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Axolotl got savaged - help!

This is a discussion on Axolotl got savaged - help! within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello everyone, I have two axolotls, Brian and Wendy. Three days ago, Brian decided to bite off both Wendy's back ...

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

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Old 22nd July 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Axolotl got savaged - help!

Hello everyone,

I have two axolotls, Brian and Wendy. Three days ago, Brian decided to bite off both Wendy's back legs and most of his tail. The poor little thing's just dragging himself along on his two remaining legs, and it's awful to watch.

Wendy has been alone in the fridge for three days, daily water changes, 5 degrees. He's moving as normally as can be expected. But I have two problems.

1) His veins are showing. They're bright red in his feet and remaining tail. Is this an infection or stress? What can I do if it is an infection?

2) Bones are showing. Both legs have significant bone stumps. Do I perform an amputation or is this good for regeneration?

I've never had one of them lose a whole limb before, let alone three at once. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you.



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Old 22nd July 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl got savaged - help!

Ouch!
Home amputations are never a good idea - I would take him to a vet for a professional opinion and treatment.

If skin is red all over it could just be a little too cold in the fridge, if it's just at the bitten parts thats normal as healing parts have significant blood flow, but could be an early sign of infection. Again, a vet's opinion would be needed, but an indian almond leaf will help ward off infection and fungus. You could also try Melafix until you can find a vet - half the recommended dose for fish (I use 5 drops in a 3-4L tub)

That said, you know axies are great healers, and the chances of recovery are good.

You might also want to figure out what caused the attack - is the water quality OK, are they being fed enough, do they have enough space etc.



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Old 22nd July 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl got savaged - help!

Thanks for getting back to me. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by all this violence!

What may have caused it is that I've just moved house. They were both fine during the move, and for a week afterwards, but then Brian just lost it.

Wendy's not red all over; just veins in his remaining limbs. I could try warming up the fridge slightly and see if it makes a difference. And thanks for the tip about Melafix.

Is it true you can fridge an axolotl indefinitely, and it boosts their regenerative power? I do have a spare tank for when he comes out. I'm not putting him back in with Psycho Brian.



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Old 22nd July 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl got savaged - help!

Ouch.

From my experience the protruding bone may well hinder regeneration. I opted to amputate a limb due to this, but it is not for the faint hearted. It is distressing for both human and axolotl.

I would highly recommend finding a vet, especially as more than one leg is affected.

On the up side, my axolotl began healing quickly after the surgery with a lot of care (and rooibos tea baths) and now has a leg again.

And he doesn't hate me.


Red and veiny is most likely because of the temperature - try warming it up a little. You can certainly refrigerate them for a while, but I would not suggest it as water conditions are far too hard to maintain. It does not speed up regeneration that I am aware of - it slows eeeeeverything down. Which is why it's good for slowing down infections/fungus growth etc.

Defo consider keeping Psycho Brain apart. I had to do the same with Bitey Mc****Face, as he is affectionately known. Also, perhaps check the water conditions and environment carefully since you have moved. I moved two weeks ago and the whole brood are acting oddly!



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Old 22nd July 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl got savaged - help!

I believe the best temp for axie to heal is around 10C - too warm for a fridge. But certainly you can keep him in the fridge for a week or more at the top where it is warmest. If you have a cellar or understairs cupboard you might find it a good few degrees cooler there than in your usual tank. (or if you're really posh and have a temp controlled wine cellar or walk-in pantry you could put him in there .... )

I considered buying a cheap 2nd hand fridge at one point to use solely for an axie hospital, but decided I didn't have space, but it's an idea.

I would definately say the move upset them. Axies don't like too much change, some even get upset if you move their decorations in the tank. One of mine hides in a cave and sulks if I move stuff to clean, and won't come out until I put it all back.

Good luck.



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Old 22nd July 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl got savaged - help!

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Originally Posted by mewsie View Post
Ouch.

From my experience the protruding bone may well hinder regeneration. I opted to amputate a limb due to this, but it is not for the faint hearted. It is distressing for both human and axolotl.
Yeah, I'd really rather not have to, but I am an occasional taxidermist, so chopping things is my forte... except the subjects are dead to start with.

Hmm, rooibos tea baths. Good tip. And I'll definitely warm up his water a bit and watch closely for any changes. Thank you!



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Old 22nd July 2014   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl got savaged - help!

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Originally Posted by auntiejude View Post
(or if you're really posh and have a temp controlled wine cellar or walk-in pantry
Oh how I dream of a temperature controlled amphibian cellar...



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Old 23rd July 2014   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl got savaged - help!

Having warmed up the fridge a bit, the veiny look has diminished, so thanks for the tip. I'm going to set up the spare tank today and hopefully get him into it soon.



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