When would you consider euthanasia?

SharkBaitOohHannah

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Hey everyone,

I wanted to start a thread on what you personally use an indicator that its time to euthanize a fish. This is close to home right now as I have a fish I'm trying to treat for an unknown illness. I have a thread on fishlike, but after a few different attempts at treating I've pretty much resorted to just keeping the water quality pristine and hoping. (He won't move or eat and has clamped fins, but the cause is unclear). As I start to consider this, I'm interested to hear some opinions on how you know it's time to end a fish's life as I think it would be beneficial to me and other beginners dealing with sick fish. Thanks!
 

AquaCaitlin

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If the fish seems truly miserable, and nothing seems to be helping, I would definitely put the poor little guy down.

I had to euthanize one of my guppies a few months ago. I had been treating her for dropsy to no avail, the poor girl looked miserable, all pineconed.

I also rescued a elephant ear betta from the pet store who had severe finrot. I treated her for it, but her left fin never regrew (I began to suspect it was a birth defect) and she would always swim weirdly. A year passed and she stopped swimming, not wanting to put the extra effort into it that she had to exert because of her fins. She seemed sad, didn’t eat well, and had to be moved to a tiny tank so she could reach the surface for air. That was the only other time I had been forced to put a fish down.

There’s really only so long you can wait it out before you have to make the hard decision to keep hoping or end the fish’s suffering... I always despise euthanizing fish, though.
 

Gel0city

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SharkBaitOohHannah said:
Hey everyone,

I wanted to start a thread on what you personally use an indicator that its time to euthanize a fish. This is close to home right now as I have a fish I'm trying to treat for an unknown illness. I have a thread on fishlike, but after a few different attempts at treating I've pretty much resorted to just keeping the water quality pristine and hoping. (He won't move or eat and has clamped fins, but the cause is unclear). As I start to consider this, I'm interested to hear some opinions on how you know it's time to end a fish's life as I think it would be beneficial to me and other beginners dealing with sick fish. Thanks!
I'm so sorry for you and your fish :( If you have attempted all methods of treating for the disease or illness but the fish does not recover, then I would assume you would be better off ending its suffering. I hope your fish does recover though!
 

idkausernamesoyeah

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ok one thing that also troubles people is how to humanely do it... how do u guys put ur fish down? I sound cruel doing it like this but I grab a knife and a hammer... I hover the knofe over and hit the hammer on the knife so that way it very quickly and efficiently decapitates. I personally believe this to be the most humane way
 

bubblemog

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I had a situation with one of my platies a few months ago. He had a lump come up on his head and was really unsteady swimming. As the weeks went on he was literally just sitting on the bottom of the tank day and night getting skinnier and skinnier and just seemed to sad. I was considering euthanising and using clove oil as I read this was a humane way to do it. He died the day after I did the research. It was sad as he seemed to soldier on for so long whereas other fish I’ve had seem to have died more suddenly when they got old or sick.
 

Zeon

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SharkBaitOohHannah said:
Hey everyone,

I wanted to start a thread on what you personally use an indicator that its time to euthanize a fish. This is close to home right now as I have a fish I'm trying to treat for an unknown illness. I have a thread on fishlike, but after a few different attempts at treating I've pretty much resorted to just keeping the water quality pristine and hoping. (He won't move or eat and has clamped fins, but the cause is unclear). As I start to consider this, I'm interested to hear some opinions on how you know it's time to end a fish's life as I think it would be beneficial to me and other beginners dealing with sick fish. Thanks!
Well, clove oil is apparently what you want when putting down a fish. It makes them go to sleep.
I struggled with one of my goldfish having popeye for a long time.
I tried several medications and her eye got worse.
At the end of it, her eye was 5 times the original size and black. She stopped eating and would rest at the bottom. Sometimes, her eye would rupture and bleed. I was very worried about her, even more so as cash was limited since I had been both sick and unemployed for a year.
I bought Clove oil and pov-iodine. I had scalpels still in the packets from University. I used the clove oil to knock her out and remove the eye. I used cotton balls and swabs to stem her bleeding
Clove oil really does seem to make them sleep. I has to put more than the recommended dose because no matter how long she was in there she would not fall asleep.
Either way, she survived and is still around with her one eye. She spent several in isolation though.

But yeah, clove oil makes them sleep and can kill them if you put enough and wait long enough.
I personally think euthanasia should only be looked at if you exhausted every other option. The vets in my country do not specalise in fish but maybe you can look around and check where you are.
 

Debbie1986

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yep, quality of life issue.

Hercules (my avatar) had a rough time. I tried everything. He just got really weak and then passed 24 hours later. I won't do that again becaue I knew tre was no long time cure for his condition.
 

AvalancheDave

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Take the fish to a fish vet and they'll tell you. Most hobbyists (even with all the medications you can buy in the US) are incapable of treating even the simplest diseases and euthanize a lot of fish that could be saved.

You should euthanize a fish when we don't have the medical technology to save it not because you don't have the ability or the willingness to take the fish to a vet.
 

trahana

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I’ve only euthanized three fish in my 10+ years in the serious hobby of fish.
I will only euthanized once the fish gives up. You can tell, if you know your fish, the spark leaves their eyes and world is no longer interesting to them. Then it’s time.
as for quality of life, I think it’s up to the fish to see if it’s worth living. There are humans that would rather die then be in a wheel chair but also humans that don’t feel constrained by a wheelchair, but instead free to continue living their life. Its about perspective, my point is each betta has a different personality which means some would be okay while others not.
I raised a beautiful purple betta from a fry once, he was big and gentle living in my 40 gallon community tank. At 1 year old he developed a tumor in his middle. I thought he wouldn’t live very long but he continued on just as full of spark for two more years. In the end the tumor made him bulge like a pregnant goat, but he only started feeling down the last week of his life, when the tumor reached his spine. He passed quietly. He touched my life unlike any fish I’ve ever had, and there where times when I thought I would euthanize him but I would go to look at him and he would swim cheerfully over.
 

AquaCaitlin

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idkausernamesoyeah said:
ok one thing that also troubles people is how to humanely do it... how do u guys put ur fish down? I sound cruel doing it like this but I grab a knife and a hammer... I hover the knofe over and hit the hammer on the knife so that way it very quickly and efficiently decapitates. I personally believe this to be the most humane way
I use clove oil, puts them right to sleep. Blood makes me squeamish.
 

Danny002

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I agree with what trahana said. I had a betta fish that I brought back from about 3 pretty rough situations in the 2 1/2-3 years that I had him. I never considered putting him down as A: I didn't really have a solid idea of how to do it and B: he never lost his fight.

He was by far the most aggressive betta I've ever personally seen and he never lost that edge even when he was good and old. I could tell he was about to go when he would just mope around on the bottom of his tank and sit in/ on the rock he never really liked much. He also wouldn't swim up to me when I walked in the room. Thankfully he wasn't like this for long, and went peacefully and I had a little funeral and buried him in our garden in a little piece of cloth.

Didn't mean to go on for that long, sorry! Either way, I agree that it's all about quality of life and if a fish is truly miserable and has completely given up, then it's time.
 

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