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

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Old 5th January 2019   #1
mdtaylor
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Default Kimchee has trouble swallowing

Kimchee (who is probably about a year old and female by my best guess) suddenly lost her insatiable appetite a little more than two weeks ago. She's been eating very little (essentially nothing) and seems to have trouble swallowing. She doesn't hunt for her favorite pellets anymore, but will still snuffle around for bloodworms, though she usually struggles for awhile and then coughs them out. She doesn't seem to be getting thin or bloated, but her activity level has been dropping over the last week too, and she hides out in her cave more often than not.

Do you think she might have something stuck in her throat, or has some other internal injury that might keep her from swallowing? Any advice for how to help her? I saw some other posts like this one that made me think a trip to the fridge might be good... I'd hate to put her in the fridge if it isn't likely to help her, but I'm also willing to try.

Also, how do her gills look to you? I think it might be my imagination, but it seems like they're less feathery than before, and that has me a little worried. Thanks everyone... I love my little Chee so much.

P.S. The bloodworms in the picture were ones I just added. Water parameters seem ok: no ammonia or nitrites, nitrates are a little under 40, pH is around 7, and temperature is her usual 63.
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Old 12th January 2019   #2
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Default Re: Kimchee has trouble swallowing

It's been about three weeks now, maybe a little more... she still ignores the pellets. Tries to eat a few bloodworms but still coughs them back out. I'm worried about my little friend... :C



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Old 22nd January 2019   #3
Hayley
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Default Re: Kimchee has trouble swallowing

How is Kimchee now? Are you able to access some nightcrawlers to try? Or some frozen axolotl cubes? I usually have the best luck with these foods.



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Old 13th March 2019   #4
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Default Re: Kimchee has trouble swallowing

Ohhh sorry; I totally missed this! She (I'm almost positive Kimchee is a she) is generally doing better and eating from time to time. The appetite kinda comes and goes. Sometimes she'll eat a whole mini-tub of bloodworms or five-ish pellets, and other times she sort of snuffles at them but doesn't eat them. I think her appetite may be a little less than it used to be in part because she isn't growing as fast. She seems to have slowed at about 10 inches. In general it seems like she's eating frequently enough that I'm less worried about that. Getting fresh pellets seemed to help, even though I had most of a bag left. I got the exact same kind (Hikari carnivore pellets) but I think some of the nice smells wore off and they were a little harder to snuffle for. She also really likes bloodworms and beefheart... I try to give her the pellets more often, but sometimes she's picky. She still doesn't seem to be passing as much as she's taking in, and I keep a very very close eye on her. Lean beefheart seems to speed up her digestion and I give it to her usually if I haven't seen any poos in about a week or two. I'd love to find her some nightcrawlers but none of the pet shops nearby have them, and I'm kinda worried about the bait shop ones... in part because Pittsburgh's soil and water are so foul in general, though nominally I suppose they aren't digging them up outside. Basically nobody goes fishing here, at least not with the intention of eating anything that comes out of the water, so I'm not even sure where to find a bait shop. Might look though.

Anyways, Kimchee's got a different, unrelated issue now, which will get its own thread... but it seems like a silly one; I suppose I'll see if everyone else thinks so too.

Thanks as always!



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
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Default Re: Kimchee has trouble swallowing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdtaylor View Post
Ohhh sorry; I totally missed this! She (I'm almost positive Kimchee is a she) is generally doing better and eating from time to time. The appetite kinda comes and goes. Sometimes she'll eat a whole mini-tub of bloodworms or five-ish pellets, and other times she sort of snuffles at them but doesn't eat them. I think her appetite may be a little less than it used to be in part because she isn't growing as fast. She seems to have slowed at about 10 inches. In general it seems like she's eating frequently enough that I'm less worried about that. Getting fresh pellets seemed to help, even though I had most of a bag left. I got the exact same kind (Hikari carnivore pellets) but I think some of the nice smells wore off and they were a little harder to snuffle for. She also really likes bloodworms and beefheart... I try to give her the pellets more often, but sometimes she's picky. She still doesn't seem to be passing as much as she's taking in, and I keep a very very close eye on her. Lean beefheart seems to speed up her digestion and I give it to her usually if I haven't seen any poos in about a week or two. I'd love to find her some nightcrawlers but none of the pet shops nearby have them, and I'm kinda worried about the bait shop ones... in part because Pittsburgh's soil and water are so foul in general, though nominally I suppose they aren't digging them up outside. Basically nobody goes fishing here, at least not with the intention of eating anything that comes out of the water, so I'm not even sure where to find a bait shop. Might look though.

Anyways, Kimchee's got a different, unrelated issue now, which will get its own thread... but it seems like a silly one; I suppose I'll see if everyone else thinks so too.

Thanks as always!
have you checked garden shops? they might have composting worms, i know you can order them online as well, im making a simple worm bin this weekend in preparation for when my guys get big enough. (worse case buy bait worms and only begin feeding with them after a few weeks quarantine or feed with the baby worms they make)

from what ive read beefheart is ok as a treat but its really not the right nutrition for axolotls. its sorta like feeding your dog french fries, they CAN eat them and they probably LOVE it but its not exactly the best thing for them.



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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Default Re: Kimchee has trouble swallowing

I've heard the same about beefheart! I think I heard it has too much fat, but for better or worse that seemed to sort of grease the gears when she hadn't made a loaf in awhile. It was also sort of a once every week or two thing while she was refusing to eat much else, but her appetite came back for bloodworms, and then she started being interested in pellets again. She still doesn't seem to make nearly as much waste as food she consumes, but she seems happy and healthy.

After having no luck finding earthworms to buy in Pittsburgh (and still not trusting anything that comes out of our blighted ground) I finally ordered a dozen from https://www.backwaterreptiles.com/ and they got here pretty quick (Ordered late Wednesday night, arrived here on Wednesday of the next week). Possibly a little pricey in 1-dozen quantity, but A) I don't have anything else to compare to and B) they sort of have to be for them to include free priority shipping and still make any sort of profit, plus, I figure there's no way this place would send anything unsuitable for feeding to a very important pet.

Chee absolutely loves them. I started by giving her half of one, which she promptly hunted down and swallowed in one gulp. She seemed a little uncomfortable at first, but then she yorked out two fully-intact pellets from the day before, like she just wanted to make room for this new and tastier food. She spent the rest of the evening snootling around every corner of her tank trying to find more, so I gave her the other half, and that went down even easier than the first. Today she was being extra beggy so I relented and gave her another half just now, which she went for even faster. I don't want to over-chub her though, so I need to do some reading on how many (fairly large) earthworms a 10.5" lotl typically eats. Anyways, victory for Chee. She seems super duper happy. These were some of the faces she made after the first one. The last one is hilarious, though it was also shortly before she yorked up one of those pellets. Feels like it captures her mood pretty well though. :)
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
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Default Re: Kimchee has trouble swallowing

awww so cute, im glad chee loves the worms!



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