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The fish below were KHV confirmed at the UGA, University of Georgia, in the summer of 2003.  The fish, which I bought as breeders from a new-to-me source started getting sick and dying while I was raising the temperature to check for KHV.  Since the spring of 2002 all incoming fish are put through a series of raising and lowering of the water temperature to check for both KHV and SVC.  This takes place over a course of 3 to 4 weeks.

One unusual aspect of these fish is they were parasite free.  This was a bit surprising because parasites are one, but no means the only way,  that KHV is spread.  While going through KHV in 1998, the first year that KHV hit the United State en masse, costia was a factor in the KHV.

"Scalded" which is what I refer to for lack of a better word is symptom of KHV.  The area looks burned, is lighter in color than the rest of the fish.  The scalded area has no slime coat and feels very rough to the touch.
 
 best example of the "scalding"

The picture to the right shows the best example of the "scalding" I refer to.  It is just in front of the dorsal area

on the back.

 

In some cases the scales would rub right off the fish with just a slight pressure of handling the fish.  Many scales would be found in the net if one was used.

     

#1 photo  KHV damage

#2 photo  KHV damage

#3 photo  KHV damage


#4 photo  KHV damage

Of course there are other symptoms and these include fish hanging in the water with the head up and tail down, piping at the surface.  The piping is actually the fish breathing hard because the damaged gills can not take in enough oxygen. Some fish may lay on the bottom but most of the ones in the tank with KHV did just the opposite.  Once the scalding appeared and it seemed to co-inside with the hanging in the water with the head up and tail down, the fish generally died with 24 hours.

The fish stops eating, will not eat.  The eyes sink into the head and take on a hollow appearance.

picture of the gill on KHV koi

This is an actual
picture of the gill on
a KHV infected fish

 

  #5 photo  KHV damage

In most cases the fish was fearless and listless and could be easily picked up in your hand with no fighting or swimming away.  Nor did the fish flop and try to get away from your hand as a healthy fish would do.

gill damage caused by chilodonella

Although the picture to the left is of gill damage caused by chilodonella, this is the type of damage one will see with KHV also.
 


Healthy gill

Healthy gill


Of the 200 fish there were 10 survivors in the same tank that showed no symptoms.  In fact those 10 continued to eat and thrive.  Once the testing came back positive from UGA, those 10 fish were euthanatized.  Heavy bleach was run through the tank, filters and pumps.  All nets, bowls and pails that came in contact with the fish were put in the tank at the same time to be sterilized.

In summary, this could have been a disaster for us personally.  What saved the rest of our fish is the fact that each tank has its own bowl, net and pail, and we wash our hands thoroughly after working in the tank or handling the fish.  No other fish on the premises was contaminated by KHV.
 

 
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