Preferred euthanasia method

If you had to euthanize a sick fish, how would you do it and why?


  • Total voters
    55
newbie101
  • #1
How do you euthanize a sick fish? Lots of different opinions on this one. If I forgot something (I think I did) tell me and I'll add it
 
chickadee
  • #2
I chose the "clove oil" option. It was kind of a toss up between it and the alcohol option but the reason I ended up with the clove oil was I had heard from my vet friend that you don't have to use much and they just "go to sleep" so I thought this was perhaps like putting another animal to sleep. Not that I think I could do it unless I really thought they were suffering. I came close to wishing I could have with Azul, but then he would look better and I would think maybe he was recovering.

Rose
 
dano569
  • #3
I wrap them in a paper towel and stick them in the freezer. :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
I only do that when it seems there is no hope of recovery.I give them as much of a chance as possible[I hope]
 
Parvath
  • #4
Do u think dropping a slick fish into a lake or pond would help ??? would it recover cause it is back into more natural habitat?
 
newbie101
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
No you should never do that!!!! Here is a good article on why not to, from freshwater aquarium
There are so many ponds, rivers, and lakes. Why not put unwanted fish there? Seems kinda natural, doesn't it? And it would be - if the fish came from that body of water in the first place. However that is almost never the case. Thousands of non-indigenous species of fish are imported to the United States and other countries each year. Those fish do not belong in the local waterways.

Why? For starters the living conditions are usually less than ideal. Water temperature and other environmental factors may be too harsh for them to survive. Bacteria and parasites they aren’t normally exposed to (and therefore are not resistant to) might infest them. There may be no suitable foods for them and they will starve. Or they may become lunch for the fish and other wildlife that are native to the area. For most non-indigenous fish the odds are not favorable for a long and healthy life.

Those that do survive pose an even worse problem. Non-native fish can play havoc with the habitat. They may kill other fish and wildlife, destroy vegetation, and pass on parasites and disease. In some cases it is possible for them to breed with local fish and create destructive offspring that Mother Nature never intended to exist (and we all know the perils of fooling with Mother Nature). Considerable damage has been done to many local ecosystems by non-indigenous fish that were carelessly dumped.
 
newbie101
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Some fish, including snakeheads have been banned from some states because someone dumped one in the waterways and it wreaked havoc: (this is from the same site)
Why fish should never be dumped
The summer of 2002 will be remembered in many circles for stories about the toothy, air-breathing, land-walking family of snakeheads that took up residence in a quiet pond behind a Maryland shopping center. Much like a hit horror movie there was bound to be a sequel, and in the fall of 2003 the aggressive snake returned, this time checking out the scenery in a Wisconsin river.
Mistakenly Let Go
Not accustomed to finding snakeheads swimming in their waters, authorities in Wisconsin mistook it for a local fish and let it swim merrily on it's way without so much as warning for trespassing. Later the error was discovered and a team dispatched to check out the vicinity. The snakehead had vanished, and it is hoped the visiting fish will not survive the bitterly cold Wisconsin winter.

Unfortunately, snakeheads are known for their survival skills.

They can breath air, walk short distances on dry land, and survive droughts by burrowing into the mud. That fact was once again brought to mind in 2004 when Snakeheads were found in the Potomac, and most recently near Chicago.
The repeat appearance of a snakehead, which was banned from import in 2002, is disconcerting to say the least. It is becoming increasingly apparent that despite warnings, aquarium fish owners are continuing to release unwanted fish into local waters. In most cases, the owners have no idea that their cast off fish can damage the habitat they are released into. That lack of knowledge is the very reason the problem continues to grow.

The Impact of Non-Indigenous Fish
As any cichlid enthusiast will tell you, non-indigenous fish (in other words, fish that don't belong where they are dumped) can have a devastating effect on the native fish living there.

At one time Lake Victoria was home to a thriving population of cichlids. Several hundred unique species existed there, and only there. Then the Nile perch was introduced, and quickly took over. As a result two hundred species of fish have vanished. What happened in Lake Victoria is just one example of what has happened elsewhere, and will continue to happen as long as fish are released in waters they don't orignate from.
 
Parvath
  • #7
Thanks for the info Emma.
 
newbie101
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Do u think dropping a slick fish into a lake or pond would help ??? would it recover cause it is back into more natural habitat?
A slick fish lol
 
Parvath
  • #9
LOL... didnt realise I had typed "Slick" instead of "Sick"
 
newbie101
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
And that is why Mike added a good ol' spellchecker.
 
Marc
  • #11
But slick is a word... it's only a spell check, not a grammar check
 
newbie101
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Ah, you have me there
 
sirdarksol
  • #13
Anesthetic overdose.

I want to throw one note in here.

No arguing about euthanasia methods, please. We've closed one thread of that nature already, and don't need to do it again. If someone posts something particularly insensitive, please report it and the mods will take a look at it. However, if you just don't like a particular method (there are several of the methods that I would consider cruel, for example), let it be. No need to bring up more bad blood about this.

This does not apply to people asking questions, of course. If they genuinely want to know about something, like Parvath asking about releasing fish into the wild, it's entirely fine to answer.
 
rainman
  • #14
I take the fish and put it in some club soda, so that the carbon dioxide knock's the fish out, then I freeze them.
 
Lucy
  • #15
I take the fish and put it in some club soda, so that the carbon dioxide knock's the fish out, then I freeze them.

I've never heard of this, is it humane? When you say 'knocks the fish out', do you mean like an anesthetic?

Where did you hear about this method?
 
Barbrella
  • #16
Here is a method that is considered to be totally humane. I've used it and found it to be very gentle and easy for the fish.

euthanize
 
luna
  • #17
Here is a method that is considered to be totally humane. I've used it and found it to be very gentle and easy for the fish.
This does seem to be the most humane option...but I have a problem with it. The alcohol. My family does not drink and we do not allow alcohol in our house for any reason...so is there an alternative substance that would be suitable after using the clove oil to knock the fish out?

Ideally, I hope I never need to do this, but it would be nice to know ahead of time what my options are.
 
Peterpiper
  • #18
Anesthetic overdose.

I want to throw one note in here.

No arguing about euthanasia methods, please. We've closed one thread of that nature already, and don't need to do it again. If someone posts something particularly insensitive, please report it and the mods will take a look at it. However, if you just don't like a particular method (there are several of the methods that I would consider cruel, for example), let it be. No need to bring up more bad blood about this.

This does not apply to people asking questions, of course. If they genuinely want to know about something, like Parvath asking about releasing fish into the wild, it's entirely fine to answer.

We lost a lot when the tread was closed.. I take most of the blame, meanings can sometimes be distorted.. and the way something is said in the US, can be taken a different way in Australia, and vice verser. Guess I should have let it slide ( in hindsight ).
Anyway if your looking for MS 222, this is the same stuff.. you can get it here



sirdarksol,
Maybe the Moderators could post the methods that they use, and the benifits in using the methods, and how the method used will end the suffering and not prolong it?
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #19
I know there are people that do not like this method because they say it forms ice crystals inside the fish that harms them... let me say, the fish is surely completely dead before their bodies get cold enough to freeze.

We put them in a bag, such as the plastic ones you get when you buy a fish at the store (we buy those things by the hundreds) and enough water for them to be completely covered. We put that bag in the freezer and then take it out a day later. The tropical fish aren't going to survive down to 32 degrees farenheit, so they aren't going to survive long enough to feel the freezing. The water in the bag has to cool down to the freezing point, and since water cools slower than air, they get a more gradual go to sleep kinda death.

It would be nice to have one thread of this topic survive with only mature discussion, lets make it happen. (Thank you, Pete, for taking responsibility for whatever part of the failure of discussion in the past that may have been your fault, that's good of you. )
 
tan.b
  • #20
i've always chickened out of euthansing. I really wish I had the guts to do it, as i've seen sick fish really poorly and I know they are going to die within hours, but i'm just too soft to be able to hurry along the inevitable. I think its because i'm scared I'll do it wrong and actually cause suffering if that makes sense? yet when I worked in a vets I had no problem with euthanasia, but I think that's because I trusted the method caused no suffering.
 
Gargoyle
  • #21
I had a guppy impale himself on a fake plant. When I pulled him off the plant his gill was destroyed and his eyeball was hanging out. Honestly I was surprised he was still alive and felt badly for his continued suffering. I got a glass of water and added 2 ice cubes to it. When the ice cubes finally dissolved in the glass of water it was very very cold. I placed him in the water and his death was instant. I could have used another option I suppose but I wanted his suffering over ASAP and that was the best way I knew of. A complete shock of his system and shut down which was what he needed. I still feel bad thinking back on it now.
 
tan.b
  • #22
I had a guppy impale himself on a fake plant. When I pulled him off the plant his gill was destroyed and his eyeball was hanging out. Honestly I was surprised he was still alive and felt badly for his continued suffering. I got a glass of water and added 2 ice cubes to it. When the ice cubes finally dissolved in the glass of water it was very very cold. I placed him in the water and his death was instant. I could have used another option I suppose but I wanted his suffering over ASAP and that was the best way I knew of. A complete shock of his system and shut down which was what he needed. I still feel bad thinking back on it now.

with injuries like that even I would have found the courage to do something to end the suffering. don't feel bad.
 
Neville
  • #23
Hey tan.b! it's good to see ya, I haven't seen u posting for a long time. good to have u back.

Clove oil is the best way to euthanise a fish; the fish feels nothing, it is very peaceful and humane. It seems mad that a few drops of something can have such an effect, but it IS very strong. Don't think that if you initially put more in it will act quicker - it will only freak the fish out - it has to be done gradually so the fish doesn't notice the change in the water.
 
tan.b
  • #24
thought you'd have forgotten me!

what type of shop would you buy clove oil? what's its intended purpose?.....guessing not made for euthanasia!
 
King_Snuggles
  • #25
thought you'd have forgotten me!

what type of shop would you buy clove oil? what's its intended purpose?.....guessing not made for euthanasia!

toothaches, and sold in Walgreen's and the such.

I have never really put much thought on the most humane way to euthanize my fish but they would go the way very suddenly aka a fast phone book. it might sound cruel but it the fastest way I can think of.
 
Angela_96
  • #26
putting a sick fish in a lake or pond

Do u think dropping a slick fish into a lake or pond would help ??? would it recover cause it is back into more natural habitat?

unless I have an aligator gar, or bass in my tanks there is no way I would do that. you should never put a fish from your aquarium into a local pond/lake/river that is not their natural habitats. most of the fish we keep are from overseas (india africa, etc)

my husband has a degree in enviromental science/wildlife management and he has very much advised me on this subject. these fish would harm the other fish in our local area.

not to mention, if you read about the african cichlids for instance when the "white" people went to africa they introduced perch to the river systems. when that happend a bunch of the cichlid speices at that point either went extinct or endangered now there are a lot of those species that the only ones that exist are the ones in aquariums that us fish hobbiyist keep thanks to people introducing fish into un-natural enviroments. (sorry I got off the subject of the euthinasa...


I do prefer the fastest method I can do, its the closest to chopping their heads off, and I do basicly wait until they are almost dead before I will even do that much, I try everything possible I can do for the fish and that almost always includes the old fashion salt bath as a last ditch effort....
 
sirdarksol
  • #27
sirdarksol,
Maybe the Moderators could post the methods that they use, and the benifits in using the methods, and how the method used will end the suffering and not prolong it?

While I hope they do (some have), I do want to point out that our being moderators doesn't necessarily mean that we know any more about keeping fish than any of the others.
 
Neville
  • #28
thought you'd have forgotten me!

what type of shop would you buy clove oil? what's its intended purpose?.....guessing not made for euthanasia!

clove oil is a type of painkiller, it is used mainly for toothache, u can find it at pharmacies.
 
capekate
  • #29
Health food stores carry the clove oil as well.
 
rainman
  • #30
I've never heard of this, is it humane? When you say 'knocks the fish out', do you mean like an anesthetic?

Where did you hear about this method?




yes, and yes. My T.F.H. book, it is almost instantaneous, then to the freezer.
but mostly it depends on the fish. only small fast fish like danios and tetras are affected instantly. larger fish take longer. and in most gouramis it wil just cause pain.
 
Tayful
  • #31
Clove oil or alcohol, never flushing. So many people just flush their fish but that doesn't kill them right away.
 
Peterpiper
  • #32
Could people back the method that they say, or portray as good or best, with scientific fact or studies done when using the method mentioned, as some methods mentioned in this thread are not classed as a humane method to eythanize a fish, and I feel that some may take a post as fact when it is fiction..
 
sirdarksol
  • #33
Unfortunately, there's very little funding for studies on what methods of death cause pain to fish, particularly smaller fish like what we keep in the aquarium. I think that's why the list we have floating around here somewhere lists a lot of things as "not humane", because the vets aren't sure about it.
 
Peterpiper
  • #34
sirdarksol,
AVMA ( American Veterinary Medical Association ) released "Guidelines on Euthanasia", This paper was released on June 2007.
There is a section on Amphibians, Fish, and Reptiles. In this section Clove oil is mentioned.
 
sirdarksol
  • #35
That's the file I'm talking about, I think (I can't read it right now. Adobe is acting up). If it is, the entry on clove oil is essentially "we can't say that this is humane because we aren't sure." The one that I read didn't say that it wasn't humane, just that, because there have been no studies, it would be unethical for them to say that their studies have shown that clove oil doesn't cause pain.
About the only thing that they've really been able to study is the use of anesthetic, because there is money in studying the anesthetic. Simply, certain people (namely koi owners) are willing to pay to have surgery done on their fish, and therefore, we need to find something that is an anesthetic. With nearly any general anesthetic, an overdose will simply continue to slow body processes until the being is dead, so it is a fair scientific statement that "OD of anesthetic is a humane death."

Setting all of this aside and returning to your request for scientific fact, it simply cannot be provided. 90% (or more) of what we say on this forum is not supported by properly documented scientific study because it's based on our own personal experience and most of us don't have time to set up a proper control tank, keep track of all variables, etc... I may disagree with some of these methods, but I suggest that anyone who is concerned with scientific method go with the file you've listed here (and that has been listed in a couple of other threads as well).
 
KyWildFish
  • #36
I doubt its similar but the fastest way we ended Lab rats in college was the old french rev way, a minI Guillotine (modified cigar trimmer). It severs the brain stem and the rat just stops. Best way to do it humanely was to dope them up a little with something (usually alcohol) then do the deed. It wasn't pleasant but it was quick.

My slaughter classes taught me a few other methods for different animals if its any help. The first is for large bovines. The are bolted (knocked really fast in the head) which knocks them out, then exanguinated (bleed out). They really want to keep stress down in the meat industry so this has proven to be the most effective through many scientific studies. For poultry they hang the birds upside down and dip them into a conductive bath (usually salt water) then electrocute the out of them, enough to drop a grown man. This knocks them out (or kills instantly) then the bird is exanguinated.
I would find it difficult to bleed a fish to death, but some quick knock or shock method must exist that would make the actual killing method more humane (be it decapitation, bleeding, or freezing). I am just starting to learn about fish so I wouldnt know.
All that being said, almost all inverts do not feel pain. They have a primitive organ that is hardly a brain and move on reflex more than touch. I would say the boiling method would be the best for an invert.
Pardon any insensitivities, I am a Food Scientist and veiw things with that mind set. Ending any aminals life for any reason is not pleasant but a necessary fact of life. We do take the animal's well being into concideration in my industry as it both effects the product and has an obvious effect on people not involved in the industry. The ultimate goal of my post was to provide insight into other animals biology and methods developed for their processing not to offend. I will look into the standard procedures in the fish/fish farming sectors and get back with what they do, it might be inhumane but still provide insight.

The EU has strict laws on the slaughter of animal, including fish. Unfortunately there hasnt been much in the development of fish slaught since these laws have been put into place but I did find some standards that have been suggested. Two methods are "precusive stunning" (stricking the fish in the head) and "electric stunning." Both methods are considered humane. I would not play with the electric method at home, it is hard to judge the proper current for the industry and the saftey consern should be very obvious. Knocking seems to be the best home method, followed by either bleeding or decapitation depending on the species of fish. The article I read did mention that other methods were NOT humane and I will quote it:

"Unacceptable methods

Some traditional methods of killing fish result in lengthy periods to loss of consciousness and may involve pain or distress. The methods include death in ice slurry, live chilling, gill cutting without stunning and carbon dioxide narcosis. The HSA recommends that alternative methods (eg percussive or electrical stunning) be used where available. The HSA support research on humane alternatives to traditional methods of killing fish.
"





[/I]"

This is what I found from then food industry. Again I state that they are concerned with keeping stress as low as possible as it is very destructive to a meat product. I hope I have helped.
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #37
Interesting post, KYWildfish. You contributed something that is news to me and have done so in a very professional manner. I extend a congrats to you, even if the article disagrees with my method. It was informative.

Edit: I realize the post I am replying to is not as recent as usual, but it is worth the reply and bump, as it were.
 
Slug
  • #38
I use "homemade" Clove oil and a knife or an OD of "homemade" Clove oil
 
Alasse
  • #39
It sound horrid I know..

I put them in a bag and slam them really hard against a hard surface, its quick and to me quick means humane.

Sorry for the graphic mental they may give some...I only do this if the fish is obviously suffering and has no hope of survival.
 
fishlover78
  • #40
In my opinion NEVER freeze fish. when you put them in the freezer the blood vessels start to have ice crystals form on the inside of them, and the fishes heart can't pump the blood anywhere because the ice has formed. this method is extremely painful to the fish! the most humane way is to bag the fish up and slam it into a wall, it is quick and honestly, I would have a hard time sticking a live fish in a freezer. I may sound physco but the next best thing would be to take a wack at the head. NEVER saw back and forth with the knife. Just raise the knife and slam it down quickly. the sawing is also extremely painful for the fish. sorry if anyone finds any of this offensive but in my opinion either method is most humane.
 

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