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auntiejude
12th June 2014, 12:47
Before we get bogged down on the definition of 'mutant' I would like to say I'd like to limit this discussion to animals that are mutated to the point of affecting thier health, quality or length of life, rather than including unusual colour mutations in otherwise 'normal' animals.

In my latest batch of axolotl juvies I have a 'dwarf' - being short in the body, with a normal shaped head and normal length tail. He is apparently happy and healthy, has no trouble feeding or swimming despite what looks like a slight kink in his spine. I spotted his unusual shape at about a week old, and decided out of curiosity to see whether he would survive, and whether he would be normal. He thrived, and now at 4 months it's obvious he is a 'dwarf'. It is as yet unknown (and will probably never be known) whether this is a genetic mutation, or a developmental error.

I will be keeping this little guy, as I see no reason to euthanise an otherwise healthy animal.

So there are 2 questions I would like to put to you:
1. Assuming this mutation is genetic and heritable, would you breed from this animal to propogate the 'mutant' gene, assuming that the resultant animals were otherwise healthy? And produce a new line of odd-shaped axolotls?
2. Would you continue to breed from the original parent pair, knowing that it was likely to produce more of this kind of offspring?

Jan
12th June 2014, 13:06
My impression is that I would not breed this animal to try to develop a dwarfish line. A kinked spine doesn't sound healthy and whether it is genetically transferable is unknown; it may well be developmental error - but me, I wouldn't breed it. It is too early to tell if this animal will live a long and full healthy life which is the goal...strong breeding lines.

The original breeding pair - have they bred before and had offspring with this condition? With this breeding, what percentage of the offspring had this condition?

Jonjey
12th June 2014, 13:14
If he grows up healthy I don't see why it would be a problem.

bellabelloo
12th June 2014, 13:27
I personally would not breed the 'dwarf', or even re-home it in case it is a genetic problem.
With regards to the parents, I would be concerned if more 'dwarf' axolotl where produced in a future batches..if that was the case I would not use the parents to breed again. I personally would not want to be responsible for 'mutant' axolotl being circulated .

otolith
12th June 2014, 14:04
Like others have said, I would not breed it if it were mine. I let some degree of "natural selection" take its course when raising larvae. Generally deformed and larva that develop poorly become snacks fairly quickly for their larger siblings. If they get to a larger size before the issue is noticed I will euthanize. It is not worth the risk to me, my goal is always to breed healthy and strong animals.

The sheer number of eggs most caudates lay pretty much guarantees the occasional mutation, but if you find them regularly (say each time your pair lays) I would reconsider breeding them.

I suspect that the "dwarf" axolotl will have health issues as it gets larger, but who knows. If it shows no signs of issues as it ages (and you have the space) I see no harm in keeping it, but would not breed it.

Jonjey
12th June 2014, 14:27
You kill them even if they're healthy? Just because they have a deformity of some sort? That's pretty harsh. I'm sure the deformed axolotl would much rather live than be killed.

bellabelloo
12th June 2014, 15:42
I would not necessarily euthanase unless the deformity affected the animals quality of life. I certainly would not allow it to breed or leave my care for fear that someone would allow the animal to breed and maybe carry the defect onto future offspring.

It is far more harsh to let an animal with a deformity, that affects its quality life to live.

usafaux2004
12th June 2014, 15:45
Ok. what about lotls with less/more gills?

Say someone gets a symmetrical, 4 gill lotl, or an 8 gill, or for that matter, 5/7? What do you do there? Do you try breeding it? See if the trait is something that can be passed on?

auntiejude
12th June 2014, 16:49
The original breeding pair - have they bred before and had offspring with this condition? With this breeding, what percentage of the offspring had this condition?
This is the frist batch from this pairing, although the dad previously had other broods with another female with no issue. I had 80 hatch here, and I only had this one with a dodgy spine. I will be breeding this pair again, but I'll keep an eye out for odd shaped larvae.

I understand the health issues this little guy may develop, I will be keeping him, and if I believe he is suffering I will euthanise (and cry a bit!). I know he may not have a long life because of this deformity.
You kill them even if they're healthy? Just because they have a deformity of some sort?
Yes, because they are not healthy. All the info I have seen on these types of deformities says they don't live as long as 'normal' axies, and they frequently suffer organ failue because of the cramped size of their thoracic cavity. I would love to save all the little oddball larvae, but I only have so much space in my house for tanks to keep them in.

We (axolotl keepers in general) have created an artificial environment where natural selection doesn't happen - as Perry says the 'runts' would not survive in the wild, and it's only because we segregate them to save them that they make it.

Jonjey
12th June 2014, 16:58
I don't like to be "that guy" as I don't usually take the more liberal side of a debate but...
What are the signs that it's unhealthy? Is it squirming around in pain? If it's living then why not let it live? It's kind of like saying that people who are born with a messed up hand for no real reason should be euthanized because life will be a little harder with a messed up hand, no? Or that a 'little person' should be euthanized because he/she will be short and have complications? If it's in obvious pain and agony over some serious issues then yes, let it sleep.

tessaaus
12th June 2014, 17:26
Well i have seen some dwarfs around this site, and even though they have a slight mutation i think they are precious. Though they are different they should all be loved the same. Big or small! :)

GlowingFauxPas
12th June 2014, 17:32
Persian cats were selectively bred to have the shape that they do. But their flat faces cause them to be prone to respiratory problems. Sphinx cats are prone to sunburn.

Are those cases similar to your dilemma?

oceanblue
12th June 2014, 20:08
Dwarfs have cropped up several times in the forum. The mutation is not listed as one held by the main axolotl colony associated with much of the research, but most seem to be described as stumpy but fairly healthy animals.

There are similar shaped mutations in goldfish, mollies and the approximate human equivalent is probably achondroplasia. I don't know if it is dominant (as achondroplasia in humans is) or recessive. Human achondroplasia may be a lethal mutant in double dose.

I think bloated pop eyed goldfish are awful but they are kept and sold commercially. The disability associated with this shape seems minimal and may be less than the disability such as impaired vision in albinos so I wouldn't be too critical of anyone who wanted to actively breed and sell this mutation unless strong evidence of health problems emerge.

Redear
12th June 2014, 21:09
Wait, I am confused. We are only talking about mutations which affect the health and quality of life, but we are assuming that all the young will be healthy?

Is the point that we don't truly know if its genetic or development?

The reason I ask, is the answer seems simple. If the individual has bad health due to bad genes, why would people want to breed them?

auntiejude
12th June 2014, 21:58
Is the point that we don't truly know if its genetic or development?

For the purposes of this discussion I am using the assumption that the 'mutation' in question is genetic and heritable, and will cause some kind of health issue.

In reality I am leaning towards my dwarf's issue being developmental due to the kink in the spine - so more of a scoliosis issue than achondroplasia.

On the subject of brachycephalic dogs, I don't like the way some of these animals suffer. I find it upsetting to hear a pug snort for breath.

Jonjey
13th June 2014, 00:00
I would raise a dwarf axolotl. I would want to see how long it lived in comparison to a regular axolotl. If it is comparable, I'd hope for another and breed it. If they're healthy then I think breeding dwarf axolotls would be very cool. If they die early or have serious complications in life then I would not. I've never owned one so I don't know what it entails, I do however know that if I were a breeder and happened to get a dwarf in a batch, I'd separate it and take care of it.

On another note, could dwarf axolotls live in the same tank as regular axolotls at adulthood and full grown? They're the same size just shorter, right? As in same thickness.

xxianxx
13th June 2014, 00:32
I wouldn't breed dwarves or any other dodgy, crappy looking axolotl. I have a few adult melanoids which came from a batch with a 10% deformity rate, curved spine, I spent 18 months raising them to select suitable females to go with my existing melanoid male. Even though they look OK I refuse to let them breed as I think it would be irresponsible to do so.

otolith
13th June 2014, 03:21
You kill them even if they're healthy? Just because they have a deformity of some sort? That's pretty harsh. I'm sure the deformed axolotl would much rather live than be killed.

I'm sure almost every animal regardless of condition would rather live than die.

A deformed animal is not a healthy one. Watching an advanced larvae with a kinked spine attempt to chase down daphnia is pretty sad. It is quite obvious that, despite its' best efforts it cannot feed effectively. I consider starvation "suffering" in this case. Not all deformities are this severe, but all have the possibility of causing complications later and to me it is not worth it. If you have the space and time then it may make a great pet for you, but I strongly urge you not to breed them.

I do not ever want to euthanize animals which is why breeding from good lines and careful selection are important. I guess I should add that I do not breed axolotls, my experience here comes from breeding other caudate species.

digitalxri0t
26th June 2014, 09:33
For the record I've raised several dwarfs, each one varies in how sever the case is. Some get curved spines and some look mostly normal. Last month I lost my first dwarf I ever raised up, he died over night for no apparent reason at around a year and a half. He was half the size a regular one and had a very round middle plus 4 gills on one side and 2.5 on the other.

Please DO NOT breed dwarfs even for fun. It's too easy for them to get bred and then people get unhealthy axolotls that don't live up to what online says and are put off of them along with being heart broken. I have another dwarf that is super stunted I was sold as a healthy regular as a baby, he was not and is not. He is no longer than 3 inches, is all stomach and head and curves upward like a U.

I did not keep any of my dwarfs with adults, for fear of accidental eggs because its often hard to tell what gender they will be. Mine were either kept separately or with juveniles of the same size. As for knowing if they are happy or not, you can't really tell if they are suffering internally. I never put any of mine down but it would be better to do so rather than rehoming them carelessly. Sorry for the rant.

willowcat
6th July 2014, 09:32
So there are 2 questions I would like to put to you:
1. Assuming this mutation is genetic and heritable, would you breed from this animal to propogate the 'mutant' gene, assuming that the resultant animals were otherwise healthy? And produce a new line of odd-shaped axolotls?

For me to properly answer your question I have to understand the bases on how it was asked....I would have to answer "Possibly." That is reflecting the word "Assuming".
The way that you worded this question is in a 'positive' fashion. 'Positive' in the outcome of the new line of odd-shaped axolotls. When stated in that manner.....why would anyone not? Follow me now.......I did not say that I would...... I am answering your question in a non-emotional context.
Now....having said that. With what we know now, I would 'NOT' breed Dwarfs. I still think that we do not know if this is a negative mutation for the animal. But we do 'NOT' know if it is 'OKAY' for the animal, either. The lack of information and knowledge about Dwarfism is why I say 'NO' to breeding this line. In 98% of your comments about Dwarfs, you have given excellent, non-emotional based answers. Personally for me I have my hands full with the non-Dwarf line.
Now for the guesses......(since that is what most of us are doing). I do not think (guessing) that the no legs and crooked spine are a link to Dwarfism. That is my personal opinion, based on studying my healthy two Dwarfs. (Billyjack and Andre The Giant). I do not believe in the hyperbole of the animal be 'impacted' or uncomfortable.....again, based on observations of my 2 'pets'.
In my previous posts on this subject I mentioned that both of my Dwarfs were GFP's.
My personal on GFP?......not sure. Man has injected a gene. Hmmm.....and issues from that? One could 'guess'. Now should we stop GFP breeding? No. I do not think that the animal is uncomfortable glowing. I just wonder if problems might be derived from this altercation?





2. Would you continue to breed from the original parent pair, knowing that it was likely to produce more of this kind of offspring?[/QUOTE]

"Yes". Based on your first question and also, because you set up the outcome of the first question as "assuming that the resultant animals were otherwise healthy"......
Now...... what would I do with them? My personal opinion on having a Dwarf?......Lets look at it as a surprise 'prize'. A rare, hopefully healthy, oddity that we can enjoy as a 'PET' knowing that not too many people have this coveted 'rare' gem.
My final.....'NO' to the breeding of this line.

willowcat
7th July 2014, 00:45
For the record I've raised several dwarfs, each one varies in how sever the case is. Some get curved spines and some look mostly normal. Last month I lost my first dwarf I ever raised up, he died over night for no apparent reason at around a year and a half. He was half the size a regular one and had a very round middle plus 4 gills on one side and 2.5 on the other.

Please DO NOT breed dwarfs even for fun. It's too easy for them to get bred and then people get unhealthy axolotls that don't live up to what online says and are put off of them along with being heart broken. I have another dwarf that is super stunted I was sold as a healthy regular as a baby, he was not and is not. He is no longer than 3 inches, is all stomach and head and curves upward like a U.

I did not keep any of my dwarfs with adults, for fear of accidental eggs because its often hard to tell what gender they will be. Mine were either kept separately or with juveniles of the same size. As for knowing if they are happy or not, you can't really tell if they are suffering internally. I never put any of mine down but it would be better to do so rather than rehoming them carelessly. Sorry for the rant.


It doesn't sound like you have Dwarfs from your descriptions of your pets.

digitalxri0t
14th July 2014, 05:01
What would you consider a dwarf then, because I know what I had and have were and are dwarfs considered by the standards I've seen. Stunted bodies and tails, some with deformities and some without.

Azhael
14th July 2014, 10:26
I don't like to be "that guy" as I don't usually take the more liberal side of a debate but...
What are the signs that it's unhealthy? Is it squirming around in pain? If it's living then why not let it live? It's kind of like saying that people who are born with a messed up hand for no real reason should be euthanized because life will be a little harder with a messed up hand, no? Or that a 'little person' should be euthanized because he/she will be short and have complications? If it's in obvious pain and agony over some serious issues then yes, let it sleep.

I think there is an issue here with what people are going to define as "healthy". I would definitely not include animals with deformed spines, missing vertebrae, or similar conditions in the "healthy" group.
I don't like a definition that is going to include any animal that is not constantly squirming or making some other apparently obvious sign of discomfort. To evaluate the health of an animal like this on the basis of a superficial observation is simply not an evaluation at all. "Looks fine" is just not an acceptable methodology in veterinary medicine.

I'm definitely in favor of letting an animal live if there is no evidence of suffering, and even if a certain degree of impairment exists (obviously this is something to be evaluated individually) . However, the issue here is not wether to euthanize but wether to reproduce such animals and for me the answer is a very clear no. Absolutely not.

In the case of the animals being considered for discussion, wether their condition is genetic or not is largely irrelevant. The point of the matter is that currently the potential for inheritance is unknown, which is enough for me not to take a risk. There are A LOT of domestic axolotls in the world, there is no need to use individuals that are known to carry a risk of producing unhealthy offspring. Furthermore, even if the quality of life of these particular specimens is not significantly hindered, i don't think the state of their potential offspring can be predicted. If genetic, the mutation could manifest in a different manner resulting in an animal that is significantly impaired.
I see all of this as a gamble and i think it is ethically unjustified, particularly since risks would be taken for a potential cosmetic gain. I am however very happy to see people seriously considering issues like this as ethical problems, because i know there are so many others out there that wouldn't think twice about it and attempt to mass produce this and any other mutation regardless of its effects on the animals.

willowcat
15th July 2014, 06:49
Azhael,
I am so glad that you posted in this area and on this subject. The reason? I owe you an apology. It has been eating on me-- how, when, and if I should apologize to you. You and I have discussed this topic before and that was the particular post that ticked me off. The reason I didn't contact you in another post? This one is suited best.
I verbally assaulted you behind your back. Gossip, backstabbing.....slander. No matter what you said to me, it does not constitute my actions or verbal garbage. . I 'HATE' slander, and have always thought that I was free from it. Well, I have been humbled. I bound myself to it by my words and I hate that all the more. So me apologizing to you releases me from that bondage, whether you forgive me or not. But I would like your forgiveness also. Looking back, it really wasn't that bad on your behalf. Just a little smart...lassie. Let me explain, if I may. In fact, I think I am going to come to your defense, as crazy as that sounds. I was posting questions about Dwarfs....something to the effect.....(like my above posts) "How do we know that this is a defect"? Assumptions? Emotional based? (in which I am guilty of----anger) Visually based?......You replied, something to the effect...."Psssst...I don't feel good". (Axolotl whispering in my ear). Ticked.... me.... off (please don't snicker) Now I say this non-condemning and don't let it swell your head, either, please. I look at all your 'Green Dots' and read your posts and think to myself....this kid is gifted. Superior intellect, especially in this field. 'Why does he lambast me and others with few 'green dots' and holds the title of 'Moderator'?. It might be this......A lot of newcomer 'NO GREEN DOT' people come on this site with the same desire. To propagate a new widget. Take a Ticker and breed it with a Tocker and get a Mocker. Weeeeee.... Now, I see their curiosity also. That curiosity is healthy. The results, for the animal, if done, can be hazardous, but the curious thinking is good. Now after that incident and reading some of your other posts, along with other 'Green Dotted' people, I became very reluctant to post for several reasons. -Which is sad, because this awesome site and you Blessed 'Green Dots' are the people we peasants should turn to in time of informational needs. I asked someone that is not on this site, has no idea about newts, but has a degree in aquaculture. I asked him "why is okay to hybrid dogs, trees, corn, fish, and automobiles and not amphibians. He replied very nicely, "because there could be a bad gene introduced into the wild" Hmmm.....sold me. Why did it take someone from the outside to get thru my thick concrete reinforced head? Simple.....his presentation. It seems anytime someone asks questions that are questionable in ETHICS everyone jumps on a wagon and the asking party is labeled as a suspicious scrupulous garbage breeder. Now is everyone innocent? No. Then I read the posts about dog breeders. Dog breeding to obtain certain attributes are grand in my thinking. But the breeders (puppy mills) that do it for monetary gains, not caring for the animal, should be hung. Does that mean doing something for money is wrong? No. But if that is ones prime objective, then they are misguided. I want you and all the young ones to listen to this...(SDE- listen up my friend). When I was young I wanted a car. So I went and got a job so I could buy a car and insurance for that car. This is how most of us are raised. Now, that my youth is over and I am a old man, my thinking on this has changed. What changed me? I was in Canada at a resort with a bunch of guys on a fishing getaway. The gentleman holding the getaway is the most known name in the fishing industry. T.V. shows, magazines, the whole nine yards. He started out talking about his youth. He also stated that he is not a very smart man. So he didn't dream up his success. It happen. It happened because he did what he loves to do, fish. He said that he and his brother didn't care or think about money. They had no money. They became good at what they loved and people started to pay them for their talents. The money followed them. They didn't chase the money, it came to them. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Do what you love, and the money will come if you stay with it and become the best you can be, with what your heart desires. ESPECIALLY when you are young and live at home and are not a servant to money. Basically.....if you like chasing skunks....then chase skunks. Become the best skunk chaser you can. I bet if we could look at the founder of this site, John C. the story would be similar. Probably always loved tinkering with critters and stuck with it. Never imagining the impact of how his passion brought out the same passion in others, only allowing them to absorb more of what they love doing, and to give to others the blessings of that passion. Now Rodrigo I know that you are going on 30ish. So I am not implying that you are a kid. You are a kid to me though. A gifted kid at that. Now you are probably wondering about my hybrid questions and thoughts.
Yes....you have guessed we are know entering into the realm of hybridizing.....oh my, my. Hang him!!!! I have some questions about this subject and have NOT wanted to ask, because of all the **** that I have to go through. But I came across one of your posts. I 'REALLY LIKE' this post. Your method of presentation was outstanding. That is when my heart changed my thinking about you and I realized I was wrong for defaming you. The post is dated. August 13th 2013. Ethics of Breeding Hybrid Animals. In fact both post are good. I don't agree with them 100%. But they are beautiful. Before I read those posts I was ready to contact someone in the dog breeding trade, or in some way try to learn about hybrid animals in the dog trade. Which is sad, because I want to know somethings that pertain to this forum and these critters. The perfect place to come to learn.....Wouldn't you think? Does that mean I want to go out a become the poster child for invasive species? No, I don't. But if I can ask questions to the 'Green Dotted' people maybe I can learn and have my questions answered. It would be nice. Because I actually think that their is a breeding method to achieve desirable attributes without crossing subs. Who knows....if might exist already, but I don't know because of the impugning, whether valid or not. Now....I do not feel that this is the proper area for those questions, but wanted to lay out some examples. This area is about Ethics on breeding mutants. NOT EVEN KNOWING IF IT IS A MUTATION. Oh my my my..... Your above post, I agree with 98%. But....like my posts, and other peoples on this subject, we are merely guessing. So since this site is the Authority, don't you think that we all have a duty of seeking the facts and not throwing out heart felt hyperbole? ( I am just as guilty) Can we contact vets, or Sal-site or somebody? And if they haven't done any research on this topic, then maybe we can take contributions and have a study done on this topic and bring it to a very welcomed closure. No guesses. Facts. Now....if the information comes back positive on the health of this visual, what ever it is, then we can correctly discuss the whys and why not's, on the ethics of propagating this line based on heart felt or innocent emotion-based thoughts.
So....there. I'm done. I apologize and value you and 'everyones' thoughts, whether I agree with them or not.
Good night and God Bless, (relax Rod)
Trace




I think there is an issue here with what people are going to define as "healthy". I would definitely not include animals with deformed spines, missing vertebrae, or similar conditions in the "healthy" group.
I don't like a definition that is going to include any animal that is not constantly squirming or making some other apparently obvious sign of discomfort. To evaluate the health of an animal like this on the basis of a superficial observation is simply not an evaluation at all. "Looks fine" is just not an acceptable methodology in veterinary medicine.

I'm definitely in favor of letting an animal live if there is no evidence of suffering, and even if a certain degree of impairment exists (obviously this is something to be evaluated individually) . However, the issue here is not wether to euthanize but wether to reproduce such animals and for me the answer is a very clear no. Absolutely not.

In the case of the animals being considered for discussion, wether their condition is genetic or not is largely irrelevant. The point of the matter is that currently the potential for inheritance is unknown, which is enough for me not to take a risk. There are A LOT of domestic axolotls in the world, there is no need to use individuals that are known to carry a risk of producing unhealthy offspring. Furthermore, even if the quality of life of these particular specimens is not significantly hindered, i don't think the state of their potential offspring can be predicted. If genetic, the mutation could manifest in a different manner resulting in an animal that is significantly impaired.
I see all of this as a gamble and i think it is ethically unjustified, particularly since risks would be taken for a potential cosmetic gain. I am however very happy to see people seriously considering issues like this as ethical problems, because i know there are so many others out there that wouldn't think twice about it and attempt to mass produce this and any other mutation regardless of its effects on the animals.

willowcat
15th July 2014, 07:06
What would you consider a dwarf then, because I know what I had and have were and are dwarfs considered by the standards I've seen. Stunted bodies and tails, some with deformities and some without.

From what I understand on the 'guesses' that we have all come to is that the animal is normal in length and size. The torso is the only area that is different is measurement compared to the head and tail. The head is shaped a little different also, but standard in size. No kinks, or deformities in this, what we are calling Dwarfs. Now do problems come from this visual attribute or the difference in size ratio in the torso area? My 'guess' is no. I am hoping that we can all find a way not to 'guess' what this is and have some research done if it has not already ready been done. I do not think it has because of all the guessing, including mine. Someone needs to contact vets or a lab so we can clarify what we are 'guessing' at.
From your verbal description I think you a have very small animals. Not Dwarfs. Which is a label that we are using for this particular visual identity. We do not know that label 'Dwarf' is a correct labeling of this different visual 'guess'

BwKilcoyne
15th February 2016, 16:33
Personally I would not breed any animal that I felt had any sort of harmful effect including a kinked spine. Even if they appear to act normal, that is something that can lead to health problems down the road. That is not to say you shouldn't keep them. I had an amazon milk frog before that had kind of a hunchback, but I loved him and he seemed perfectly healthy. I would definitely keep them, but not breed them because of possible risks to their health including improper growth, both externally and internally. I am glad you decided to keep your axolotl though, as long as they do not appear to be in pain there is no reason to euthanize them.

natterjack
16th February 2016, 13:12
If the animal is not suffering in anyway and can live out a pretty normal life otherwise i see no point in euthanizing it. I wouldn't breed from it though. Creatures like 'balloon mollies' being mass produced and struggling to swim effectively is pointless and i don't see any merit in breeding such mutations.
If it was the only one so far, i see no reason not to breed the parents again. As for an animal such as this deciding it would rather live than die (as someone put it), i really don't think it would be self aware or have enough intelligence to understand the concept!!! I think the o.p's decision to let it live and to keep it is the best option for it long term.

manderkeeper
18th February 2016, 02:49
Less than ideal animals can be used as food items for tricky feeders of other species. I wonder is mud snakes would eat them?