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How Do You Know When It Is Time?


Anielynn

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I really need some opinions from personal experience with sick fish. How sick they can get and still come back from it. If they have stopped eating will they start eating again given some time? If you are seeing a major personality change can they come back when they are that bad. I've never had a sick fish before. Well there have been bettas. But they died. I didn't have this issue of watching a fish i love so desperately in misery.When i walk by the tank he swims erratically and bounces off the glass. I'm not ready yet to give up on him don't get me wrong. But i can't leave him covered permanently with a towel and not eating can I ? How do you know when it's time?

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This is really a hard one :(

Personally, for goldfish I make the call when they are in obvious misery that I feel strongly they can't recover from. For example, raging or multiple infections that I am certain will kill them in the days to come. Or severe injury. The only time I ever put a goldfish down was a baby who lost both eyes and had very bad injuries to his little body.

For tropicals, I know that it is very rare that I bring them back once dropsy sets in, so I usually put them down when they lose their capacity to swim.

But this is a very personal decision, it comes down to your own set of ethics and what you consider to be the point where quality of life is gone.

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It is a horrible decision to have to make. But when it comes down to it, it's one that only you can make. Because only you know the exact problems and how bad they are.

My advice is if you sincerely don't think there is any way that this fish will recover, that would be the time I made the decision.

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My advice is if you sincerely don't think there is any way that this fish will recover, that would be the time I made the decision.

The problem i am going to run into is i don't have any previous experience to base anything on. Right now i can't even do water changes without him being so scared he tries to jump out of the tank. :cry1 I'm just so lost. I don't know if that is going to go away or what it even means.

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I had a fish I just put down, and like everyone says, it was just a really hard decision. Goldfish seem to be able to come back from things that look pretty serious. Do you have another thread about your fish's trouble? Hopefully someone reading that can give you advice on what your symptoms mean. Here is my story, just to give you an idea what they can go through and survive.

When I first got my oranda, she developed finrot so bad she lost most of her tail, but we brought her back with several months of treatment, first with medicated food, then with a waterborne medication. Then after a year or so she got popeye and lost an eye, but we medicated her through that too, and it healed up great. Then she was fine for another year before SBD turned her permanently floating. After a month of that, she developed dropsy and stopped eating. That's when I decided that her quality of life was so poor that it would be a mercy to let her go.

It's never an easy thing to do, or chose. You have my sympathies, and I really hope your fish makes a turn for the better.

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Thank you. And i guess that is what i am looking for. Hope. Hope that he still may have a chance to come back.

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My fish Ziggy has bounced back from some pretty terrible stuff and it's been a couple of years since his really serious issues. Honestly when he was sick I thought that I really should put him down because I really didn't see any sign of recovery. I just didn't have the heart to. He was still eating though even though he was so weak I had to hold him with his head up so the food wouldn't fall out.

However, I now have a very old danio that's slowly wasting away and I really know that I should put it down, but I haven't worked up the courage. Because of its age I know there is no hope for recovery I just have such a hard time killing stuff. I even move spiders to other parts of the house in the winter because I don't have the heart to put them outside.

I'm sure whatever decision you make will be the right one. My sympathies are with you and I really hope your fish recovers so that you don't have to agonize over the decision further.

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Just wanted to say, I understand what you are going through. Since Bandit started being sick I thought I should put him out of his misery a few times. And every time I would log on and somebody would give me an encouraging thought and I would decide to wait one more day. And now looking at him today I am so glad I didn't do anything drastic. Most people thought he wouldn't pull out of it when they saw him at his worst but now you wouldn't recognize him. But in the end only you know what is best and we are all with you whatever you decide. :hug:heart

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aww steph...I feel your pain hun:( I've had to make this decision very recently and its a really tough call. Do you feel as if your baby is truely suffering and would be better off going to sleep and not waking up? Every time i've had to do this it's so hard to bring myself to do it but i have truely believed that i was doing the right thing and when it was over i felt good about it...like i really did to the unselfish thing. You'll know hun...you will just get to the point where enough is enough for you and your fish and you will just know when it's time. big hugs and kisses....I'm thinking about you:(

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I've wondered this same thing quite alot recently with one particular fish of mine.. As everyone else has said, its a TOUGH decision.. Up until now I've always held out hope with all of my fish, but I am really starting to consider this with one fish that is so floaty these days she never gets to the bottom any more. She can swim like a crazy floppy fish at the top and WILL eat on her own if the food floats, but it's not easy for her to get to it. It's sad because she still responds to me, and she is not skinny, or sick looking at all. But her swim bladder/floaty issues are just sooo bad now.

But the thing is, I have seen some fish come back from MAJOR SERIOUS ISSUES! And that is the very thing that makes me so hesitant!!!! About 2 months ago one of my fish was so sick that she couldn't eat or swim. She couldn't make it to the bottom of the tank, she was stuck floating lifelessly at the top. Half of her side was eaten away and pineconed.. I had to force feed her for a week... I did NOT think there was ANY hope for her AT ALL and I considered putting her down. But I didn't.. I can see her from where I am sitting RIGHT NOW, and she is happily swimming in her tank, not floaty at all, and has been eating on her own for about 5 weeks.

Another fish... dropsied twice so far. Hung at the top.. Her belly felt mushy and she didn't have any energy to move at all. I put her in a QT tank and for weeks she floated and barely moved, sometimes gasping but I was able to give her a new medicated food that I had not tried yet.. She is now back in the main tank and while she DOES still get the floaties, she can swim and eat on her own, and generally appears very very happy!

And finally, a third fish. My favorite fish.. Most people on this board know this fish! lol Chase.. He has been at deaths door for SOOO long and has had sooo many close calls.. SEVERE dropsy, blisters, his entire wen was rotted away.... So many times I wondered if I was doing the wrong thing by keeping him alive. Yet today is day 234 since he first dropsied. That is almost 8 months. He swims on his own, eats on his own and is still fighting..

Sooo.. I guess my point is.. if YOU don't feel ready to give up, and u want to hold out hope.. then go for it!!!! Make the right call for YOU and for ur fish. If that ends up being putting them down, then EVERYONE here will understand and support you. But if you end up hanging on to hope, everyone here will understand that as well! And sometimes miracles do happen!!!

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