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"Hopping"

This is a discussion on "Hopping" within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I was just curious what are the most common reasons for an axie to "hop" in the water. When I ...

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Old 3rd January 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Hopping"

I was just curious what are the most common reasons for an axie to "hop" in the water. When I feed my axies, they are hunting for the food at the bottom of the tank and when intaking the food/water, their bodies lift off the bottom as if they're hopping. When I remove food after feeding, they are continuing to do it. So I was just wondering if there are other reasons they could be doing this?



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Old 3rd January 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Hopping"

The 'hopping' action is actually a recoil effect from the pressure generated during fereding from the vacuum like action. Axies are 'cup-mouthed' and feed by generating a strong suction effect to swirl their prey (or parts of them) into their mouth along with the water. The resultant pressure is enough to make the axie 'hop'. This is normal.

They may 'hop' during feeding, regurgitation, spitting out sand or other accidental non food items from their mouth. Salt baths can also cause a similar effect as they trigger a reflex action to regurgitate.



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Old 3rd January 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Hopping"

Ray, can you explain how a salt bath causes a reflex action? I find this quite interesting.



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Old 3rd January 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Hopping"

There was no concern with this topic. Just curiosity. Thanks for the reply Darkmaverick



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Old 4th January 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Hopping"

Axies regurgitate when the environment they are in slows down their digestion. They regurgitate to protect themselves from ingested matter decomposing before digestive enzymes can break down the food. Because axies' teeth are meant only for gripping, they are unable to masticate the food into smaller pieces. As a result, digestion relies largely on enzymatic breakdown.

The chemoreceptors in an axie are sensitive to sudden changes in salinity in their environment such as from a salt bath. In this situation, the axie 'prepares' for the challenging environment ahead. Their digestion slows down and as part of the autonomic response, they regurgitate any ingested material.



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Old 4th January 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Hopping"

Hi Ray!

Certainly the axolotl's chemoreceptors can sense changes in salinity and can certainly affect cardiopulmonary behavior. I'm having trouble with the jump to affecting digestion, though, because I can't find anything on it in my literature. Can you point me in the right direction there, please? I'd love to learn something new.


Thanks,


-Eva



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Old 4th January 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Hopping"

You are talking about a theoretical response to salinity that does not fit to my (or my Axolotls) real experience. I keep Axolotls for about 20 years now and obviously none of them has read the things you are talking about and so none of them regurgitated his food in a salt bath.



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Old 4th January 2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: "Hopping"

The 'hop' is due to pressure generated by axie expelling ingesta during regurgitation. The 'hop' per se does not affect digestion. It is like how you involuntarily 'close' your eyes when you sneeze. Some axies can also regurgitate without a visible 'hop'.

This varies axie to axie and on how sudden and drastic the water chemistry changes. It is not only salt baths at high concentrations that can cause this. Certain medications and even high levels of nitrogenous wastes in the water can all affect digestion rate. Some members here have experienced their axies regurgitating when in salt baths or medicated baths.

You are right though that a lot of the time, my explanations are drawn from theory although i have witnessed them several times personally.

Here are some good veterinary texts and journals. If i can obtain PDF files, i would link it here, otherwise, your library may have these resources.

Clayton, L.A. (2005). Amphibian gastroenterology. Veterinary Clinics of North America, Exotic Animal Practice 8(2): 227-245.

Hadfield, C.A. and B.R. Whitaker (2005). Amphibian emergency medicine and care. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine 14(2): 79-89.

Wright, K. (2006). Important clinical aspects of amphibian physiology. Small Animal and Exotics Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference. 20: 1686-1688.

The following paper discussesgill biopsies i mentioned about in another post to detect gill pathology when the axie is subjected to adverse water conditions ie temperatures.

Pessier, A.P. (2007). Cytologic diagnosis of disease in amphibians. Veterinary Clinics of North America, Exotic Animal Practice 10(1): 187-206.



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