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Furunculosis


Definition

Furunculosis is also known as boils. A bacterial disease of salmonids that is usually characterized by boils or furuncles on the skin of affected fish although this is not always the case. The causative agent is the bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida. Furunculosis is systemic in nature as it travels through the bloodstream and affects all parts of the body, especially the vital organs. The rapid multiplication of bacteria in the bloodstream causes smaller blood vessels to rupture allowing the bacteria to spread to surrounding tissue. When allowed to advance to this stage, the disease is always fatal. Poor conditions contribute to it. Check things such as environmental stress, pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and any other possible carriers of the bacteria.

Causes

  1. Although exact cause of this disease is not known but it is believed that it may occur by poor conditions.
  2. Furunculosis is generally an infection of the hair follicles by Staphylococcus aureus or staph, a strain of bacteria that normally lives on the skin surface.
  3. The bacteria can enter the body through tiny cut of the skin which can be during bathing or while using a razor.
  4. It is thought that a tiny cut of the skin allows this bacterium to enter the follicles and cause an infection.
  5. Bacterial skin infections can be spread by shared cosmetics or washcloths, close human contact, or by contact with pus from a furunculosis or carbuncle.
  6. Hidradenitis suppurativa causes frequent furunculosis.

Symptoms

  1. The symptoms of the subspecies are more connected with the skin, the furuncles usually not very deep.
  2. In the beginning there may be swellings or blisters appearing mainly on the sides and around the mouth.
  3. Localized swelling and redness around a hair follicle accompanied by extreme tenderness and pain may also be the symptoms of fununculosis.
  4. In advanced cases, there may be an occasional narrowing of the external auditory canal due to swelling, which may result in hearing impairment.
  5. As the disease progresses straining, with painful defecation, often with blood streaked feces may be noticed.

Treatment

  1. Small furunculosis may subside and go without any treatment. You can ease pain by covering the boil with a flannel soaked in hot water. Do this for 30 minutes, 3-4 times a day.
  2. Larger furunculosis is best treated by letting the pus out. Sometimes this is done by a doctor who drains the pus using a needle and syringe. Sometimes a small cut in the skin is needed to let out the pus. The wound is covered with a dressing until the skin heals. The skin usually heals quickly once the pus has been drained.
  3. Do decrease activity until the infection heals. Avoid sweating and contact sports while furuncles are present.
  4. Don’t share towels, washcloths, or clothing with other household members.
  5. A course of antibiotics is often prescribed in addition to draining the pus to help clear the infection from the skin.
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