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hole in the head disease - hith Hole in the Head

Discussion in 'Fish Diseases & Cures' started by MOD_Dawn, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Hole in the Head Disease occurs in Discus and many other Cichlids. There is a misconception that it is the same disease as Hexamitia and Lateral Line Disease. While it is similar to Hexamitia and Lateral Line Disease, and is often associated with them, it is in fact a different disease and can occur separately.

    Hole in the Head starts with smalls sore on the head above the eyes. These sore grow and eventually penetrate through the outer layer of skin. These holes will gradually developed into much larger craters/pits. You may also notice stringy mucus trailing from the wounds which have often been mistaken for worms. Your fish may also go off its food and develop a hollow bellied appearance.

    Mild cases of HITH can be cured by increasing tank maintenance and improving the fish's diet with maybe supplements of vitamins. However, severe cases of hole in the head may need medication. A lot of these medications are meant to be added to food. Unfortunately, many fish that develop hole in the head disease go off their food so it can be problematic trying to administer medication. The recommended treatment that can be added to the water, or soaked into Freeze Dried Blood Worms is Metronidazole.
  2. Lynden10

    Lynden10 New Member

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    Hole in the head disease is a fairly common disease of freshwater fish that primarily affects cichlids, discus, and oscars. Another common name for this disease is Freshwater Head and Lateral Line Erosion (FHLLE). There are several suspected causes of this disease, and while it can be fatal, if treated early, most fish can survive. This article will describe the symptoms, causes, and treatments of this common problem.

    Causes of hole in the head disease

    The exact cause of hole in the head disease has yet to be determined. There are, however, several very solid theories that link certain conditions with an increase in the incidence of the disease. The presence of any one of the causative factors may not be responsible for the disease, but a combination of two or more factors is likely to create disease symptoms.

    A common contributing cause is the flagellate parasite Hexamita. This parasite primarily infects the intestinal tract, but then spreads to the gall bladder, abdominal cavity, spleen, and kidneys. As the disease progresses, the classical lesions of hole in the head disease appear. These lesions will open up and may discharge small white threads that contain parasitic larvae. Secondary bacterial or fungal infections may then develop in these openings and may lead to a more serious disease, and death.

    Another popular theory is that a mineral or a vitamin imbalance may contribute to the development of this disease. Some aquarists have claimed a link between the use of activated carbon and an increase in the disease. Some people feel that the carbon may remove some of the beneficial minerals found in the water leading to an increased incidence in the disease. At the same time, the mineral imbalance may be caused by an increase in Hexamita organisms in the intestine, which may lead to malabsorption and a decrease in the absorption of the needed vitamins and minerals.

    Conditions that create stress will also increase the incidence of this disease. Poor water quality, improper nutrition, or overcrowding are all stressors that can cause a problem. Because the disease is often associated with older fish, there may be a link with decreased function of the immune system in these older fish and an increase in the incidence of the disease.
  3. eleanor1

    eleanor1 New Member

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    my fish, Quentin, has HITH. We had to feed him to the cat :(