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My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

This is a discussion on My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do? within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Recently I went on holiday for a month and a half, and left my two C. orientalis in the care ...

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Old 3rd August 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

Recently I went on holiday for a month and a half, and left my two C. orientalis in the care of my cousin. As she herself is an avid collector of herps, I figured they'd be well looked after, but I literally could not have been more wrong.

When I came home today, my boys were so thin that I could count every single bone in their bodies, and worse, I discovered that Aristotle's entire leg had been amputated.
I don't know if his brother ate his leg due to their prolonged starvation, if it was caught in something and somehow ripped off when he tried to escape, or what. I don't even know when it happened. All I know is that I am angrier than I have ever been in my life.

Ari has absolutely no flesh left on his leg, but has a decent amount of bone sticking out of his stump. He can't walk, probably as much because of his severe malnutrition as his amputation, and I honestly don't know what to do.

Will his leg regenerate? How long will it take? Will I be able to put him back in with Darwin once they've both been fattened up and recuperated? Is there medication I can give him to help the healing process, and should I bring him to a herp vet?

I'm sure this kind of thing is touched on all the time in the forums, but frankly this is the first real scare I've ever had in the six years I've had these two, and I'm more than a little upset and frantic. I am terrified of doing something wrong and doing more damage than has already been done. Please, please lend me your knowledge and advice.


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Old 3rd August 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

If I were you I would concentrate on getting them back up to a reasonable weight before worrying about the leg. Under normal circumstances the leg would regenerate with no problems, but on a newt as emaciated as that, it might not do much until the rest of it's body recovers. It will be fine in the meantime as long as there's no infection or fungus.
I know it's tempting to pile food in when faced with an animal that thin, but it's important to start with small meals and build up the amount gradually. Animals given big meals when they are that thin can die from what's called re-feeding syndrome, their digestive system just can't cope with big meals after being starved for so long.
Good luck, I hope they make it. :)



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Old 3rd August 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Angry Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

If your cousin was taking care of them. I would take them to the vet and make your cousin pay for it. In the states your cousin cold be sued or have criminal charges put against him or her for neglect. I'm not positive about amphibian but they would charge your cousin if it was a dog or cat.



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Old 3rd August 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

So sorry to hear about your newts. I can understand why you are so angry, that's a shocking state to find them in.
Best of luck with nursing them back to health and please keep us posted on your progress.



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Old 6th August 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

In one of the most tragic events of my entire life, I woke up this morning to find that Aristotle had died. He's always been a picky and stubborn eater, but since I came home I hadn't been able to entice him even with his favourite treats, and I guess the stress and hunger was too much for him. I left him for the first time in my life and because of another person's negligence, I lost my baby.

Thankfully, Darwin has been his usual voracious self, and though I've been feeding him in small increments he's steadily getting back to a healthy weight, with all his usual energy and playfulness intact. I think it's safe to say that he'll make a full recovery.

And, for the sake of not having Aristotle's only photo on here being of him sick, here's a picture I snapped of my boys before I left. Aren't they beautiful?

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Old 6th August 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

That's so sad about Aristotle, he really was in poor shape on your return and must not have been able to recover. I'm glad to hear that your other newt is doing ok and accepting food.

Great "before" picture of them.

Sorry about your loss.



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Old 6th August 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

Sorry he didn't make it, it's never nice losing animals, especially when it needn't have happened. at least you still have Darwin.




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Old 6th August 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

Oh, this was a sad story - I'm sorry for your loss! It's really nice picture of them earlier, I hope good memories will carry you through hard times.



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Old 8th August 2016   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

Sorry for your loss, that picture of him is hard to look at. But as said before, newts regenerate limbs pretty well if they're healthy. I haven't had adults regenerate limbs before but I have had a C. cyanurus and C. orientalis larvae/juvenile regenerate a limb just fine. They were both very nice looking newts when healthy. Keep us updated on Darwin.



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Old 8th August 2016   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My firebelly's leg is missing! What should I do?

So sorry to hear about Aristotle.
The before picture shows both Aristotl and Darwin to be beautiful, and it is such a shame to have lost one under such circumstances.
I hope that Darwin continues to eat well a please keep us posted on progress.
Thinking of you at this difficult time.



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