Is Frank Sick? 6 Signs Your Goldfish Needs Attention

You might take your cat in for bladder surgery or maybe your dog goes to the vet for annual shots, but would you ever consider bringing in your goldfish for a life-saving operation? One fish named George had an owner that did exactly that. Next time you feel bad about doling out cash to care for your furry friend at a place like Munster Animal Hospital, you might want to think about all those times you could have recognized the signs of illness in your pet goldfish.

Here are a few symptoms to look for in your goldie:


George's tumor was growing out of his head; however, many are not so easy to discern. You should look for signs of difficulty swimming and suffering that often accompany tumors.

Rapid Breathing

This symptom is often accompanied by sticking to the surface of water, trying to get as much air as possible. In a case like this, the water might not contain enough oxygen for the goldfish, and stress can really take a toll on your pet.

Loss of Appetite

Have you noticed a weight change in your goldfish recently? Any fish that does not seem to be eating regularly should be on high alert. It could be the sign of a parasite living inside your fish. You should also take note of slow response times, especially when it comes to food. Healthy goldfish tend to have healthy appetites.

Strange Swimming Patterns

Strange patterns in swimming could be the result of a number of problems. For instance, your fish could have a problem with buoyancy, or perhaps your scaly friend is having some problems eating. You should also take a look at your tank's water quality.

You might also notice your pet lying listlessly at the bottom of the tank. In this case, it is wise to visit the veterinarian. Again, this could be a matter of water quality. It could also be a case of infection that requires treatment.

Abnormal Fins

You might notice that your fish has folded fins that he or she is holding near the body. This is a common symptom of parasites. Additionally, you might notice that your fish's fins are torn or frayed. While a fish may do this to himself during a swim, it is possible that this is also related to the actions of a more aggressive fish.

Protruding Eyes

Eyes that seem to abnormally extend from the face (not a trademark of the type of fish you own) could indicate that something is wrong with Flipper. The most common cause for protruding eyes is infection.

For George, surgery went well. He now lives at home with his owner and appears to be doing just fine. Remember that the sooner you seek treatment for your pet, the better the chances are that he or she will be healthy too.