think urgent help may be required!
This is a discussion on think urgent help may be required! within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; hi all, i was up all night last night with worry, researching, reading as i think our largest axi has ...
|Sick Axolotl? Axolotl looking down in the gills? The doctors are in.|
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|5th December 2007||#1 (permalink)|
think urgent help may be required!
i was up all night last night with worry, researching, reading as i think our largest axi has a major problem and as we're very much attached to it, 1 of 4, 2 mature axi's and 2 surviving off spring of 3 litters( if that is what you call them, doin my best ere, i might also mention that this is my first go at the forum thing to so i will do my best ).
Background, our problem lies with the oldest axi we hav got, we hav had her approximately 10 years, but going on the rate that the younger ones are growing i would hav assumed(mother of all evil) that she may have been a couple of years old when we got her.
A number of months ago i noticed that she had a cloudy eye, and thought that she may hav scratched if on an object in the tank, i keep an eye on it and it seened to go away. but i hav been working away a lot and care has( i wont fib ) not been up to the standard it should hav.
NOW - noticed her losting weight over the last month or so, and now she has the white spot, and fungus almost covering her entire gills. She has been an awsume pet, never had a worry with her, even scared a few friend droping food in and she snaps it up and also chasing live food down, but she has us all worried here, shes one of the family. She is now approximately 50% of her original bodysize/weight just looking at her, and i hav just given her her first salt bath, i was extremely worried about doing this as i didnt know is she would be up to it. but she is still alive half hr afterwards. She still wont eat, and she is very clumbsy when she moves. I just dont know where to turn, should i take her to the vet, is she too old, hav i missed sumthing, a million quesstions i keep asking myself.
where to turn
|5th December 2007||#2 (permalink)|
there is no easy answer to your questions as a number of things can come into play.
what is her water temp?
what are the parameters?
what strength are your salt baths?
1-2 teaspoons per litre. 2-3 times daily
do you use dechlorinated water?
have you added any chemicals to your water?
the only thing you should use is dechlorinated.
if the water is warm i would pop her in the fridge with some dechlorinated water.
cover her in something dark to stop light and temp fluctuation.
also pop in bottle of dechlorinated water for her salt baths and 100% daily water changes.
try offering small amounts of food but remove within 10 mins of not eaten.
garden worms are the best.
hope this is of some help.
|5th December 2007||#3 (permalink)|
thanks for your prompt reply, and no i dont expect anybody here to play the role of the man above but i an sorry i cant provide any detail of tank pearameters as i do not own the equipement, never had the need to, always had happy health axi's untill rescently, just read another post of tday and it seems she has a slight milky film over her aswell.
Only done one sate bath, as it took a lot of courage to do it, with her in the state she is in. the concentration i used was 3 tsp in 1 litre of tank water, We have tank water hear, is this as good as declorinated tap water?
she is currently in a container under the aircon, cooling slowly, i checked a water bottle in the fridge and it was 1.5C. i hav read sumwhere that it isnt recommended to go below 4C, is this right? And how long would you recommend that she lives at this temp, IF she does...
Also would like to ask, 2 other axi's were in the same tank, but without the really bad case she has, should i salt treat them too?
tried to find sum earthworms but we're in a drought ere, gunna take sume serious looking, but its gotta be done!
|5th December 2007||#4 (permalink)|
Hi Benny -- Welcome to the forum
Hope we can help.
Regarding some of the things that Digger/Frances mentioned:
* What is tank temperature - this is very important. If the tank temperature has been in the early 20s, this can stress an axolotl which lowers their immune system and they develop fungus and/or other sickness symptoms. Ideal temperatures for an axolotl are below 20C. Usually the one to show first sickness in the tank is the one with the lowest immune system, in this case being your oldest axolotl. You need to lower the tank temperature if this is the case. See the following: http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cooling.shtml
* Water parameters: A cycled tank, if you tested the tankwater, would have the following ideal readings: ammonia 0, nitrIte 0, nitrAtes 10-40ppm (Nitrate levels are also dependant on whether you have live plants in the tank or not). If as you say, due to your work schedule, you've been unable to maintain the usual tank cleaning maintenance, then your axolotl/s could very well be suffering due to it (sorry, not having a go at you, just agreeing with your comment).
You need to start doing 20-30% daily waterchanges. Don't do any large waterchanges, as this inherently can cause more bad than good. The daily partial changes will gradually fix any water quality problems you may have.
If you don't have the test kits, then take a sample of tankwater into the petshop and ask them to test it for the 3 mentioned, the test tube tests are the best ones, and then get them to write down the figures/results for each. You do not need to buy anything to fix the water (remove the ammonia etc...) the partial waterchanges daily will sort things out - don't be tempted if they say this will work; invariably things they sell are temporary fixes and only cause more problems
* Saltbaths should also only be 10-15 minutes maximum.
Whereabouts in Australia are you? There are a few exotic/specialist vets, some of the Australian members have used them. Meanwhile I think you should fridge her and continue to do daily saltbaths.
Make sure to test your fridge temperature first. It should be 5C minimum. When you separate her and put her in the fridge, if you have one, use a plastic container with lid (tupperware or icecream container that will fit her body lengthwise). If you don't have a container, any foodsafe oven tray, casserole dish or fridge vegie bin even will do, something that can be covered (preferably with lid) - otherwise a dishcloth will do. Use dechlorinated water only (not tankwater).
After lid is placed on, wrap the container with a dishcloth (no holes are needed in the lid as there is more oxygen in cold water. The lid also stops the axie from taking fright and jumping out into the fridge (this has been known to happen). The dishcloth is to stop temperature fluctuations and light flashing from normal fridge usage).
Place a container or two of dechlorinated water into the fridge for the complete daily waterchanges.
The cooling water will slow her metabolism down in order to give her a chance to heal. You can keep her in the fridge for as long as possible (I've kept axies in the fridge for close on 4 weeks).
|5th December 2007||#5 (permalink)|
Ah missed your reply to Digger as I was typing my saga!
Anyway fridge temperature should be 5C minimum. If you can keep her cool in the container (below 18-20c) the lower the better, it would help her. If she was to move to the fridge she could stay in as long as possible.
Tankwater or rainwater is fine. Dechlorinated water is just tapwater with added water ager/conditioner drops to remove chlorine and chloramines from the tapwater (usually town/council supplied treated water).
EDIT: When I mentioned tank water in the other post I meant don't use the water from your main axolotl's tank in case there is a water quality issue.
|5th December 2007||#6 (permalink)|
ok will try all this, what about the salt baths, 3tsb in 1ltr is fine? and would you recommend the full 10 minute treatment, bear in mind her gills are not a pretty sight at all, i feel terrible the say the very very least. I if i can get some pics for you all, i will and keep you posted. oh yes and i feel that and i quote "tank water" may hav been misinterpreted as aquarium tankwater, may i correct this by saying that i have her in rainwater from the rainwater tank. thanks, i will get the water tested and post back tomorrow, could i also just ask, as we have 2 tanks here, one has an under gravel filter with like riser tunnels with the bubbles drawing the water through the rocks on the bottom and the water exiting the cycle at the surface, this tank always seems heathy, and clean whereas any of the others we hav had, do not, it just seems to keep on keeping on you might say. someone actually told me i shouldnt clean it out, is this correct?
AND! Thankyou all very very very much, from the axi's and the family!
|5th December 2007||#7 (permalink)|
Sorry, I did realise after you posted about the tankwater as opposed to aquarium water
The quantities for salt should be 2-3 teaspoons per litre of water. 10 minutes per day, twice a day is fine.
Get both tanks tested.
The only problem with the one with the UG filter and rocks one , is that water quality can be an issue with these setups as well. Waste builds up beneath the filter plate and can gradually cause an growing problem despite regular water changes.
Once a tank/aquarium is established you shouldn't completely clean it out, they're right; as long as you're not adding medicines and the like. But it depends on what is currently in the tank. If you have no ammonia source (ie fish or axolotls); then you may effectively have an uncycled tank as the good bacteria dies if it doesn't have anything to feed it (ie ammonia from food/waste).
Hope she does improve - keep us posted!
|5th December 2007||#8 (permalink)|
i am surprised you have had no prior problems because as Kapo says, under gravel fiters harbour waste and bad bacteria.
most people on this forum tend to use bare bottom or sand, thismakes it a lot easier to spot clean.
you can stil have plants, hidie holes and even some stones. just remember to ove anything in the tank to check underneath for un-eaten food.
myself and most people here i think use a good old turkry baster for removing food and waste from the tank.
a normal under water filter with reduced flow [spray bars can be made or bought to go on these]are ideal as they are easier to clean, just a quick rinse in the old aquarium water and pop back in.
hope this is helpful and will keep an eye out for how things are going.
by the way if fungus is that bad i wuld try to do maximum time of 15mins as long as she doesnt become to distressed. 2-3 times a day.
|6th December 2007||#9 (permalink)|
I hate to be the one to place the sombre note but, if your axie is 12 years old or there abouts, thats not a bad innings by axie standards although some live longer. That having been said if you can get rid of the fungus using the methods detailed in other posts, and get your water checked, you can take a sample to the petshop and most will do it for you. There is a good chance you can at least improve the quality of life and at best extend the life of your axie.
There is always a but, could be that your axie is nearing the end of its natural life.
Best of luck and I hope im wrong
|6th December 2007||#10 (permalink)|
thanks ian, have had that in the back of my mind all the time,
for you and everybody else, hav had the water tested, and waiting on my own test kit to arrive, expected tomorrow. The results are as fallows -
nitrate - 10
nitrite - 0
hardness- 200 pcm
ph - 6
she is looking better, shes at 6-7C on fridge, but still not eating. others are fine.
Off to work, will check when i get home in the morning.
|6th December 2007||#11 (permalink)|
Ok your PH is low, it should be between 6.5-8 (with 7.4-7.6 the best). To raise it without using powders (they can make the PH swing a lot which is stressful), you can use shell grit in your tank. I put shell grit in a stocking and that raises my PH to 7. How much shell grit depends on how big your tank is. Others may have some other good ideas for raising it.
Also your tank should have zero ammonia. So daily water changes of 20% is a good idea until your ammonia reads zero. Ammonia is quite toxic to axolotls... however the toxicity tends to increase with the PH level so it is probably not as bad as usual in your tank. I would still recommend the water changes though.
Anyway, hope it goes well with your axie :)
|6th December 2007||#12 (permalink)|
yes, definately water changes 20-30% every day.
please do not buy anything that might be recommended to you to fix this as most are temporary, and toxic to axies.
i would still consider removing the under gravel filter as that is more than likely where the problem is coming from, and if this is the case water changes will only slow down the build up, not clear it.
keep a close watch on your other axies as until this problem is fixed they are in danger of becoming ill as well.
hope all goes well
|7th December 2007||#13 (permalink)|
ok people, for your help i thankyou, i will do the water changes, but the sick axi is not good, she will not eat and is very very unwell, in my opinion it seems cruel to continue down this road as it seems i am just prolonging her condition, i will probably be riticuled for asking this but as i see, it would be more humane to let her go than to continue down this path. Thus the question, what would be the most humane way to put her to sleep?
|7th December 2007||#14 (permalink)|
There are one or two ways but they should really be carried out by a vet as you could cause even more suffering to your axolotl. Don't attempt anything yourself as axolotls are known to be able to survive (if only for a short while) some types of euthanasia ...keep us posted
Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
Last edited by gr33neyes; 7th December 2007 at 07:36. Reason: spelling block
|8th December 2007||#15 (permalink)|
hi everybody, unfortunately, vodka passed away naturaly during the day. Thankyou all so very much for your concern and valued help.
Now we can really concentrate on getting these tanks to an (happy) axolotil standard.
The tanks are around 3 foot long, i assume around 70ltr, one is now empty, i now understand that sand is the way to go and not gravel. I will also remove the under gravel filter. What filtration and airation would be suggested?
I hav done sum research into cooling methods and hav a project on the go as we speak. Would anybody have the time to let me know how to establish a happy axi enviroment in one of these tanks from scratch, any photos would be nice too. Just wondering on things like, should it be riversand and should it be cleaned or something first? How to cycle the tank when water from a rainwater tank is used or would declorinated water be recommended?
Back to beginner i think, as mentioned earlier - after all this reading since vodka got sick, we are supprised that we had her this long. looking forward to any and every suggestion/s
|8th December 2007||#16 (permalink)|
I'm sorry to hear about Vodka, its always sad when you lose a pet especially when you have had them for so long. To be honest you can't have been doing very much wrong otherwise your axie wouldn't have lived for that long, well thats my opinion anyway. Anyway you will receive plenty of help and advice from others on here...I wish you well.
Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
|8th December 2007||#17 (permalink)|
thanks becky, so very true. its unfortunate but thats life..... There Seems to be some very very knowledgeable folk amongst the forum community. i am so glad i have found this site, it is so informative and friendly. I am really looking forward to re-establishing the tank as a more axi friendly enviroment for the other axi's. I hope to give vodkas partner and offspring the best chance of giving us as many years pleasure as she did. RIP Vodka.
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