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ruthdudding
11th June 2008, 04:05
Our female Axalotl 'Pob' at least 7 years old, fairly small gills, 1 dark fungal looking patch that she has had forever, thought it might just be pigmentation, has swollen up for the 2nd time.
First time got to the point where she couldn't remain upright, was floating belly up, even her legs started to swell.
She spontaneously went down over night after some weeks like this after finally showing interest in eating.
She was back to her normal skinny size for a short while and then started swelling up again. Now she is once more floating near the surface, unable to stay upright, still interested in food if we present it too her. Just seems too cruel to wait for her to 'pop' again. Terrible quality of life I would have thought.
What do we do?
Vet & Pet shop owner are mystified, however I read on this site, that bloating isn't so abnormal.
Partner wants to euthanase but we wonder if there is a cure/remedy/solution.

Jacquie
11th June 2008, 04:09
Hi Ruthdudding,

Could you post a photo? That will help us ascertain what could be wrong....

Could you also post your water parameters? (Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate/PH and Temperature)

Cheers Jacq.

ruthdudding
11th June 2008, 09:15
Thanks,
I have attached two photos of Pob (ariel view) will take a couple more tomorrow so you can see better.
Have no idea of the water constituents, have never measured them.
It is winter but tank in heated room. Has never affected her before.
The only significant change is I fed her some thin strips of sheep's heart several months ago when I didn't want to go down to the garden to hunt worms. Otherwise her standard diet for many years has been cockroaches with the ocassional tadpole or small snail. there are no small stones in the tank that she can accidently swallow.

ali000
11th June 2008, 10:38
You really need to get your water tested, this is the most common reason for illness in an axie. Take a sample of water to your local aquatic centre, they should be able to do it for you.

you need to ask them to test pH, Ammonia, NitrAte and NitrIte

you also need to find out the temperature of your tank (obviously the aquatic shop cannot do this as the sample temperature would be different from the aquarium)

Your Axie will not suffer from the cold, so the fact it's winter is immaterial, however it can suffer from it being too warm, so your heated room could be a big factor, even though it hasn't affected her before.

Have you introduced anything new at all to the tank, e'g ornaments plants etc, they may have brought in a disease or be affecting you water quality.

ali000
11th June 2008, 10:41
I'm struggling to see the pictures because my computer is faily rubbish, but what I can make out is that Pob looks extremely bloated, until you can get your tank/water sorted please get her straight out of there.

Place her in a tub with enough declorinated water to just cover her back so she cannot float and put her in the fridge. Also put a bottle of dechlorinated water in the fridge as whilst she is there you will nedd to do 100% water changes. Once she is in the fridge you need to find out what is causing the problems, as I have already said, please get your water tested.

Jacquie
11th June 2008, 11:01
Oh my goodness...

I've never seen anything like this before - but in reading the 'the Axolotl Site' http://www.axolotl.org/health.htm it looks like fluid build up. If it is a fluid buildup the fluid will need to be drained by a vet.

As Alison has recommended, please have your water tested for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and PH - aquariums can perform the tests if you don't wish to purchase your own test kits. What is the tank's water temperature?

If you could please take Pob out of the tank until you can ascertain if there any problems with the water quality.

Pop Pob in a tub of fresh dechlorinated water and put her in the fridge - put enough water to cover her back. Set the fridge for at least 5 degrees celcius - no lower than this. You will need to also put a couple of bottles of dechorinated water in the fridge - these will be used for daily 100% water changes. If you could try to position Pob so she can remain upright (I'm not sure if her legs can touch the ground with that swollen belly). Cover the tub with a teatowel so the light of the fridge does not disturb Pob.

Please keep us posted.

Cheers Jacq.

ianclick
11th June 2008, 21:34
This is serious,

Don't worry about water quality or fridging at this stage. Get your axie to a vet a.s.a.p. or you will more than likely lose it.

If this is a recurring thing for your axie then it is probably something physiological rather than an illness. If your vet is mystified then try and find another one.

Whilst bloating is not uncommon in axolotls, bloating to this extreme is and your axie is in serious danger, imagine the internal pressure required to distend a body to such a degree.

It looks to me like a fluid build up and should be relatively simple for a vet to drain. Best of Luck and keep us posted

ruthdudding
11th June 2008, 23:07
Thank you so much for all your replys.
We took her out of the tank this morning & into fresh cold dechlorinated water and have her in a container with just enough water so that she is resting right side up. Didn't know about the fridge option, can do that though fresh water very cold (can't measure temp have lost thermometre).
Will take her to vet as suggested, tho 2 vets I spoke to previously didn't have a clue.
will phone another and then take her in regardless.
Yes her organs must be under immense strain, not to mention the stretching of the skin.

Only different thing I have introduced to her tank in last 6 months is plastic plants, well clean before introduced into the water.

Jacquie
11th June 2008, 23:27
Thank you so much for all your replys.
We took her out of the tank this morning & into fresh cold dechlorinated water and have her in a container with just enough water so that she is resting right side up. Didn't know about the fridge option, can do that though fresh water very cold (can't measure temp have lost thermometre).
Will take her to vet as suggested, tho 2 vets I spoke to previously didn't have a clue.
will phone another and then take her in regardless.
Yes her organs must be under immense strain, not to mention the stretching of the skin.

Only different thing I have introduced to her tank in last 6 months is plastic plants, well clean before introduced into the water.

Hi Ruthdudding,

I agree with Ian - I think it's physiological rather than water quality.

Don't worry about the fridge. But I would keep her in the tub of shallow water so she can stay grounded and right side up - you will need to keep the tub in a cool place and do daily 100% water changes with fresh dechlorinated water.

It may take a call to several vets.

Please keep us posted on Pob (I love that name) and good luck! :happy:

Kaysie
12th June 2008, 00:41
Even if a vet is unfamiliar with amphibians, they should still be able to attempt some cultures, and should be able to drain the fluid. I suspect organ (probably kidney) failure. I have no idea the nutritional value of cockroaches for amphibians (although have heard they're pretty good for reptiles), so I don't know if that is a contributing factor.

ruthdudding
18th June 2008, 01:05
Apologies for the tardy update on Pob!
She is still alive & a lot skinnier right now!
I found an extremely obliging vet who went to the trouble of doing some research before I arrived with Pob. She was not sure why Pob was swelling but also thought it might be physiological, possibly kidney related.
She drained most of the excess fluid Pob was retaining, through a catheter which left her much reduced in size, though somewhat odd looking with stretched and floaty skin. Natalie wasn't sure how 'small ' to take her, but I think she got it just about right. She is probably not as skinny as she should be, and there still seems to be a little extra fluid inside, but she hasn't swelled up again yet as far as I can see over the last four days.
I have continued to keep her in very cold water, changing each day and she has shown absolutely no interest in eating.
Today (checking on her after a call from the vet to see how she was), she moved her head as I approached which is an indication to me she wants feeding. So I fed her a live cockroach (small) which she gulped down! She may be on the mend, or her water may have warmed up a little as I didn't change it today!
We have yet to see if she swells up again. she certainly doesn't look as miserable.
If she swells up, we may try a 15 minute salt water bath ( a remedy the vet discovered). I'll keep you posted.
Shall try & post a photo taken on my cell phone just after the 'operation', and will update that when I get her back in her tank.

FOG
18th June 2008, 01:12
Pob looks much better. Glad shes getting better :)

Jacquie
18th June 2008, 01:22
If she swells up, we may try a 15 minute salt water bath ( a remedy the vet discovered). I'll keep you posted.
Shall try & post a photo taken on my cell phone just after the 'operation', and will update that when I get her back in her tank.

Hi Ruth,

Please DO NOT do a salt bath - these are only ever used for fungus or bacterial infections - not for physiological problem.

But well done on the Vet and Pob fronts - she looks much better and it's great she wants food. :happy:

Please do keep us posted.

Cheers Jacq.

Kaysie
18th June 2008, 20:06
Salt baths, and keeping an axolotl in an isotonic solution is an effective treatment for fluid retention, such as what would be present in kidney failure. You don't want to do full-strength salt baths, but keeping an axolotl in a solution of salt 1/3 to 1/2 strength would help with fluid retention.

I would say she's still too big, but looks better. Without draining most/all the fluid, it's hard for you to gauge her true size, and whether or not she needs to be fed more often.

ruthdudding
18th June 2008, 21:19
Cheers,
R

Jacquie
19th June 2008, 03:39
Please DO NOT do a salt bath - these are only ever used for fungus or bacterial infections - not for physiological problem

I'm so sorry Ruth, I was so very wrong on this point.

Salt baths, and keeping an axolotl in an isotonic solution is an effective treatment for fluid retention, such as what would be present in kidney failure. You don't want to do full-strength salt baths, but keeping an axolotl in a solution of salt 1/3 to 1/2 strength would help with fluid retention.

Many thanks Kaysie for correcting me on this.

Jacq.

ruthdudding
20th June 2008, 00:41
No problem!
Pob still looking a little odd, but ate again today.
Little unsure what 1/2 to 1/3 salt solution means, if & when I resort to this.

madeve
20th June 2008, 02:34
Ruthdudding,

a usual salt bath solution is 2 to 3 teaspoon of salt per liter of water, so a 1/2 to a 1/3 of that would be a teaspoon of salt per liter of water.