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re: euthanasia by alkaseltzer

>I just read an article that suggested a humane way to euthanise a fish is by
><<<<<<placing the fish in a small container with water and adding an Alka
>Selzer tablet>>>>>>
>Has anyone ever heard of this and/or done this?  I assume I will at some
>time in the future, have a need to know how to euthanise a fish, and I
>know I won't be able to do it by cutting its spinal cord.
>Euthanasia of fish via sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer, baking soda,
>etc.) isn't accepted by the AVMA as a humane method, but since most of us
>don't have access to anesthetics like tricaine, benzocaine, or Na
>pentobarbitol, it's about the best method the hobbyist can use.  Some say
>pithing/decapitation is more humane, but you can't exactly ask the fish,
>so that remains a matter of opinion.
>About 30 g (1/4 cup) of baking soda per liter of water is an appropriate
>dose for rapid euthanasia.  Leave the fish in the solution for 10 minutes
>after breathing has stopped.
>Dave Gauthier

I'm really sorry to drag out a euthanasia thread (unless it's about getting
new young members in Japan and China involved... (Get it?  "youth in Asia"?
sorry, I just couldn't resist)), but..

The one time I used this method the fish thrashed like hell for a long
time.  Did I do something wrong?  I didn't use baking soda, but rather
alkaseltzer.  I'd been using the 10% rum method, but one time I had run out
of rum (a good party, indeed!), so I used 50% isopropanol (rubbing alcohol)
and that took less than a quarter second, I'd say. Perhaps a very
unpleasant quarter second, but *very* fast.  At least that one time.  Has
anyone else had experience with this?


Doug Karpa Wilson

Department of Biology
Jordan Hall
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405