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Old 03-02-2011, 05:53 PM   #1 
PowayMermaid
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Unhappy Should I euthanize?

I have 2 beautiful betta boys (in separate tanks of course): Draco and Luna.


I've had Draco for almost two years, and I don't know how old he was before I got him from Petco. About a month ago, Draco had a touch of dropsy or something that made his scales protrude only a bit and a smidge of fin rot (I feel so awful about that... I guess the water was dirtier than I thought... it appeared clear and clean to my eyes). I treated him with lifemed and he appeared to improve greatly: his scales went back to normal, and his fin is much better.

However, then he developed swim bladder and it's getting much worse. His colors have changed, he has a protruding belly, and he spends all of his time lying on his side at the top of his tank unless provoked. I fasted him for three days as recommended and for about a day I thought there was an improvement, but now the symptoms are back with him still being fasted.

I'm heartbroken and feel like such a wretched owner, I don't know what to do. Is he in pain? It's so hard to tell... and if he is in pain then I don't want him to suffer: for euthanizing (I would ask my father or my boyfriend to do it... I couldn't bare it) I read in one place that freezing in the fridge is preferable and like going to sleep, but then I read somewhere else that would be a horrible way to die.


What should I do? Please help!


Housing
What size is your tank? 2 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 76 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:07 PM   #2 
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If you decide to euthanize, I've heard that clove oil is good because it puts them to sleep first.

In addition to fasting, have you tried an epsom salt bath? As is the case with humans, it helps to relieve swelling and inflammation, and I have found it helpful with SB problems before.

If you can, consult OldFishLady or DramaQueen to see what they would recommend and what dosages to use.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #3 
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Thank you so so so much for your quick reply KF! I had read of epsom baths before but it made me nervous but I think I'll take your advice and try that first. What do I have to lose at this point, right? If that doesn't work I'll take your advice again and write OldFishLady or DramaQueen to get their opinions. Thanks again!
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:45 PM   #4 
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It's okay. I'm sure everyone ends up in this boat at least once, and it's natural to be a little anxious the first time it happens. One way or another the right answer will come to you.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:03 PM   #5 
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Just FYI, just because the water is clear doesnt mean its safe. :) You only know if it's safe by using a water testing kit or doing super often water changes, depending on tank size.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:19 PM   #6 
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First of all, if you've kept them alive for two years, you are NOT a terrible owner!
Second, the freezer method is painless. The fish's body temperature drops as the water temperature drops. As it gets colder, the fish goes into hibernation. The water freezes, and the fish dies in its sleep. I have had to euthanize one of mine before and it hurts. But if you feel it is better for him, you can.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:53 PM   #7 
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Thank you so much to all three of you (Theydrew, you made me a little teary-eyed with your first line.... you're too sweet)! This forum is AMAZING, and I'll be sure to use it for future betta references!

As for Draco... he has had his epsom salt bath twice today, and he HATED it but does look a little better. He's not lying on his side as much as he was earlier, and he seems to be trying to swim a little more. It might be my imagination, but I think his color is slowly starting to improve somewhat also. I think I'll try the baths for a few more days unless something occurs. My boy is a fighter and a little toughie, hence his name. :)

Does anyone know when I should begin feeding him again? I know that they can live awhile without food and he's on day three of his fast... I'm just wondering if I should wait for a specific sign that he feels good enough to eat, or if I should def. start feeding him on a certain day #.

Again, I'm more attached to my pets then perhaps I should be... so your responses and support mean so much to me (and I'm sure Draco). Thank you all!! <3
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:30 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theyxdrewxblood View Post
First of all, if you've kept them alive for two years, you are NOT a terrible owner!
Second, the freezer method is painless. The fish's body temperature drops as the water temperature drops. As it gets colder, the fish goes into hibernation. The water freezes, and the fish dies in its sleep. I have had to euthanize one of mine before and it hurts. But if you feel it is better for him, you can.
Youre so incorrect it hurts.

They stay awake until they freeze.
Bettas do not "hibernate", and they dont "sleep" like a human would.
Their insides freeze until they die of cold while being awake.

Never do this to your fish. Use clove oil or quickly bludgeon him. There are other methods, as well.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:03 AM   #9 
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Leave Draco in water with a small amount of the salt over night, with some saran wrap over the opening of your quarantine to keep the air inside moist so his labyrinth organ doesn't dehydrate when he comes up to breathe. Check on him again when you get up in the morning. If he is behaving normally and colouring up again, give him a couple more hours to be on the safe side.

As for feeding him, he can eat when he poops, but don't feed him too much.

And I agree with TDB, you're not terrible just because Draco got sick. These things happen to the best of us, and a terrible person would allow that suffering to continue without trying everything they could. You asked for help and are examining viable solutions. This does not make you terrible, it makes you a loving caretaker of those more defenseless than yourself.

Last edited by TheKingsFish; 03-03-2011 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:09 PM   #10 
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NEVER use the freezer method. Like PewPewPew said, it is painful and they stay awake.

When animal cells start to freeze, the water inside them expands until the cells burst. Does that sound non-painful to you?

Last edited by turtle10; 03-03-2011 at 12:11 PM.
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