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Salamander laxative?

This is a discussion on Salamander laxative? within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Hi folks! First let me say a big thank you to this community -- it's been really helpful to me ...

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Old 25th January 2017   #1 (permalink)
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Question Salamander laxative?

Hi folks! First let me say a big thank you to this community -- it's been really helpful to me in the past and with recent developments with a little caudate of my own.

Let me also start by saying that a veterinarian has already been helping me with this issue, but she's at a loss for what to do for some constipation issues that developed in the last couple of days. Normally she doesn't treat amphibians, and our herp vet contact hasn't been able to respond yet.

The animal is a Tiger Salamander (eastern -- Ambystoma mavortium), and he's recovering from an open wound that affected the region behind one leg and around one lip of his cloaca. He's been taking electrolyte and antibiotic soaks, and the injury has been healing really well. We're not entirely sure how the injury occurred, but we discovered it when it was about two days old. That's been going on about two weeks.

Two nights ago he started to become bloated, and his back legs stopped working. His rear floats in water. Vet thinks it's constipation, and we're not sure whether the constipation is caused by the injury or something else. There's no way he's impacted with gravel or anything like that--he's been in a hospital tank on damp paper towels the last couple of weeks (and his normal enclosure has only dirt substrate anyway). I haven't noticed any bowel movements, although he's been shedding quite a lot because of the medications, so he may have had some bowel movements small enough to overlook. Not completely sure.

So that's the situation, and my question is this: Does anyone have a suggestion for getting things moving in a constipation situation? I gather it's not widely recommended to put these guys in the fridge, but I wasn't able to find any concrete suggestions after browsing the topics last night. I understand that it may be the injury causing it, in which case there's very very little to be done.

But this little guy's been such a good sport through everything, eating consistently, and he's still bright and active and energetic. It doesn't feel right to give up without exploring every option.

If I hear back from either vet about any updates I'll let you know!



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Old 25th January 2017   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salamander laxative?

Note: I will be running any suggestions by my vet before implementing anything, but I'd appreciate any insights you folks may have from past experiences, positive or negative.



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Old 26th January 2017   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salamander laxative?

I would try refrigerating the salamander. It may not help, but it most likely won't hurt. The caudata illness article (Caudata Culture Articles - Illness Part 1) recommends it, stating that it is a well substantiated method.

Best of luck! I really hope the little one pulls through!



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Old 11th February 2017   #4 (permalink)
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I would say fridgeing would be your best bet. Most axolotls poop just a little while after being in the fridge.


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Old 12th February 2017   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salamander laxative?

I had a problem with some of my newts a while back, and my vet tried the simplest interventions first. He did end up saving the one with an antibiotic, but before that he thought she might be constipated and had me feed her wax worms dipped in olive oil to alleviate that. It turned out that constipation was not the problem, but that was my vet recommended treatment for constipation in newts. I think my vet is amazing with both my sals and my ferrets. I would give that a go.



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