Is This Lymphocystis?

BeckyCats

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My 8 year old son picked out a betta yesterday from petco. He was labeled as a dragonscale male. I noticed that the betta has a small white blemish on his back, kind of pushing up his scales. I told my son I don't know what this is, it could be nothing, it could be very bad. He said he didn't care what it is, if the betta is sick, he wants to take care of it and let it be happy and not in the little cup. So we brought the little guy home, knowing full well that we may not have him long, but determined to make his life a good one and hoping for the best.
 
When we got home, I took the pictures below before I put him in his new home. Then I consulted Dr. Google and found lyphocystis as the most likely explanation.
 
I've read differing opinions about whether to add aquarium salt and whether or not to treat with antibiotics. Petco sold me an herbal treatment that is supposed to be an all-around remedy. I haven't used it yet. I've also read differing opinions about the prognosis. Some say it is treatable but not curable, others say it is curable, and some say it can't even be treated. Even treatment is acceptable to me, if treatment is possible. Clean water is one thing he will most certainly have.
 
So, does anyone agree/disagree with my diagnosis? Any treatment recommendations?
 
Oh, I've also noticed that he seems to be missing some scales on the top of his head but I'm wondering if that is normal.
 
The stats on his new home are:
 
10 gallon tank, live plants, fully cycled, heated to 78F, filtered (the filter has a sponge over the intake tube and I've also put a water-bottle baffle over the output to keep the flow to practically nil)
pH: 6.5 - 6.8
ammonia and nitrites = 0
nitrates = almost 0 because of the plants
 
Thank you!
 

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Akasha72

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I had a suspected case of this in my tank recently and both fish affected did die sadly. I couldn't find anything here in the U.K designed to treat it. You could try a whitespot treatment as from what I could gather it is related to whitespot but I don't know enough about Betta's to know if they are sensitive to these types of  treatments.
 
From your photo's it does look very similar to what I could see on both my harlequins. The 'lump' they both had did fall off eventually leaving behind a bloody hole. They then became weak and died soon after. Thankfully none of my other fish have become affected by it and so it doesn't appear to be infectious like whitespot is. 
 
Sorry I can't be of more help than that
 

Flubberlump

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I can't help at all I'm afraid, but can I just say that you have a very caring and lovely son. I've heard children in shops being very picky about the size and colour of their fish etc, so for yours to choose that one specifically to give it a good life because it might be ill is wonderful in my opinion.
 
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BeckyCats

BeckyCats

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Akasha72 said:
I had a suspected case of this in my tank recently and both fish affected did die sadly. I couldn't find anything here in the U.K designed to treat it. You could try a whitespot treatment as from what I could gather it is related to whitespot but I don't know enough about Betta's to know if they are sensitive to these types of  treatments.
 
From your photo's it does look very similar to what I could see on both my harlequins. The 'lump' they both had did fall off eventually leaving behind a bloody hole. They then became weak and died soon after. Thankfully none of my other fish have become affected by it and so it doesn't appear to be infectious like whitespot is. 
 
Sorry I can't be of more help than that
Thank you for your input, Akasha. I really hope this doesn't turn into a bloody hole in the poor fish. That would totally freak my poor son right out. Thank you for making me aware of this potentiality and that it is fatal if that does happen. This knowledge will make me act fast to spare the fish from suffering and spare my son from seeing it if I can. Hopefully though, "Cannon Ball" (can you guess who named him - ha ha!) will be okay for a long time.
 
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BeckyCats

BeckyCats

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Flubberlump said:
I can't help at all I'm afraid, but can I just say that you have a very caring and lovely son. I've heard children in shops being very picky about the size and colour of their fish etc, so for yours to choose that one specifically to give it a good life because it might be ill is wonderful in my opinion.
Thank you so much. As we drove home, I told him I was proud of him for putting the animal's welfare before his own feelings. That is hard to do, I know. It is easier to just walk away and hope someone else takes care of it. 
 
I sure hope it isn't as dire as I think and that we can give this betta a long, happy, healthy life. Sometimes it works out better than you think. Last year we adopted a 16 year old cat with hyperthyroidism. He's still going strong a year later at 17, so it just goes to show, you never know.
 

Akasha72

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this was one of my harlequins - there was a cyst on it's side, which you can clearly see in the photo, and another just behind the dorsal fin which doesn't really show in the photo
 

 
this was it after the cysts fell off
 

 
 
Just so you are aware of what your likely to see if this is indeed the same thing. I have seen this before in a tetra and it did survive so it's not certain that your fish will die from this.
 
I agree with Flubberlump, you have a lovely kind caring child and you have every right to be very proud x
 
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BeckyCats

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Does anyone else have any ideas? Could it be from an injury? What about the missing scales on his head? If it is lymphocystis, I've read that maintaining clean water and a stress-free environment is the best thing to keep it under control. I'm still wondering if I should treat the water with something as a preventative, like petco said to do.
 
So far, he seems to be doing well. He slowly cruises around his tank looking at things. He tried to eat a few snails, but alas, spit them back out. I never realized how bendy bettas are and that their eyes move. I can understand now why people say bettas have loads of personality. The way he turns and bends to look at things is really quite interesting.
 

Essjay

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I'm afraid to say it looks very much like one of my previous bettas. It started with what looked like a raised scale but it got bigger and bigger. He lived for six months with me, in the end I had to put him down. Over the six months, every so often the lump would sort of deflate and leave a grey gooey mess where the lump had been, then it would regrow. Eventually the first lump got so big it was engulfing his gill and more lumps were starting down his side. He got more and more listless, and finally he was just lying half on his side on the bottom of the tank - that's when I realised the time had come to do something.
Lymphocystis is viral, so there is no treatment. It is also contagious which is why I used separate cleaning equipment for the betta's tank as soon as he started to show symptoms.
 
The photos were taken shortly before the end. Hopefully your betta won't get this bad.
 
 

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Akasha72

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oh wow essjay ... that looks awful. Poor fish :(
 

Essjay

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You can see why I had to put him down in the end

 
Then I sterilised the tank, heater and filter with Milton, threw away the plants and substrate, bought new filter media and cycled it before getting another betta. I just couldn't risk another betta getting like that.
 
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BeckyCats

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Thank you, Essjay, for sharing your experience. Your poor little betta. You definitely made the right call.
 
The smaller lumps on your fish do look very similar to what my guy has. It is like you describe, as looking like a raised scale.
 
~Sigh~ I was afraid of this. Well, at least we are prepared for the worst (still hoping for the best!) and it won't take us by horrible surprise if the worst does happen. For now, we will just enjoy him and make sure he has a good life.
 

Essjay

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That's what I did, try to give him a good life. He did have six months before he reached that state and he was very lively and inquisitive right up the last few days. Not to mention a little pig when it came to food

 
 
 
Can I suggest you are very careful not to transmit this to any other fish tanks you may have. Keep one set of anything that goes in a tank just for use with this one fish. If it turns out to be something else you can mix equipment then. But I couldn't risk any more of my fish coming down with this.
I always cleaned his tank last because i couldn't be sure that scrubbing my hands would remove every last virus on them.
 
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BeckyCats

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That's good advice. I do have several things that are separate already just because of the size difference between the two tanks, but I should probably get a new net. I'm still stocking the 55g so I'll be needing the net. I'm sure I'll think of other things too.
 

Essjay

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I'll keep my fingers crossed that your betta doesn't have what mine did. Even if it is the same, yours shouldn't be as badly affected as the spot is further down his back, away from his gills. It was when it got into his gill that mine changed for the worse.
 
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