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carlymf89
28th July 2008, 04:17
"Monster" is about a year old, wild type. He's always done very well, ate all of his food, swam quite a bit. Either over night or in the past two days (I wasn't paying very close attention :() his face is huge! His chin is puffed out at least twice his normal size, and all of a sudden he looks really skinny! He must not have eaten in two days, and he won't now. His water parameters are normal, maybe a few degrees too hot. I feed him frozen bloodworms. He's in the fridge right now and he won't eat. What should I do? I hope this isn't a parasite... I seem to have the worst luck with axolotls :(. I ordered the two a year ago from Ward's and one came with a strange disease that made him get giant bubbles on his side. He died about two months after I got him. The two were never in the same tank except in the bag they came in! And as I said, it was several months ago...

Please help! I've gotten really attached to Monster.

carlymf89
28th July 2008, 04:19
P.S. he lives in a 15 gallon tank with marbles on the floor... a low output filter... his tail has been curved for a few days. I thought he was just hungry.

Jacquie
28th July 2008, 04:51
Hi Carly,

...his face is huge! His chin is puffed out at least twice his normal size, and all of a sudden he looks really skinny!...

P.S. he lives in a 15 gallon tank with marbles on the floor... a low output filter... his tail has been curved for a few days. I thought he was just hungry.

Are you able to take a photo of Monster?

Are these marbles small enough to be swallowed? He may have a marble lodged in his mouth. If the marbles are under 2cm in diametre they pose a great danger to the axolotls as they can and will be ingested which often leads to impaction which can on occasion cause death.

What are your tank parameters for Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate/PH and temperature? Poor water quality is the common cause for ill health in axies.

sherylbobbins
28th July 2008, 05:12
Have a look at my thread:

http://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?t=56204

Does your axolotl look a bit like this? I recently lost my beloved Leui... she had the same symptoms that you have described. We're not exactly sure what caused it though :(

carlymf89
28th July 2008, 05:28
Thanks so much for responding! It's making me feel a little better...

He kind of looks like ^^^ your axolotl... here's a picture:
http://i36.tinypic.com/2rmtema.jpg

You can't really see his whole face, he did not want to be photographed. But the swollen lump under his chin is really big at the bottom.

He could not have swallowed the marbles, they're really big, I was careful in setting up his tank. I've run out of testing strips for his water, I'll get some asap. Usually I test once a week and everything's fine. What in the world could this be?

He's swimming and lively in the fridge... his tail is slowly straightening out... but I don't think the swelling's going down yet :(

sherylbobbins
28th July 2008, 05:57
I don't think our axies have swallowed anything. I've been observing one of my other axolotls (Aphrodite) and I've noticed that just underneath her gills there's a really fleshy, almost gill like area. Is it this area that also helps the axies breathe or swallow? My theory that it is this area that has swelled up causing complete closure of the throat and thus, making our axies unable to eat. Maybe the cause of this swelling ultimatey causes their death. Has your axolotl been slightly weak lately?

Dudette, test strips are highly inaccurate. Try to get the liquid tests where you have to actually mix the liquids in a jar with the tank water sample.

In my experience with my axies, bloodworms don't really fatten them up. They fatten up quite nicely with pellets and earthworms :D

Fridging is a good idea as it may hopefully slow down any bacteria if it is present.

Jacquie
28th July 2008, 06:02
He could not have swallowed the marbles, they're really big, I was careful in setting up his tank. I've run out of testing strips for his water, I'll get some asap. Usually I test once a week and everything's fine. What in the world could this be?

Don't buy test strips! These give woefully inaccurate readings - the test tube kits are the most reliable test kits.

He's swimming and lively in the fridge... his tail is slowly straightening out... but I don't think the swelling's going down yet :(

I would keep him in the fridge, don't put him back in the tank.

Set the fridge for at least 5 degrees celcius - no lower than this. Place axie in fridge in container of fresh dechlorinated water. The water will need to be changed 100% each day as he will release a lot of ammonia in a confined space. Keep bottles of water in the fridge to be used for the daily water changes so he does not get temperature shock.

Keeping him in the fridge will buy you some time to ascertain any problems with the water quality (if you have been using test strips the water quality is likely suspect). While in the fridge he will not be inclined to eat, this is fine as the weight loss is also slowed right down due to the slowed metabolism.

Have you had a look inside the mouth for anything else that may have gotten stuck in there? If you could use a teaspoon handle to gently prise the mouth open to have a look - this will possibly require two people.

If the swollen mouth is being caused by something other than on obstruction - I would take him to a vet as soon as possible.

carlymf89
28th July 2008, 06:10
Oh yeah! I do have the test tubes. I don't know why I wrote strips.

Will do, I'll keep him in the fridge. Hmmm... so I bought my axie in New York but now I live in New Jersey. I hear they're illegal here... will a vet not treat him? Or even know what he is?

Luckily his gills are really big so I don't think there's much risk of him suffocating. I'm just worried he'll starve. He's only a little skinny, nothing terrible yet. Should I try an earthworm? Maybe he'll be more interested in that... but is a change in diet right now risky?

He hasn't seemed weak, either. Still very lively.
Thanks!:D

sherylbobbins
28th July 2008, 06:17
Luckily his gills are really big so I don't think there's much risk of him suffocating. I'm just worried he'll starve. He's only a little skinny, nothing terrible yet. Should I try an earthworm? Maybe he'll be more interested in that... but is a change in diet right now risky?


Ahh... that's where we hit some grey/unknown area. I've done some research into this but have so far been able to find out what causes this. I have no idea if having gills will be an advantage for your axie. We'll just have to wait and hope for the best. You might as well try giving him a variety of foods... maybe he'll eat.

carlymf89
28th July 2008, 23:01
Oh no...
He's wiggling from side to side today... and I've put him in an all clear tank and I can see him better. The white fleshy part underneath his chin that goes from gill to gill almost looks like it's peeling off. It's like a big blister.
He's out of the fridge for a bit and I'm going to give him an earthworm and I really hope he eats it. :(

http://i34.tinypic.com/n1f1xf.jpg

There's a picture... and that thing over his mouth is just a drop of water on the tank. You can sort of see the white thing at the base of his chin that I'm talking about.

Snazzagazza
29th July 2008, 03:23
It could be heart damage:( They get this when you feed them too much. The swelling is a liquid gunk from his heart and it can be fatal. Read the following
http://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?p=127844

Cheers Tom

carlymf89
29th July 2008, 15:49
I almost think the swelling is starting to go down, it may be just in my head, though. I wonder if I was feeding him too much... Maybe you can clear this up for me. I've had him since January when he was about 2 1/2 inches long... and I thought maybe he's still growing. He's about six inches now. I read that juveniles are supposed to be fed multiple times a day, is he still a juvenile? The frozen bloodworms that I have come in this sheet and I've been giving him squares about half an inch on the sides, just at night time. I used to halve the squares and feed twice a day.
If he does die, I'd like to get another one so... I'd like to learn from my mistakes.

Thanks!

carlymf89
29th July 2008, 15:53
Oh, and I skip feeding him about every three days, because sometimes it looked like he hadn't eaten the night before.

kclinton
29th July 2008, 16:24
Could he of cut himself on some thing in the tank?

carlymf89
30th July 2008, 18:54
I don't think he cut himself, there's nothing sharp in his tank. He did just eat a big chunk of an earthworm :D, I imagine that's a good sign. Swelling is still full size though. But he's lively. What should I do? Should I keep him in the fridge? What if this is permanent?

gr33neyes
30th July 2008, 20:19
When you feed the frozen bloodworm do you defrost it first?

I'm wondering if salt baths would help with the swelling.......it would be good to get some feedback on this from a more advanced member, without wanting to seem biased Kaysie, John or a few other moderators spring to mind.

gr33neyes
4th August 2008, 08:04
So does the lack of response mean no-one else has a clue then?

sherylbobbins
4th August 2008, 09:41
So does the lack of response mean no-one else has a clue then?

Preeeeeeetty much. Is the poor creature still alive?

sherylbobbins
12th August 2008, 00:51
Oh oh oh! I've found a treatment for it! I've already lost 2 poor axolotls to it and another one is sick. So I consulted my friend who is basically an expert on fish. The puffy mouth disease is infact bacterial. Anyway he recommended that I make the water more alkaline by adding shells and to add a concoction of 10% sea water which can be achieved with aquarium salt. The next main thing is to use either melafix or a solution of 8mL of tea tree oil to 500mL of water and then add 5mL of this solution to 40L of water. Isolating the affected animal is also advised. Apparently this bacteria just kills off the axies one by one. I'm about to trial this with Caspian. Wish me luck!

sherylbobbins
15th August 2008, 11:12
The salt water and tea tree oil solution held back the bacteria by 4 days but tragically Caspian has just died :(

blueberlin
15th August 2008, 14:47
I'm so sorry, honey. Poor Caspian and poor you, too. :(

-Eva

sherylbobbins
16th August 2008, 00:10
Thanks =( It only gets worse though... RIP Toady :cry:

blueberlin
16th August 2008, 09:10
Oh no, no, no! I don't rightly know what to say. I am so sorry.

-Eva

sherylbobbins
17th August 2008, 06:40
I am the bearer of some good news. Aphrodite and Sarge appear to be doing well. And Sarge is eating again!

sherylbobbins
24th August 2008, 08:32
Conquering death. Aphrodite is still alive! Not eating as yet but has regained some of her strength. I've had to force feed her a few times but it appears to be helping. She's beating the odds. TAKE THAT MR VET DUDE :violent: Haha nah, he saved her life by giving her Baytril and Flagyl. Be warned though, I have discovered that it can infect goldfish. Luckily it's easier to cure fish than axies. My poor Pavvi. Peace out.