View Full Version : Illness/Sickness: Moomin will not eat, and I can't find a logical reason to why. Please help me try to find a reason.

25th January 2011, 21:44
One of my axolotls hasn't eaten for a few days, Moomin is starting to get quite skinny now and I'm starting to get desperate, not having found a possible cause.

The water perms are fine, the temp is stable and holding at 13C, she/he is also snapping at food, and is willing to eat - seemingly.

The problem seems to be that although moomin is willing to eat, and is otherwise seemingly healthy, she/he is not able to suck in at all, it takes a lot to be able to get food into her/his mouth, and then she/he can't manage to get it down their throat (no suckyness) and therefore hasn't eaten in around 4-5 days.

there's nothing either of the axolotls in that tank could have swallowed, the water quality is spot on. however I have noticed that there seems to be some sort of a 'flem' or similar hanging about moomin's mouth now and again, thick enough for sand to stick to - but I haven't heard of anything like that before.

anyway, any suggestions as to what may be the possible cause is appreciated, as it's getting close to having to force feed her/him and moomin is only around 6-7" and I'd like to avoid this as much as possible.

I do have a picture, i'll upload it if anyone thinks it may help.

Moomin can't eat, even though she/he can open her/his mouth wide enough and snaps at food.

thank you -

25th January 2011, 21:59
I wonder if she has a mouth infection ? There is a name for it but it escapes me for the moment. I suspect this will require a vet visit.

25th January 2011, 22:46
Oh no not Moomin =[

Was it Stomatitis(sp) or mouth rot or something Julia? I just did a quick search and came up with some threads about those. I don't know anything about them though so couldn't say if that's what it is, Crysta. Hmm, do you think sand could ever scratch and axies throat and maybe make it a little sore? I've never heard of it but just a thought.

Maybe that picture would be handy? Hope she picks up soon. =]

25th January 2011, 23:11
What does she normally eat? Some things like mealworms can cause issues over time.

If you have a picture of the phlem around her mouth, that'd probably be helpful. Perhaps a saltbath to see if that helps treat whatever it is. I'd also probably stick her in the fridge for now. It'll help slow down her metabolism so that she won't be starving so quickly and encourage anything inside her to be pooped out.

25th January 2011, 23:22
Oh no not Moomin =[

Was it Stomatitis(sp) or mouth rot or something Julia? I just did a quick search and came up with some threads about those. I don't know anything about them though so couldn't say if that's what it is, Crysta. Hmm, do you think sand could ever scratch and axies throat and maybe make it a little sore? I've never heard of it but just a thought.

Maybe that picture would be handy? Hope she picks up soon. =]

That is what I was trying to remember, Stomatitis. :D

25th January 2011, 23:32
Have you tried other types of food? Maybe something smaller like blood worms or wax worms would go down more easily. As for the phlegm/mucus, is there a way you can wipe it off with a soft cloth or a cotton bud?

26th January 2011, 14:02
I can't beleive I left her diet out, all my axies are on a diet of earthworms only substituted by live bloodworms and waxworms, and to add there's nothing new in the tank at all.

the mucus/deposit around her/his mouth is completely colourless, I only noticed when there was some sand seemingly floating about her mouth. the sand is about the finest I could find, aquarium sand, It's rather smooth too IMO. I did pull the deposit off her with my plastic tweezers gently, it came off with great ease, and it felt just like phlegm.

Stomatitis is a good guess I think, but it doesn't seem typical with the clear deposits (which I haven't seen since). no axolotl savvy vets about that I know of if anyone does for the west midlands that would be great, although I will be calling some 'exotic' vets abit less local (most of the local vets had never heard of axolotls when I called around back before I got them) As for salt baths, i'm not sure it'd be the best course of action, because i'm not entirely sure what the problem (or even cause) is. The same really for moving to the fridge, without any definite cause or problem beleive this will just add stress to the equation (which by the way he/she hasn't shown any signs of, oddly enough I think i'd be stressed if I was starving)

I'm sorry, the outside glass is filthy.
although they look rather different these were taken at the same time, this latter one better shows the mouth.

Incase of stomatitis she/he is being immediately quarentined, her tank mate has none of the same behaviour however, and almost snatches the tweezers with his worms.


I have managed to find a supposedly axolotl savvy vet about an hour's drive away, however they are fully booked up, and evn though she did manage to get me an emergancy appointment for 17:20 I doubt i'll be able to make it.

26th January 2011, 15:29
When Jager was ill I was recommended a vet who works at Manor Vets near Birmingham. I never got chance to visit her though so I'm not sure how good she is. =[

But out of all the vets I called she was the one they said was an exotic vet. If you know of that one and it's not any good please let me know. If not maybe they are worth giving a call?

BTW I searched 'Manor Vets Birmingham' on google and could only get a broken link, but that might just be my computer!

Oh and I asked my pet shop for their vet awhile ago and they gave me 'Taylor and Marshall' however they are based in Shropshire! But if you want the number so you can call and see if they can give you any information drop me a PM. =]

26th January 2011, 15:53
manor vets do have an exotic vet, but she's got no experiance with axies - or at least didn't way back when I called, she may have now, taylor and marshall are the vets i'm going to (lol) they are really GREAT for reptiles, and other sorts of exotics so when she said that marshall had treated axolotls before I was quite relived. They're in shifnal, near telford.

btw i was reccomended taylor and marshall by west midlands safari park's reptile house keeper.

26th January 2011, 15:59
Have you seen any more of the mucus since you removed it ? Do you think you might be able to look inside her mouth ?

26th January 2011, 16:07
OMG really?! It was about 4-6 months ago I was going to take Jager. Although it wasn't under happy circumstances, I'm glad I didn't now. =S I'm always worried about taking one of my axies to a vet in case they don't know anything about axolotls!

Please let me know how Taylor and Marshall are as after being rec'd them by my local pet shop, and now you say the Safari Park too, I'd love to know what they're like!

Hope Moomin is better soon!

26th January 2011, 20:13
just got back in, they saw us even though we were late (thank you congestion) letting moomin settle after the long journey.

I managed to have a small look inside - because I was looking for blockages yesterday or the day before, couldn't find anything, and I haven't seen the mucus since.

I'm just off to set up the quarantine tank, and i'll update properly (this post) when i'm done


on arriving I was about 40 min late, STUPID MOTORWAY took me about two hours to get there (one hour to get back without congestion)
they saw us anyway, when they could. He's an amphibian savvy guy. They asked the questions which you would expect (which I was grateful for)

His thoughts in the end were stomatitis after narrowing down the normal things, so I asked about amikacin and he said it may be worthwhile.

any ways long story very short, Moomin was weighed, as you'd expect, and has been given a course of antibiotics, and one dose of anti inflamatories.
HOPEFULLY there will be an improvement and I'll keep you guys updated on any changes.

I'd reccomend taylor and marshall vets for axolotl keepers, around here. but that's because there isn't anyone else anyway, and they were rather good! I think they're probably the best about for reptiles, and other kinds of exotics, they were very helpfull - particularly with still seeing us when we were late. And he new what he was talking about which is always a relief to see off this forum. it's a bit of a journey for me though - shifnal, shropshire. They were also very cheep I was expecting about 60 for a consultation and antibiotics, but it all came to about 47, so it was a bit lucky because there was only about 50 in the wallet. x)

I've set up her quarantine tank, and I'm planning on keeping it around 15-17 C - I've got to try to stop panicking x) that's two extra tanks set up now, one is holding the new axie XD.

26th January 2011, 21:23
Great news...here's hoping for a speedy recovery for Moomin.

26th January 2011, 22:40
Fingers crossed Crysta x

26th January 2011, 22:49
Great to hear! I was going to ask about the price but that sounds perfectly reasonable. Is there any particular vet to ask for?

I hope Moomin picks up again now she has her antibiotics!

26th January 2011, 23:00
Chris Marshall is the guy with experience. I think Taylor is more of a common vets man, although he was seeing some tortoise at the time.

thanks for lending your fingers x) I'll post everyday - the course should take 6 days, but i'll update on any changes too. i'm still half expecting a worst case but only to not get my hopes up. I think i'll have a glass of wine tonight XD

28th January 2011, 12:24
ok so moomin is alot more active, I noticed last night that she'd/he'd gone back to the usual inquisitive self, following me around the room with that "food" look on her/his face unfortunately while s/he's still snapping at food, it hasn't been any easier, and s/he still hasn't eaten. But there's a several more days of treatment to go yet.

28th January 2011, 13:00
are you managing to feed him/her anything at all? I suppose as long as the water stays cool it should be fine. I'll be keeping an eye on this post!

29th January 2011, 23:10
moomin's still not able to eat, nope nothing at all, I tried force feeding, only not really force feeding as moomin is still quite young, and also willing to eat I just had to try to open the mouth with a soft spatula and try to get mashed up worm+water down her/him with a syringe. it was un sucsessful, I don't think s/he has the ability to swallow anymore, or at least at the moment.

Finger's crossed still, s/he's a fighter. it's a mad house atm, my cat's just been spayed and is therefore all delicate and such, and my ferret is ill also lots of rushing around to the vets and lots of anti biotics all over the place.

the body width is now around half as big as the head, I may have to transfer to the fridge when the medication has stopped to slow the metabolism, or just bring the tank temp down. Right now i'd say survival is 50-50.

29th January 2011, 23:30
Sounds like you are having a rough time at the moment. I am really hoping after the last of Moomins treatment you will see some improvement.

30th January 2011, 13:19
Oh NO poor Moomin :( Hoping he/she shows some improvement soon

30th January 2011, 18:47
Oh no I was hoping Moomin would be on the track to a speedy recovery with her antibiotics! =[ Hopefully once the course is through she'll be able to eat again.

Hope your ferret and cat will be okay soon so you can have a break from the vets and relax!

Ken Worthington
31st January 2011, 02:23
Fingers crossed for a happy outcome ;) :happy:

I'm sure that somehow the 'best wishes' of individuals who make up a forum such as this, can some how have a 'group-mind' and when focused (as in posting on a specific forum, for example) can positively effect the recovery rate of sick animals.

(Enough of my hippy nonsense)

Crysta, I can't wait till Moomin pulls through, and I hope you'll enjoy a 'vet-free' life for a while!

31st January 2011, 15:56
I put in some live bloodworm yesterday, and it seems like moomin could have ate some. though i can't be sure, s/he's still alive and fighting despite being very skinny. it's the last dose today, so i'll give it a couple of days before rushing back up to the vets in desperation x)

31st January 2011, 18:59
What was the treatment exactly? Amikacin intramuscular injections once a day for 5 days?

I would think things should be better by now. I might suggest calling your vet and letting them know how things are going. Most antibiotics are not a slow release deal were you wait days after treatment for improvements. It should be looking better during the course of antibiotics. If it isn't I would assume the wrong antibiotic was used. Which is easy to do if you don't culture the bacteria to know what you are trying to kill or at least do a gram stain and take a peek under the microscope. Amikacin only kills gram negative bacteria.

Just trying to help brainstorm, I hope your little moomin gets better soon.

31st January 2011, 20:01
6 day course, once every other day it's actually diluted in the water 1mg:4ltres.

I know with stomatitis injections are probably better at reaching it, which I did bring up, but we did discuss the options at quite a length, and we felt like this was a good option, i'm also waiting for a poopie, to take back to him so we can rule out parasites for the weight loss..

there is slight improvement, with the atttude, moomin is more active and will take more swipes at food, and I'm quite convinced s/he's managed to eat some of those bloodworm - although that could just be wishfull thinking.

thanks for all the kindness and luck guys.

1st February 2011, 15:05
there is slight improvement, with the atttude, moomin is more active and will take more swipes at food, and I'm quite convinced s/he's managed to eat some of those bloodworm - although that could just be wishfull thinking.

thanks for all the kindness and luck guys.
Oh Crysta I'm so glad you're seeing some improvement. Come on Moomin you can beat this!

1st February 2011, 22:16
hang on in there moomin & hope your ok Crysta, tough times :( xx

2nd February 2011, 04:27
A fecal is always a good idea, Hopefully you'll get your poopie soon :happy:

Best wishes, I'm sure your stressed!

3rd February 2011, 22:06
fully stressed! I'm generally stressed anyway, moomin is actually calming me down, s/he's still alive, still aware of everything going on - following me around the room, i'm going to continue to feed bloodworm, as it's smaller than the earth worms and although the swipes of food are seemingly having a lot more energy in them than before, it's no-where near half as NOM as they used to be.

I've still not seen anything actually been eaten, no poops about. Looks wise, moomin appears more normal than before, I will take a picture tomorrow in the day light, because i'm keeping that room light off - and won't use flash. to show the differance, as s/he looks very different from the previous photos (an improvement i'd say / healthier)

3rd February 2011, 22:09
Eating is a good sign, even if she's not eating as much as she was. And since she's not eating as much, she probably won't poop as much either. Sometimes it takes time to build back up. If she's looking better, that's a good sign too. Keep up the good work!

3rd February 2011, 22:33
Well hopefully there is some eating going on. but my glass is on the half full side in regards to moomin now, just yesterday it was half empty, I really feel there's improvement.

11th February 2011, 01:31
sorry for neglecting the thread, a relative died, and it's all been rather busy and depressing, the funeral was earlier today :/

Moomin is still with us however ^^ and I think is quite possibly eating, I put in some frozen daphnia last night, which I thought may be a long shot, and I now can't seem to find any left! also s/he hasn't got any thinner over the last weekish. I think there's a good chance s/he'll be back to the old snappy eating my tweezers ways, hopefully.

11th February 2011, 10:10
Sorry for your loss Crysta hope your ok xxx

Glad Moomin seems to be picking up what a relief :happy:

11th February 2011, 12:35
It's a shame because the tank she's in now has rather 'fresh' water, as it's uncycled and it was changing very two days. her gills have really shrunk, she had lovely fluffy gills,I can't wait for her to get back in the main tank, she'll have a new friend to laze about with aswell.

My new golden albino has gotten big :|

11th February 2011, 14:38
I'm sorry about the loss of your relative Crysta. =[

But as I've said I'm really glad about Moomin! I'm looking forward to seeing photos of them together.

Is it true Goldens grow faster than leucistics, wilds, etc. I can't remember where I read that...

13th February 2011, 11:30
Is it true Goldens grow faster than leucistics, wilds, etc. I can't remember where I read that...[/QUOTE]

LOL my golden albino is the smallest of my 3. My other 2 are 8 inches and Finley is still 6 inches bless him but eats the same as the other guys :happy:

13th February 2011, 22:05
this golden has grown like mad, but I haven't done enough raising axolotls to really confirm that.

mine grow like crazy because I feed them up to three times a day when they're young. (little and often)

she's still kicking, and I know for sure that she got brine shrimp in her mouth today. So proud of her!

21st February 2011, 00:18
So, i've been using a glass jar to keep her food in, to keep track of her eating habits, and make sure she is eating, which she doesn't seem to be at all still.

her body is about half the width of her head :/ - worried muchly again.

21st February 2011, 00:55
Were you able to get her back to the vet? Have you tried some chopped up earthworms? Could the jar be deterring her from eating?

21st February 2011, 06:42
Oh no, moomins still not better. Maybe it is some kind of internal parasite? Did you get your fecal? What about trying metronidazole and praziquantel just in case? I hope the vet has some ideas of how to help you. Hang in there.

21st February 2011, 09:15
Like Kuphie said maybe it is internal and the gunk you originally found in her mouth had come from her tummy? I guess now it's back to the vets? Or just calling them and saying whats happened and see what they say to do.

I'm actually heading there myself this morning (if I don't get lost!) I think its open surgery until 11 this morning and then by appt with the exotic vet 3-6(I think, awful memory, I'm probably not even meant to be there myself today!). But I know you live far so today wouldn't likely be a possibility.

Moomin's a little fighter though and I'm rooting for her! :happy:

22nd February 2011, 11:44
she has her head in the jar trying to eat, so it seems to not be bothering her. I have been waiting on a stool sample for quite a while now, one just hasn't popped up :/

I will be having a little 'dig' around in moomin's mouth later today to see if there's anything blocking her throat at that time I may force feed her. honestly she's skinnier than some axolotls i've seen in pet shops x) it was the earthworms she wasn't eating in the first place, i've been sticking to the smaller foods with her, brine shrimp and daphnia.

24th February 2011, 17:49
Any news on little Moomin? =]

24th February 2011, 18:49
sorry to hear Moomin is still not well any improvement?? x

25th February 2011, 00:01
still the same, all i can do for now is keep the water clean, and have fresh food in there everyday for her, i'll let you guys know how things go. She's a little fighter.

The Banana
25th February 2011, 00:06
All the best for your little girl. May she start eating. ♥