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Severe axolotl attack

This is a discussion on Severe axolotl attack within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; First some honesty: I didn't look after my axolotls properly, vowed not to let it get like this again but ...

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

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Old 1st August 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Severe axolotl attack

First some honesty: I didn't look after my axolotls properly, vowed not to let it get like this again but I do believe I was the root cause of the attack due to underfeeding

so I had two albino axolotls and one has taken his hunger out on the other one a little while ago
I'd had a problem with it before and the limb had grown back fine but this time literally all 4 limbs and a lot of his tail were gone when I next saw him

in fear that the other axolotl was just serially vicious I sold him to someone who would keep him separate
for the early stages my axy (the colonel, hence my name) seemed to be getting on fine, and for 3 of his limbs this still *seems* true but for his back right leg and his tail its a different story

i have him in the fridge atm in a slightly salty bath
i've only just heard of tea baths

can anyone help me? i don't want him to die

2 photos of his back and one of his front

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Old 1st August 2013   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

I had the exact same thing happen to me once, I just kept it by itself in cool clean water and did occasional salt baths until the wounds closed up and then stopped doing the salt baths. Mine ended up fine but i thought i was going to loose her a time or two. Hope yours pulls through okay.



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Old 1st August 2013   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

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Originally Posted by Traxolotl View Post
I had the exact same thing happen to me once, I just kept it by itself in cool clean water and did occasional salt baths until the wounds closed up and then stopped doing the salt baths. Mine ended up fine but i thought i was going to loose her a time or two. Hope yours pulls through okay.
Thanks that's made me a little more hopeful

i should mention he/she's eating fine (i've actually never known the sex ) and does seem to have y'know...life



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Old 1st August 2013   #4 (permalink)
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What do you feed him? He looks very skinny. Lots of earthworms should do the trick. Salt baths are only used when you see fungus, imagine how painful that would be to a fresh open wound!

I would suggest tea baths unless you see fungus. Keep the water cool and clean (100%water changes daily in a tub) and feed him as much as he will eat as often as you can. Keep him in the coolest place in your house. And just keep a very close eye on him.



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Old 1st August 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

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What do you feed him? He looks very skinny. Lots of earthworms should do the trick. Salt baths are only used when you see fungus, imagine how painful that would be to a fresh open wound!

I would suggest tea baths unless you see fungus. Keep the water cool and clean (100%water changes daily in a tub) and feed him as much as he will eat as often as you can. Keep him in the coolest place in your house. And just keep a very close eye on him.
We hand-feed him on this

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we feed my girlfriends on the same food and it's been great, it doesnt look anywhere near as skinny tbh,
i don't honestly know where i could get a decent supply of earthworms though

is there any guide to tea baths anywhere i'd never seen them before

and is the stuff on the photos not fungus? i thought it was! there's kind of a mist around his tail



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Old 1st August 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

Gosh, poor thing. Its good that you were honest, and are willing to help. By the looks of the back end she seems to be a girl. :)

Please take her out of the salt bath now, put her in a tea bath. The salt is only used if an axie has fungus, and then only for 20mins. Axies have a slime coat which can be damaged if exposed to salt for too long, causing even more problems

I googled bait shop in York and it came up with the below results. I hope one of them is close enough for you to get some debodendra worms from. I buy mine from a local bait shop for 7.50 for quater kilo, the more worms you get the cheaper they are. They might be cheaper for you being a bit further north :)

Angling and fishing shops in York. Find reviews of York Angling and fishing shops | The Independent

These people have been mentioned on here a couple of times too

Buying Lobworms, Worm Fishing for Salmon, Earthworms for Sale, Wormeries for Fishing, Worms Coarse

While we are having some freak summer at the moment, I would try and keep your axie in cool fresh water with black tea added without being in the fridge. I think the more worms your girl eats, the faster she will recover. The fridge will slow her metabolism and make her not eat as much.

Make sure you do a water change in her tub every day, if you have two tubs, use them so you can scrub it clean everyday too.

Now is probably a good time to make sure that the water in your tank is perfect too :)

Please keep us updated on how she is doing, wish her a speedy recovery and you all the best.



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Old 1st August 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

Theres a salt you can use... I forget what its called but its not like actual salt, its for fresh water fish tanks and its to prevent fungus and such. It's what I used for salt baths. Really easy on the lotl.



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Old 1st August 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

The best thing you can do is Indian Almond leaves as long as it doesn't develop fungus. And you can keep them in the tank with the axolotl and it well really help out. And your lotl does appear to be underweight which will slow down the recovery process.



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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

thanks for all the help guys!

i've made the tea bath now and since she's warmed up a little she's already eaten a few pellets when she wouldn't take more than one every 2 days in the fridge

i'll keep you all posted and i'll make sure to get some worms! :)



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I would not recommend using aquarium salt. That just adds hardness to your tank and raises the ph. It is not the same salt as you would use for a salt bath for fungus.

You want to use sea salt. Just the stuff youd put on your food.

Non iodized since iodine has been linked to morphing of axolotls.

I cant get the link right off hand but i think it is 2-3teaspoons of salt per liter of water. No longer then 15minutes at a time. ONLY if there is fungus!! If its just a injury do tea baths by taking a black tea bag and steep the tea at 1cup per gallon of water.make sure the tea is cooled before adding. Black tea helps soothe their skin and has antimicrobial effects.


Do not refridgerate. I would recommend finding something else you can feed him. Find a bait shop or go out and dig for worms. Even frozen bloodworms or a carnivore pellet.. And feed her as much as you can. It will help her heal quicker if you can get her to a healthy weight and has a better chance at healing from this. Right now it looks like its going to be a long time healing. Its going to take a lot of work on your part to make her better. But making sure she is in clean cool water at all times will help. And feeding her as much as you can and just keep an eye on the injuries.



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Old 1st August 2013   #11 (permalink)
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Traxolotl, with this type of injury you would not wantto keep the axolotl in the tank. Keeping him in a tub gives you a better eye on the axolotl at all times, it makes it easier to make sure she is eating as much as she can eat, and doing 100% water changes daily makes sure that the water is clean everyday. Which is extremely important in the healing process.

Do not put your axolotl back in the fridge! She is not in a state to be in the fridge she needs to eat... And in the fridge she wont.. Feed twice daily if you can



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Old 2nd August 2013   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

Aside from the missing limbs from the attack, the colonel also looks terribly malnourished and neglected. The bottom line is, you need to take much better care of him if you do not want him to die. I really hope he is able to make a full recovery, but the only way that will happen is if you start taking better care of the little guy.



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Old 3rd August 2013   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

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Traxolotl, with this type of injury you would not wantto keep the axolotl in the tank. Keeping him in a tub gives you a better eye on the axolotl at all times, it makes it easier to make sure she is eating as much as she can eat, and doing 100% water changes daily makes sure that the water is clean everyday. Which is extremely important in the healing process.

Do not put your axolotl back in the fridge! She is not in a state to be in the fridge she needs to eat... And in the fridge she wont.. Feed twice daily if you can
At no point did I say put the axolotl back in the tank. If you are referring to the IOA leaves comment tank was meant as in whatever container the axolotl has been moved to. Not the original tank. IOA is what blackwater solution is while I'm at it. Hitting me up with negative rep because of that is really inappropriate.



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Old 3rd August 2013   #14 (permalink)
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Aside from the missing limbs from the attack, the colonel also looks terribly malnourished and neglected. The bottom line is, you need to take much better care of him if you do not want him to die. I really hope he is able to make a full recovery, but the only way that will happen is if you start taking better care of the little guy.
This has already been covered, the guy came on here being totally honest and asking for help. Appropriate care has been recommended, and now followed.
Is there a reason for berating him like this? ^^



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Old 3rd August 2013   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

I think everything's been covered, keep Colonel cool but not fridged, no salt unless there's sign of fungus, soothing tea baths, change water daily (make sure dechlorinated) and feed plenty of food to help with healing. Thanks for being brutally honest that you weren't taking the best care, I know that would have been hard because of backlash, but we can see you're trying to make up for it :) let us know how Colonel is going...best of luck!



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Old 3rd August 2013   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

Well... all I can say is that I hope you're learning from this; but it seems that you are. You seem to feel pretty guilty, so well...

Anyway, yes, feeding her earthworms is the best thing you can do. If you can find them, you could try feeding her some blackworms as well, to fatten her up a bit.

In normal healthy axolotls, the stomach should be as wide as the head (roughly). Most people feed their axolotls once every two days; some say it seems to be better for digestion. In healing axolotls, you can definitely increase the amount of feedings to at least once a day, whenever it will eat. They need the energy to heal.

So, in your case, I'd say... at least one big earthworm a day, and perhaps some blackworms and blood worms on the side.

For the rest, everything has been said. Cold water, soothing tea baths, hold off on the salt baths unless you notice fungus appearing. The salt in an open wound might actually irritate it more, be careful. You can also put driftwood in the tank, this releases the same tannins as in tea and you can keep it in the tank permanently.

Perhaps I haven't been into the whole axolotl thing as long as some others, but honestly... I wouldn't keep her in a separate tub. Since her tank mate is gone, she would be better off in her known environment in the tank. Less stressful, you know. Stress often causes less appetite in an axolotl, and she can use the food right now.

Putting her in a tub, yet not in a fridge, just for easier keeping an eye on her? I wouldn't go for it personally. The driftwood has the same effect as the tea baths too, it's much less stressful and actually adds a nice decor to the tank.

(I'm not trying to start a debate here, just stating my opinion)

However; try to keep the temperature at about 15-16C. Normally you can go up to 20C, but the colder water will definitely help. For tank cooling options, feel free to surf the Tank Setup section of the Axolotl forum. Lots of people talking about chillers, fans, etc right there :)

Others might not feel the same as me, but I'm glad you're being honest, and at least you came here for help. That's definitely a good thing.

Oh and btw, some updates once every few weeks would be nice. I'd like to know how The Colonel is doing once in a while :)



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Old 5th August 2013   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

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This has already been covered, the guy came on here being totally honest and asking for help. Appropriate care has been recommended, and now followed.
Is there a reason for berating him like this? ^^
I'm not berating anyone. It just saddens me to see an axolotl in that condition.



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Old 5th August 2013   #18 (permalink)
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With minor injuries i do say keep them in the tank and add black tea to the tank and just keep an eye for fungus

In this case though, clean water is so incredibly important to keep away infection, moreso bacterial or viral i fections. Fungus is the least of these worries. So keeping him in a tub would ensure that there is clean water daily and the tea baths will just help a bit more to keep away the microbes.

Food, cool water and doing everything you can do to avoid infections is your only chance and even the slightest water quality problem or whatever may be in your tank that may not hurt your axolotl normally may kill it in this state.

Thats my reasoning to the tubs anyways. Ive kept my lotls in tubs before and they dont like it but they never seem stressed. I think they were the most stressed when i had to fridge them, but the day i fridged them the tank went up to 80 that day so i made the right choice to put them in the night before



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Old 5th August 2013   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe axolotl attack

Ah, yes. I see your point. Well if he can keep the tubs nice and cool and refreshes the water daily, there should be no problem.

I have no experience with keeping my axolotls in tubs
And the few times one was in the fridge my mom freaked out so much. "Don't worry mom, it's not gonna die because it's too cold in there..."
Hehehe.



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Old 7th August 2013   #20 (permalink)
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Talking Re: Severe axolotl attack

Just wanted to give you all an update,

she's doing a lot better and has a real appetite! her tail is noticeably growing back (currently more so in height than length) and her limbs continue to get bigger and bigger

i havent made the transition to worms yet but i'm looking into it, i know i can get a reliable supply of waxworms, does anyone have any experience with these?
i also could potentially start a daphnia culture, but i don't think they'd be a big enough morsel for her right now, and she still struggles swimming atm

i'm amazed how much even the first tea bath did, everything that seemed like fungus/infected flesh to me is gone, completely and in its place skin that looks a tad raw but its healing definitely

i change her water everyday and dechlorinate it, i keep it in a shaded spot and it seems cool enough (water out of the cold top only feels moderately colder to begin with)

thanks for all the helps and i'll post some pictures soon!

and in terms of the "berating" : i expected/deserved a lot worse than that and i accept i need to do better and i will, i understand the concern :)



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