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Red blotches on clear end of tail

This is a discussion on Red blotches on clear end of tail within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hi all! I am a novice to the world of axolotls. I have had Charlie my brown axolotl for only ...

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

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Old 2nd August 2005   #1 (permalink)
suli
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Hi all! I am a novice to the world of axolotls. I have had Charlie my brown axolotl for only two and a half weeks now. He freaked out for the first couple of days swimming frantically around the tank, but he was eatting - feeder fish - which I have since read bad things about in other threads on this forum!
About a week after his introduction into the tank he refused to eat. I tried giving him pellets, blood worms and lean beef heart but nothing interested him. He looked a little bloated and sluggish, I thought that he may have eatten some gravel. Then after the tank was accidentally knocked he vomited. I did a water change and he seemed to perk up a bit.
But he now hasn't eatten for 7 days. And a couple of days ago I noticed little red spots in the clear tip of his tail. Yesterday they appeared to have grown. As I was worried I searched the internet for a solution and found a mention of "red leg disease" (I have forgotten the correct terminology). I was very worried so I got Mum to ring a couple of pet shops this morning whilst I was at work. They told her to take him into the shop in a bucket. Which she did but in the process the red spots on his tail burst or got cut I guess, and she discovered all blood in the water. She mentioned the abovementioned disease but at two pet shops they said they didn't think that was it. One thought he had just injured his tail and got blood clots in it and when it got knocked they burst. He gave us Melafix to put in the water for a few days to combat disease and help wound treatment & stop the bleeding.
Does anyone have any idea as to what might be wrong, does it sound like he's just injured his tail? The blotches are still visible and instead of the tip of the tail being flat it's like a little bubble of air.
Also the tank has a built in filter which makes a visible current, could this be stressing him and should I turn it off, or will this cause the water to become very dirty?
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Old 2nd August 2005   #2 (permalink)
claire
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Hello Suli and welcome to the forum.

Filter - turn it onto the lowest setting, if the current is still quite strong then you will have to make...i cant remeber the name for them but you basically add tubing onto the filter and put holes in it to spread the flow of water all across the tank. search throught the forum and you should be able to find what i mean.

your axie - i dont know anything about diseases but if he has skin wounds then put him in the fridge and give him salt baths. i think its 2 tbsp per 2 litres.might be tsp so check around the forum. leave the axie in the salt bath for a maximun of 10 mins as the salt can damage the skin if left longer.and make sure you keep water in the fridge to do the salt baths with so the temperature is the same.the axie can be left in the fridge for around a week with no problems.
dont worry about an axie that doesnt eat for a while. it is normal if it has just moved homes. try giving earthworms.they love them.
if you have small gravel in your tank then there is a possibility he has eaten some.put him in a tub with no substrate and keep an eye on his poop.people on the forum have said that they have found putting their axie in the fridge helps to get rid of the gravel.but this isnt the case all the time.
and dont trust pet shops information as most of them dont know what they are talking about.lol.
any more questions you have just ask Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 3rd August 2005   #3 (permalink)
cynthia
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Suli - As Claire mentioned your filter needs baffled, current causes axolotls stress.

I do not know what the wounds are on your axolotls tail. Could they be damage from feeder fish biting it making blood blisters?

Also as Claire suggested I too would suggest putting your axolotl in the fridge in a food safe container of fresh dechlorinated water. Do not use water from your tank if your tank has not been cycled.

The mixture for salt baths is 2 teaspoons of salt dissolved in 2 liters of water. Soak the axolotl for 10 min twice a day.


How long was your tank set up before you put your axolotl in it? If you have only had him for 2.5 weeks and the tank was not cycled the water quality could have a lot to do with the axolotl not feeling well.

If you haven't got one already you should purchase a test kit that will let you test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph.

If you do have a test kit you should test your water. Ammonia should be zero, nitrite should be zero and nitrates should be low.
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Old 3rd August 2005   #4 (permalink)
anne-marie
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Sounds like some type of blistering maybe? I'm not quite sure what you mean by the clear tip of the tail - you mention that your axie is brown? Can you post a picture so we can see?

Have you put in any other livestock, apart from the feeder fish, which may be biting him?

I'll bet the tank cycling is putting him off his food as well. As Cynthia said, check the water for ammonia and nitrite.

(Message edited by waltona on August 03, 2005)
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Old 3rd August 2005   #5 (permalink)
suli
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Thanks for the advice it is muchly appreciated!

Cynthia my tank was set up for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 weeks before I got the axolotl.
If I do put him in the fridge does it matter if there's no air getting into the container? Would it be a small container that just fits him in or a larger one so he can swim around?
I know now not to take too much advice from pet shop assistants but they said that since it was an open wound that if I did salt baths it would stress him out as it would sting. Is this right?

I also have a tester kit and the water is fine I think the nitrate was a bit higher than zero though last time I checked.

Anne-marie I have only had feeder fish in the tank but I have removed them all now as I saw them swimming near his tail and didn't want them to bump it. Below are links to some pics:

Full body view:
http://photobucket.com/albums/y200/a...h_000_0078.jpg

Tail:
http://photobucket.com/albums/y200/a...h_c4ecd77d.jpg
Close up tail:
http://photobucket.com/albums/y200/a...h_901d3f98.jpg

Charlie's Face:
http://photobucket.com/albums/y200/a...h_c629db88.jpg



THANKS GUYS!!!!!!
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Old 3rd August 2005   #6 (permalink)
cynthia
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suli - I have never seen anything like the pictures you posted. Thank you for posting them it is always good to learn about something new.

He will slow down a bit when he is in the fridge. He wont move around much. Use a food safe container that is deep enough to completely cover him with water (an ice cream bucket works well). You do not need to worry about adding air or anything like that while he is in the fridge. If the container you use is low, put a lid on it so he doesn't accidently jump out of the container.

Yes I think salt baths may sting if his skin is broken. You may want to try Mercurochrome first, but don't rule out salt baths.

From http://www.axolotl.org/health.htm

Mercurochrome is an antiseptic/disinfectant available at pharmacies and can be quite effective when treating bacterial and fungal problems. The Indiana University Axolotl Colony recommends adding just a few drops to tint the water orange, and change the water frequently. 2-4 ppm (parts per million, i.e. 2 to 4 grams per 1000 litres of water) is the dosage recommended by Peter W. Scott.

Please let us know how he does. If you could post a larger picture of his tail I would appreciate it. I have a hard time seeing the small pictures clearly.
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Old 5th August 2005   #7 (permalink)
suli
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Cynthia thanks. Charlie has been in the fridge now for nearly 2 days. And he seems fine. I haven't tried the salt baths yet but may start them tomorrow if his tail looks the same.

Here are links to the photos enlarged, hope they're clearer.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y20...s/c4ecd77d.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y20...s/000_0078.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y20...s/901d3f98.jpg
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Old 5th August 2005   #8 (permalink)
hayley-jane
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Poor Charlie - I've never seen anything like that before either Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 5th August 2005   #9 (permalink)
cynthia
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suli - Thank you for posting larger pictures. I could see those much better. It appears his fin is being eaten away even above the clear/bloody part of his tail.

I would start salt baths right away.
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Old 7th August 2005   #10 (permalink)
hayley-jane
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What's the update on Charlie?
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Old 8th August 2005   #11 (permalink)
ros
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Hi Suli,
I hope some of the following may help Charlie.
http://www.axolotl.org/health.htm#wounds
Protozoan parasites such as Trichodina and Costia can cause axolotls to secrete excess skin mucus. Affected axolotls can be treated with mercurochrome, as described above for treatment of bacterial infections. Salt baths (see above) can also be used. Peter W. Scott indicates that Vorticella, another protozoan, can be treated with a 1:1500 glacial acetic acid solution. Vinegar contains dilute acetic acid, and if diluted by about a factor of 100 or so, it can be used with some success. I've also used it on aquatic turtles for treating fungal infections and it works very well.
Melafix (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals) - effective against external sores.
Regards, Ros.
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Old 8th August 2005   #12 (permalink)
ros
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I wonder if Charlie is possibly experiencing symptoms to the following -
Gas bubble disease is seen in aquatic frogs when the water is supersaturated with air. Bubbles may be seen in the skin webs and foot webs, but death is usually from secondary septicemia. Careful monitoring of pumps and pressurized water systems should prevent this condition.
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
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Old 17th August 2005   #13 (permalink)
sarah
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Hello everyone. I have just been reading about Suli problem with Charlie, and i to would like some advice please. I have had Ludo for over a year and all was fine until a few weeks ago. She first lost her leg and now her tail seems to missing at the end, she shares a tank with my other axie who is fine. Both are eating But Ludo is very slugish and dosent look happy. Could it but down to bullying or an infection? and do you think that i could use the same treatment as Suil used for Charlie?. Your help would be very useful. Thank You. Sarah
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