When Is Euthanizing The Only Ethical Choice

Alaina Leigh
  • #1
Hello All,

I have been treating a Pearlscale goldfish for what I thought was SBD for about two weeks. I thought it was gradually improving, or at least holding steady, but when I came back from a four day work trip it had developed into dropsy symptoms. Her body is very swollen with fluid and she is tipped to the side bobbing like a cork. She cannot dive and has been constrained to one of those netted fry tanks since the SBD developed and I didn't trust her swimming ability and found her stuck to the filter one afternoon. This affliction is isolated to only her, as her tank mate is completely healthy.

After the scare yesterday I have isolated her, raised the temperature and am starting antibiotics and daily Epsom salt baths. She seems okay- interacting, trying (unsuccessfully) to explore and is eating normally.

But when do I give up and say enough is enough? I cried when I saw her poor bloated body when I got home and purchased clove oil the very next day. I am stupidly optimistic but be real with me here- when should I end her discomfort and how do I know if she is in pain?

Thank you very much for your time. I'm truly heartbroken.
 
Discus-Tang
  • #2
Are you VERY SURE it's dropsy? IMO you should end the suffering as soon as you are sure it is dropsy.
 
Dch48
  • #3
My opinion is that euthanizing is never the answer. There is always hope and they should be allowed to pass naturally.
 
Discus-Tang
  • #4
My opinion is that euthanizing is never the answer. There is always hope and they should be allowed to pass naturally.
Dropsy is a set of symptoms caused by kidney failure, there is no recovery.
 
Dch48
  • #5
Dropsy is a set of symptoms caused by kidney failure, there is no recovery.
Even then I wouldn't do it.
 
smee82
  • #6
Treat it with gram negetive antibiotics before thinking about euhenising it
 
Jenoli42
  • #7
Hello All,

I have been treating a Pearlscale goldfish for what I thought was SBD for about two weeks. I thought it was gradually improving, or at least holding steady, but when I came back from a four day work trip it had developed into dropsy symptoms. Her body is very swollen with fluid and she is tipped to the side bobbing like a cork. She cannot dive and has been constrained to one of those netted fry tanks since the SBD developed and I didn't trust her swimming ability and found her stuck to the filter one afternoon. This affliction is isolated to only her, as her tank mate is completely healthy.

After the scare yesterday I have isolated her, raised the temperature and am starting antibiotics and daily Epsom salt baths. She seems okay- interacting, trying (unsuccessfully) to explore and is eating normally.

But when do I give up and say enough is enough? I cried when I saw her poor bloated body when I got home and purchased clove oil the very next day. I am stupidly optimistic but be real with me here- when should I end her discomfort and how do I know if she is in pain?

Thank you very much for your time. I'm truly heartbroken.

I wish I had used clove oil 48 hours before I finally did the one time I needed to. ..

if she's responding to your treatment, don't. but if it's dropsy... then I'm so sorry but I've never seen a recovery
 
Rtessy
  • #8
Dropsy is a set of symptoms caused by kidney failure, there is no recovery.
There is a chance at recovery, it's just rare.
OP, I'm very sorry you're going through this, what type of medication are you using?
 
Gypsy13
  • #9
I’ve been lucky in being able to spot dropsy early and have enough skill to treat even if it meant injections of antibiotics. Can’t do that anymore. But, unless it’s very obviously dropsy, there’s a chance. The description you give is heartbreaking. I want to tell you to try antibiotics and epsom salt baths. I want to tell you there is hope. Do you have a picture?
If you’re one hundred percent sure it’s dropsy and it’s still floating and bobbing prognosis is poor. Yes fish feel pain. Yes it’s more humane to euthanize than to let them suffer. But, ultimately, it’s your call. I’m so sorry.
 
Mary765
  • #10
Euthenization is a matter of opinion really, but I would euthanize as soon as I am sure that death is inevitable or highly probable, so that my fish don't have to suffer for longer than necessary..

You can try treating with Epsom salt, but it's sounds to me she is too far gone I'm afraid. The tell tale sign of a very low chance of survival is when she starts to pinecone and her scales start sticking out. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, it's happened to me before and it's heart breaking when treatments don't work, but stay optimistic for as long as you can!!

I would use clove oil if you are comfortable euthenizing as I've used it before and for the fish it's just like slowly falling asleep.

I'm sorry
 
coralbandit
  • #11
A bleak prognosis is a good reason to euthanize IMO.
Another good reason is if you don't have a hospital tank and you are placing the health and well being of your other fish stock in jeopardy .
Many say dropsy is not contagious..But ask them two -three months later if they had any other issues?
Many fish even if 'cured' from bacterial infections then become 'sub clinical 'carriers of their infection and are the grI'm reaper to all who end up being housed with them..
I have too many fish to risk keeping a sick fish with my stock so I tend to remove sick fish quickly for the well being of my whole fish room.
It is never easy but IMO often best for all involved .
I euthanize my fish in a manner that is most ethical and easiest for me .I do not enjoy it at all and feel the keepers feelings need to be accounted for also...
 
Discus-Tang
  • #12
Even then I wouldn't do it.
But why? It just means the poor fish has to suffer for longer.
 
Alaina Leigh
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Let me know if you think this is dropsy. She has some bubbles on her skin in the butt area. I thought this was the swelling that pearlscales do that if equivalent to pineconing.
 

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Goldiemom
  • #14
But why? It just means the poor fish has to suffer for longer.
Dch48 is very opinionated about euthanasia. They blasted me just the other day for euthanizing a fish that was in obvious pain and not recovering. Each person has their opinion and we need to be respectful of their individual opinions. I agree that if the fish is suffering then euthanize it. However, if it is just declining and not suffering, ( old age) then let nature take its course. This is a fish forum and not a platform for ethical debates. Just different opinions that need to be respected. God bless everyone today!
 
Mary765
  • #15
Let me know if you think this is dropsy. She has some bubbles on her skin in the butt area. I thought this was the swelling that pearlscales do that if equivalent to pineconing.

Ah, darn it! I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that's definitely pineconing...

My girl started pineconing near the analfin then it spread to her tummy and back before I gave up treatment and euthanized her.
 
Alaina Leigh
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
****. Okay. How long should I wait before deciding medication definitely isn't working?
 
Mary765
  • #17
. Okay. How long should I wait before deciding medication definitely isn't working?

It's not really a time frame but more a matter of opinion and progress along the dropsy line. For me I think it's too far when they are in visible discomfort, they barely move all day, there is a change in appetite or all their scales are pineconed. Only you can decide though.
 
Goldiemom
  • #18
It’s such a difficult decision to make. I’m sorry you are having to go through this. My baby fish was looking at me as if he wanted me to help him. I knew he was bleeding internally and in a lot of pain. I had never euthanized anything before. By the time I decided to do it, I felt at peace in doing so. Maybe you just need more time yourself.
 
Gypsy13
  • #19
Let me know if you think this is dropsy. She has some bubbles on her skin in the butt area. I thought this was the swelling that pearlscales do that if equivalent to pineconing.

Is she pooing ok? Sounds like a constipated pearscale.
 
Alaina Leigh
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Is she pooing ok? Sounds like a constipated pearscale.
Oh, I wish it was just constipation. It's been like this for weeks despite fasting and administering of peas. I don't this it's merely constipation.

She is currently eating and pooping well.

I'll take any other suggestions for how to help her. I want to try anything I can before giving up.
 
Gypsy13
  • #21
Oh, I wish it was just constipation. It's been like this for weeks despite fasting and administering of peas. I don't this it's merely constipation.

She is currently eating and pooping well.

I'll take any other suggestions for how to help her. I want to try anything I can before giving up.

It just sounded more like constipation cause she’s laying on her side. But if you’ve tried peas and she pooing ok. Did you try antibiotics?
 
Alaina Leigh
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
It just sounded more like constipation cause she’s laying on her side. But if you’ve tried peas and she pooing ok. Did you try antibiotics?

I'm trying EM Erythromycin right now. I ordered Maracyn Two in case the 4 day EM treatment doesn't work, and that is supposed to arrive Thursday.

In the past I tried Kanaplex/Metroplex combo, but (and this is embarrassing) I bought a used cannister filter that came with bio media already supplied, and I was unaware until two days ago that one whole level at the bottom was carbon.

Thus, I'm not surprised the Kana/Metro didn't work. Because I tried that already I opted for EM. But....do you think I should give Kana/Metro a go again now that the carbon is removed?

What is the best one for this type of issue?
 
Rtessy
  • #23
Kanaplex helped me treat Dropsy before, I'd try the kana/metro again
 
Goldiemom
  • #24
I have been treating one for raised scales and infected eye. The Epsom salt in tank has helped and Kanaplex/ furan 2 for infection. Mine never went into full blown pine coning though.
 
Mary765
  • #25
Epsom salt is usually my go to general cure and has helped me greatly on diseases I couldn't diagnose but I've never turned to specific medication because I don't understand it, hence I don't fully trust it..
 
CanadianFishFan
  • #26
So many say to only do it if they are suffering. If a betta has a tumor they can live out their life and you can make them comfortable and they got when its time... I would only to it if they are so stressed and are struggling in pain.
 
Gypsy13
  • #27
Epsom salt is usually my go to general cure and has helped me greatly on diseases I couldn't diagnose but I've never turned to specific medication because I don't understand it, hence I don't fully trust it..

I understand it, hence I certainly don’t trust it. But sometimes you’ve just got to try. And believe me, if I recommend meds, I’ve given it lots of thought. I hate meds.

I'm trying EM Erythromycin right now. I ordered Maracyn Two in case the 4 day EM treatment doesn't work, and that is supposed to arrive Thursday.

In the past I tried Kanaplex/Metroplex combo, but (and this is embarrassing) I bought a used cannister filter that came with bio media already supplied, and I was unaware until two days ago that one whole level at the bottom was carbon.

Thus, I'm not surprised the Kana/Metro didn't work. Because I tried that already I opted for EM. But....do you think I should give Kana/Metro a go again now that the carbon is removed?

What is the best one for this type of issue?

If it’s a viable option, dosing with the kanaplex/furan 2 may help. That’s the thing, antibiotics and other meds may help. What I know from personal experience is a goldfish having to be on its side is very uncomfortable for them. Their internal organs are being forced to function in contorted spaces. Do you have a way to support her body so it’s upright? I know it’s harder with a pearlscale. Everything is. Cute little minI beach balls they are.
 
Alaina Leigh
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
If it’s a viable option, dosing with the kanaplex/furan 2 may help. That’s the thing, antibiotics and other meds may help. What I know from personal experience is a goldfish having to be on its side is very uncomfortable for them. Their internal organs are being forced to function in contorted spaces. Do you have a way to support her body so it’s upright? I know it’s harder with a pearlscale. Everything is. Cute little minI beach balls they are.
I leave a net in her little play pen (net breeder box) so she can lean against it or swim under it and remain fully submerged. She has chosen to lean so that she is completely upright.

Is it possible she could rest like this and get better? I don't want this to be how she has to live the rest of her life.

If it’s a viable option, dosing with the kanaplex/furan 2 may help. That’s the thing, antibiotics and other meds may help. What I know from personal experience is a goldfish having to be on its side is very uncomfortable for them. Their internal organs are being forced to function in contorted spaces. Do you have a way to support her body so it’s upright? I know it’s harder with a pearlscale. Everything is. Cute little minI beach balls they are.
So Kanaplex/Furan 2 is the best option here? Not Maracyn 2? I heard that was the best because it is easily absorbed through the skin, but am open to other ideas.

Please keep em coming! I need all the help I can get

So Kanaplex/Furan 2 is the best option here? Not Maracyn 2? I heard that was the best because it is easily absorbed through the skin, but am open to other ideas.

Please keep em coming! I need all the help I can get

Should I stop the EM Erythromycin?
 
Gypsy13
  • #29
So Kanaplex/Furan 2 is the best option here? Not Maracyn 2? I heard that was the best because it is easily absorbed through the skin, but am open to other ideas.

Please keep em coming! I need all the help I can get

Maracyn 2 is ok. It’s just not as good in conjunction with kanamycin. Have you finished the erythromycin treatment?

Should I stop the EM Erythromycin?

Guess not. Thanks Siri. Ok. Finish the erythromycin. After that treatment is done, let us know how she’s doing with new pics? Please?
 
Alaina Leigh
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Maracyn 2 is ok. It’s just not as good in conjunction with kanamycin. Have you finished the erythromycin treatment?
It will finish on Wednesday, it's only 4 doses.

Wil
Guess not. Thanks Siri. Ok. Finish the erythromycin. After that treatment is done, let us know how she’s doing with new pics? Please?

Will do!!!
 
Potato head
  • #31
Please try everything, and all diseases before you use the clove oil. Personally I think you should let it try, and let it pass on its own
 
Mealor
  • #32
Have u tired feeding a shelled pea that can help relieve the blockage and also I find ur lfs will have anesthetic I use this for euthanising fish out the fish in a bag with water and add an overdose of anesthetic to the bag and it will go to sleep and die very peacefully
 
Goldiemom
  • #33
Clove oil does the same thing.
 
Alaina Leigh
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
She passed away sometime today, I noticed as soon as I got home from work. I appreciate all your responses and for sharing your viewpoints. I'm much calmer knowing it's over and I don't have to make the decision anymore.

I wish you all better luck with your fishes. Cherish every day.
 
Goldiemom
  • #35
So very sorry for your loss.
 
Gypsy13
  • #36
She passed away sometime today, I noticed as soon as I got home from work. I appreciate all your responses and for sharing your viewpoints. I'm much calmer knowing it's over and I don't have to make the decision anymore.

I wish you all better luck with your fishes. Cherish every day.

I’m so so sorry! I’m just glad she had someone willing to try. My heart goes out to you. And, please, don’t stop hanging out with us. You’re experiences are important. We’ll be able to cherish more days with you than without. It breaks my heart we couldn’t help your finbaby.
 
Alaina Leigh
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
Thank you so much. It's hard for people not into the hobby to understand a loss. "Its just a fish. You had it a long time (not true, but people think their life span in only a few months)." I always have to remind them that these are little sentient creatures, with with a central nervous system, a social life, that form bonds, etc. I know you guys would understand. Thank you.
 
Discus-Tang
  • #38
Thank you so much. It's hard for people not into the hobby to understand a loss. "Its just a fish. You had it a long time (not true, but people think their life span in only a few months)." I always have to remind them that these are little sentient creatures, with with a central nervous system, a social life, that form bonds, etc. I know you guys would understand. Thank you.
Couldn't agree with that more. Amen.
 
Goldiemom
  • #39
Thank you so much. It's hard for people not into the hobby to understand a loss. "Its just a fish. You had it a long time (not true, but people think their life span in only a few months)." I always have to remind them that these are little sentient creatures, with with a central nervous system, a social life, that form bonds, etc. I know you guys would understand. Thank you.
Well said!
 
glo
  • #40
So sorry for your l0ss. Rest assured you did your best to help your little friend. She was a cutie!
 

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