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Injured foot..not getting better?

This is a discussion on Injured foot..not getting better? within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello all. I recently noticed my luecistic female had a small gash on her foot. Usually small things like that ...

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

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Old 28th May 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Injured foot..not getting better?

Hello all.
I recently noticed my luecistic female had a small gash on her foot. Usually small things like that heal fine on their own but I kept a close eye on it and did a complete tank clean just to be sure.

But a few days later and the injury seems to have worsened...
I'm stating to really worry, as it looks quite nasty and painful.
What would be the best thing to do now?

She is still able to move fine and has a good appetite.
She shares her tank with two others, but doesn't show signs of aggression.
Here are some pics, excuse the bad quality

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Old 28th May 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

What do you mean by a full tank clean? Is your tank cycled? What are your readings for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? And the temperature? I would suggest floating some Indian almond leaves in the tank for their soothing and mildly antibacterial effects, and also in case of fungal infection of the injury (they are mildly antifungal as well).



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Old 28th May 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

I emptied all the tank water and plants and replaced it with fresh water and took out the sand completely (it had been cleaned not that long ago but I didn't want to take chances)

The tank is cycled, I also have an air stone running during the day.
The temp is currently 18C, I still need to check the pH readings.

I've heard about the Indian Almond Leaves before, I may give that a try if I can find some. Where can you find them?



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Old 28th May 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

Try your local aquarium shop or online sellers. You can get them as teabags or as leaves. If you get the leaves, they need to break down over a couple of days before they start releasing their goodies.
On the tank cycling issue, I'm a bit worried that you may have water quality problems. A total water change such as you describe could disturb a cycle if you did have one. You need to monitor ammonia, nitrites and nitrates levels regularly - daily if your tank is cycling. The ammonia and nitrites should be zero (but definitely no higher than 0.5), and nitrates should be there but at less than 40 ppm. You will need a liquid test kit (strips are unreliable and inaccurate) for this. Or take a water sample to your local aquarium shop - they will test it for you.



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Old 28th May 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

I live close to an aquarium specialist so I'll definitely invest in the test kit, and have a look for the leaves too.

I'll keep this updated in the mean time. Thanks for your time!



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Old 28th May 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

I've just taken readings from my tank.

The pH is about 6.5-7
Nitrite seems to be around 0.5mg/L
Nitrate is under 20mg/L

The hardness is at a normal reading too.
I've ordered some of the Indian Almond leaves, they should arrive in the next few days.



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Old 29th May 2014   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

Keep doing partial water changes to keep that nitrite level down - it should be zero.



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Old 29th May 2014   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

How's your axie doing? If it's still got an appetite that's a good sign. The Indian Almond leaves will help, I bought some from ebay very cheap.



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Old 29th May 2014   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

Have you tested for ammonia? If you took out the sand, plants etc you lost a lot of the good bacteria that were living on them. You can do pretty much a 100% water change without affecting your cycle because the bacteria lives on all the surfaces, not free in the water, but taking a lot of stuff out/scrubbing everything at once will make your cycle go out of balance. When healing from an injury the water quality needs to be perfect. You can take your axie out of the tank and put him in your fridge in a plastic tub. (They heal faster in colder temperatures anyway) Just remember to do 100% water changes at least once a day when he's in the tub.



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Old 30th May 2014   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

I agree on removing him to another tub, but personally I wouldn't fridge because the colder temperature results in lower metabolism, and he needs all the energy he can get :)

I would simply place him in a tub with 100% daily water changes (use dechlorinated, aged water and also do a full change if the water gets dirty), and carry on feeding as normal. I also think a tea bath would be good for him too because I am a little worried about those red spots on his foot.

For a tea bath, use a plain black tea (Tesco Value or whatever is fine, I do prefer to buy Fairtrade but it can be pricey) and ensure it doesn't contain any flavours like fruit or herbs. Brew one cup (use a black or brown mug to prevent stains) per 10 litres of the quarantine tank or tub. Pour in the hot water and allow the tea to go stone cold (also, don't add sugar or milk!) Then add the black tea to the tank. Easy peasy. You can also refill the tea concentration every time you water change. I leave the cold tea there near the tank for days at a time - one cup can last three days if you have a dark coloured mug and keep it covered.

Good luck with him :)



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Old 30th May 2014   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

What has his diet been like currently and over the past few months?
I've read a couple articles that suggest, with speculation, that malformations involving the feet can occasionally be caused by malnutrition. Perhaps something is missing from the diet?



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Old 30th May 2014   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

Hey all.

She's still doing okay, she can move fine and is eating her usual fill which is a good sign. But the foot still doesn't seem to be improving.

Their diet consists of frozen bloodworms and some live earthworms here and there.

As for the plants, I haven't removed them completely from the tank, just temporarily whilst I was cleaning.

We've managed to find a specialist vet and will be taking her for an appointment today, so I will let everyone know how that goes !
Afterwards, I am definitely moving her to another tank to give her space to heal.
Thanks very much for the swift replies!



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Old 30th May 2014   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

Ideally try and swap the routine bloodworm and occasional earthworm for occasional bloodworm and routinely be feeding her earthworms.

Tea baths are an excellent idea - I had a lot of success with the Tick Tock organic rooibos when I had to amputate half a leg which had been torn off by a tank mate and wasn't healing.

The leg looked absolutely AWFUL for about 2 weeks and then it started to calm down and heal.

You are doing the right thing by keeping a close eye on her, just be careful with tank management and read up on how cycling works and what you should (and shouldn't) do to keep a healthy environment for your axies.

As always in times like this where photographs can't really convey the reality of her injury (is it a cyst?), you really should consider taking your little lady to a good exotics vet in your area.



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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

Hey all!

Just a quick update on her condition.

We met with the vet. He said the injury doesn't look infected, so the best course would be just letting it heal on its own. Her leg will be a bit disfigured, but it will still be usable.

As for her condition, the redness has reduced significantly and she's now putting weight on the foot. It still looks a bit mangled, but it's all good news so far.



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Old 10th June 2014   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Injured foot..not getting better?

Excellent news. You must be very relieved. Just keep on watching the water conditions and keeping an eye out for infections/fungus. And as advised above, earthworms should be her staple diet.



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