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Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

This is a discussion on Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello, I have a problem with my 4 year old leucistic axolotl. A few months back he had his leg ...

Sick Axolotl? Axolotl looking down in the gills? The doctors are in.

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Old 29th January 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Hello, I have a problem with my 4 year old leucistic axolotl.

A few months back he had his leg bit by his tank mate. I believe it to be an innocent mistake as my other axolotl has always been ravenous in comparison. Anyway, my leucistic eventually dropped his wounded leg, and it started to grow back. He was beginning to float around a lot on the surface, but I figured it was just a case of him feeling sorry for himself, as I had seen him moving around on the floor too. However, he then started to float on the surface constantly, always on his side. Around this time he lost his appetite and would only very occasionally take the smallest earthworms I could manage to find. I started to worry a little when he eventually lost all his appetite a few weeks ago, and with him not eating, he hasn't had enough nutrients for his leg to regrow fully.

As I was even more concerned than before, I started to look around on the internet for similar cases of axolotls floating with their sides raised, and with a lack of appetite. I came across a lot of people who seemed to have experienced this, and they concluded it was constipation, and that the recommended treatment is to fridge them so that they purge their body of the blockage. I followed the instruction given on the stickied guide in this forum and put my axolotl in the fridge, changing the water daily with dechlorinated tap water. This was two weeks ago; three weeks on 1st February. After one day he had a really small poo, but overall there has only been a slight improvement in his pinkish colour, although he is still floating and still won't eat.

Earlier today I noticed something in his tub. I'll attatch pictures at the end of the post, however I don't really know what it is. If I were to say anything I'd say it looks fungal, but there are no traces of it on my axolotl's body and it lacks the substance of fungi I've seen on images across the internet.

Anyway, I hope people can help me. I'll post the water parameters below.

Inside the aquarium:

Temp: 19C
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm *
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 40 ppm

* I tested this earlier today, however it is due a weekly water change tomorrow

Inside the fridge:

Temp: 6C
pH: 7
Water is changed daily with fresh dechlorinated water.
Attached Thumbnails
Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat-2015-01-29-13.56.17.jpg   Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat-2015-01-29-13.58.00.jpg   Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat-2015-01-29-13.59.11.jpg   Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat-2015-01-29-13.59.19.jpg  



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Old 29th January 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

At this stage of illness, I think that the axolotl should be euthanized. It is indeed very ill and suffering I am sure.
If you cannot afford a vet, do you have access to clove oil? The following link is a very good tutorial about how to euthanize fish using clove oil (the method is the same for axolotls): http://www.oscarfishlover.com/euthanise-your-oscar
The only thing I will add, is to make sure that you take it slow... make a fusion using 2 drops first... wait at least a half hour, then add more.

Do you have a substrate in the tank? Could the axie have had a blockage from ingesting gravel?
The ammonia is higher than it should be(it should be 0 in a healthy cycled tank), but there is no way to know with certainty if this is the cause of the illness. It looks like it could be an advanced case of septicemia.



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Old 29th January 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

I really don't want to euthanise him as I truly believe he can come back from this. As for the tank, the substrate is sand and I hand feed them as well, to make sure they don't ingest any of the substrate.

Regarding my original post, and the question mark over possible fungus, I actually now believe that it's perhaps just a bit of slime off his body.

Would attempting to force feed be a good idea, do you reckon?



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Old 29th January 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Hey,

Your little buddy looks extremely swollen and bloated. Im so sorry but I have to agree with Bette. Good Luck



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Old 29th January 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Hey, I appreciate the response. Looking at the images, I can see where you're coming from when you mention bloat. However, that swollen look to his body is actually because his side is arced due to him floating on his side. I just thought I'd clarify that, as he isn't actually bloated or swollen, it's just the camera angle. Hopefully this image demonstrates that. Cheers though, mate.
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Old 30th January 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Perhaps it is just the camera, but it looks like the skin capillaries are very red. That could also be a sign of septicemia. If he really is not as bad as he looks in the pictures, perhaps a vet can help.



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Old 30th January 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Hey, thanks for the response. I intend to phone a local vet which routinely works with reptiles tomorrow, with a view to hopefully seeing them on Saturday. The pictures look worse than reality, however I think that's because I had the flash on as, without the flash, the images are blurry. Like I mentioned in my original post, he's actually less pink than he was before I fridged him.



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Old 30th January 2015   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

i would get him nice and cold and add some salt to the water
then contact a vet



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Old 30th January 2015   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Thanks for the reply mate. He is cold already, as it's 6C in my fridge, where he is being kept. Regarding adding salt, I read earlier that you shouldn't keep them in salted water for a prolonged period of time. Do you mean a salt bath, as I read you're only meant to keep them in those for around 10 minutes at a time? Cheers bud.



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Old 30th January 2015   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

I'm pretty sure salt won't help in this case, since it isn't fungus and from what I've read, axies don't benefit from added salt to reduce osmotic pressure like some fish species do.

I'd keep him in the fridge until after you can discuss it with the vet, since it is stressful to change temperature, so why stress him unnecessarily?



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Old 30th January 2015   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Just been to the vet with my lad, they were fully booked but offered to take him in to examine him when they get the chance, and have me collect him tomorrow.



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Old 31st January 2015   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Good luck. Take heart. My 7YO was doing the same, floating on her side and not eating. She's been in the fridge for a week . hasn't eaten for just over three weeks. But..she's no longer floating and there was some muck, (not much) in the container today. she looks healthier and not thin at all. I'm hoping she is on the mend. Fingers crossed for both yours and mine. :)



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Old 1st February 2015   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

There looks to be a bit of bloating because there doesn't seem to be much of a axolotl neck there. It's either bloating or edema...edema can't be fixed. I definitely understand not wanting to give up and it's possible to have the little guy live because you can try force feeding some crushed pellets to give some energy.



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Old 3rd February 2015   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

So what did your vet say?



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Old 3rd February 2015   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Sorry for the late response. I got a phone call on Friday evening to say that Audrey had passed away, and that there was no point in fridging him to treat him as, if he can't survive at 18C it's no use.

I collected Audrey on Saturday and buried him in my garden, between two recently planted lavender bushes. My reasoning is that Audrey can live on in some way through the lavender. Lavender is my favourite plant, and in late summer I snip the flowers, dry them out, and put them in pouches under my pillow at night. From now on, when I go to bed at night with my lavender, I'll think of Audrey.

I also planted a small plastic aquarium plant above his box in the ground, which was the very same plant he had when I got him from his previous owner a few years ago.

Thanks for your help.



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Old 3rd February 2015   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune View Post
Sorry for the late response. .
did you find out the cause of its death?



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Old 3rd February 2015   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

No. The vet didn't actually see him until he had already passed.



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Old 4th February 2015   #18 (permalink)
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Old 4th February 2015   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Sorry to hear that you lost the little guy.



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Old 4th February 2015   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl, quite sick, wouldn't eat

Sorry for the loss.



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