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URGENT Please Help

This is a discussion on URGENT Please Help within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Hi everyone. I have two fire belly newts... one is rather large and one seems particularly small. I'm starting to ...

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Old 5th February 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Is my newt ok?

Hi everyone. I have two fire belly newts... one is rather large and one seems particularly small. I'm starting to worry about the little one. It's been significantly smaller than the other one ever since I got them, but he seems too skinny. I feed them both the same amount of small black worms, once or twice a week, basically as much as they'll eat., but you can see his little hip bones. Also, I put a floating log in their tank and ever since then, it has been primarily out of the water (I had a bad slimy algae bloom so a couple days ago, I took the newts out and thoroughly cleaned the tank, this could have stressed it out). Also, in one of the pictures I'm attaching, I can't tell if something is wrong with its neck, or if this is how they normally look and I'm just being paranoid. Finally, it was opening and closing its mouth earlier, and little bubbles were coming out. I'm just wondering what everything thinks...I will definitely find a vet in the area if anyone thinks it may need one.

So, in summary, these are the things I've noticed that are causing me concern...
Very skinny, although its a good eater
Spending a lot of time out of water
Maybe something going on with its neck?
Small mouth/saliva bubbles
Attached Thumbnails
URGENT Please Help-img_2666.jpg   URGENT Please Help-img_2671.jpg   URGENT Please Help-img_2680.jpg  



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Old 6th February 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my newt ok?

I'd say find a vet. It does look very thin and the skin shouldn't be shiny like that if its been out of the water for any length of time. Those symptoms are very common in newly imported newts, but sometimes it can be a long while down the line before trouble surfaces.
At least a vet will be able to make a proper diagnosis and decide on the correct treatment, even then it might not survive, but its worth a shot for sure.



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Old 6th February 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my newt ok?

The little guy has an appointment for Tuesday with an amphibian specialist. I just fed them and it's still eating well, so that's good.



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Old 8th February 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my newt ok?

So an update on my little newt...He's been opening his mouth a lot, and now it seems like there's a bubble in it. I called the vet to try to get the appointment changed to tomorrow instead of Tuesday. Is there anything I can do for it in the mean time, or any ideas of what's wrong?



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Old 8th February 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default URGENT Please Help

Hi everyone. My little firebelly newt is sick and I need help, quickly! He (she?) has never particularly liked the water, but recently he has not been going in at all other than a little foot dip here or there, although his skin is still shiny. He is very thin, although he eats generally well. A couple days ago, he had little bubbles coming out of his mouth. But now, he keeps his throat puffed out (but the rest of him is not bloated) and seems to have a bubble in his mouth. He has a vet appointment for Tuesday and I just called to try to move it tomorrow (although they're closed right now). Does anyone have any idea what's going on, or what I can do for him? There is one other newt in the tank but it seems completely fine.



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Old 8th February 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

Here are some pictures. The bubble just developed today.
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URGENT Please Help-img_2666.jpg   URGENT Please Help-img_2671.jpg   URGENT Please Help-img_2680.jpg   URGENT Please Help-img_2705-1-.jpg  



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Old 8th February 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: URGENT Please Help

Might this be mouth rot?



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Old 8th February 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

The last picture looks like it, what are his tank parameters (Ammonia levels, water hardness, ect) and what have you been feeding him, and what are his tank temperatures and such?



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Old 8th February 2016   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure about the tank parameters currently. I just had a bad slimy algae bloom, which I had to do complete water change and Intense rinsing of all the plants and their playground equipment to get rid of,and that was within the last week. I know doing a complete water change like that is generally bad but the research said that was just how to fix that kind of algae. I try to keep the temperature around 65, using frozen water bottles to keep it as steady as possible. I feed them little live black worms, and he just ate a couple days ago, before the bubble appeared.



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Old 8th February 2016   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

The swollen throat is another symptom that is very common among pet trade firebellies. It usually seems to occur together with open skin sores, but not always. I really don't know if there's anything you can do at this point, but you could try putting him in the fridge in a small tub with damp tissue substrate and hope the low temperature slows the problem down until you get to the vets.



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Old 8th February 2016   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

Thanks for your reply! He actually looks a lot better this morning, but I wasn't able to move his appointment to today so we're still going in to the vet tomorrow. The bubble seems to be gone, or significantly smaller, and he basically has his mouth closed. Can you tell me more about refrigeration? I've read a lot of different ways to do it, how long to have them in for, and I've also read that it can be bad for sick newts.



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Old 8th February 2016   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

I'm afraid not, I've only ever fridged sick Axolotls or healthy newts for their winter rest. It was the only thing I could think of that might buy you a bit of time until you go to the vets, though.



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Old 10th February 2016   #13 (permalink)
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Red face Re: URGENT Please Help

Another update on my little friend. His vet visit went well. The doctor said that other than how thin he is, he looked fine. He checked newt's mouth for infection and didn't see anything, and also said that his skin is shiny because he has a good slime coat, or something to that effect. Anyways, he suggested that there's more competition in the tank than I can tell, since the other newt is about twice as big and always in the water, that's probably why this little one is always on the log where the big one isn't. He suggested to take out the little one and feed it separately, and about twice as often to bulk him up. I just tried that, and he didn't eat, but I know he's probably pretty stressed from his car ride and all the handling that went on yesterday. The vet said the bubble that was in newt's mouth was curious, but it went away so quickly and there's no other signs of infection, to not worry about it right now.



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Old 10th February 2016   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

Well, I'm a mechanic and not a vet so I'd normally have to defer to somebody who is, but in my experience their skins loose their sheen pretty quickly when they climb out of the water. The shiny skin and visible hip bones are very common indicators that all's not well. Maybe the vet was thinking of frogs or terrestrial salamanders?
I found a picture that hopefully shows how quickly the transition happens.
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URGENT Please Help-hypselotriton.jpg  



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Old 10th February 2016   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

Hmm that is interesting. I guess I just don't know what to do at this point other than try to bulk him up a bit, since there haven't been any suggestions about what's actually wrong or what else to do, and I'm no expert.



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Old 10th February 2016   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help.

I know, I wasn't trying to be a smart a$$, I just think the vet missed a trick.
Having said that, I've never seen a newt recover from the swollen jaw thing before, so I'm pretty much stumped.
The usual theory for those symptoms is that the newts immune system has collapsed after the stress of capture, importation etc allowing diseases to run riot unchecked. Almost always though, newts affected in this way stopped eating long ago, but yours hasn't, so I don't know what's going on.



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Old 10th February 2016   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

I know, I wasn't trying to imply that at all! The wonder of online communication.
Maybe I just have a super-newt. I guess only time will tell.



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Old 11th February 2016   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

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Originally Posted by natuhlee View Post
I know, I wasn't trying to imply that at all! The wonder of online communication.
Maybe I just have a super-newt. I guess only time will tell.
In general being thin despite eating can be various things, including stress from a cage mate as suggested, but parasites would be a possibility, and the mouth bubbling and throat swelling could fit with that. So if you didn't submit a faeces sample to the vet it might be worth discussing that with them.

Hope this helps.



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Old 12th February 2016   #19 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Re: URGENT Please Help

Hmm that's very interesting... I hadn't thought of the possibility of parasites. Can you tell me any more about that? Including how to collect a sample from him? I guess I may need to separate him so I can tell if it's his or not. I've tried to feed him twice in the past few days with no luck, so I'm starting to worry a little more. Also, it seems he is puffing his throat out, because sometimes it's puffed out and sometimes it's not, so I find that interesting.
P.s. Thank you for your input!



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Old 12th February 2016   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT Please Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by natuhlee View Post
Hmm that's very interesting... I hadn't thought of the possibility of parasites. Can you tell me any more about that? Including how to collect a sample from him? I guess I may need to separate him so I can tell if it's his or not. I've tried to feed him twice in the past few days with no luck, so I'm starting to worry a little more. Also, it seems he is puffing his throat out, because sometimes it's puffed out and sometimes it's not, so I find that interesting.
P.s. Thank you for your input!
Well, you really need to speak to the vet seeing the animal about what samples he/she would want - faeces kept moist are a usual one, but the vet can also take samples (cloacal wash or stomach wash, for example) directly if faeces are not forthcoming. Stomach wash might be particularly relevant in this case with the fluctuating swelling but again discuss with your vet.

Collecting faeces can be difficult in an aquatic set-up unfortunately - if you see any you can suck them up in a pipette or syringe, but you'd have to be very lucky for that! You can consider a hygienic set-up (e.g. mainly terrestrial on paper towels with a smaller water dish - still needs hiding places etc), but at the same time bear in mind you will add to his stress by changing his environment significantly so it's a bit of a balancing act. Perhaps discuss the options with your vet.

Unfortunately there's not a lot you can do about ensuring that the throat swelling is present when he goes to the vet - videos and pics may help but looking inside the mouth when the swelling is present is likely to be most useful.



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