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To Euthanize or Not To Euthanize

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by MizM, May 12, 2003.

  1. MizM

    MizM Arachnoprincess Old Timer

    THAT is the question!

    The brown phase g. rosea that I JUST got about a month ago is dying. She was WC and I think she was exposed to pesticides. She stunk like a dead carcass when I got her, her name is "Stinky!"

    Really docile, but a couple of weeks after I bought her, her checiclerae started opening like this:
    as opposed to this:
    every time I held her. But no fangs. Then, she started walking VERY jerkily. Then, every time I handled her, she would extend her fangs and put them on my hand like she was "holding on", but NO BITE. She soon became pretty much immobile, I checked on her one day and she accidentally rolled on her back, so I left her there thinking, "ahhh, impending molt." 3 or 4 days later, no molt, and barely any movement. I turned her over and she's been in death curl for three days with little or no movement.

    Do you think she is suffering? Should I put her in the freezer? Is death inevitable? If there is even a sliver of hope, I would hate myself forever for freezing her, so I need EVERYONE'S opinion!!!:(
  2. sunnymarcie

    sunnymarcie Celestial Spider Old Timer

    so sad:(

    You say she was wild caught?
    She could have some type of parasite inside her.
    I'm not sure she may be suffering and if it was me............
    I hate to say it...........I would probably do it:(
    I hope that someone can tell you more than me, as I am no
    expert. :(
  3. chid

    chid Arachnoknight

    I think I would probably put it out of its misery. It dosent sound too good.
  4. Hamadryad

    Hamadryad Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Doesnt sound very good to me

    :eek: The behavior of your spider sounds like she is suffering to me.I have to say I would be in favor of euthanizing her to put and end to her misery.That is just my opinion...

    :8o The Evil Spider Hunter
  5. jwb121377

    jwb121377 Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    I agree with everyone it sounds as though she is suffering, and it would be best to not let her suffer needlessly.:(
  6. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    At the risk of starting a debate, I think that massive trauma is a better way to euthanize than freezing. If you completely crush the T it should die instantly. Nobody really knows that happens when you freeze it. Just take something large and flat and slam it down on the T.

  7. MizM

    MizM Arachnoprincess Old Timer

    There is no way in the world that I could smash it!!! I'm a girl, and a big wuss when it comes to smushing things!!!

    The freezing process willl gently put it to sleep... refrigeration is anesthesia... freezing is euthanasia
  8. Mendnwngs

    Mendnwngs Arachnosquire Old Timer

    I have heard about massive trauma as a euthenizing technique. (With Pet fish) As well as the freezing method.

    Only say it because Im curious: Whats the "preferred" method for euthenizing Ts? Its a terrible subject to talk about, and worse to do. (As a vet tech, I have assisted in the putting down of some 20+ animals) But unfortunately in some cases, needed to end an animals suffering.

    Could c02 be used? (Dry ice vapor) Like used for mice (pre-killed prey) . Any other options?

  9. skadiwolf

    skadiwolf Arachnolord Old Timer

    well guys, i don't know about tarantulas...but for YEARS euthanazia by freezing was recommended by many snake breeders and enthusiasts.

    that is, however, until they found out that it is a slow and EXTREMELY painful death for the snake.

    i don't know how it is for Ts like i said, but i would do your research online before doing anything.

    snakes can even live for hours after their heads have been severed...a sickeningly cruel and torturous end to their beautiful existance.

    as much as i hate to say it, massive trauma would definitely do it...but as i've tried with mice in stunning/killing them, it doesn't always work with them and then you feel like a complete and utter BASTARD for making them suffer horribly more before they die. :/ i just don't buy live mice anymore, period. only frozen.

    do your research. reading online about T euthanazia will also make you feel more informed and much, much better about doing anything.

    btw - now the most humane method of putting mice to sleep is dry ice. basically, you get some dry ice, put it in a plastic container. then put that into a larger container. poke holes in the smaller and seal it. when enough CO2 has gotten built up, you slip the mouse, snake, etc. in there.

    it doesn't take long for them to die. it's also been recommended for reptiles. however, honestly, i'd call a vet and just SEE what they say. (shrug)

    do your research. online makes it quickly available.

    bless you for your concern and caring for this animal. may your T pass in love and light to a better place.
  10. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    I would be skeptical about C02. Ts can "hold their breath" an AWFULY long time. I also don't know how it reacts to their hemolymph.

    I am also skeptical about freezing. How do we know that it is like anesthesia? I mean, it is generaly not recommended to do that with other ectotherms -- reptiles, for example. We REALLY don't know what it is like for Ts. What we do know, though, is that it takes time.

    Smooshing, on the other hand, is instantaneous.

  11. MizM

    MizM Arachnoprincess Old Timer

    The Schultzs' say: "Among the most humane methods is to refrigerate overnight then transfer to the freezer...... If available, asphyxiation with nitrogen gas would be better with carbon dioxide being a close second best."

    I kill the pests in my grage by closing it up and running the 70' Camaro in it for a few minutes. Wonder if I should put her in the tailpipe?

    P.S. Thank you for the kind words skadiwolf. Vets know absolutely NOTHING about T's. I just talked to Rick West and he gave me the phone number of Tom Prentice in the Biology Dept. at UCR... 5 miles away from me. I'm going to talk to an EXPERT on the subject! Just to be sure I don't hurt her!!!:(
    Last edited: May 12, 2003
  12. skadiwolf

    skadiwolf Arachnolord Old Timer

    btw - the reason freezing is not a gentle death is because anything that has any kind of liquid 'blood' inside it, be it mammal, reptile, and i'd imagine T is in for a nasty process.

    ice crystals build up in the blood and slowly, ever so slowly your blood stops flowing to parts of your body which start to freeze. this is VERY painful. mice have been known to scream and rip claws off trying to escape freezers.

    humans that have survived near-deaths in extreme cold will also tell you it is NOT pleasant. you don't just fall asleep. you suffer.

    please for the love of any living creature, never freeze ANYTHING to kill it.
  13. skadiwolf

    skadiwolf Arachnolord Old Timer

    here's a fantastic link for various types of euthanazia. it does mention that snakes under 1lb. could probably be humanely frozen...so, perhaps that's an option. anyway, please read up:

  14. MizM

    MizM Arachnoprincess Old Timer

    Tarantulas don't have a circulatory system like mammals.... so I wonder if that makes a difference?:confused:
  15. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    I don't think the crystalization of haemolymph under freezing conditions is debatable. Nor do I think the resulting tissue damage is. What is debatable is the state of their neurological system at those temperatures. What do they feel when they freeze?

  16. skadiwolf

    skadiwolf Arachnolord Old Timer

    i think you're a wonderful person to even care about your animals. some people whether they tend to anthropomorphize animals or not (i definitely do and i refuse to debate the logic of it or not) just do not have as much concern about their animals.

    'oh, i'll just get another one i guess' or, 'man, all that money was wasted!'

    i hate that type of response. i believe that people keeping animals should do it because they have a fascination and respect for the creatures in question.

    it really is great to see people so caring about their pets. thank YOU. :)
  17. MizM

    MizM Arachnoprincess Old Timer

    I just got off the phone with the prof. at UCR... all of the methods listed above are considered humane by the biology department... although he didn't much like the idea of crushing it. His number one pick: drop her in ethyl alcohol. I feel so much better that whichever I choose, she will not suffer.:(
  18. mebebraz

    mebebraz Arachnobaron Old Timer

    What about putting it in a box with a small hole in it and holding it near the exhaust of a car, wouldnt it be just like humans, cant smell the carbon monoxide, just like going to sleep, no pain.:?
  19. skadiwolf

    skadiwolf Arachnolord Old Timer

    well, regardless of the method, it won't be pleasant for you, but try to make it as pleasant as possible for her.

    be strong. (hug)

    you're doing what you feel is right to help her suffering. it's a difficult decision and i don't think anyone has the right to second-guess you since you're right there with her.

    if you feel there is absolutely no chance to save her and she's in a lot of pain, do what you feel is necessary.

    i respect whatever decision you make.
  20. LAking

    LAking Arachnosquire Old Timer

    I don't have any T's (yet), however i have snakes. I have to pre kill many rats for my burmese python and boa and my current method is this. You know those "air in a can" electronic equipment duster things? The ones you use to clean your keyboard or dust off the insides of a computer.
    Well, i THINK those are basically the same as a co2 cartridge for a bb gun or something like that. I put the rat in a zip lock back, and close it up with only a small hold left to close. I then push as much of the air out as possible, then stick the long tube from the can into the bag and fill it up with the co2. I then close it and wait. The rats pass out within seconds. They almost instantly get wobbly and then fall over on their sides. They lie their as if they were sleeping for a few minutes (depending on how big the rat is) and eventually stop breathing.
    If this IS actually co2 (and of course they don't say anywhere on the can what you are actually using), then this should be a pretty humane and safe way to Euthanize an animal. co2 is something that can always be found in an animals blood, it is only at very high levels that it becomes dangerous. It's is a natural waste product that our bodies constantly produce and expell through respiration.

    On a side note, back when i was going to UC Santa Cruz, i had my dorm door open and some guy was walking past my room and saw my "dust off" on my desk. He stopped, walked in my room and asked if he could quickly borrow it. He had friends with him, and said "watch this", then began to inhale the stuff. He got a full lung full of that stuff, then started talking. His voice got really DEEP, the exact opposite of helium. Kind of freaky. i would never even think of trying that.
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