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My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do

This is a discussion on My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; My newt is about 20 years old. For the last few weeks my newt no longer goes in the water. ...

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Old 18th December 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do

My newt is about 20 years old.

For the last few weeks my newt no longer goes in the water. I've replaced the water just like i always have all these years but he still isn't going in. He isn't really eating much anymore either - very sparingly so he's lost a lot of weight and looks really thin. He's even more recently started to stick himself on the glass of the aquarium on the side of the tank - I'm assuming so he's not touching the moist rocks at all. I tried putting food and water in a seperate container but he just booked it out of the water as soon as he could and went right back to the corner of the tank.

Yesterday i also now noticed a cloaca prolapse, I'm assuming maybe from dehydration.

I have no idea what to do - its like water really bothers him and he's not eating. I tried feeding him blood worms by using a stick and placing them right in front of his face - he put those in his mouth without hesitation but it didn't even look like he was trying to swallow them - they just hung outside of his mouth for the longest time.

Any idea as to what's wrong? He's the only newt in the tank - we lost the other one maybe 5 years ago now.



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Old 18th December 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do

Your very lucky to have a newt for 20 years. Could you show us pictures of his setup and tell us what you feed him and how often you feed. You did a great job raising him to be around 20 years. Sorry its not going good for your newt, maybe its just his time 20 years seems like a very good run to me. I hope its just a little bug he gets over so you can have him for another 20 years.

Have you tested his water? I would start there. If you use city water the compounds and additives could change without you knowing and on daily basis, floods could contaminate well's and city water to.

Have you added anything new to the aquarium?

Feed anything different recently?

Just throwing things out there. Good luck to your little friend.



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Old 18th December 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do

Thank you - bought him in 1997 and he looks just like he did back then except his behavior changed overnight. In all those years everything about the aquarium has remained the same as far as temperature and layout.

I've attached some pictures of what he looks like right now (hard to see the prolapse) the layout and temp reading. Everytime i go to the aquarium he still looks up at me and walks towards me - i feel like he's trying to tell me something haha. Just hope i can help him somehow
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My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do-2016-12-18-13.49.27.jpg   My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do-2016-12-18-13.48.10.jpg   My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do-2016-12-18-13.47.37.jpg   My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do-2016-12-18-13.47.09.jpg  



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Old 18th December 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do

I always feed him blood worms and he gets fed on Wednesdays and Sundays. I'm not sure if the water has changed recently - I usually use a tap water conditioner before putting him back.

It's been a long time since we've added anything new. We generally keep it the same - he seems to like it that way and gives him a good balance of water, dry land and shelter under the rocks



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Old 19th December 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do

If you bought him as an adult 20 years ago, you don't know how old he is. Maybe he's more than 30 years old already. They can get older, but these cases are uncommon. Keeping a newt alive for such a long time is a great achievement. A prolapse won't solve itself, no matter what you change in your setup. It can be gently pushed back, maybe with the a help of a vet. He/she will probably have just as much experience doing this as you have though.

If after using your method succesfully for 20 years something goes wrong it can be something sudden, lik a change in the tap water, as is mentioned, so check the quality. Maybe it's the long term result of a diet without diversity though, as you mention you've only fed it blood worms, but I'm not an expert when it comes to this.

You can try to chill it for a couple of days in the fridge in a little container with a couple of mm's of water or wet paper towel. It gets hydrated this way and chilling as multiple ways of having a healing effect. After that reintroduce it to it's setup.



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Old 25th April 2017   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My fire belly newt hasn't been doing well for weeks now - not sure what to do

Hello,

Just going to provide an update and maybe if someone runs into this situation with their newt they can use this information to help.

I started feeding my newt in a seperate container. I'd take him out of the aquarium and put him in an ice cream pail with water from the aquarium and feed him there. When I first started doing this my newt was not well. Extremely thin and looked like he was on the verge of passing away.

He was happy with the pail though and started eating again but still refused to go in the water in the aquarium.

After a few months of feeding him this way, he started actually walking into the cup I use to put water in the pail on his own - he knew it meant feeding time and seems to like this change of scenery.

Now he is back to normal and slowly swimming again. He is starting to go deeper and deeper into the water and looks happy and healthy. I will continue using the pail for feeding as he seems to enjoy that and has no problem jumping in the cup on his own so I can transfer him to and from the aquarium.

Long story short - I'd this is happening to you - try feeding him in a smaller environnent and get him accustomed to being in the water again. It'll take time but eventually he'll go back when he's ready!
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