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Old 12-10-02, 07:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Euthanization

ok, hope subject isnt too touchy, but i need advice.

A friend of mine has a chameleon that is extreamly old and going downhill fast.
He is considering euthanizing it and asked me for my opinion on how to do it w/o taking it into the vet.
I told him that the vet would be the best option, but he doesnt have the $. I wish i had the money to give him to euthanize it properly, but i dont

so....heres my question,
is there any <i>truely</i> humane way to euthanize it at home?
any opinion is welcome, im at a loss here!
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Old 12-10-02, 08:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Only truely human way is to destroy their brain......that way they won't feel pain. But, to get to the brain you've got to smash their heads in......I don't know about you but that sounds a little messy. I'd prefer to just throw them in the freezer.........that works for me.

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Old 12-10-02, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Putting them in the freezer is considered humane. Their nerves are very deep (hence the reason herps get burned so badly when they come in contact with a heat source, they don't feel it until its too late) so they won't feel the burn of the cold, and the cold quickly slows their system right down - they are sleeping before they die. Speculation says this is quite peaceful - though we don't have anyway of really knowing - just hoping it is truly is. This does not work with warm-blooded animals howwever - I have heard of people thinking this works with rats, etc and was appauled to find out they used that method to freeze their rodents. It is probably the LEAST humane method for anything capable of producing body heat.
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Old 12-10-02, 09:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks very much guys!
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Old 12-10-02, 10:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Carbon dioxide is another humane method, it puts them to sleep easier than in the freezer. I've read studies that some herps' brains do not shut down during freezing before they can feel their cells burst from the ice crystals. They based this finding on the amount of cortisol (hormone released during stress) found in the bloodstream after freezing as opposed to before. It's a controversial finding and I haven't read anything recently so it may have been discounted.

You can buy cylinders of C02 and a regulator made for making seltzer water at most restaurant supply houses. Just use a plastic bag to hold the gas in instead of sending the gas into the bottle of water as you would for seltzer.

It comes in very handy for fresh-killed rodents in a humane fashion as well.
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Old 12-11-02, 08:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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According to Veterinary Clinical Services, part of the Yale University website, the acceptable methods for reptiles are:

Barbiturates
inhalant anesthetics
CO2

Conditionally acceptable:

Gunshot
penetrating captive bolt
stunning and decapitation
decapitation and pithing

One thing to remember about reptiles (any cold blooded animal), is that they can hold their breath longer than we could think possible. Since they don't need oxygen to use in making body heat, they can get by with very little by our standards. Holding their breath for ages is nothing to them, but it also means inhalant gasses are absorbed much slower. If it takes a couple of minutes to gas a rodent, a reptile might take an hour or more. Keep this in mind if you decide to use CO2 or other anethesia.

There's also a good selection of articles regarding reptile euthanasia at Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection. Check under Page Index - End of Life.


For a more detailed article, check out Penn State Animal Resource Program
This site has specific info about methods/drugs and dosages.
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Old 12-11-02, 02:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Euthanization is a touchy subject it is suggested to use Chloroform or Halothane for inhalent purposes to put the animal to sleep quietly. Pour some on a couple of cotton balls place them in a jar and then place the reptile in there with it and after awhile things will take progress. After breathing has stopped wait at least 10 minutes to ensure the reptile has passed.
CO2 has been proven to hurt the eyes and respiratory tract even though it is quicker than inhalents.
We have in the past used the freezer method but we have not euthanised many reptiles and this is what I have come up with some research.
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Old 12-11-02, 02:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ok, so if we choose the inhalant route, where do i get chloroform or Halothane.
im assuming they arent at Walmart
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Old 12-11-02, 04:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Would something like provent-a-mite be humane? I've been very careful to make sure our herps are not exposed so I don't know the effects first hand, i just know it can kill a herp if used incorrectly.
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Old 12-11-02, 05:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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LOL Matt no you would not be able to get that at Walmart. Phone your local Pharmacy and ask them if they stock if not a name of one that does.
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Old 12-11-02, 08:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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from what i know, Co2 is ok but has to be used in stages? not too sure of the right way, but little and often, or is that often and little?
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Old 12-12-02, 06:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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do what i do with mice. put the chameleon in a pillow case and WACK!! it up against a flat suface. it requires little force, and no bleeding. it is a very fast death, i think......
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Old 12-12-02, 11:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I haven't read up on this topic for quite a while. I remember that both freezing and decapitation are considered slow, painful and cruel due to herp physiology. Organs crystallizing hurt, decapitation isn't quick because they retain awareness due to primitive nervous systems.

Better to spring for the lethal injection, any way you look at it.

I don't know how CO2 works on mammals, much less reptiles. Some sources say that the build-up of CO2 in mammalian lungs burns and causes a lot of pain.

I think I'll ask my vet about this next time I see him and get some hard answers.
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Old 12-12-02, 11:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa
Would something like provent-a-mite be humane? I've been very careful to make sure our herps are not exposed so I don't know the effects first hand, i just know it can kill a herp if used incorrectly.
Yikes! Definitely not. It would probably be quite drawn out and very painful. It does not have any sedating effects, it just causes severe neurological damage... I would strongly discourage any ideas of using a pesticide to euthanize any animal
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Old 12-12-02, 01:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Does the guy have 40$? Because that's how much it cost to have my old rats put down at the vet, and chameleons aren't much bigger...in any case, if he hasn't phoned a vet to find out how much it would cost, he should, because it might be a lot cheaper than he thinks...
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