A case of gastrointestinal torsion with dilatation in a farm-raised channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) was examined at the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center (Stoneville, Mississippi, USA). The affected fish was a gravid female broodfish, which displayed pale gills and a markedly distended abdomen. Internal examination revealed that the gastrointestinal tract and ovaries were rotated around each other four times in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in right lateral recumbency. The catfish had a markedly distended gastrointestinal tract, pale liver, hypoplastic spleen, hypoplastic swim bladder, and high volume of ascitic fluid. Blood analysis indicated multiple abnormalities, including severe anemia and metabolic acidosis. The etiology of the torsion was uncertain; however, the presence of a hypoplastic swim bladder most likely allowed for increased movement of the gastrointestinal tract and ovaries. When examining cases of abdominal distention in fish, gastrointestinal torsion can be considered among the differential diagnoses.
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Vol. 39 • No. 1