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Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

This is a discussion on Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; My Axolotl, Fenton, had been left with my friends for a couple of months. When I came back they hadn't ...

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

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Old 5th September 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

My Axolotl, Fenton, had been left with my friends for a couple of months. When I came back they hadn't changed the water once and he was swimming a little crooked. I did a 75% water change (the water is 20 degrees) and the next day I saw his eye looked like he had a cateract. The next day it looked like hed been punched in the eye it was all swollen and pink and this cateract thing had completely covered his eye. I also noticed some of his toes on one side looked mangled and have this yellowy brown stuff on the ends and also some of his gills on one side have shrunk and gone white on the tips). I read a lot of stuff online and decided to give him salt baths twice a day for 10 minutes and to keep him in the fridge. Hes been having salt baths for 2 days and been in the fridge for 1.

Is this what i should be doing? How long can I/should I keep him in there? I don't notice any improvement appart from the area around his eye isn't as pink, when should I see improvement? I've just given him his 4th salt bath and noticed that there are small white threads coming out of one of his gills, is he getting worse? Can I use any anti-fungal treatment? What should I do?



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Old 6th September 2013   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

A photo would be great. Is the white stuff even fungus? 4 salt baths and not getting better sounds odd. Also are your salt measurents correct/ the right salt? Be sure to keep him in clean dechlorinated tub rather than the tank with 100% water changes. It's easier to keep an eye on him in the tub.



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Old 6th September 2013   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

The white stuff over the eye is probably damage caused by ammonia. If you check pics about ammonia burnt axolotls in the forum you will see that the eyes often look cloudy.



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Old 6th September 2013   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

I'm using 1 teaspoon of low sodium salt per pint. Maybe i should try aquarium salt?
Yeh ive got him in a tub of dechlorinated water in the fridge that i'm changing once a day. Sorry i didnt know how to get photos on here so i put a few in a public facebook album i hope thats ok.

https://www.facebook.com/lucy.foster...0076943&type=3

In the first picture on his first gill on the right, just underneith you can see one of the tiny white shreads. I tryed to get the fungus?/amonia burn? on his feet and eye. Sorry the pictures arent that clear.

Thankyou so much for your help



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Old 6th September 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

I was expecting the pics to be a heck of a lot worse, your ******* friends forgot to do water changes , they appeared to have forgot to feed him as well which is a blessing as if they had the build up of ammonia etc would have made it a lot worse. He looks a little underweight, gills deteriorated, slight pink colour, no fungus that I can see. I wouldnt even bother with the salt baths, just keep him cool / clean water and drop some worms on him, should be ok soon. Can you put a closer pic of his damaged eye ?



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Old 6th September 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

I know i went mad at them! Last time i trust them with anything. Ok ill feed him a little more, hes on earthworms at the moment. Ok ive added a closer one of his eye to the album, hope thats ok the camera went out of focus if i went closer. I thought it was bad because he looked so healthy before and now on one side hes lost some toes and the ones he has have that gunk on them. Do you think that could be ammonia burns aswell? And im worried about the threads that have appeared from his gills since hes been in the fridge. How long do you think i should keep him in the fridge for because his tanks usually always around 20 degrees?
Thankyou for your help!

https://www.facebook.com/lucy.foster...0076943&type=3



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Old 6th September 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

I agree with Ian. Just keep him in good clean, cool water and I think he will make a good recovery. I wouldn't necessarily have him in the fridge, he could go in the aquarium if the water quality is good, or in a tub in a cooler secure area of the house/ garden. Just keep a close eye on the toes and eye for further changes.



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Old 7th September 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

I've stopped the salt baths and left him in the fridge for a day longer so i can sort his tank out. I checked on him earlier and there is now blood covering half his injurged eye. Any ideas what could have caused this? What i should do?



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Old 7th September 2013   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

Blood? That is unusual. I think you might want a vet's advice on this. I would be concerned it might be a symptom of internal bleeding.

The only thing I could recommend is clean, cool water and a quiet place for a moment.



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Old 8th September 2013   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

The blood was gone today but i noticed he is floating lop sided again and the browny bits on his toes have gone white and swollen, his eye too. It looks a bit fuzzy like I could take it off with my fingers (not tryed this!). I tryed to put him back in his tank and he tryed to stay on the bottom but he just floated on the top and i couldnt get the temperature to stay lower than 17 degrees so i've got him back in the fridge. I tryed to feed him and he wouldn't but i know they are slower to eat in the fridge so i'll try again tomorrow. Is this all normal? I don't know if he's getting better.



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Old 9th September 2013   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

What are your water parameters? Have you got a test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph?

Is the white like cotton wool? It could be fungus, have you got an updated picture of it?



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Old 9th September 2013   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

17 degrees is 'cool' enough, as long as the water is nice and clean, thats the critical thing right now... that and making a decision on where to to keep him. It'll be more upsetting to Fenton if temperatures and conditions keep swapping and changing than if you were to keep him at a steady 17 and be vigilant over the water conditions.

If he's made it til now he's probably past the worst bit - he's out of the scummy water into fresh, clean stuff. These guys are more resilient than you'd imagine, he just needs time to heal, and that might look worse before it looks better.

You're definitely right not to mess with that fuzz, it'll come off on it's own. You could try *very* gently using a turkey baster to *very* gently squirt some water past it - see if it comes off, but I'd leave it be for now.

I'm really sorry to hear this story, I feel for you, I'd be heartbroken if this happened to me and mine.



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Old 9th September 2013   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

https://www.facebook.com/lucy.foster...0076943&type=3

Theres some more recent pictures on there now and yes it looks just like cotton wool! I've got some treatment but its for fish is it ok to use for axys? I read somewhere its ok if you use half the dose? Or is there something else i would buy? No i dont have my kit anymore due to moving but i changed his water again and it looks back to normal. I'm taking a sample to a pet shop tomorrow to make sure when i pick up his worms. I'd rather he was back in the tank because i feel bad for him being in the fridge this long but is it ok to put him back in there if he just floats to the top?

Thanks for everyones help!



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Old 9th September 2013   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

Oh gosh... poor baby D:

Everything so far has been correct. Water changes, cold clear water, food, wait and see what happens...

The best treatment for ammonia poisoning wouldn't be salt baths I think. Their slime coat is irritated/damaged enough without the salt right now...

As for medication; at the bottom of this page there's a list of axolotl safe meds.
Some bottles of medication might say "pour it into the tank", but I wouldn't quite go for that. I'd pour a small amount of the medicine into a tub with water and put your axolotl in there for about 15-20 minutes or so.

Considering the damage of the skin; I believe tea baths might also be beneficial.


I hope he pulls through...
You're correct about giving those people hell though. I'd be hell-bent if someone treated my axolotl like that. Which is why I'm always talking to my brother about how to properly take care of axolotls, if I ever have to go anywhere for a while, he'll know what to do :)

Perhaps it's something to keep in mind for the future...? Just a thought :)



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Old 9th September 2013   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

Ok thankyou that helps a lot. Yeh i couldn't believe them because we are all animal science students! I thought who else better to leave him with but obviously i was wrong. Fingers crossed he'll be ok!
Again thanks for all the help!



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Old 9th September 2013   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

How recent is that foot picture, Lucy? That looks fungussy to me and would most likely need treatment.



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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

I took it just now. I just checked that list and none of them say anything about fungus. Can you recommend a treatment? Do you know if fish treatments are ok to use in half measures?
Thankyou for the help!



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Old 9th September 2013   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

almond leaves in the tank would help fight the fungus



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Old 10th September 2013   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Axolotl - Need Urgent Advice

To be honest, I'm a natural worrier and wouldn't use any treatments designed for fish personally, as some of them can be very dangerous to axxies. I would use salt baths to treat the fungus - see the Sticky at the top of the Sick Axolotl main forum page for details, but definetely don't use Iodised salt as it can cause morphing. Keep him at as constant a temperature you can, in cool clean water, and treat as directed on the Sticky. Continue to try and feed but don't worry too much if he doesn't eat for a while - a plump axolotl can survive for around 2-3 weeks without food and they won't eat much while in the fridge.

After all the fungus has disappeared, consider a tea bath as suggested by Tephra. They will soothe the skin while it heals from the salt damage - beech leaves, as suggested by Nai Live, put on top of the tank water will also have a mild antifungal and antibacterial effect.

I hope this helps!



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