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View Full Version : So, it's off to the vets for Roscoe...


mewsie
31st January 2011, 12:02
I posted a while ago about Roscoe behaving strangely, and holding his leg at a funny angle.

While it appeared to get better, the problem has gotten worse over the last week or so, and the poor little guy is clearly distressed.

As a background - He is holding his leg firmly against his body, and it now looks as though it is in spasm - his toes are splaying out at funny angles.

Occasionally he relaxes the leg, and has movement with it - but restricted compared to his other front leg.

A few times a day, he seems to be completely out of control - swimming VERY fast around the tank until he hits something, almost flying out of the water on occasion (it's very upsetting to see).

The only other thing I've noticed is there is considerably less poop in their tank these days, but there are two of them in there (tank buddy is perfectly fine) so I can't say if that is a symptom! He's a lot smaller than Chester, who we got at the same time.

His gills are forward-pointing, but have been ever since we got him.

So, I've found a vet near me with experience of amphibians, and certainly I felt a little better when the lady who answered the phone knew what an axolotl was. Good start!

If anyone does have any thoughts or experience with this, I'd appreciate it, anything I can go in armed with is helpful!

(Water parameters are all ok, nitrates 20ppm, temp: 18, he's on sand, and eating one medium-large worm a few times a week. He's about 150cm, not sure how old he is, 6 months, maybe?)

:S Hope my little buddy is ok.

siona
31st January 2011, 12:28
How strange! Poor little guy. I hope the vet visit goes ok - hopefully they've had some axie experience and can suggest something. Would it be worth fridging him to try and calm him down?

Fingers crossed - Keep us posted!

mewsie
31st January 2011, 12:42
How strange! Poor little guy. I hope the vet visit goes ok - hopefully they've had some axie experience and can suggest something. Would it be worth fridging him to try and calm him down?

Fingers crossed - Keep us posted!

I've thought about fridging, but for the most part, he is quite calm. It's only every now and then that he has these weird 'turns' and I was worried he'd just batter round a tub in the fridge, as he is SO out of control when it happens, it's like he has no control over himself.

It's very odd - he's always been a strange one, difficult to describe, especially as I'm a relative beginner, what is 'normal' anyway with these critters?

He's so beautiful though, I hope we can fix him...

zoezakella
31st January 2011, 13:31
Sorry to hear that Mewsie hope your vet can fix him :( I dont think I can offer any help to you other than wish you luck but I do know when Finley had a bad leg which he could not walk on very well and made him walk like one leg was longer than the other a spell of 5 days in the fridge righted whatever he had done to it as it was nothing visible xx

Shizeric
31st January 2011, 14:19
What's your tank setup like? Temp/size/decorations/filtration?

And there is no real "normal" behavior for an Axolotl, they are pretty strange animals and what is "usual behavior" varies.

mewsie
31st January 2011, 15:18
What's your tank setup like? Temp/size/decorations/filtration?

Hey Eric,

Temp is 18-19,

Size, 54l (on the small size - I'm hunting for a new tank as we speak),

Decorations - they have loads of artificial plants which make a 'jungle' they like to hang out in, an artificial 'cave' and a piece of wood which makes a gloomy corner. Some marimo balls, too. Sand substrate. The filter came with the tank, but I fitted a spray bar - the flow is very gentle. They also have a gentle airstone which they both like.


And there is no real "normal" behavior for an Axolotl, they are pretty strange animals and what is "usual behavior" varies.

Haha - yep! I gathered! Bonkers, the lot of them!

Roscoes behaviour is completely different though - I wish I had some footage to show you. It is complete panic, and looks out of control, but always accompanied by him twisting his body, hold on, I'll draw it!

Ok - best I can draw without going over the top, haha! - I'll try and get a photo too.

This is how he twists his body - twisting out his right shoulder, with his arm clamped to his side, and his fingers sticking out, like they are in spasm.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b310/mewsie80/roscoe2.gif

Any more thoughts very much appreciated.

kuphie
31st January 2011, 21:20
How interesting, its always the same leg? Maybe it's neurological? How long has this been going on and how many times a day do you see it happening?

mewsie
31st January 2011, 22:10
Hey!

Well, the vets visit wasn't terribly helpful.

Kuphie - to answer your question, it doesn't happen every day, but sometimes can happen several times in one day.

The vet examined him and (after being 'nommed' at a few times) declared him a lovely healthy axolotl except for this problem. He didn't think it was neurological, as he appeared to be 'trying' to move that leg - the signals were being sent, but the mobility in the leg just isn't right.

He did point out something I hadn't noticed, which was that leg is slightly smaller than the left, and he reckons it's a developmental issue - his leg isn't growing correctly, and has restricted movement as a result. The leg, he says, feels stiff and firm, not at all like the other leg.

He's given me anti-inflammatories (meloxidyl) to be administered .05ml once weekly orally (injected into a worm) and to see if there is any improvement, but he basically said 'there's nothing much we can do, it's just the way he is, I'm afraid'

We addressed the unpleasant topic of amputation, in the hope the regenerated limb would grow correctly, but he said he would not entertain it.

I'm a little upset - he seems so distressed during these 'turns' of his, I was hoping for an answer for the little dude. He did mention the possibility there is more than one problem with Roscoe, and that he's just a bit of a, well, a dud. :(

I'd appreciate it if anyone has any experience with meloxidyl, if you have any thoughts.

bellabelloo
31st January 2011, 22:20
I have a leucistic male with a deformed/ stunted leg. Its a rear leg and is smaller than the others. It does not move at all and is 'held' close to his body. As far as I am aware he has always had this. As long as I have had him, he has had no problems with it.

mewsie
31st January 2011, 22:22
I have a leucistic male with a deformed/ stunted leg. Its a rear leg and is smaller than the others. It does not move at all and is 'held' close to his body. As far as I am aware he has always had this. As long as I have had him, he has had no problems with it.


Really, Julia? Thats sort of reassuring!

Has he ever done any of the crazy swimming, or appeared in pain with it? I guess not if you say he's had no problems...

bellabelloo
31st January 2011, 22:37
He does the mad dash thing occasionally, but no more than the others. He is big and healthy. I didn't raise him, but he is possibly over 6 years old.

mewsie
31st January 2011, 23:10
Well, it's at least reassured me yours has grown big and healthy and is well.

The dashes he does aren't the usual type - he did that before the leg issue, and Chester does them too occasionally. I will try and get some video footage next time he does it, and post it up.

I'll try the anti-inflammatories, see what happens, and if needs be, I'll get a second opinion, but hopefully he'll just end up a happy adult like yours.

Thanks :)