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Sick Axolotl? Axolotl looking down in the gills? The doctors are in.

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Old 8th September 2018   #1
BloodRuby
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Default Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

Hello, so I have three axolotls; I have fed my axolotls red worms/ wigglers for over a year now, and two of them are still doing well, but the third one, my gold axie, has a very hard time swallowing the worm starting about a month and a half ago.

She scoops up the worm like the others, but then it looks like the worm always gets stuck in her throat. She continuously keeps trying to swallow, but the worm stays at the back of her jaw for hours (and I mean hours, 4+). One time she even spat out bits of worm a day and a half after her last meal. She looks to be losing weight, so I am getting concerned. She also never rejects the worm, often enthusiastically jumping for it. This is not looking to be something temporary, and she does NOT float/ look bloated. As a matter of fact, she looks like she is getting skinnier. Her tail is consistently straight, so from what I've read so far, I do not think it is a blockage or stress.

In short, she takes hours to swallow a worm (when she didn't before), keeps trying to swallow, and on at least one occasion spat up worm bits well after a day.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what may be causing this or have any suggestions?

(Image is showing her lower jaw full with the end of the worm she attempted to eat 3 hours prior to the picture)
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Old 8th September 2018   #2
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

Small update: Shortly after posting this thread, she started spitting up the worm and then proceeded to try and eat it again, appearing visibly frustrated, darkening color, swimming around, and thrashing a bit all while attempting to swallow, affirming that the worm is still caught in her throat.



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Old 8th September 2018   #3
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

Have you tried giving her worm pieces rather than full worms? if she's having trouble getting the whole ones down that might help. Or it might not, but then you'll know.



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Old 8th September 2018   #4
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

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Originally Posted by tundrabadger View Post
Have you tried giving her worm pieces rather than full worms? if she's having trouble getting the whole ones down that might help. Or it might not, but then you'll know.
I will definitely try giving her small pieces and see if she still has a hard time swallowing next time. I have attempted to give her two small worms before, as opposed to one medium sized worm, but she has an even harder time holding two worms in.

Thanks for your suggestion



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Old 8th September 2018   #5
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

Maybe try one at a time, let her get the one piece down if indeed she can, then offer the next piece.



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Old 11th September 2018   #6
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

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Originally Posted by tundrabadger View Post
Maybe try one at a time, let her get the one piece down if indeed she can, then offer the next piece.
So I tried feeding her little bits, namely about 1 cm worm pieces. She still struggled for 10 minutes to swallow the first one. Her suction is good, but it keeps getting clogged at the back of her jaw/ throat.



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Old 11th September 2018   #7
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

Have you considered that the axolotl might have an obstruction in their throat? I remember seeing a thread with instructions on how to open an axolotls mouth and look for and remove obstructions. Does the neck/throat area look swollen?
It could be worth a read and a shot.



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Old 11th September 2018   #8
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

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Originally Posted by Tye View Post
Have you considered that the axolotl might have an obstruction in their throat? I remember seeing a thread with instructions on how to open an axolotls mouth and look for and remove obstructions. Does the neck/throat area look swollen?
It could be worth a read and a shot.
That is a good possibility, and I would appreciate it if you could send me the forum link.
The throat and neck area do not look visibly swollen except when she is struggling to down a worm.



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Old 5th October 2018   #9
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

Update: She is still struggling to swallow and spits out the worm/ worm bits and is losing weight. I'm considering taking her to an exotic vet, but I know that is going to be super expensive.

any other suggestions before I go ahead and have a vet look?



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Old 8th October 2018   #10
Hayley
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Default Re: Axolotl Having a Hard Time Swallowing/ Takes a Long Time to Eat

If you have access to a vet it's probably a good idea to see what they say.



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