After publishing our article on treating a guppy prolapse, we noticed people asking about having problems with a platy prolapse in their fish so we decided to publish this article to try and help any of our readers who keep platies in their aquariums and are having problems with prolapses.
As with most things, it is much easier to treat a platy prolapse if you catch it early though so try to keep this in mind and look for potential causes as soon as you notice a potential prolapse in your fish.
The easiest way to treat a platy prolapse is to give your platy an Epsom salt bath for around ten minutes per day, each day for around a week.
The ratio of water to Epsom salt will change depending on the severity of the prolapse but a popular ratio is one tablespoon of Epsom salt per two gallons of water but there are a number of different ways you can set up Epsom salt baths.
Depending on the severity of the prolapse in your platy, it may be a good idea for you to book a video call with a veterinarian to have them check your fish over quickly via the camera on your smartphone.
This is a quick and easy way for you to get professional advice on the condition of your fish and the vet may be able to recommend you give your platy more or less frequent Epsom salt baths to treat their prolapse as well as tweak your water to Epsom salt ratio too.
What Is A Platy Fish Prolapse?
A platy prolapse is a condition in fish that causes the anus of the fish to become exposed and sit outside of the body of the fish.
An untreated prolapse can quickly become a serious problem for a fish and may end up being lethal to the fish so trying to treat a prolapse as soon as you notice it is important.
A platy with a prolapse will usually have a visible prolapse of less than one millimeter initially with this usually not being classed as a severe prolapse and an Epsom salt bath usually being enough to treat the condition.
The longer the prolapse becomes, the more serious the condition is and the less likely that it is that you will be able to treat the condition in your platy.
Any prolapse over one millimeter usually is more difficult to treat but it can still be done. These longer prolapses are usually when we would recommend that you get some professional advice from a veterinarian though as you may require a stronger medication for the fish or to tweak how you treat the prolapse to help the fish back to full health.
Is It A Prolapse Or Internal Parasites?
Many people will often misdiagnose parasites such as camallanus worms or flukes on their platies as a prolapse.
Both conditions require totally different treatments to each other to get your platy back to full health so it is usually a good idea to put some effort into trying to confirm the diagnosis in your platy prior to starting treatment.
It is usually very easy to confirm if the issue is simply flukes attached to your platy with a close inspection and you can Google photographs of flukes to compare them.
The problem is camallanus worms as they are very similar to a prolapse but the key difference between the two is their colors as a prolapse will usually be a consistent color where as a camallanus worm will turn from a pale color to a red color after feeding on the blood of your platy.
If you do suspect that your platy is having problems with camallanus worms rather than a prolapse then you can usually treat the condition quickly and easily with either fenbendazole, levamisole or praziquantel but depending on your location, they may only be available from a veterinarian.
Thankfully, camallanus worms are not only easier to treat than a prolapse in a fish but they are also more common with a misdiagnosis being very common.
Why Do Prolapses Happen In Platy Fish?
The most common cause of a prolapse in your platy is due to overfeeding them than they results in constipation and eventually a prolapse.
Less common causes of a prolapse in a platy include an internal infection or a female platy giving birth but both are much rarer than a prolapse that is due to constipation.
This is why some people will actively fast their platy when treating a prolapse as it can reduce the problems with constipation in the fish and get your fish back to full health quicker.
Epsom salt baths usually have a very high success rate when used to treat platies with prolapses like this.
If you suspect that your platy is having problems with a prolapse due to an infection then you will have to work on treating the infection be it bacterial or parasitic while treating the prolapse too.
There are plenty of suitable products on the market for this such as Melafix though that have a great reputation.
Thankfully, prolapses due to a female platy giving birth are less common the more times a platy gives birth and an Epsom salt bath should be able to treat the problem.
How Do You Fix A Platy Fish Prolapse?
An Epsom salt bath consisting of one tablespoon Epsom salt per two gallons of water is usually the generic recommendation for treating a platy prolapse.
One bath per day for seven days that lasts around ten minutes should be enough to treat a platy prolapse provided that you catch the prolapse early before it has time to develop.
If your platy is having a problem with a severe prolapse that has been left to develop then some people will give their platy two or even three Epsom salt baths per day over the course of a week.
We usually don’t recommend this though unless a qualified veterinarian has specifically recommended this treatment to you.
Some veterinarians will also have additional products available that can be used to treat severe prolapses in fish that they may be able to supply you with.
Not all veterinarians stock these as standard though so they may have to order them in and at the latter stages of a prolapse in a fish, the time required for the treatment to be delivered may take to long to save the fish.
Is A Platy Fish Prolapse A Serious Problem?
A prolapse in a platy can quickly become a serious problem in the fish if it is not treat and many platies will, unfortunately, perish within a month of having a prolapse.
If you do catch the prolapse as soon as it develops then the chances of your fish making a full recovery is much higher than it otherwise would be though.
We have seen some other home remedies for treating a prolapse in various species of fish online but we would usually recommend that you avoid them unless a vet recommends that you try them.
The Epsom salt bath method is usually the best option that does not require specific treatments from your vet.
In theory, if the prolapse in your platy is due to constipation and the prolapse is just starting the emerge then fasting your platy may be able to correct the issue.
There are a number of variables on that one though so we usually recommend against just trying to fast a platy to treat a prolapse in the fish and you should be leaning more towards an Epsom salt bath if possible.
That brings our article going over how to treat a platy prolapse in your fish to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you realize that there are options available for treating a prolapse in your platy that don’t always require a vet but more serious problems really should be treated under the advisement of a vet. Still, plenty of people within the fish keeping community will successfully treat a prolapse in their fish at home provided they catch it early with the fish making a full recovery.