top of page


It's not an easy subject to discuss but when you have animals you have to tackle it.

  First method : Clove essential oil. During an incurable disease, you may wish to euthanize your axolotl or fish to avoid letting it suffer needlessly. Choosing to euthanize an animal is a difficult decision to make, but if you feel that it is better to end the life of your axolotl, then it is possible to perform this act ethically and safely. You just need to get in a pharmacy, or organic store, essential oil of clove (or clove), which contains on average between 60 and 95% eugenol, an active substance with anesthetic power (product on sale free). In large doses, axolotl will overdose anesthetic causing death. The recommended dose for euthanasia is 20 drops (1 mL) of clove essential oil per liter of water. In practice: In a tank of suitable volume, pour the necessary quantity of water from your aquarium; Pour in the clove oil (1 mL / L). You can possibly facilitate the dispersion of the oil, by pre-diluting it in 5 times its volume of hot water; Stir the water / oil mixture well with a kitchen whisk for at least 5 minutes; Transfer your axolotl to be euthanized in this tank, then place a lid on top; Soon your axolotl will lose its balance, become unconscious, and stop breathing; Leave your axolotl in this euthanasia tank for at least 30 minutes after complete cessation of respiratory movements.

Second method: For this kind of act, it is best to consult a veterinarian. In this case, veterinarians recommend the use of benzocaine (delivery only on veterinary prescription see ) .

Remember that the axolotl feels pain and fear. Certainly not like a mammal, but it still has primary feelings and emotions. It is possible to kill a fish or axolotl without making it suffer. But it doesn't just happen. To type it violently or to put it in the freezer is NOT TO BE! (The clove has been known for many years in the aquarist environment, 22 years ago it was already common, so why use barbaric methods?) Because unless you cut its brain, axolotl or fish will not die immediately. In the event of failure his suffering would be intolerable. For the freezer, we tend to think that the cold will gently "put to sleep" the axolotl. He will fall asleep, of course, but in pain, his body crippled with lesions caused by the frost. Because crystals will very quickly form in his blood system, (unlike the slight drop suffered in a refrigerator and which just plunges him into a lethargic state) So yes you don't see it, far from the eyes, far from the heart. But it's still very cruel. Ditto, scalding axolotl or fish and other ideas of this type are to be forgotten at all costs. When to throw him alive in the toilet and flush ...:? IN SHORT. TO EUTHANASIZE YOUR AXOLOTL / FISH, the only technique recognized as "euthanasia" (gentle and painless death) is the clove technique . Here is a second method still with cloves, I unfortunately had to use it twice about fifteen years ago when we did not use the essential oil of cloves.

* Take 20 cloves, put them in a small saucepan. Boil 15 minutes, no less.
* Let cool. Remove the nails, but don't throw them away right away, they could be useful.
* Put the sick fish / axo in a small container (one liter tupperware)
* Slowly pour some clove scented water into the water. (It must swim in 25% of the product / 75% water)
* Wait.
* If nothing happens in 10 minutes, add another dose and wait again. The fish will slow down its breathing and slowly fall asleep.
* continue until the fish are swimming in 75% product - 25% water
* When you are sure that he is sleeping soundly, put him directly in the water with the remaining cloves. This overdose will kill him within minutes and without pain.


Water boiled with cloves smells very strong, does it not bother the fish?
No. The fish do not panic when they take their first breaths of the product. He doesn't seem to feel any pain or stress. I conclude that, if he perhaps "smells" the product, he does not "suffer" from it.

Does the axolotl or the fish realize what is happening to it?
It depends on the animals. some fall quietly to the bottom and quickly fall asleep, others must sense that something abnormal is happening and get agitated, circling around ...
However, it is not "pain", but stress.

My axo was asleep. I gave him the lethal dose, he shuddered and breathed very hard! He almost convulsed! Did he suffer ?!
No. He was sleeping, these jolts were only nervous and in no case voluntary, fish and axolotls have the reflex to swim, hence the slight jolts.

My axolotl doesn't seem to be breathing anymore. Is he really dead?
Even if it doesn't seem to be breathing at all, an axolotl may still be alive.
To deal with this, you have to use the "bong" system: the axo is in its water, in a metal container (the small saucepan used to boil water for example). I drop it to the bottom, wait a minute or two, and flick violently against the metal. The loud noise echoes, and the axolotl or the fish, if it is still alive, has a nervous jump. If after two tries you don't see the slightest reaction, you can be sure he is dead.

I would like my axolotl to die very slowly and not feel like leaving at all ...
There, boiled cloves come in handy.
Place the fish in a small jar (jam jar, or other) and in a tray with a few liters of water for an axolotl, put a small dose of boiled water (15%) to start to put it to sleep, and put the nails in the water. They will diffuse their active products gently, the fish / axolotl will die within a few hours. Ideally, to do in the evening to find axolotl / dead fish the next day ...

Why is it better to gently euthanize when the animal is condemned?
There are several solutions, let's do a comparison:

1 / I take my sick fish, I throw it in the toilet and I flush it is equivalent to: I take my old sick dog, I abandon it in the woods and if it takes days to die and in addition it transmits his disease to the whole forest, I don't care. Would you be able to?

2 / I leave my sick fish in my tank until it dies is equivalent to: I leave my sick old dog without care and I watch it wither day after day. With the risk of contamination of the entire aquarium

So when you know that there is nothing more to do and that his death is inevitable, offer him a gentle death ... Please stop using the freezer for euthanasia.
bottom of page