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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21188
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a gold fish which is about 16 years old, for the last

Customer Question

I have a gold fish which is about 16 years old, for the last week he has been lying at the bottom of the tank, every so often swim up for a bit of food then back to the bottom, however in the last hour he id swimming very funny, upside down ,head to the bottom, arched back, very irracttic. If he is dying what s the best way to put him out of his pain if he has any
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Good evening,

I am very sorry to hear about Freddy's situation. If he was initially bottom sitting, this suggests that there may have been an issue with his water (ie nitrate toxicity) or he may have been suffering with an internal issue (ie bacterial septicaemia). That said, to see the erratic swimming and arching as well as buoyancy issues (which could be swim bladder), I am quite concerned that he may be reaching a terminal state in his condition. Therefore, while you could consider checking water parameters, broad spectrum antibiotics and treating for constipation, I would suggest that since he is in discomfort and his signs so advanced that euthanasia be considered. In case you have not euthanized a fish before, I do want to include a link regarding the use of clove oil to do so (LINK) without letting him suffer.

Please take care,
Dr. B.