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

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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Nex Socius
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Exclamation Very sick axie, almost dead

Background info: I bought a pair of adult axies from my lfs 3 days ago, and have had them tubbed separately for quarantine. I have been changing the water daily since I got them (I have had my other pair for 4-5 years now).
Caprica has been active up until now, last night it looked like she was trying to swim up to the top of the tub ans was poking her nose out, and this morning she was floating around and swimming ok.
About an hour later, sheís stone still in the bottom of the tub, looking very red for her colour, and wonít move. I changed her water, she didnít argue with me, I even picked her up and no help.
I noticed what looks like fungus, so gave her a salt bath. Still no movement, her back legs are locked in a set position.

I now have her in the fridge, I believe it could be a bacterial infection, and need to act quickly. Iím just worried Iím too late! It is possible that having her in a tub has stressed her after being in a tank at the store, but Iíve never had this issue before.

The other axi I got is still swimming around happily.
While I wait for responses, Iíll be sourcing the antibiotics listed in another thread (bacterial infection that starts with C).
Thanks, very worried rightt now!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Hi !

This short story is a good illustration of how useful is quarantine.

I have a female axie which had similar symptoms 2 years ago. I put her in a big tub outdoors, under a tree to get shade, and she recovered within a month. She just layed eggs 2 weeks ago.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Okay some details are needed. What are your water parameters and tank temp?
Is she moving at all? Being in the fridge will make them lethargic, so it's normal for them to not move too much when they are in there. I would see if you can put her in temporary housing with a fan to keep the temp around 16 degrees.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

She wasn't in a tank, she was tubbed as I was quarantining her and the other before adding them to the tank with my other two.
When I added her to the tubs, I gradually added fresh dechlorinated water so as to not shock her. Been changing her water each day (today is the 3rd or 4th day).
The tub water was around 16-18c.
This morning around 10am, she was floating and seemed ok. She hasn't pooped since I got her, and she did eat the second day. When husband left for work at 12:45, that's when I noticed she was in the bottom corner with her legs like in the pic, not moving or responding,
As soon as I noticed, I immediately changed the water, she still didn't move. I did some research on here, her symptoms have presented as possible columnaria infection- two of her gills looked like fungus, but different, if that makes sense. Also it looked like little tiny sores on her feet (I hadn't seen these til this happened).
I gave her a salt bath and fridged her as per the instructions, but I don't have Furon or KanaPlex until tomorrow.
So she is currently in the fridge at 5 dec c, still hasn't moved and I fear that it's too late, she may already be dead (I honestly can't tell, I've never lost one).

She did show slight signs of stress last night - I was in the room with her and had the light on, and her tub was uncovered for a bit. She seemed ok when I turned the light off.
I didn't check the parameters before I changed the water, I was in a bit of a panic and just didn't think.

The other axi (who was originally in the tank at the pet shop with her) is fine in her tub and is being a little piggy with the blood worms.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

If you have light on in the room keep a towel or something over her so she stays in the dark.
You were doing everything right, with the quarantine etc. I've thankfully never had to use any antibiotics or anything with my axolotls (other than salt baths) so I can't give you any advice with that.
When they pass their gills will shrink up and they will start to bloat. Mouths are usually slightly open.
Also she is a beautiful colour, where did you get her from?
Goodluck, I hope she pulls through. Keep us updated



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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Here is an updated pic, sheís been in the fridge for around 24 hours, at around 5c. She hasnít bloated, her gills look the same, but she still hasnít moved, nor even flicked her gills. Poor bubba, do you think sheís dead or just clinging on?

The other pic is the pair just before I bought them on Thursday, just for comparison. I got them from City Aquarium in Blacktown NSW
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

I'm surprised I haven't been to that store, I live close to there and thought I had been to every aquarium haha She looks super similar to one I saw in Penrith, where I got my boy from.
In my experience they deteriorate pretty quickly after passing so she seems to still be holding on. Does she respond at all if you were to touch her? They also start to feel stiff once they have passed, see if you can move her tail at all.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Still no change in her condition, and still no clear signs of death. Itís like sheís in a coma, I donít know :/
As it turns out, KanaPlex and Furon-2 are illegal in Australia. The guys from the aquarium were so helpful, they even tried googling for different alternatives.
In the end, I just bought some Melafix to try.

I included the storeís info, they have the best water testing station Iíve ever seen!

The guy also offered to replace her if she does die, which was nice of him.

Thanks for all your help, if there is any change Iíll post an update.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

I’m almost wondering if she has passed and if the low temperature is stagnating the process of decay. The bloating is from internal bacteria breaking down tissue and producing gas and fluid, and the cold temperature could be stopping that. Also I have had very limited success in treating with melafix. It’s mostly herbal and has very little impact on internal infections, at least in my experiences with it. Have you taken her to a vet? If you can confirm she is still alive, a trip to the vet might give you some answers, and possibly a prescription antibiotic for amphibians from the vet.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoreyRoreyRorey View Post
Iím almost wondering if she has passed and if the low temperature is stagnating the process of decay. The bloating is from internal bacteria breaking down tissue and producing gas and fluid, and the cold temperature could be stopping that. Also I have had very limited success in treating with melafix. Itís mostly herbal and has very little impact on internal infections, at least in my experiences with it. Have you taken her to a vet? If you can confirm she is still alive, a trip to the vet might give you some answers, and possibly a prescription antibiotic for amphibians from the vet.
I agree, a vet may be able to help. I haven't had to use one for axolotls so I don't have any local recommendations, but google and call around to see if anyone has experience with them.
If her gills aren't occasionally flickering she may have already passed, I really hope not
Also I thought I might add that her issue could be genetics. Pet stores often don't carry super healthy stock (in my experience), which is why a lot of people go straight to breeders. It seems like you were doing everything right so it could be something out of your control.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

I looked up an exotic vet in North Sydney, it would take me almost 2 hours to get there via public transport, and *if* she's alive, it would probably finish her off. They don't offer skype video consultations, so that's a bummer.

Deep down, I think she has passed. I will give her one last salt bath and a dose of melafix tonight, if no changes by morning, I'll concede defeat.

I did post a question on a facebook group before I bought her, I had noticed she was a slightly reddish colour. Everyone just agreed that she was red from swimming around. So maybe she was already sick.

Poor little bugger



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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Is she red? I had assumed she was just a copper morph. I donít see any red veins on the legs or body, which is usually an indication of redleg. But in that last photo you sent of her, I noticed something bad. It may just be the angle, but it looks like some of the frills on her gills have become brown and clumpy. When my now deceased waterdog Frills developed that, I was told by a local amphibian expert that it was a sign of infection inside the individual that had spread to the gills, and that at that point, there would be no recovery. Hopefully that isnít the case. You could compare it to a photo I took of Frills shortly before his passing. Keep us infirmary of her condition in the morning!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

When i first saw her she looked like a leucy, but when i got her home she was more copper.
Yes, her gills did go kinda clumpy, but different than in your pic



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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by NexSocius View Post
I looked up an exotic vet in North Sydney, it would take me almost 2 hours to get there via public transport, and *if* she's alive, it would probably finish her off. They don't offer skype video consultations, so that's a bummer.

Deep down, I think she has passed. I will give her one last salt bath and a dose of melafix tonight, if no changes by morning, I'll concede defeat.

I did post a question on a facebook group before I bought her, I had noticed she was a slightly reddish colour. Everyone just agreed that she was red from swimming around. So maybe she was already sick.

Poor little bugger
You could bring her up to 16 degrees and see if she responds, or the body will show signs if she has passed.
I had assumed she was a copper too. Good to know there is one in N. Sydney at least, in case you need one again.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Took her out of the fridge, she's stiff and gills have deteriorated. She's gone
I have buried her in our rose pot. Poor girl.
If anyone here is a fan of Battlestar Galactica, they'll know that Caprica isn't gone forever, she'll be back.

Thanks for your help everyone.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

A shame. Sorry for your loss.

But on the bright side, the store said they would replace her if she passed, didn’t they?



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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Yep they did, I’ve messaged them and will see what they say.

Unfortunately, this has taught me that stress and illness is a very real thing when bringing home new ones. I’m glad I quarantined them and did everything ‘by the book’, it could have gone much worse. I’m so lucky my older two are so resilient and healthy.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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Default Re: Very sick axie, almost dead

Really sorry to hear. Wishing you the best



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