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Re: [APD] Euthanizing a fish
I've used the alcohol method and it seems good. Will probably try the MS-222 method next time, which hopefully will be never or a very long time away. Regardless of whether I can get inside the brain and feelings of a fish, I would do for them what I would wish for myself in a similar circumstance -- a humane, peaceful death, with the least amount of discomfort and pain. There's absolutely no reason I can think of to treat them any other way. They're not a piece of garbage to be tossed in the trash, but living creatures. Freezing or flushing down the toilet is needlessly cruel and a terrible lesson to teach our children. I want my kids to learn respect for life and mercy, regardless of size or intelligence.
Suggestions from The Krib:
EuthanasiaIt's come to this has it? You've read all the FAQs, found out everything you can about diseases, ailments and the proper treatments, asked for help from several knowledgeable sources and have come to the conclusion that you cannot nurse your fish back to health. And since you took on the responsibility of caring for the fish you now must find the most humane method in helping it to die. Several options exist for euthanizing your ill pet. They include chemicals, decapitation, and donation. The best method is probably through the use of chemicals. A few vets recommend an overdose of MS-222, a fish anesthetic. It can be purchased from chemical supply companies as MS-222, tricaine methanesulfonate or Ethyl 3-aminobenzoate, methanesulfonic acid salt. Immerse the fish in a container of 350 ppm MS-222 (350 mg MS-222 per liter of water) for 10 minutes. This is very humane and is non-traumatic for both the fish and owner. Another chemical method is the injection of
pentothal into the abdominal cavity. This may be more difficult for the owner as syringes may be hard to come by and sticking animals with needles may not sit well with some people. It is almost painless for the fish if this helps ease your hesitations regarding this method. Finally one can use alcohol to euthanize a fish. Make a 1:5 (20%) solution of Vodka (or any other similar strong grain neutral alcohol) and water. Then place the fish into the container and it will simply `go to sleep'. These 3 methods are highly recommended as they are very humane. One method that has been recommended by a non-veterinary (but experienced Oscar breeder) type is the use of Alka-Seltzer. Place the fish in a shallow container of water and place 2 Alka-Seltzer tablets in a position under the gills. The fish supposedly will `fall asleep' within minutes. A non-chemical but effective method is decapitation. Once again, some owners may be squeamish over this method. If done properly is
quick and painless for the animal, and has the benefit of being cheap; most of us own knives but not anesthetics. Use a sharp knife and sever the spinal cord by quickly cutting down through the body just behind the eye at the level of the lateral line. The quicker you make this cut the better it will be for the fish. Remember to disinfect this knife after the procedure if you plan on using it for anything other than euthanizing fish. If you are unable to go through with any of the above methods try contacting a local university. It is possible that one of the departments in biology or similar fields will take your sick fish off your hands. They may use the fish for research and study its disease or will be able to dispose of it properly. Methods that are not recommended but are often mentioned include variations on freezing. Fish tend to suffer in these procedures. It does not matter whether they cool down slowly when you place them in a bowl of water in the freezer or
if the water is already cold from the addition of ice cubes. Fish react to these methods in a negative way, and it is painful to watch. Finally one should NEVER flush a fish down the toilet. This is not an effective method of euthanasia but is a form of torture as the fish ends up in a septic tank or similar place where it is bathed in nasty chemicals and sewage before finally succumbing hours if not days later.
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