A goldfish question- warning: may be TMI!

So our two goldfish, Dorothy and Spot, have been doing just fine. At least, we hadn’t noticed anything strange until now.

If you are easily grossed out, leave now.

Dorothy seems fine, except for this… thing… that appears to be sticking out of her butt. It does not appear to be fish poop. It is red, and kind of, well, globular-looking. It is protruding from a spot right below where her back fins come together in an inverted v-shape.

Any ideas? Is this roe, and can we expect our 2 year old to witness the miracle of birth in the near future? Or is this some sort of hideous fish-intestine prolapse, which could result in only a quick flushing in Dorothy’s future?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Goldfish roe is clear, and squirts out quickly rather than hanging on. This sounds like a prolapsed intestine, although it could be some form of intestinal parasite.

What kind of goldfish are they, and how long have you had them? Goldfish from pet stores are usually of poor stock, and arrive stressed and full of parasites.

They are pet store fish, I have no idea what kind they are.


This is Dorothy #2, no less, the first Dorothy having gone belly up after two months or so.

If you don’t buy goldfish at a pet store, where do you get them?

Well that’s easy! You can get them at the grocery store. They come in a little box and they smile back at you. Yum Yum!

Actually, I avoid goldfish in general. Hard to get good quality ones, the ones you see in the pet store are breeser rejects and the good ones form the breeders are expensive.

Is it a “fancy” type goldfish, or one of the normal ones? The more globular-looking fancy types can have all kinds of health problems, from inbreeding and the unnatural forms the breeders make them into.

Sometimes intestinal prolapses spontaneously revert by themselves. What you can do is make sure the conditions are comfortable so as not to stress the fish’s system while it’s trying to recover. Keep the water clean, don’t subject it to sudden temperature or PH swings, and above all don’t overfeed it! Overfeeding fouls the water, and can cause intestinal blokages that could be the cause of the prolapse. Goldfishes have tiny stomaches - they’re adapted to graze constantly on very small amounts of food rather than eat big meals once a day. Feeding the fish tiny amounts of crushed food several times a day rather than a few flakes once a day can help.

Thanks for the feeding info- of course, we’ve been feeding them once a day!

The main reason we have goldfish is our son, the almost-two year old. You see, Elmo (Sesame Street) has a goldfish named Dorothy, and Stanley (Disney channel) has a goldfish named Dennis. If it were up to us, we would have different fish. Maybe if Dorothy dies, we will switch breeds.

Starve him for a couple days, then feed him one canned pea, popped between your fingers, then starve him for a week.

The only natural type thing it would be is the oviduct of a female fish being squished out. Since you haven’t been hand-stripping the fish, it’s not that (unless it looks like this picture). That condition is fatal anyways. Looks like the fish has a health problem.

Ooh, thanks for the visual mmmiiikkkeee… ugh.

Nope, it’s not coming from there, but from a spot just north, like where her butthole would be (if fish have buttholes).

But of course, I looked this morning, and it seems to be gone. Dropped off? Re-entered body? Eaten by the other fish? Who knows?

And to think I said that fish would be less complicated than the dog…