Perret-Thiry, C., Raulic, J., Vergneau-Grosset, C. 2022. Evaluation of prolonged immersion in tricaine methanesulfonate for juvenile goldfish (Carassius auratus) euthanasia. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 260(8), 911-915.
OBJECTIVE: Doses of buffered tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222) up to 1000 mg/L for 15 minutes are reported inefficient to produce euthanasia in goldfish. The goal of this study was to determine if goldfish can be euthanized by more prolonged immersion in MS-222. ANIMALS: 24 healthy goldfish (weight range: 1 to 10 g) were randomly assigned to 4 groups of 6 fish. PROCEDURES: The first group (G1) was exposed to 500 mg/L buffered MS-222 for 15 minutes then placed in freshwater for 3 hours. The second (G2) and third groups (G3) were exposed to 1000 mg/L of buffered MS-222 for 15 minutes then placed in freshwater for 3 hours and 18 hours respectively. The fourth group (G4) was exposed to 1000 mg/L of buffered MS-222 for 60 minutes then placed in freshwater for 3 hours. Time to cessation and return of operculation were recorded. If the goldfish did not resume operculation, heart rate was evaluated by Doppler ultrasonic flow detector. RESULTS: Median times to apnea were 35 seconds at 1000 mg/L and 65 seconds at 500 mg/L. Re-operculation occurred only in G1 in 5 out of 6 individuals. All fish from G1, 3 fish from G2, 0 fish from G3, 1 fish from G4 had remaining heartbeats at the end of the observation period. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Overall, a dose of 1000 mg/L of buffered MS-222 for 15 minutes was efficient to euthanize juvenile goldfish at 20 °C. Different fish body mass and water quality parameters might explain different results compared to previous studies.