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Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

This is a discussion on Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :( within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I've had my Axolotl since Christmas and have had no problems with her at all. Everything seemed to be going ...

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

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Old 13th May 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

I've had my Axolotl since Christmas and have had no problems with her at all. Everything seemed to be going well, but of 4 days ago. She started refusing food which isn't like her, I just assumed she wasn't hungry. After a few days she become red and still refused food. So I contacted a professional online that suggested to switch her to a clean tank and to preform tea baths to help with the skin. I proceed to do so, and she started to grab at food again and turn back to her normal coloration. Then a day later she started to refuse food again, swim fast around the tank and I found her on her back. I quickly fridges her as I was then told too. I have no vets around me to help with this but I did get a number for a vet out of town. I spoke to her and she told me to do salt baths Along side the fridging. I'm just unsure what happened. Her tank perimeters were all fine. I am unsure of what I should do. I really don't want to lose her. I've done all I have been told to the T. I'm looking for suggestions or help for what I can do for her. I don't want to stress her out anymore then she is.
PS pictures was before tea treatment was when I quickly moved her from her main tank.
Thank you for any help!
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Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(-20150508_222239.jpg   Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(-20150508_222544.jpg  



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Old 13th May 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

Salt baths are usually used for treatment of fungus. I don't see any fungus so would stop the salt baths if you have not already. I don't think fridging is necessary and she would be unlikely to eat whilst in the fridge anyway.

To be honest I can't see much unusual from the photos. She does look a little red in colour in the first pic but not enough to get a better idea of what may be wrong. What food is she usually being offered? I know you mentioned the parameters are all ok and I am sure they are but could you post the readings including temperature?



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Old 13th May 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

I haven't started salt baths yet. I was told by the vet that it could be a bacterial infection so I should do the salt baths. I was scared and put her in the fridge and now she's white and a lot thinner All of a sudden. I believe she might have been bloated.

She was extemely red my camera on my phone doesn't take good pictures. I also contacted someone online through FB with the information and pictures when she was first red and they suggested black tea treatment. I started her on those and that's when she started to become white again and then quickly after started to swim fast around and then become on her back still.
her diet consists of Earth Worms mostly, with Axolotl pellets and sometimes blood worms for treats. I've been looking into getting shrimp as treats as well.
I took a reading of her Emergency tank.
Nitrate + Nitrite : 0
pH: 6.5
KH: 0
GH: 0
Temp: 18-20C
I already threw the stick out this morning so I am unable to take a picture but I remember where the colours were at.



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Old 13th May 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

How are your KH and GH 0? If your water is that soft, that could be causing/contributing to the issue.

Have you tested for ammonia? (You shouldn't have any with a well established tank, but sometimes cycles crash, and that will cause/contribute to health problems.)

Good luck.



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Old 14th May 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

I just been doing 20% water changes everyday with the tea. Its just what it said.
Oh I forgot to add the ammonia it was also 0.
it might have crashed. I checked and everything seemed okay.
I'm recycling her tank and hope it will help.

Thank yoy for the best wishes and help. :)



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Old 14th May 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

Are you using tap water?



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Old 14th May 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

Yes it's the only water source I have. It's treated as well.



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Old 14th May 2015   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

Reason I was asking about water is if it really is very soft, it may be too low in calcium, and that can be A Bad Thing (as I found out the hard way). Can you find out more about your water supply and if it is really soft? If it is excessively soft, it is pretty easy to harden it. (Axolotls prefer hard water.) It may not be the primary cause of the problem, but could contribute.

I'm not a vet, but the advice the vet gave (salt bath for a possible bacterial infection) is not what I have seen any of the experts here recommend. I have seen in these threads instances where vets badly mistreated axolotls - most vets have not studied amphibian care in any detail.

Getting a sick axolotl into better conditions is always good advice. A smaller container and 100% daily water change is also good advice, since it is easier to keep the water clean. Some people recommend tea baths for skin conditions, but it doesn't sound like a skin condition. Axolotls can turn red from internal bacterial infections, and sometime turn red when stressed. Fridging may or may not be good advice - it all depends what is wrong.



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Old 14th May 2015   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

Hello thank you for a reply. I'm so worried about my girl that I don't know what to do.
Sadly I am unable to find out more about my water. All I know is my aunt uses the same water since she lives jut down from me and she has eggs / babies and one that is 3 or 4 inches and has no problems and she uses the same treatment.

Up here we have only a few vets and they are mostly cats and dogs or live stock. So little creatures not so much you'd have to drive out an hour or if that two doesn't have one the closest one would be a seven hour drive in the city.

Well she's been in the fridge for one day now and she looks so much better, no longer red, she was bloated and that's gone down. I'm not sure if I should remove her from the fridge and just do daily water changes. I really don't want to keep her in the fridge for long. My mom just rushed her into the fridge when I was at work because I phoned her asking her to check on Aqua and my mom said she was lifeless on her back in a ball. My mom tried to turn her over and she just went on her back again. She's now on her stomach and hasn't been on her back or curved since then.
I'm just unsure what to do, I don't want to keep her in there so I'm just wondering if I should remove her or not and just keep her in her container and do 100% water changes. I'm really also concerned because she hasn't eaten in a week and of course in the fridge she won't eat.



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Old 14th May 2015   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

I suggest leaving her in the fridge for at least a few more days (more if your mother will let you), since her condition has improved noticeably there. It has been said (but I have not seen peer-reviewed literature to that effect) that axolotls heal and recover better from some things in the fridge.

Since her metabolism will slow down in the fridge, it won't matter that she isn't eating there (within reason of course). Axolotls can go for a long time without food anyhow. So, offer her food, but don't worry if she doesn't eat it.

If she poops, great! Put the poop in a ziploc bag and see if the local vets can check for parasites, even if they only do dogs/cats or livestock. If the vet finds something, you can find amphibian vets to say how to treat it.

=> Read the fridging guide on temperature - you don't want her to cold.
=> Warm her up again SLOWLY - fast changes of temperature are not good.

Good luck!



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Old 15th May 2015   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

My mom doesn't care if I need to put her in there for long. Just how long is the longest I could keep her in there. I don't just want to keep her in there hoping she'll poop And do nothing else.

My main concern is getting her back to a healthy state back to eating and acting normal.
I have phoned around the the closest one is hours away. I'm not sure if I can go there. But that's the vet that suggested salt baths for her. So I'm not sure.

I have already looked that up and the temp of the fridge is around 5 or higher. So that's good.
I did take her out to see if she was better and let the room only warm her but then she went back to being in the same state so I returned her to the fridge. I just hate being unable to do much more.
Any tips would be great.



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Old 15th May 2015   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

Here are updated pictures of her. The second picture the thing in front of her is a piece of worm I was offering her. She didn't take it. But her condition had improved a lot since the first two picures I believe.
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Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(-20150514_015446.jpg   Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(-20150514_113249.jpg  



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Old 15th May 2015   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to be patient. We always want to be able to "do something" to help our axolotls. However, sometimes the best thing we can do is provide her with good conditions, keep calm, and wait for her to improve. I really think she needs to be seen by a qualified vet, but since there isn't one available nearby, just being patient might be the best treatment.

It is not a good idea to keep taking her in and out of the fridge. The temperature changes will add to her physiological stress. Just leave here in there, change her water once a day with equally cold water, dechlorinated water, and wait for at least a few days. (I am hoping someone who has more experience with sick axolotls can recommend how many days.) She can easily stay there for a week, and probably longer, with no harm. Note: the reason you are keeping her there is that the symptoms (bloating, redness) improved while she was their. Hopefully, she can recover from whatever is causing her illness in the colder temperatures.

Let me summarize everything, in case anyone else has better ideas:

6 days ago she stopped eating
2 days after that, she started turning red (and bloated?)
You cleaned her tank on the advice of a pro, and she briefly started eating again
She stopped eating again the following day
You put her in the fridge and her redness went away and her bloating started to go away
You took her out of the fridge and she began acting sick again
She is now back in the fridge.

Bloating is frequently a serious sign. Depending on the cause, there may be nothing that can be done. She really needs to be seen by a qualified vet. I would avoid the vet that recommended the salt baths.

Some vets will consult with a local vet to find the right treatments. Ask the closest vet if they would be willing to do that. See this link Looking for a Vet? - maybe you can find one that will help your closest vet.

I hope she recovers.



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Old 16th May 2015   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(

I plan to be patient and wait it out. I really am unable to take her to a vet that specialized in these type of animals. I phoned the vets around me and they all suggested the same vet. So I won't bother her only for water changes and just keep an eye on her. I just hate seeing her not like her normal self.

I don't plan to mess around anymore. Like i said I'll let her be and see how it goes from Here on out. Well her colour has went back to normal and she's down in size. Someone suggested that she may be constipated. So I shall wait to see if she will pass anything.

That's about right. Other then the first time I fridged her was because she was in her back in a ball. I wanted to make fridging the last thing I did because I know how stressful it can be and that it shouldn't be relied on for everything.

I'll phone around and see if there is any possible vet other then that one that can see her but like I said they all went to her. We don't have many vets up here and the little I do are for pets like birds, cats and dogs and live stock. Not for reptiles or amphibians or pets like that.

Thank for you for the link I shall check it out And go from there. I really appreciate all the help to no end.

Same here. I checked on her today and her gills have white at the end of them it looks less like fungus and more like the colour is gone from them. Here is her most recent photo.
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Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(-screenshot_2015-05-15-20-36-02.jpg   Very sick Axolotl in need of help! :(-20150515_202632.jpg  



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