy is not a disease in itself and may result from damage by bacterial or virus infections, organ failure or tumours. There is no effective treatment for most cases.

Dropsy in fish
Dropsy in fish

Dropsy causes generalised swelling of the body due to collection of fluid in the skin (oedema) and scale pockets. The head and fins remain unaffected

Dropsy in fish
Dropsy in fish

The scales are located in pockets within the dermis. They rise from a flat position as fluid collects to give a corrugated or 'pine cone' appearance.

Dropsy in fish
Dropsy in fish

Ultrasound scan of the fish showing black areas of fluid in the scale packets (arrowed at top) and irregular pockets of free fluid within the body (asterisk)

Dropsy in fish
Dropsy in fish

Dropsy causes generalised swelling of the body due to collection of fluid in the skin (oedema) and scale pockets. The head and fins remain unaffected

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