Balko, J. A., Oda, A., Posner, L. P. 2018. Use of tricaine methanesulfonate or propofol for immersion euthanasia of goldfish (Carassius auratus). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 252(12), 1555-1561.
OBJECTIVE To substantiate current AVMA guidelines for immersion euthanasia of goldfish (Carassius auratus) with tricaine methanesulfonate (TMS), determine whether immersion in propofol at 5 times its immersion anesthesia concentration for 30 minutes is sufficient for euthanasia of goldfish, and quantify the duration of myocardial contraction following immersion of goldfish in TMS and decapitation. DESIGN Prospective clinical trial. ANIMALS 36 healthy, adult goldfish. PROCEDURES Goldfish were randomly assigned to be immersed in 1 of 6 test solution treatments (n = 6/treatment): TMS (500 mg/L) for 15 minutes followed by placement in anesthetic agent–free water (T15W), placement out of water (T15A), or decapitation (T15D); TMS (1,000 mg/L) for 15 minutes followed by placement in anesthetic agent–free water (T15XW); TMS (500 mg/L) for 30 minutes followed by placement in anesthetic agent–free water (T30W); or propofol (25 mg/L) for 30 minutes followed by placement in anesthetic agent–free water (P30W). Any fish that resumed operculation in group T15A was returned to anesthetic agent–free water. Times from onset of immersion to induction of anesthesia, cessation and resumption of operculation, and recovery (T15W, T15A, T15XW, T30W, P30W) or cessation of Doppler ultrasounds (T15D) were recorded. RESULTS Overall, 5 of 6, 6 of 6, 6 of 6, 6 of 6, and 5 of 6 fish survived in the T15W, T15A, T15XW, T30W, and P30W groups, respectively. Median time to cessation of Doppler ultrasounds in group T15D was 77.5 minutes (range, 30 to 240 minutes). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Timed immersion in test solutions (TMS at 500 mg/L or 1,000 mg/L or propofol at 25 mg/L) resulted in death in only 7% (2/30) of immersed goldfish. Myocardial contractions continued for up to 4 hours in decapitated goldfish.