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Old 08-18-2011, 06:33 PM   #11 
Myates
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I am so sorry to hear this about Jr, he's such a handsome little guy. I would have to agree with OFL on her recommendations. As for the topic which is very hard to talk about to any pet owner, I can give you a few ideas to try to make it as easy as I can for Steve. I'm so sorry, really I am :( You have and are doing all you can, and I don't blame you for trying. But in case the fight is too much, here are a few ideas that may help make it easier for your family:

Tricaine Methanesulfonate (TMS). This method is probably the most quoted by people with much experience in euthanizing fish humanely (i.e. for university experiments, etc.). TMS is also known as MS222 and commercially is known as Finquel. You can buy it from a pet supply store. Simply by doubling the regular dose that you would use to anesthetize the fish will euthanize it. This substance is FDA approved for anesthetizing and euthanizing fish; it is the only product that is FDA approved to anesthetize fish.

Clove Oil/Vodka Method. Many fish keepers advocate using clove oil to anesthetize fish. You both anesthetize them first with the clover oil and dispatch the fish with another method or you give them such a strong concentration of clove oil that the clove oil alone will kill them.

Freezing is a commonly used method for euthanizing warm water fish. To freeze your fish, freeze water in a small bag until the ice is slushy. Then place your fish in the water and continue to freeze it. Out of all the "old-school" methods, this process seems most humane.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:35 PM   #12 
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Woops, sorry! I didn't mean to double post info that was already posted.. I think OFL was responding when I was, and I stopped to take dog out and didn't see she had responded. Sorry :(
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:41 PM   #13 
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Originally Posted by FishyWishy View Post
Fatty liver disease? Really? I am familiar with this in cats, but not in fish. Interesting... We were told on here last year that we were not feeding him high enough quality protein and not feeding him often enough, which was causing his tail biting. So, (amongst other modifications) we switched his feeding schedule to two pellets at breakfast, two frozen worms/shrimp/etc at dinner and two pellets as late as possible before we went to bed. (It was overnight that he usually went at his tail with the most regularily.) It did help his tail biting. Yes, we do fast him one day of every week and soak his food before feeding.

It's so difficult when everyone gives you conflicting information. Everyone seems to have a different opinion as to how much of what to feed when. How can someone sort it out and do what's right for their fish?

If this illness is something we actually caused rather than something organic, we will be very upset. :(
Your feeding and food choices are just fine....it has/had nothing to do with what is going on with him right now......
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:51 PM   #14 
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Thank you, OFL. This is very helpful. I feel as though I am having to go at this blindly. Not having the ability to access any medical resources (consultations, diagnostics, labs, etc) that can tell me what is going on is difficult. I do have some perspective and I do realize he's just a small fish, not a dog, cat, horse or human, but the emotional attachment and the sense of responsibility for another's life, however small, remains. It's pretty uncomfortable to have to make life and death decisions based on nothing but internet research and heresay rather than science one can see on paper for themselves. I don't like to guess. I like to know. And it seems I can't do that here. I am in no way qualified to dx what is going on with Jr and can't get him to a doc who can.

Having brought various animals back from the brink when others said it was highly unlikely or impossible has taught me that tenacity often pays off. The problem is when you get to a point where the discomfort is at such a level that it doesn't matter if the "fix" may be right around the corner. Right around the corner is sometimes too long to decide on their behalf that they should wait.

It doesn't seem there are a lot of resources available to help diseased fish in this position. Inability to *do something* stinks, frankly. I guess I can try feeding less, treating with the parasite meds, doing more research and see which direction this is heading. Assuming we have the opportunity. It's time to head home and see where this stands. :(

Thank you for the information and input. We really appreciate it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:54 PM   #15 
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poor guy
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:06 PM   #16 
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My thoughts and prayers are with you on FishyWishy. I hope his suffering will end shortly. One way or another. I would, and I know everyone here would, prefer the getting better way. -hugs-
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:32 PM   #17 
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Originally Posted by FishyWishy View Post
Thank you, OFL. This is very helpful. I feel as though I am having to go at this blindly. Not having the ability to access any medical resources (consultations, diagnostics, labs, etc) that can tell me what is going on is difficult. I do have some perspective and I do realize he's just a small fish, not a dog, cat, horse or human, but the emotional attachment and the sense of responsibility for another's life, however small, remains. It's pretty uncomfortable to have to make life and death decisions based on nothing but internet research and heresay rather than science one can see on paper for themselves. I don't like to guess. I like to know. And it seems I can't do that here. I am in no way qualified to dx what is going on with Jr and can't get him to a doc who can.

Having brought various animals back from the brink when others said it was highly unlikely or impossible has taught me that tenacity often pays off. The problem is when you get to a point where the discomfort is at such a level that it doesn't matter if the "fix" may be right around the corner. Right around the corner is sometimes too long to decide on their behalf that they should wait.

It doesn't seem there are a lot of resources available to help diseased fish in this position. Inability to *do something* stinks, frankly. I guess I can try feeding less, treating with the parasite meds, doing more research and see which direction this is heading. Assuming we have the opportunity. It's time to head home and see where this stands. :(

Thank you for the information and input. We really appreciate it.
I am sorry that your fish is ill. I empathize with you and understand how attached that a person can become to their fish. I think it takes a level of compassion that many people are not capable of to care for a fish as much as you care for yours. You are obviously a great owner!

Unfortunately internal diseases and disorders are extremely difficult to diagnose and therefore hard to treat in fish. The only way to make a definitive diagnoses is to have a veterinarian trained in the treatment of fish evaluate your betta and discover what is wrong. The best that any owner can do alone is treating by a process of elimination. Most fish treatments are broad spectrum and hit or miss. There is no way that anyone on this forum can diagnose exactly what is wrong with your friend, however, if fatty liver disease or some other liver disorder is the cause then a change in diet will help your betta. Liver disorders in fish are similar to those in humans. They are caused by issues with diet and exercise, the intake of toxins into the body (commonly alcohol in humans and ammonia /byproducts in fish), or genetics. It sounds like your water quality is also great and that you take great care of your tank. It sounds like the amounts that you are feeding are good for a healthy fish and I use the same foods to feed my fish. Everything that I have ever been taught says that frozen, freeze dried, and live foods should be fed sparingly… Kind of like having a steak dinner or meaty hamburger a couple nights a week. Although I may not develop health issues from eating steak and hamburgers everyday it is not the best idea. Bettas, especially male, in the aquarium are built quite differently from wild betta and therefore have different diet requirements. I have had to use food to curb bad behaviors before but usually only in situations of overcrowding and small confinement, never with my own personal fish though. To be honest this is mostly out of personal preference I guess. It sounds like you are fighting a difficult battle with the tail biting and all coupled with everything else. =/

Unfortunately, there are many opinions in the aquatic hobby and a lot of misinformation so evaluating all information with a critical eye is a must. It really sucks! I was fortunate to work for an aquatic veterinarian, breeder and researcher throughout late high school and early college until she passed away. She was a great friend and taught me a lot. I also cared for fish at a large pet store distribution center so I learned and saw a lot. Despite that I am still learning tons of new things every day. Over the years I have developed a good critical eye. Ultimately, often the best we can do is to take in all of the information and then use it to make an informed decision. I really hope your betta gets better!

Bobby
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:22 PM   #18 
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Thanks for the hugs, kind thoughts and great information, guys. It does help.

I may not be that hopeful, but regardless, I am happy to report that when I got home last night, Jr was there to greet me. He came swimming up to the top of his tank to say hello and ask for food as soon as I walked in the room. He ate his dinner and his late night snack yesterday without hesitation. I removed him from his tank and put him back in his floating QT cup with the pre-mixed parasite meds, epsom salts and green tea water. I hate having him in there. He doesn't like it and expends so much energy trying to get out, until he eventually gives up. He doesn't get any exercise, either. But, if it's easier for him to get air, I guess it is best. His popeye and belly bulge look the same (bad). But at least he is swimming around again, as opposed to the way he was yesterday morning.

We'll see how he is when I get home tonight... Fingers crossed!
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:29 PM   #19 
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Bobby - Wait, there are fish vets? Seriously? Are these common place and available for pet owners? If so, how do I find one? I'm guessing if they do exist, they may focus on treating large or expensive fish, such a koi, saltwater, specialty, etc. However, if there is one in my area I am more than willing to take Jr there, if they will allow it. Don't want to get my hopes up that there may be one in my city. I'll have to Google it.
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:36 PM   #20 
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I am really sorry about Jr. But the "greeting" thing seems like a good sign. Are you treating him in any form of salt or other medications as of now?
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