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CountryLovah

Euthanizing Fish..

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I am curious how many people on this board have actually had to go ahead an euthanize one of their fish?

I've never done it, but come close a few times. However, every time I am THIS close to doing it, the fish in question starts to make a turn around, and then I wonder what ifI HAD?!

Most recently this was the case with Kismet. She hadn't moved for weeks. Her body was red and sore, and her appetite was gone.. I tried everything there was to try and she just was done. Although I have never euthanized I decided that I HAD to do it for her, because she looked too unhappy. I actually said out loud to someone "that's it. I've made up my mind. She hasn't moved and it's time for her to go"..

Right then she scooted along the bottom. First time she'd done so in AGES. And I thought "What is this? A sign? You don't WANT to go?".

So instead I decided to give it one more try so for the next few days I had to force feed her metromeds. It was hard. She spit them out and it took forever to get a lot down. I also gave her another pp course and used biobandage on her red area on her side... 4 days in and the red had gone down but not much else had changed. . So again, I considered euthanasia but decided to give her a few more days of force feeding. Next day.. I dropped some food in the tank (I always drop it in before feeding her so it gets softer) and to my surprise she scooted over and got the food on her own. The last 3-4 days she is eating on her own again, and while she still can't get off the bottom, she scoots around it and moves.. I have another fish like that who has lived a perfectly healthy life for almost 2 years now on the bottom. He's active and happy as can be, but previous problems caused him to be a scooter forever. I always think of him as "disabled" but stil healthy..

Anyway.. the simple fact that she has made progress surprises me.. And makes me wonder of course.. what if I had euthanized her?! I'm not saying she still won't need to be. Who knows. But for now she is back to fighting when it seems she had all but given up.

In any case, I know sometimes it is needed and I was just curious how many people here have had to actually do it?

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I've done it with a couple of really sick fish. The clove oil method works well and they always go peacefully.

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I've done it twice sadly. The clove oil method works perfectly, they just go to sleep, and then I overdose with clove oil while they're asleep and they just go peacefully. I waited an hour to make sure they were gone. It was sad, but they were no longer suffering at least.

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I've done it with a couple of really sick fish. The clove oil method works well and they always go peacefully.

That was the method I had planned on using for sure.... However I would have had to order it. I think if I had had it on hand I would have used it, and now I am kinda glad I didn't have it on hand..

I've done it twice sadly. The clove oil method works perfectly, they just go to sleep, and then I overdose with clove oil while they're asleep and they just go peacefully. I waited an hour to make sure they were gone. It was sad, but they were no longer suffering at least.

I think when people are able to do it it truly is a sign of love. That you can put them out of their pain even if it causes you MORE pain to see it.. I am in no way against it.. I just always seem to get a weird signal or a weird sign right before and it's always stopped me. I know that sounds odd but it's true. I did have to euthanize my rat Donovan though. It was the hardest thing but I had tried everything I could to make him well and he just was not responded. The vet tech who did it was amazing and she held my hand the whole time and let me hold him.. I think it helped having someone say "We've tried it ALL and this is the best thing you can do". Where with fish, most of us don't have a vet telling us "this is what needs to me done"... So I think that makes the decision more difficult for me, because it really is UP to me... Does that make sense?

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I had to euthanize one of my RG butterfly telescopes, Snow. She had progressively worsening SBD which I believe was due to her Ryukin type, extremely short and rounded. At times she seemed to improve but as time went on she just got worse and couldn't control her balance. At the end she couldn't even eat. It was a sad thing to watch and I couldn't let her go on like that. It's a very difficult thing to do but I had to do what I thought best.

Clove oil definitely is the most humane way of euthanizing.

Edited by blackteles

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I've euthanized two fish, also with the clove oil method.

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Ive had to do this a few times even to my beloved Pharoh :cry

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Oh yeah it is up to us, and sometimes it's the kindest thing we can do instead of continuing their suffering just so we won't be sad to see them go. I feel if that their quality of life isn't going to be good in the future, I am not going to continue their suffering. Like my poor little Bo had severe hole in the head and she had a huge bloody hole all through her wen and multiple new ones were showing up. Even though she was eating there was no way she was going to survive it. It was that bad. She went so peacefully with the clove oil. It seems hard when you're doing it, but then after time passes it really feels better.

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I suppose I've been lucky because I haven't had a lot of times when the decision was really difficult. I've had many dropsy fish, but they've always been fighters and never acted sick. Never stopped eating or swimming or anything. I had Heba and Ed who both ended up with a very bizarre skin issue. It looked BAD but again their behavior was always perfectly normal. They never seemed to be in pain or hurting, and when they did pass, it was quick and hopefully painless. Like, they went from being "normal" to gone within an hour or two so they did not seem to suffer. Then with Hurley (my sinker) he is HAPPY. I mean.. I am not just convincing myself of this.. He cannot get off the bottom, but he is one of the most enthusiastic fish I have. He moves around that tank and gets food like he has NO idea there is a problem. Kharma and Kismet were the first two fish that I really questioned euthanizing. Kharma was a floater, Kismet used to be a floater and is now sunk. The thing with Kharma was, like Hurley, she was always swimming happily and very eager to find food. She just needed a little help getting to it and needed a special diet of floating foods. Kismet is the first fish that I can say looked unhappy. Didn't seem to have a quality of life and that is why with her I thought for sure it was time to euthanize. And if I had had clove oil on hand, I may have. I have a feeling it will come down to that at some point with her.. But for now, she has a new lust for life. I just fed her a few minutes ago, and while yes, she is sunk, she is moving about that tank and eating happily. So I guess I will see what happens..

And also, I'm sorry for all of you that HAVE had to go thought it. I know it must be such a hard thing to do. RIP to all our lost fishies..

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I've had to euthanize a few fish. :cry1 I've always used the clove oil/vodka mixture and the fish have always gone so peacefully it was a relief. The fish I had to put to sleep were always way beyond helping, and had always given up fighting. But it is always such a difficult decision for me to make and I usually end up putting it off for as long as possible. I always hope the poor sweeties will go themselves but I am willing to help them when it becomes apparent that they are suffering too much and that there is no hope for them. I totally agree with Sue that when someone decides this needs to be done it is the hardest decision to make but ultimately it shows how much we love them. :heart

Edit: Just read your last post Sue. :) I agree about how some fish are so sick but they remain happy. Bandit was one that many times I thought I would have to help along but he kept going with that special little wiggly dance even when I thought it was hopeless. The day he died he was in great spirits, ate like a little piggy and a few hours later when I went to check on him he was gone.

Edited by caitie

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Awwwwwwwwww Bandit!!!!!!!! :heart I will always remember him!

The day he died he was in great spirits, ate like a little piggy and a few hours later when I went to check on him he was gone.

I'm getting teary-eyed.. But, that was the best way for him to go. Happy and then gone quickly. Easier on him, and on you. And man did he put up a fight..

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i had to do it recently,and it was TERRIBLE!!! I too used CO,and when I added it to the container she was in,she got frantic for a few seconds! IT WAS AWFUL!!!! I still can't get her face out of my mindcry3.gifGod,I pray I never have to do that again. When she started to flap her little fins-I wanted SO badly to just grab her out of theresad.gifI STILL feel very sad about itcry2.gif

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Oh no Susan, that must have been terrible. :( Did you use vodka with the co? I always mix the two together and I have never seen a fish struggle, they usually just go to sleep very calmly.

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I've read the alcohol in the vodka burns their gills, so it shouldn't be used. My vet agreed that just plain clove oil was a very humane way to do it. But you do have to shake it up in a smaller container with water to emulsify it before adding it to the container the fish is in. Otherwise it will separate from the water. And I also use an airstone in the container the fish is in to make sure the oil stays mixed with the water for the entire time.

Edited by Sakura

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No Edith,I did not use vodka-I wonder why that is better? Her little fin flapping seemed to have to do w/ the mixture going into her gills(OMG,I swear I COULD JUST CRYcry2.gifI still have the pain in my gut and heartpump.gif),and it seems like the vodka would make it stronger-and therefore cause even more discomfort?

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I too have heard about the vodka burning the gills but only if it isn't done properly. The idea is to put just a little vodka to make the clove oil mix better. You don't put a lot of vodka otherwise it will burn their gills. And you need to dose the clove oil just right. I tried just the clove oil once and the fish struggled that is why I now use the vodka. I can't find the paper where I wrote the exact dosage the vet gave me but I can look for it later if you are ever interested.

But I also heard that people have success just with the vodka so maybe I didn't do it right when I tried. :undecided:

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I too have heard about the vodka burning the gills but only if it isn't done properly. The idea is to put just a little vodka to make the clove oil mix better. You don't put a lot of vodka otherwise it will burn their gills. And you need to dose the clove oil just right. I tried just the clove oil once and the fish struggled that is why I now use the vodka. I can't find the paper where I wrote the exact dosage the vet gave me but I can look for it later if you are ever interested.

But I also heard that people have success just with the vodka so maybe I didn't do it right when I tried. :undecided:

Ah, okay. Makes sense :)

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thankfully, i've never had to do it.. but i don't think i could if the time came. a loooooong time ago, when i first joined koko's.,. i hade a fish that i rescued from a pond.. calico somthing or other, can't remember, but he was huge and suffered a long time being stuck between the pond wall and a planter pot which caused him to become permenantly bent. he lasted about 4 days "rescued" and my koko friends helped me throught that.. we were entertaining the thought of ending it for "flipper" by freezing him and i remember how depressed that made me just thinking about it. but flipper died just the same.. now reading that freezing a fish can be a very painful death, i am convinced that him dying the way he did was more peaceful for the both of us. i still look at his photos from time to time and enjoy what he used to be to me.

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