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kiwikacey

At what point do you decide to euthanize?

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Hi all,

I've been very busy as of late (fostering a newborn kitten in between work shifts) and would like to say that I've some good news to report, but I'd be lying. Pickle, as most of you probably know, has always had swim bladder issues. They were formerly caused by algae (probably spirulina), and improved for a month or so once I removed all sources of spirulina from his diet, but now they appear to be resurfacing. He never fully flipped before, but he's been alternately upside-down or floating right-side-up for the past 2 days. He still gets excited to see me, and still wants food, poops are normal...but I'm so torn. I don't want him to be in any kind of pain, but it's so hard to tell....I'm considering setting up my new tank early just so they all have a greater water volume to swim in. I don't have the correct filters yet, but could order them today.

Just did an 80% WC today.

pH: 8.0

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0-5

Temp: 70F

I don't even want to have to think about this, but figured I'd ask those who might have some experience to lend me a hand. When do you know when it's "time?"

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For me it is when they are no longer eating and I have tried everything I can think of to fix the problem.

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This is very much a personal choice, because you are the person who can gauge your fish best. For me, it really depends on quality of life.

As an aside, I don't think that it's the spirulina causing the problem. It may be some part of the spirulina-containing food though.

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wanted to add: Pickle's gills are normal red color, and his belly is a little soft - it bounces back easily when touched but seems a bit squishier than before.

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hun, only you can judge when there is no quality of life left. i guess if they're constantly pinned to the surface either upside down or right way up, they risk getting a dry patch and being exposed to harmful bacteria. but that's if they're continuously pinned to the top. another factor is unable to make it to the bottom for feeds and/or if tank mates are taking the opportunity to be pecking at this disabled fish.

if no attempt of correction works, then i guess quality of live is minimal to none. i recently had to euth one too :(

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Thanks - I'll continue to keep an eye on him. I realize it's entirely personal, but I just wanted to see about others' experience here.

I'll try and feed a bit of fresh veggies from the garden and see how those help.

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Thanks - I'll continue to keep an eye on him. I realize it's entirely personal, but I just wanted to see about others' experience here.

I'll try and feed a bit of fresh veggies from the garden and see how those help.

:)

make sure you blanch them first so they are really soft :) good luck :)

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thanks! I'll be sure to do that :)

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I agree with all the posts :) I have a ryukin that, without fail, is upside down on feeding days. Always. Once he poops, he's fine again. I keep an eye on him when he is like this but as the others have said, I see that he can eat and isn't struggling to swim to the point of stress. I find that feeding him protein-rich foods makes him float like crazy, so after a feeding like this (which I keep to a minimum) I always feed him several tiny meals of greens that pass through his system quickly. This seems to help him bounce back to being upright faster.

His problem I think is definitely food, though, and his body shape, so it might not be the same situation...but I thought maybe it'd be worth chiming in :) I sure do hope Pickle feels better!

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Like the other people said, it's a personal choice. We sometimes do everything we can, yet it doesn't get better. Also, remember, everyone supports you in this choice. :)

Edited by Moucho+Moncho

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Kayla, your situation sounds a lot like mine! I think I'll hold off on euth for now, and try what you've suggested. Peas make Pickle float worse, but he really likes cucumber and zucchini, and I'll try blanched green beans. I just felt really hopeless today and am very thankful for all your support and helpful words!

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I will take a video of my Mike Doyle next time he gets fed (which is soon!) and maybe you will see some similarity with when Pickle floats. He loves green beans :) I get unsalted french-cut canned green beans, partially because I'm lazy and partially because they are nice and soft for him without any cooking on my part. Oh, that's laziness, too? xD Ooops.

It's distressing, I totally know how you feel. I was right where you are a couple months ago...wondering if I was doing him any favors by trying to fix the problem. http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/109658-mike-doyle-you-arent-meant-to-sleep-upside-down/?hl=%2Bmike+%2Bdoyle

I felt completely helpless. Now that I've experimented with foods and observed him, I've been able to pinpoint what makes him float more (protein and denser greens) and I've also just become comfortable with his situation. It's our new normal now. From what I can tell, Mike Doyle will just always be a floater when he eats.

The one thing that I worry most about is what Helen mentioned, him getting a dry patch on his belly if he were to be at the top. I added another air wand to the other side of the tank so I have one at each, and I have sneaked up on him to scope out the water situation at the top. The extra air wand agitated the surface just enough so his belly had water over it at all times. Not much, but enough :)

Rather than trying to fix the fact that he floats, I try to do stuff like the air wands...to make sure to minimize the symptoms that go along with floating. One thing I did in my old tank that I need to set up in my new tank is put a vase (or whatever my plants are potted in) with a wider top than bottom sort of near a side. I noticed what he did in the old tank when he went for a rest was back up, upside down, in that nook between the wall and the top of the vase so he was propped there and could rest without being whooshed around by the filter and without floating. Smart guy, for a big fat floaty goldfish! :P

To sum up my long-winded response: hang in there!!!

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I have had to make that decision for way to many animals over the years, part of being responsible for the life of another creature. I have always found that when it is time to make the final decision, it is easy. When you know that the animal's life is just suffering and that it is less painful to end it than for them to continue on as they are.

It sounds to me like he still has a great chance to live a happy life, but only you are there and see it every day.

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Thanks everyone - Pickle seems to be slowly improving, so I (thankfully) don't think it's time for me to make that tough decision just yet! I fed him some blanched zucchini and lettuce and he seems to be much less "tippy" :) Kayla - I read your thread on MD and he sounds JUST like Pickle. I think I'm just going to have to adjust the way I feed - and what I consider Pickle's "normal." The other fish don't pick on him, they just seem sort of confused and stare at him because he's not down swimming with the rest of them!

No dry patches yet, but I'll be sure to keep an eye on him! And I'll certainly update all of you here at Koko's with any progress :):hug:

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Hand feeding really saved Mike Doyle because I am able to feed each fish their own diets :) my other fish get tons of stuff Mike doesn't. Keep us posted!! :D

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Hand feeding really saved Mike Doyle because I am able to feed each fish their own diets :) my other fish get tons of stuff Mike doesn't. Keep us posted!! :D

I hand feed as well, so this shouldn't be too hard! :)

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I just had to make this decision a few weeks ago too. My fish was recovering from a bacterial infection or something and was making progress bet her mouth was in bad shape and she could not eat. Tried hand feeding, syringe feeding, she just looked miserable and we did not think her "lips" were going to grow back. She loved her food and I did not want her to starve to death. Once I made the decision, I used clove oil and she did not seem to suffer at all. Just for the sake of understanding the process ahead of time, I would check out sg, she has an awesome blog and many educational youtube videos, including the clove oil process. I think i watched it about ten times before I got the courage to do it. I hope your fish feels better! It is pretty amazing how tough they are if we are committed to keeping them healthy!

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I appreciate the sg tip! I am lucky enough to have not been confronted with this yet, but I know I probably will be eventually. All part of owning and loving animals!

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I just had to make this decision a few weeks ago too. My fish was recovering from a bacterial infection or something and was making progress bet her mouth was in bad shape and she could not eat. Tried hand feeding, syringe feeding, she just looked miserable and we did not think her "lips" were going to grow back. She loved her food and I did not want her to starve to death. Once I made the decision, I used clove oil and she did not seem to suffer at all. Just for the sake of understanding the process ahead of time, I would check out sg, she has an awesome blog and many educational youtube videos, including the clove oil process. I think i watched it about ten times before I got the courage to do it. I hope your fish feels better! It is pretty amazing how tough they are if we are committed to keeping them healthy!

I'm sorry you had to euthanise your goldie. :(

I just thought I would mention, a lot, if not all of the information referred to on Sg, can be found on this forum. There is a wealth of knowledge stored on this website; it's quite literally a veritable treasure trove just waiting to be plundered. ;)

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I just had to make this decision a few weeks ago too. My fish was recovering from a bacterial infection or something and was making progress bet her mouth was in bad shape and she could not eat. Tried hand feeding, syringe feeding, she just looked miserable and we did not think her "lips" were going to grow back. She loved her food and I did not want her to starve to death. Once I made the decision, I used clove oil and she did not seem to suffer at all. Just for the sake of understanding the process ahead of time, I would check out Sg, she has an awesome blog and many educational youtube videos, including the clove oil process. I think i watched it about ten times before I got the courage to do it. I hope your fish feels better! It is pretty amazing how tough they are if we are committed to keeping them healthy!

I'm sorry Mermaidkitten :( It's a horrible business having to euthanize our pets :hug

I do have to disagree with some parts in SG euthanasia video, and this is partly the section where oil is added. An overdose of clove oil should not be added all at once to speed up the process as mentioned in the video - slow inductions through a high end anesthetic dosage to an overdose once fish is anesthetized is best . Just my opinion. There's many different ways considered for humanely euthanizing fish with clove oil, but I really believe slower is better in the case of using clove oil to euth our fish.

Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment has really good procedures for anesthetizing and euthanizing fish. Plus, there's wealth of information here, which I believe Solid Gold regularly uses for her informational posts and videos :)

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I agree with all the posts :) I have a ryukin that, without fail, is upside down on feeding days. Always. Once he poops, he's fine again. I keep an eye on him when he is like this but as the others have said, I see that he can eat and isn't struggling to swim to the point of stress. I find that feeding him protein-rich foods makes him float like crazy, so after a feeding like this (which I keep to a minimum) I always feed him several tiny meals of greens that pass through his system quickly. This seems to help him bounce back to being upright faster.

His problem I think is definitely food, though, and his body shape, so it might not be the same situation...but I thought maybe it'd be worth chiming in :) I sure do hope Pickle feels better!

Glad pickle is doing better. I find this method above is exactly what works for me too. I had a couple, one who gets stuck at the top and then her dorsal is out and gets red and sore and one who sinks to the bottom. I started this similar feeding procedure, several meals a day of greens and one meal of protein rich food. Once a week I just give them about 5 small meals of greens and no protein foods to get them cleaned out and start over for the week.

I agree that when my oranda is super floaty and up at the top, peas and green beans make her worse at that time. I have had alot of success with zuchini, carrots and seaweed when she's like that. Kind of ironically the sinker does best with the opposite veggies of peas and green beans because they help him float. Luckily I am able to drop all of their food in different locations for each of them too so they can have different diets.

Hope things continue to go well for you and you are able to find a balance to keep pickles upright if its food related.

Edited by CindiL

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In case anyone was curious, here is a video of Mr. Doyle after he has had some Soilent Green :) He's totally unstable in the water but he makes it work and has no problem nomming on his lettuce.

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Okay this makes me feel MUCH better - Pickle is identical to MD in his mannerisms. He's having a floaty day today so I've only fed veggies, and ordered some more aquatic plants which he loves to much on :) Thank you for sharing!

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