My old betta Brutus is having such an awful time swimming, even with lowered water he is totally on his side. He has a really hard time getting air, is losing his scales, and can't really eat. It kills me to see him like this, and I have a feeling it could go on for a long time. I tried to euthanize him the other night and after 30 minutes of crying still could not do it. I don't want him to suffer, but I don't know that I can put him out of his misery. I don't know what to do here.
GreenTea, obviously if treatment isn't going well then it can be heart wrenching to see our little friends in pain or what we perceive as painful. I’m not against euthanasia – it is better than suffering, but it really should be a last resort.
The two options that are the most humane are:
1. Placing him/her into a 1g tank or cup. Then pouring clove oil to put them to sleep. Once asleep, pour hard liquor into the water (vodka will suffice). This is basically going to sleep and not waking up.
2. With a wet towel or cloth wrap him/her in it, minimal stress, then with a wide blunt heavy object bring it down onto the head area with force. Instant, no pain.
Both options are very hard to bring oneself to do. As we don’t really know with certainty if pain is involved or if a recovery is possible. If you want to grip onto hope as tightly as you can, make him as comfortable as possible with clean water, conditioner, tannins and if possible food. It may take a long time to pass, but he may also heal.
It’s a hard decision, and unfortunately you do have to make it. If you are 100% certain that treatment won’t succeed any further, then either euthanasia or just making him comfortable is your best option.
Thanks guys. Banicks, he has been slowly declining for about 4 months, just generally slowing down, sleeping more, etc. He lost scales despite there being nothing for him to lose them on, and he has trouble staying horizontal now. After he eats he tends to roll from side to side until he is able to go to the bathroom and have an empty stomach again.
I am going to see if a local vet can do it. I know I can't. He's been through a lot with me and is just the sweetest guy. Thinking about him flaring at everyone and sleeping the closest to me in his bowl at night is so depressing compared to seeing him now, rolling and looking at me with sad eyes.
BTW Banicks I think it's great you rescued those two fish. Goldfish and bettas are my favorite fish. I have had one goldfish I got from when I was 8, a little feeder from a game at a school carnival. 13 years later he's about 6 inches long in a 20 gallon. He has gotten so big he broke his bubbler ship, and has has java moss thriving in his tank that whole time, despite moving 180 miles south. He's a silly little guy. I can't wait until I can have a huge fancy goldfish tank when I have my own house. I just love them :3
Honestly, the clove oil method is a really quick death if you do it correctly.
I usually pour in 1/2 to 1 bottle of clove oil into a plastic container with some tank water and shake it until it has dispersed into the water.
I then carefully cup my fish and place it in a shallow tub of water (around 2 litres or 1/2 gallon). Once you've done that, you simply add the clove oil to the tub containing your fish.
Some will thrash for a couple of seconds until the clove oil kicks in, but they will quickly drop to the bottom of the tub and stop breathing.
I wait 1-2 hours to make sure they are definitely dead and then dispose of them after draining away the clove oil solution.
So sorry you've found yourself in this position. I had to cull four fish the other week due to a columnaris outbreak and it's not easy. Particularly when some of them had some horrific necrosis but were otherwise perky.
Hey GreenTea. I know this is a hard decision... believe me. I'm an Animal Health Technician in Canada and I work in a clinic. People come in everyday for euthanasias. Not usually for fishes but it is something that can be done. It is very quick and painless. What they give is a small injection of pentobarbital. Basically what it is is an aneasthetic, the just give a stronger dose so the animal falls asleep and then the heart stops. No pain. I went through something similar not too long ago. But it did help to see my little friend go without pain.
He sounds very cute GreenTea. Goldie is always searching for food, if he isnt searching for food he is swimming against the current right where the filter hits the water.
Both of them were very lucky to survive, I had thought that at the bare minimum they would be permanently blind from the perfume that was added into the water. Of course I’m not sure if they are partially blind – but Slevin reacts when my finger is near the glass and will flare when I wiggle it, he eats pellets with accuracy which is a good sign. Goldie manages to find food flakes without problems, so I’m presuming that through some miracle they’re both healthy.
But coming back to your little dude, if you cant bear to do it yourself, or make him comfortable through the suffering. Perhaps a vet would be able to assist as Gen2387 indicated.
I hope things work their way out for the best for both of you. Let me know how it goes *e-hugs again*