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Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

This is a discussion on Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!! within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; I don't know what to do! My newt's skull is showing through his skin on his head!! (I am not ...

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Old 18th March 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

I don't know what to do! My newt's skull is showing through his skin on his head!! (I am not even sure if he still has skin in the area in the middle.) It is getting thinner in other areas too. He seems fine but it is progressively getting worse. The funny thing is that I don't know how to explain it other than it LOOKS healed, but is wet and the area is getting bigger. I just don't understand. He is eating but losing weight. Perhaps I need to feed him more frequently which I will do. He became bloated all over about two weeks after receiving him from the pet store, including under his chin, but since he swam fine I thought he must be ok (and it went away).

Now about a week ago, he got this weird thing on his head where it was like it was super slimy and it was like his whole face was going to rub off. I was afraid he was going to lose his eyelids, but luckily they are still intact. It may have been an injury that happened when I didn't see, like maybe he got his face caught under the rim of the water "pool" they swim in, but I can't imagine that...it isn't that sharp....or maybe he was bitten. Then his body peeled in strips (I could rub it off on accident) for a bit and then he must have shed normally when I was not watching. His face seemed to heal after that, but now the area looks wet all the time, and I can see the area that is the flat part of his head go from being a brown to light brown, to a white...and the wet area grows. Is this bacterial, fungal, or viral..or what? I think it looks clean...just wet and growing more bare. It is not festering or anything. Maybe that is from the skin shrinking with healing but it would not explain it looking wet all the time and that area growing when the rest of his body is dry at the time. Why is it happening, and what can I do to stop it? How do I save his eyes and keep the others from getting it? His eyelids are thinner. I do a water change every day, because they are in a 10 gallon tank with smooth river rocks I boiled first, and a small container with dechlorinated water and smooth stones for bathing. They also have a structure to hide in and a fake plant. They HATED the 1/3 land to 2/3 water set up I had before with the filter. They were always crowded on the land part back then. Now they are crowded in the shallow pool.

Not sure of any vets in area that will know what to do!

Thank you! Any advice will be appreciated!! These little guys ARE my kids and mean the world to me.



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Last edited by Critter Mom; 18th March 2009 at 10:35. Reason: additional info.
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Old 18th March 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

I am rather new to newts - have had them a year, but new to this forum and really getting educated as they have been fine and until the recent egg-laying, I've had no need to seek out help.

That being said, I had a situation similar to what you are describing, I think (w/o pics), w/ my Green Tree Frog last summer. We bought two frogs - him and a White's Tree Frog. We were assured (from the same pet store who said the newts would'nt reproduce in captivity) that the species would be fine together. We provided lots of food and the vivarium was quite large, but one day, the Green's had a denuded area on his forehead. It grew and I, too, feared it would take out his eye. I consulted an exotic vet who thought the White's may have attacked him. The area was completely free of skin and I could see what looked like a cartilagenous skull under. At one point, before it got better, it looked worse after treatment begun. It grew to the tip of his nose and I could see a hole from the dorsal side or top of his snout to his mouth. I was freaked out, but he hung in there. I thought it was sloughing and getting worse. I'm a dentist, and we see oro-antral communications after extractions on rare occasions which is a hole between the nose/sinus and mouth. It reminded me of that as it appeared to move as he breathed.

Your situation sounds like trauma if any of what I've described is familiar, but I believe this area could become infected. We had the Green Tree Frog on a dilute antibiotic that the vet supplied. I was able to give it to him orally, but you can also apply to the skin as frogs, and I assume other amphibians, absorb things through the skin. We also applied silvadene to the area. Eventually, he healed and began eating again. I obviously separated him immediately from the other frog.

Try to seek out an exotic vet, not a regular one, if possible. I was surprised to see how these types of vets were more numerous than I thought. If you can't find one, consult w/ a wildlife rescue and rehabilitative place.

I hope this helps. Good luck and keep us posted.

Dana



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Old 18th March 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

In this situation, I myself would resign myself to the worst, but here are articles that may give you ideas if you are unable to take it to a vet. Scroll down to the articles on "Health and Illness." And good luck.

http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/articles.shtml



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Old 18th March 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

I forgot to ask if this is a FBN? From what I've read here, these go through a terrestrial phase then return to the water altogether. Mine did that. I used to find them crowded in the little hut on land, but they did return to the water and I never see them on land now. I've had them a year and thought they were juveniles, but I read about them being several years old if reproducing.

Also, I would separate it from the rest of the tank. If this is fungal or bacterial or viral, the others will be susceptible.

The exotic vet also had me giving my tree frog room temperature chamomille tea baths. Before giving me the silvadene, she told me to put an extremely dilute betadine solution on the wound. It has to be very, very dilute, she said, or it would be toxic to him.

Hope this helps,
Dana



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Old 19th March 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

Thank you so much both of you! I will be reading the article(s) shortly here. I was afraid after reading in some of the other areas that I might have to apply a diluted solution of peroxide, and I know that it would kill some of the healthy tissue and I did not feel he had extra to spare right now...so I was in a bit of a dilemma.

I really appreciate the timely responses, as I have been worried about this little guy and wondering just what to do. It sounds like my little fellow has the same thing you are talking about. I would be curious to know what antibiotic was used, if you remember. I have a friend who is a vet, but she is not really keen on exotics. She is really excellent with everything else though and if she knew what to prescribe, she might be able to help me out. I don't know. Otherwise, I can keep searching for an exotic vet, but last I knew, they were pretty scarce where I live.

Oh, by the way, yes they are Chinese fire belly newts. They are apparently in the terrestrial phase, but do like to be in a shallow dish of water with smooth rocks in it. Any deeper, and they start panicking and flailing about and refuse to go in on their own. Some will stay in the water submerged and come up and burp an air bubble every now and then, while others just keep their heads, upper bodies, or noses above water. They all make a snapping sound every once in a while while in the water and for a while afterward. They always have. They each have their own personalities and like to cuddle with each other. They can have a large area to be in, but they can be found cuddling in pairs or all together. They like to be held too, and sometimes it is difficult to put them back. Any I have had die in the past have waited for me to come around when I usually do, and take them out, and they have died clinging to me and usually my shirt too, since they seem to like my shirts.

Anyone else find this?

Thank you, and have a terrific day!! I have HOPE now!!! I can DO something!! I will most certainly keep everyone updated.



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Last edited by Critter Mom; 19th March 2009 at 00:54. Reason: forgot to answer question
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Old 19th March 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

Hi again,

I can't recall the antibiotic used as my guinea pig was on one at about the same time, too. I can call my exotic vet if you want me to. I/we have lots of animals of the typical and exotic forms. Maybe do a search on Google and see what you can find - if not specifically for newts, for amphibians. The problem is getting the correct dose for the tiny body weight. I do remember finding a Q&A link online that helped me fairly quickly, so keep searching. They notified me via email when I had a response at the site which was nice, but not instant - was w/in 24 hrs. though.

Your vet friend should be able to figure out the dose for the newt based on his weight.

I'm not sure what to say about yours being attached to you the way they are. I do think some of us have that gift w/ animals - a calmness that comforts them. However, while I believe at least my oldest and I have this gift (we do a lot of unofficial wildlife rescue and things don't run from us!), we don't handle our newts very much at all for mutually beneficial reasons. My boys are 4, 6, and 8 and when we first got them, a neighbor boy dropped one. I tried not to flip out as his mom was there. I thought he killed it, but it was just stunned and laid there for a minute. It's fine now and it wasn't a long fall, but it scared me and my sons. I used to handle them to feed them by putting in a separate bowl w/ the food per the pet store. I felt they didn't eat and seemed a little freaked out in there, so even though it creates more mess, I feed them in the tank. They seem ravenous at the moment - maybe it's the reproduction cycle or something, but they seem looking for food constantly and I'd guess that I overfeed vs. underfeed in general. I have a hard time breaking the cube of frozen bloodworms apart so they tend to get more rather than less.

Your little one who didn't make it and died in your hand brought a tear to my eye. I've had to say good-bye to far too many animals in my years and it's never easy. I really hope this one makes it. Keep me posted.

Dana



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Old 19th March 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Arrow Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

http://www.allexperts.com/el/3890-9/Amphibian/ This was the site that helped me w/ the tree frog while I was waiting on the vet to call me back.
Dana



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Old 23rd March 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

Thank you! I would love to do wildlife rescue at some point! Wow!! That must be exciting and rewarding work!!

I will most definitely check out that web site too.

I have not heard from my vet friend. Maybe she is just very busy with her practice and her family. She doesn't have knowledge of exotics either, so I think she really doesn't know quite what to think of my calls.

For an office visit to an exotic vet here...for a pet that is "not established" and is already sick... $69. I don't have that. I have a lot of expenses as I am on disability myself.

With that said, I have some good news though... my little guy has the signs he may be pulling through!! He no longer has open holes. His spine is not turning the lighter brown color. It is black and normal looking again. His face is plumping back out, and has a little bit of brown in places, but they seem smaller, like the black is filling in. The original area that was white still is, but is less weepy, and seems like the borders may be closing in with black. He seems more alert and active now, and keeps his eyes open more. His eyes are brighter. He doesn't have that caved in look that he did before like they get before they die sometimes. He doesn't seem to be in pain now. He responds to my voice and comes to the edge of the carry container sometimes in response. He will pick his head up to look at me with clear bright eyes. Before, they were a cloudy gray and he was unresponsive unless prodded, and then it was like he couldn't see well and would try to walk off the edge of my fingers. I will try to feed him again today. He didn't want to a couple days ago, but that could have been because he was being fussed over and had been going through more vigorous treatments, and was visably less happy.

Let me tell you what I have done so far. Silvadene is not an option without a prescription, and neither is a good antibiotic, so this is what I have done:

1) I took a very diluted solution of peroxide and water and applied it to the affected areas. He did not like this particularly, so I immediately rinsed him under very cool tap water for about 2-3 minutes, bringing him up to breathe during it.

2) I gave him 2 diluted cool Lipton tea soaks with tap water. He didn't mind this as long as it wasn't too strong. If it started to get on his nerves, he started to want to climb out and so I took him out. Otherwise, it was cute because he crawled onto the tea bag in the beginning when the cool water was almost clear yet with it in there. Sometimes he just liked to sit on the bottom.

3) I put Walgreen's brand of Neosporin Triple Antibiotic ointment (WITHOUT LIDOCAINE, as Lidocaine can kill a newt) on the affected areas as sparingly as I could with a clean Q-Tip. He didn't like this. Maybe the fibers were too rough for the exposed area. I only did it once or twice. It stayed on well. I tried to keep it out of his eyes. I think it really helped.

I used what I already had at home to get started right away. I bought Betadine Solution and haven't used it yet, as I don't want to overdo it on the poor little guy, and I also don't want to use so many products that I am left to wonder what worked. It comes in a huge bottle for $17.99 so I think I will have a lifetime supply now. It was all Walgreens sells.

I bought Triple Sulfa (for fish) at the pet store and I am debating if I will need to use that. It is supposed to cover taking care of such things as:

Hemorrhagic Septicemia
Mouth Fungus
Body Slime & Eye Cloud
Bacterial Gill Disease
Fin & Tail Rot

I may have to end up returning this one unopened, as I don't need to overmedicate him to death!

I REALLY appreciate everyone's caring and concern. I will continue to update everyone regularly about Fiaro's progress. I will try to feed him a little later today. He has done some really small droppings in his carry cage, so it is due for a change. That is a good sign!

When I get the software installed, I will post pictures.



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Old 24th March 2009   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

Hi again,

Glad to hear he's hanging in there. Our tap water here (S.FL) is terrible. I hope yours is better - assume it is. Otherwise, definitely treat it to make it suitable for baths and rinsing.

I was told to use Chamomille tea for the bath - not regular tea. I hope I didn't lead you astray there. I boiled water, let it cool to room temp, etc.

The silvadene is used on burns - same as for humans. Can't get any from friends/relatives who were ever burned? You just need a touch of it.

The betadine has to be extremely dilute - no trace of red/brown in the color whatsoever. I can't caution you enough on how toxic iodine can be if not properly diluted. I think I dabbed the tip of my finger in it, then dipped it into a cup of treated water - probably then titrated it out again.

Keep us posted,
Dana



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Old 25th March 2009   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

It's uncommon for a newt to recover from skin ulcers. Congratulations so far, and keep us posted.



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Old 25th March 2009   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

I knew someone who had been burned but that was probably 15 years ago or so. I don't have access to Silvadene.

One thing I forgot to mention before that I think really made a difference was that I had the room temperature fluctuating between 76-82 degrees F when he got sick. It seemed to always be about 82 in there no matter what I did. Since he had gotten sick, I turned down the heat so that the room temperature was 65-76 degrees F. This made it a little disagreeable for the other pets when it was on the low side, though the crabs have a heater, they buried themselves to get closer to it. When they come out with me, they nestle close to my body for warmth. The sugar glider likes it around 75 degrees or it's hard to get him to want to come out of his pouch. It has gotten the newts' tank cooler and down to around 76 and so the newts seem happier. The recovering one is getting healthier. I think it was so warm that the bacteria took off in an already compromised little body of his when it was around 80 in here.

I have not used Betadine on him yet. I am not sure that I will need it. I am monitoring him closely, but he seems to be doing VERY well, I am happy to report! I have not put anything on him except a couple days ago (before I saw your post about it being chamomille tea, instead of black leaf tea...I think I had seen another post about black leaf being used as a substitute somewhere). I gave him a soak in some cold Lipton tea and let him stay in there with the pouch in the container as it slowly changed color. I did this with the tap water hoping the chlorine would have some effect on cleansing the wound. Otherwise I always use some dechlorinated water with a couple drops of stress coat in it to be soothing and heal any skin conditions that might arise.

While he was in there, I could see the Neosporin come off in the water. He was also starting to have a loose collar of skin around his neck. I thought that may not be a good sign as I thought it may be spreading. I fed them all blood worms and kept his toothpick separate. He did not want to eat, but I rubbed his chin so his mouth opened and I stuck a worm in so he ate it. I could not get him to do it a second time. The next day I saw why he had that collar. He was shedding the day before! That would explain the lack of appetite. He knew he had his own meal coming, and he finished it all, as there was no evidence of it in his carrier, except that he had just a few toes stuck together that I needed to re-wet with the sprayer bottle and unattach with a toothpick. He looks so much better yesterday and today and he has been so alert. He follows me around in his carry case and watches what I do. He lifts his head when I speak to him. His eyes are shiny and bright. His skin is visibly healing and getting thicker and darker. The border around the white area is getting smaller. I have not put more Neosporin on it, but after I feed him today, I might just to be safe. The true test is will he eat today? He has no reason not to today.



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Old 26th March 2009   #12 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

I would definitely not keep the temperature as high as it was. Give the other animals more bedding to warm themselves in or use ice chips for the newts. I think you were smart to take it down. I have our house between 68-70, maybe slightly higher during the day if we're all gone as it's a large house and not cheap to run A/C all of the time. (I'm in S. FL.) I've considered using some ice cubes of frozen dechlorinated water in the newts' tanks to compensate, esp. as we head towards warmer weather, as I've read much more about temperature being a key to newts' well-being. Sounds like you have a really interesting mix of critter friends!

What is the carrier you refer to?

Keep posting - I'm glad he's improving,
Dana



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Old 26th March 2009   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

CritterMom - some of your critters clearly do need to be kept warm. In the long run, this just isn't compatible with a newt. Is there any chance you could keep the newt in a cooler room? For really optimal health, the newt should be kept quite chilly in winter.



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Old 26th March 2009   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

Well, unfortunately at the present time we are in a one bedroom apartment with a living room, bathroom, and bedroom. The sugar glider is in the bedroom, and that stays kind of warm with the lighter curtains (and is not great for sleeping during the day if you have a night job because it gets a bit bright, but he doesn't seem to mind). He needs to be warm anyway. The hermit crabs are on a stand next to the newts in the living room close to the transient area that we could call a dining room, but there is no real "area" for one. I suppose if we had to we could move the crabs in with the sugar glider, as they have more compatible temperature needs, but it does get warm in the living room area due to the kitchen being right there if the oven is used. The only A/C unit we have is built into the wall in the living room and it works well, but doesn't have much circulation to get to the bedroom.

Whomever designed the apartment was an idiot. No good air circulation. No ceiling fans. TINY apartment. No room for floor fans.

You can see that I have challenges with temperature no matter where I move any of the critters, due to the heat of the kitchen and the A/C being where it is, right?

We hope that with my fiance graduating this June and becoming a massage therapist, that we will (hopefully) be able to afford a two bedroom apartment at least soon. This would help a lot!


The carry case I have them in (now this is going to sound great) is a plastic Tupperware style container from the Dollar Tree store. It has holes poked in the top of the lid. I have a huge approximately 1 foot long by 1 foot wide by 4 inch tall one that I use for when they come out to "play" or I feed them blood worms with a tooth pick. I line them with a damp paper towel that I have sprayed with dechlorinated water that I have added Top Fin Water Conditioner according to directions to, and 2 drops of API Stress Coat to just to be safe.

For the isolation "hospital" that the little guy is recovering in, I have a Tupperware style container with holes in the lid from the same place which measures approximately 1 foot long by 5 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches tall. I take the same paper towel, but I fold it in half. Then I fold down each of the ends so he has hiding places. On one end, I really dampen it. On the other, I slightly mist it. I keep it propped up on an angle so that the damp end is at the bottom. This way, he can choose which end he wants to be at and doesn't have to be constantly damp all the time. I have heard in other forums that this is good for healing because if they are constantly damp, bacteria can grow, so it is good to give them a choice in this situation. He so far has chosen the middle or the dry side. I check to make sure it hasn't dried out, and I change it daily.

I found out with my digital camera that the first sign of him having this was back on 3/5/09 when I woke up one morning to find that his face all of a sudden looked like it had been scraped to the "meat". It involved pretty much the entire top of his face. I don't know if he had an accident or if something happened overnight like an infection. He has come a long way since then. Only about between 1/3 and 1/4 of his face is affected now, and he is a lot livelier than just 6 days ago, when he looked like a raisin or prune he was so thin. I think it helped he got to see his tank mates from a distance between containers. I think it helped his morale.

Yay! He is getting better. Now, I am off to feed these little guys some blood worms with a toothpick.



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Old 27th March 2009   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

I just wanted to report that he got his appetite back! He ate a rather large blood worm from a toothpick with gusto yesterday and is acting more like himself, with a lot more energy and enthusiasm. He was acting like he was on a treadmill on my hands trying to get on my shirt. The only problem is that he is quite sticky and his feet tend to stick to his body sometimes when he is walking. He was like this sometimes right after a peel, but usually not this long after one. In comparison, the the other ones just feel like mushrooms when not directly wet. He also smells like damp wood whereas the others don't smell like anything at all.

Any ideas?



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Old 30th March 2009   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

Great news! He is not "sticky" anymore, and his appetite has REALLY kicked up a lot! He was really eating in the same amount as the others, chowing down on the blood worms last night.

I plan to post progression pics soon, so you can actually SEE what I am talking about as far as his care and his wound healing is concerned.

He is still in isolation, and I handle him, but not as much as he would like right now for fear of infection. I returned the Triple Sulfa to the pet store because I didn't use it.

He is very responsive and is recovering from being skinny. He filled out after last night. He is not quite "there" yet, but he is definitely looking a lot closer to where he should be. His white area is filling in, be it slowly, but it is progressively getting better!

Just thought I would let you know.

Thank you to all who have helped Fiaro get back to life!



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Old 31st March 2009   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

I'm very relieved that Fiaro is on the mend! I was worried when Jennewt mentioned the ulcer being tough to heal - hopefully, this was different - an abrasion of sorts and he is nearly fully recovered.

I would suggest you making some ice chips from dechlorinated water to aid you in decreasing the temp of the newt tanks. I haven't tried this yet, though I'm considering it for the summer here - we have a very large house so keeping all the A/Cs on isn't cost effective, though I never let it get too warm inside due to humidity issues, even if we're not in all day. I read about this ice method somewhere here - didn't say much more than what I've said already. There was also a temperature decreaser - sounded expensive? I don't know, but I would say that our house is usually on the cool sider for S. FL though my son's room gets afternoon sun, hence the thought on using ice on top of the land to melt into the water slowly.

Anyway, good to know things are improving.
Dana



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Old 3rd April 2009   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

Thank you about the ice chips/cubes. I may end up resorting to that if I can't keep the temperature under control.

I am very sad to report this...

Fiaro just passed away unexpectedly at 10:10 pm this evening. He was very active and affectionate prior to this. He ate a blood worm earlier which had some powdered Repti-calcium mixed in, as did the others. I was a little disappointed that he ate only one, as he looked just a little on the skinny side. The others had ravenous appetites.

He seemed to want out, and he wanted to cuddle, mixed with bouts of running and sliding around (energy spurts). They got fed around 7:00 p.m. and then I took him out around 8:00 p.m. or so per his wishes. He started to show signs things were not alright around 9:30 when he looked really shriveled looking so I started a tea bath, and he was just sitting where I placed him on the cold tea bag and didn't move. He just sat there. I took him out and held him. He moved some and seemed to fight a little and kept looking at me, and wanted to cuddle on my shirt.

My fiance' alternately held him and played music on the computer like "Taps" and "The Soft Goodbye" "Titanic", and "Celtic Lullabye" by Celtic Woman, "Amazing Grace" and other songs. I hope you don't think us weird, but sometimes that is how we deal with losing our "kids" here.

Thank you for all the help you have given me. He almost made it a month, and the skin was almost grown but not quite. I guess there is something to be said for buying CB over WC at the pet store, but at least with us, he knew he was loved and it was better than letting him take his chances at the store. :) Should we need to buy in the future, I will consider CB so as to cut down on the heartache of watching them die too soon.



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Old 8th April 2009   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

Kelly,

I guess it's time I give you the whole story about "Steve" the green tree frog. He, too, made a complete turnaround upon treatment and isolation. I jumped for joy when he began eating on his own in his little tank. He first showed the "ulcer" in late June, maybe very early July. It was 10 days of antibiotics and Silvadene was used until the lesion completely closed. I kept him away from "Freddy" as we feared Freddy, a slightly larger White's Tree Frog had bitten him. So Steve, while doing well, was still in his small vivarium. I was assured upon purchase that the two species would be fine together - from the same people who said that the newts would never reproduce in captivity...

Anyway, in late August, I was cleaning out his little tank and noticed some fungus under the dead tree branch he usually perched on. This was bought from the pet store for reptiles/amphibians, not just something I found outside. It had been in the original vivarium. I removed all of the substrate and washed out the tank. I soaked the branch in diluted bleach. After, it still smelled faintly of bleach so I left it out to soak overnight in plain water then planned to sit it out in the sun for a day or two.

Later that night, Steve looked odd. I can't explain it, but I got my 6th sense going that something wasn't quite right. He seemed extra still on the new blanket of substrate. He's a tree frog and wasn't usually moving much normally, but I had a weird vibe. I tried to convince myself that he looked weird to me because I was used to seeing him on his branch. The next morning, he was stretched out. When I reached in, he moved. It was the middle of the first week of school for the boys this year, so you could imagine the morning we had. I called the exotic vet on the way to school. The boys were hopeful due to his movement, but I knew he was gone or unable to be saved if he was still with us at that point. The vet was on a call far from us and suggested my taking him to the Wildlife Care Center to be euthanized. It was too late and he had passed on by the time I got back home.

I didn't share this with you because I didn't want to discourage you and I felt Steve's death was due to the fungus and not the ulceration. After reading Jen's post about newts rarely recovering, I began to wonder, but still felt that since Steve began eating on his own and healing, he had turned the corner and was essentially better. Now, after seeing how Fiaro did a similar thing, I wonder if it's all related. I really don't know.

I told myself that if you asked if Steve was still with us, I would give the whole story. I'm very sorry. I was torn about telling you the whole thing awhile ago, but wasn't sure any of what happened so far after he seemed well again was relevant. I mean, the lesion had re-epithelialized, he was successfully hunting crickets for over a month at that stage and then he was gone. I was sure it was spores from the fungus. I should have cleaned the small tank out more often than I do the large one (weekly.) Maybe I gave you false hope, but until reading about Fiaro's death, I believed Steve's death was unrelated to the initial problem. I hate to think of you saying, "So now she tells me!" Again, I meant no harm, didn't mean to deceive you, honestly thought my misfortune was from a separate cause.

I'm so sorry for your loss,
Dana



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Old 9th April 2009   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Noob: Help! I Can See Newt's Skull!!

No, I don't blame you at all for not sharing that with me. There are so many factors that it could have been. Maybe if I had fed him just a few hours before I did, maybe if I had totally disinfected his carry case, maybe if I had done a thorough house cleaning, maybe this... maybe that...

I think what it boils down to is that he was wild caught, had his own diseases and compromised immune system, and the extra time I got out of him was truly a gift. I could spend my time going over the "what ifs" and "maybe this.." all day and maybe not even come up with the right reason.

All I know is that your frog and my newt had the most loving people caring for them, and the best environment possible. It sure beat getting eaten or run over out in the wild, having to "live" at the pet store, or possibly ending up with someone looking after them who really didn't care. We did the best we could with the information and the resources we had at the time. Nobody said we had to be perfect, but at least we really tried and I know they could feel it. That is all that matters. I think it may have just been their time. Nobody knows how old they are when you get them at a pet store. Size doesn't matter. Sometimes they stop really growing after they are caught. Besides, sometimes people make a miraculous "recovery" too, just before they go.

*Big hug*

I want to thank you for all you have contributed here.



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