Dropsy (fish disease)

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A goldfish with fish dropsy

Dropsy is a condition in fish caused by the buildup of fluid inside the body cavity or tissues. As a symptom rather than a disease in its own right, it can indicate a number of underlying diseases, including bacterial infections, parasitic infections, or liver dysfunction.[1]


Because dropsy is a symptom of an illness, its cause may or may not be contagious. However, it is standard practice to quarantine sick fish to prevent spreading the underlying cause to the other fish in the tank community.[1]


By the time a disorder reaches the point of causing dropsy, it can often be fatal and at the very least the fish is very ill and requires immediate quarantine and treatment.[1]


  1. ^ a b c David Alderton (2003). Freshwater Aquariums: Basic Aquarium Setup and Maintenance. p. 129. ISBN 1-931993-11-4.