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Nuflor Injections


Some time ago, I was facing a challenge with a large Ochiba that developed ulcers. As we went through the checklist of possible causes we soon realised that the problem started with an uncontrolled spawning in the pond. Slight damage of the fins, lost scales etc. are normal after spawning and it normally cured spontaneously. Unfortunately this fish was in a sorry state with torn fins and severe bruises on the body.

We treated the Ochiba as best as we could and also injected it with Baytril. After a week the fish was looking well and we believed that a full recovery was certain.  The owner then went overseas. On his return he called to inform me that the Ochiba had a setback and red spots and ulcers were back. We topically treated her again and started a new course of Baytril, but there was not even a slight improvement. It was obvious that the bacteria were by now resistant to the effects of Baytril. The next step was to start a new treatment with an alternative antibiotic.



Once again we reached for Koi Health and Disease by Dr Erik Johnson and we decided to use Nuflor as an experiment. What a revelation! NuFlor is an oil based preparation labeled for use in Cattle/pigs only and a relatively thick needle is needed for the injections. Nuflor is a thick, oily substance and we found that eighteen or twenty gauge needles work best. It worked wonders for the Ochiba. Since then, I have used Nuflor extensively and had no negative results. It was also found that because of the slow release action that only one injection is normally sufficient. Apparently it remains active in the fish for around ten days. It was also found, in line with Dr Johnsons recommendations, that Nuflor’s therapeutic action is too slow to intercept severe cases before a fish succumb to the disease.

In view of the high dosage and relatively thick needle, we have found that and intraperitoneal injection work best. Some fish developed, as with other antibiotic injections, non contagious cysts at the injection site. For a valuable Koi an injection into the abdomen is definitely preferred. The dosage recommended by Dr Johnson is similar to Chloramphenicol. A dosing chart is quoted at the end of this article.

The following are quotes from Dr Johnsons book/website mentioned above:

“Abstract of Nuflor: NuFlor is a Schering Co. antibiotic not intended for use in fish, let alone food fish. The intended application of the drug is as an oil based, extended release thiamphenicol derivative for large animals. The active ingredient is "Florfenicol" and it's a sister to Chloramphenicol which is EXCELLENT for bacterial infections in fish. The concept is (and has been) that the Nuflor, being extended release, would be a "one shot wonder" for fish with diseases susceptible to Chloramphenicol. And in practice, it has worked very, very well with only one administration. For a while, we only injected it intramuscularly. Later, it was anecdotally determined to be safe for intraperitoneal injection. Occasionally, a fish will develop NuFlor scald.”

“I am reluctant to use it on large Kohaku's because of a rare reaction in which the fish will turn bright red, and some of them will die. We do not know if it's a cellulitis or sensitivity to sunlight. It has only happened in red and white fish - and some of the Black and white (shiro) variety. But I have had about three fish among the hundreds injected, to turn red and nearly die after Nuflor injection by the IM route." ~ Doc Johnson



I have used Nuflor extensively for a few years now and during this time have injected hundreds of fish. There were two negative results. One fatality occurred when a very large Shiro Utsuri was injected two years ago. When I was called out the Utsuri was in a bad state already. It was spiralling and bumping into the sides of the pond. It was also unable to close its mouth. After ruling out the possibility that something may be stuck in the mouth or throat, it was injected with Nuflor. It died during the night. I am convinced the fatality was not due to Nuflor.

The second problem that I encountered was recently with the occurrence of “Nuflor scald”. After hundreds of injections without problems it happened to two Matsunosuki Shiro Utsuri in one day! The female was injected IM and the male IP. Never say never!

  nuflor_scald_2 nuflorscald_1

For comprehensive information on Nuflor scald, go to this site.

Note:  Nuflor has an extended shelf life, making it ideal for the hobbyist. Do not put it in the refrigerator!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:52