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URGENT: Discolored Leg

This is a discussion on URGENT: Discolored Leg within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I went to feed my axolotl tonight and took some pictures of him being cute while struggling to catch the ...

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

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Old 1st August 2017   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation URGENT: Discolored Leg

I went to feed my axolotl tonight and took some pictures of him being cute while struggling to catch the worm. Looking at the pics I saw one of his front legs was severely discolored.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


He's holding it straight out, limp and it's slightly curved and reddish. I'm worried it could be infected. He didn't eat yesterday and I couldn't get him to eat today either.

I then noticed that his water was at about 74-75 because I forgot to turn the condenser back on after doing a water change and our apartment is kept pretty hot in the Texas summer and the single ice probe I had on couldn't keep up.

Two things are in my head right now: heat stress and infection. I know the "cure all" is fridging but I've never done it before in the four years I've had him. I will take water measurements after I post this.

Please help! I don't want to lose him.



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Old 2nd August 2017   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT: Discolored Leg

Water conditions:

Ammonia 0.25 ppm
Nitrite 0.25 ppm
Nitrate 40 ppm

I might have crashed my cycle with the amount of water I've been changing because alongside all this my filter started leaking. Ugh.

Took him to the vet and she knew a lot about axolotls and has seen several before. They took a couple x-rays but because of the way he was holding his injured leg, they couldn't tell much but didn't see any breaks or fractures. She did a physical exam and felt his legs and caught swelling at the elbow on the affected leg. They sent the x-rays to a radiologist to see if he could tell if he had a bone infection. She gave me a topical antibiotic that I had to apply to him outside the water while coating him with water everywhere but the arm for ten minutes. She didn't mention fridging and I forgot to bring it up, but she did recommend keeping my water cooler. I've been keeping it just under 20 degrees C at 68 F. I set it to be 65 F and 19 C and that's where it's at now.

So I applied antibiotic and he's just hanging out in his tank. My question now is, should I fridge him, or just only do as my vet says until we hear from the radiologist?

She also recommended another exotic vet in the area who has the supplies to sedate him and position him arm for better x-rays. I am waiting on that until we hear form the radiologist.

TL;DR

Saw a vet, got antibiotics. Should I still fridge my axolotl?

I know fridging is sort of a cure all, but I kinda want to just listen to the vet.




Last edited by yonykins; 2nd August 2017 at 04:14. Reason: left something out
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Old 2nd August 2017   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT: Discolored Leg

You seem to have found a super vet :)

Firstly, does your axolotl share his tank with anything else?

With regard to using the fridge. If you are struggling to bring the tank temperature down, it may be an option. Here is an article on some methods that may help :- Caudata Culture Articles - Cooling

While the tank is cycling, it may be worth keeping your axolotl in a smaller lidded container. This can be used while you are treating it. If you have two containers, you can carry out the treatment in one and then use the other to house him. You'll need to be doing daily water changes. It may be easier to keep him in a cooler area of the house. If the tank's temperature can be dropped, the container may well be able to float on the surface :)

Please keep us updated on how the treatment is going, also the medication names may be of use to others id they need to use a vet.




Last edited by bellabelloo; 2nd August 2017 at 09:12. Reason: Forgo to ask @ tank mates :/
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Old 2nd August 2017   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT: Discolored Leg

Quote:
Originally Posted by yonykins View Post
Water conditions:

Ammonia 0.25 ppm
Nitrite 0.25 ppm
Nitrate 40 ppm

I might have crashed my cycle with the amount of water I've been changing because alongside all this my filter started leaking. Ugh.

Took him to the vet and she knew a lot about axolotls and has seen several before. They took a couple x-rays but because of the way he was holding his injured leg, they couldn't tell much but didn't see any breaks or fractures. She did a physical exam and felt his legs and caught swelling at the elbow on the affected leg. They sent the x-rays to a radiologist to see if he could tell if he had a bone infection. She gave me a topical antibiotic that I had to apply to him outside the water while coating him with water everywhere but the arm for ten minutes. She didn't mention fridging and I forgot to bring it up, but she did recommend keeping my water cooler. I've been keeping it just under 20 degrees C at 68 F. I set it to be 65 F and 19 C and that's where it's at now.

So I applied antibiotic and he's just hanging out in his tank. My question now is, should I fridge him, or just only do as my vet says until we hear from the radiologist?

She also recommended another exotic vet in the area who has the supplies to sedate him and position him arm for better x-rays. I am waiting on that until we hear form the radiologist.

TL;DR

Saw a vet, got antibiotics. Should I still fridge my axolotl?

I know fridging is sort of a cure all, but I kinda want to just listen to the vet.
Please be aware that fridging (or any temperature change) will affect the axolotl's metabolism of the antibiotic - the dose advised by the vet will (should) take this into account if necessary, so please follow the advice of your vet. Fridging could even theoretically lead to the dose of drug given being toxic.




Last edited by herpvet; 2nd August 2017 at 18:59. Reason: typo
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Old 10th August 2017   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: URGENT: Discolored Leg

Thank you guys. I didn't fridge and have just been following the advice of the vet. She recommend I keep the dose of antibiotic low, since there aren't good studies on safe doses for axolotls. She gave me ofloxacin opththalmic solution USP at 0.3%.

The discoloration is looking better and he is using his arm when he has too. It's still slightly red and he is trying not to use it much. He held his arm neutrally for the second x-ray and the radiologist was able to further confirm no bone degeneration, no break, and no dislocation.

The vet told me to keep the antibiotic going for two more days and see how's he's doing.

My ammonia went back to 0, but then after a water change we up to 0.25. I changed the water on Monday and on Wednesday it is still 0.25. Nitrite at 0 ppm and nitrate at 10-20 ppm.



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