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Euthanasia Techniques


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#49 Stars

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 11:45 AM

Out of curiosity, when you euthanize fish via overdose on anesthetic (either Finquel or clove oil), how many hours do you wait to take the fish out of the euthanasia cup floating in the water to bury them (once you see no more gill movement/breathing)?


30 min and they should be gone but you can leave them in there for 1-2 hour if you wish.

You know your fish is dead when its eyes become cloudy. When its alive its clear but once its gone, its eyes will have a translucent milky tint.

#50 glasshaven

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 05:24 PM

Maryanne thanks for the video. Sad, but a very good visual explanation. Ocassionally I take calls at AC asking if we euthanize fish. We only work with cats and dogs, and occasional small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, rats) but this video may be one I refer people to when they ask for at-home methods that can be researched.

#51 Tonibee

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:14 AM

I had to euthanise my gold fish.

Using the internet I found lots of advice to freeze. I put him in a tupperware, with tank water, put the lid on and put him in the freezer. 24 hours later he was still alive and I was feeling bad...

More research led me here. I was fortunate enough to have a bottle of clove oil to hand (for toothace).

I moved the fish from the freezer and put him in iced water to avoid too much shock, to which I'd added about 5ml of the clove oil.

Fin movement stopped within a minute, and all movement stopped within about 3 minutes. I'm going to leave him in the solution until his eyes go cloudy.

Worryingly though, and this is why I've posted, blood came out of his gills during the last moments. Whether this was through freezing or clove oil I don't know, but I thought it worth mentioning.

I feel terrible... It's not 'just' a fish; It was a life.

#52 Monica98

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:56 PM

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you call the clove Oil humane!!!!!!!!! my poor betta battled for her life for 15 minutes! that image won't go away from our minds forever! poor thing ... she was fighting to live! she had dropsy and we chose to let her rest but I wonder if really the clove oil is the way to go ...

Euthanasia is cruel, point blank ... I know lots of you will disagree with me. but, I want people to know that it's not like you said above, they go fast... no mine didn't! I FELT so HORRIBLE! like a cruel owner doing this

#53 Susurro

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:32 PM

If she struggled for that long you didn't use enough clove oil and you have to shake the oil and water so that it is not separated out but one cloudy mixture. Clove oil causes them to fall asleep and when you use enough it overwhelms their system and they pass away from that.
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#54 Monica98

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:50 AM

If she struggled for that long you didn't use enough clove oil and you have to shake the oil and water so that it is not separated out but one cloudy mixture. Clove oil causes them to fall asleep and when you use enough it overwhelms their system and they pass away from that.


you are right, I think so too ... I hope she didn't suffer. We feel horrible about it. I saw the video on this topic and the fish went so fast but I also see that Marianne emptied half the bottle ... We put in 40-45 drops and had to add more. She is gone now, but it was a sad thing to do. As she said, Marianne ... it's better to let them go than stay there and suffer ... We did shake the oil and water as you said I think we hadn't put enough.

#55 Monica98

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:06 AM

I had the unfortunate circumstance of having to euthanize one of my babies lately. I use the clove oil method, but in extremely high concentrations compared to what is suggested. I figure that the higher the concentration, the less room for error and the quicker the death. I decided that a video might help others to see what a clove oil euthanasia is like in case they were worried about speed or severity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSiuWO5kUVM

RIP Detroit. I'll always remember your better days.
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Thanks for the video Marianne ... takes a lot of gut to film this ... I wish I had seen your video before doing ours yesterday. It would have been faster such as yours. We definitely learned our lesson. I used Clove Oil as well but my husband insisted on having more water ... hence our little kitty struggled a bit to fall asleep ... she finally did and died in a matter of few minutes. Your went by fast ... It's better your way. I feel sad for yours, when I saw the picture, poor little guy. Ours had dropsy ... poor things. Thanks again for the information, I bet it will help a lot of novices such as myself for now or future. Hopefully will never have to do this again ...

#56 rascalboy

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 04:12 PM

(I know this thread is old but I figured it wouldn't hurt to post anyway). I would think simply crushing the fish would be more humane. I think there just isn't enough research to be able to say that the fish feels little pain and actually goes to sleep. I mean, the clove oil could be just paralyzing the fish, not knocking it out. I really don't think I want to be awake if I was suffocating to death. If science could prove or even be strongly certain that cessation of movement was actually the fish 'sleeping peacefully', I'd prefer to use a method that achieves that. However,since there doesn't seem to be a ton of evidence supporting that, I think I'd prefer a more certain death. I know people don't want all the mess associated with blunt trauma, but it seems to be extremely effective. Mess can be minimized by placing the fish in a tough Ziploc bag. To reduce stress, keep the fish in a large amount of water as long as possible. I personally am super clumsy and would probably miss if I tried a hammer or something (plus I would want to keep the fish in a bag and I would want to keep it in water), so I think just quickly transferring the fish to a sandwich bag filled with tank water, and then having a friend (or yourself) placing it right underneath a car tire would be the quickest and easiest way. Reversing quickly over it would instantly crush it (a car has a lot more weight than you and a hammer). This wouldn't even distress the fish much because most are used to being moved to smaller containers while you clean the tank anyway. You might want to just fill the bag half-full and then squeeze the extra air out, otherwise the tire could pop the bag like a balloon and your fish could go flying across the driveway.
The fish/bag should be easy to throw away or bury, and the driveway/tire can be hosed down if needed.

#57 Synirr

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 06:10 PM

Call it a hunch, but I imagine there are a fair number of hobbyists who would be uncomfortable with the idea of hosing their pet off the driveway :P

When euthanizing small fish at work, I either put them in a bag and smash their heads with something, or feed them off to a predator. However I have Finquel on hand for my personal fish, just in case.

#58 Susurro

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 06:42 PM

Yeah it might be me, but I find it sick to run your fish over with your car. I mean I find blunt force method barbaric as it is, but running it over with a car seems more akin to torture to go through all that.

#59 Nelson

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 07:07 PM

I don't know, they knock fish out with clove oil to do surgery so I don't see why it wouldn't kill them when overdosed.

#60 AdventurerEmily

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 01:56 AM

Yeah it might be me, but I find it sick to run your fish over with your car. I mean I find blunt force method barbaric as it is, but running it over with a car seems more akin to torture to go through all that.


I agree. I'm not sadistic enough to run over my pet intentionally with my car. I don't care HOW far gone they are, I don't think that is humane at all.

Edit to add: Suffocating actually isn't as painful as you would suspect. I have nearly died as a result of devastating asthma attacks, and it actually doesn't hurt, its just psychological panic. In which case, who really knows if a fish feels fear in that sense?

Edited by AdventurerEmily, 10 June 2012 - 02:00 AM.





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