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Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

This is a discussion on Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Okay so I got my axolotl jinx a little over a year ago, not entirely sure on the age but ...

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

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Old 1st March 2017   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

Okay so I got my axolotl jinx a little over a year ago, not entirely sure on the age but she was 2-3 inches at first and is now at least 5. She was always very friendly and would come up to you if you were to walk past however in the last month or so she has been less responsive and moves much less (she used to swim around often) and will not eat. I've fed her exclusively frozen bloodworms since she would not eat small frozen fish (given to us by the shop I bought her), brine shrimp or pellets and she always ate them fine. I tried hand feeding her last month and she was eating them only if they were held in front of her face up until this week, but now she seems to be interested in them as she goes up to them but will not open her mouth to eat them? Is it possible that she cannot open it? Also, yesterday she developed a small lump between the eyes, I didn't get a photo but it was yellow in the middle, almost like a human spot and it shrank very quickly but is still there today, what could this be? Finally, a couple of times after feeding her I noticed she swam very fast and erratically for a few seconds, spinning and bouncing off the tank walls, then settling back down, is this normal?

TLDR: my year old axolotl won't open her mouth to eat, hardly moves and has a lump on her face.

The temperature is generally about 20C, the ph as I checked yesterday was 7, we dechlorinate the water before changing it and the tank has sand as a substrate.

Does anyone know what could be wrong with her? I'm really worried. I have many pictures if needed.



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Old 1st March 2017   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

Please post pictures.

Frozen blood worms are not an idea stable diet for an adult axolotl. The best diet is earth worms (nightcrawlers).



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Old 1st March 2017   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

Are you aware of the nitrogen cycle and cycling aquariums? Can you post readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

As mentioned above, bloodworms are not nutritionally enough for axolotl's as they grow older. You will need to offer a more nutritious staple diet such as earthworms or good quality axolotl or newt pellets.

Juveniles tend to be more active and as they grow, they become less active and are often quite lazy. Sometimes if startled, they will suddenly dash about hecticly. Or it may be due to stress.

The first thing is to rule out any water quality issues by posting results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. This will determine if water quality is a factor and also to ensure optimum water conditions for recovery. Secondly, as above, photos would be very helpful to be able to get a visual on the lump and general appearance. Keep offering foods but try to offer more nutritious options.



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Old 1st March 2017   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

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Frozen blood worms are not an idea stable diet for an adult axolotl. The best diet is earth worms (nightcrawlers).
I actually got some earthworms in yesterday, my dad tried feeding her one and she sort of sniffed at it, touched it with her nose but did not eat it as far as we know.



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Old 1st March 2017   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

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Originally Posted by Skudo09 View Post
Are you aware of the nitrogen cycle and cycling aquariums? Can you post readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
I honestly don't know much about nitrogen etc, where would I be able to get something to test this?



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Old 1st March 2017   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

Here are some pictures from Monday and today,
Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.
(sorry some are sideways I forgot to rotate them before uploading)



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Old 3rd March 2017   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

Tested the water yesterday with one of the strips you put in the water as it was all I could get, came up with GH 180, KH 40, Ph 7, NO2 0, NO3 40. Does anyone know if this could be causing anything or if I need to do anything about it?



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Old 3rd March 2017   #8 (permalink)
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Strips can be pretty inaccurate you need a liquid testing kit such as the API liquid testing kit.


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Old 3rd March 2017   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

As above, the strips tend not to be very accurate and a liquid test kit is the way to go. If you can't get one locally, you should be able to get one online.

It is really important to have a good understanding of the cycling process to maintain good water quality. I suggest reading through the links below.

Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling

Caudata Culture Articles - Water Quality

It might be the phone I am looking from but I can't really view the pictures well enough. They seem a bit fuzzy but it could be my end. Do you have a vet available in your area?



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Default Re: Axolotl won't open mouth to eat, won't move, lump on head

Thanks for the help guys, took Jinx to an exotics vet today and she's being kept in for a few days for some antibiotics and force feeding I think, they think the lump was an abscess but she should be okay.



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