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

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Old 8th October 2010   #1
McLoren
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Unhappy Please help, i think hes dying!

My axie is swollen, lethargic, and has (what seems to be) retracting gills. Sadly, I dont have a working camera, however I will do my best to describe what is happening and his habitat.
He is about two years old, and always been a healthy axie (and a VERY voracious eater). When he was young I fed him blood worms, but now that hes bigger he is fed earthworms (about 6-10cm long). I have checked the analytes in the water, all are within exceptable range. The filter I use an external filter with a spray bar submerged underwater and faced against the wall (to create less turbulence). I live in a warm area, thus the water is slightly warmer than ideal, about 70-75 degrees F depending on the day. He is housed in a 20long, and the substrate is rock "tile" with large triangular shaped padio rock for shelter. There is also Bogwood (good sized) with a freshwater plant anchord down (now growing on it). A truly stunning setup. NOTE there is nothing in the water that the axie can fit in it's mouth, let alone mine (and NO tank-mates)
Now that you have some idea of the habitat, ill get to the axie's condition. He is swollen... from mouth to mid-section, as if he is inflated. His hind legs are even swollen. One area in particular appears to be a goiter behind his right side gills. Half the time he floats, half the time hes at the bottom, motionless. I have inspected him and used a high powerd light to confirm there is nothing he has "swollowed". In addition he doesnt respond much (if at all) to stimuli. Another thing that scares me is his gills, they have "receded" to about... 1/3 of what they once were. Receded is the best fit word, there seems to be no infection, just smaller gills. In addition they are no longer red, but the color of the rest of his body. ALSO, he doenst respond to food and vomited his last meal =(.
I dont live in an area where a vet has experince with amphibians other than their highschool frog disection.

What can i do? what is wrong? Please help!!!




Last edited by McLoren; 8th October 2010 at 01:33.
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Old 8th October 2010   #2
Shannon
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Default Re: Please help, i think hes dying!

Unfortunately, this sounds like something that will need a vet's attention as it sounds like an internal infection that will need antibiotics. I would suggest that you fridge him as this will relieve some of the stress he is undoubtedly feeling.

Perhaps you could branch out a little further for a vet? Could your local vet, zoo (if you are near one), or pet shop maybe recommend an amphibian specialist to you? Would your local vet at least be willing to take a look?

In case you don't know - you can find the proper procedure for fridging here - Fridging



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Old 8th October 2010   #3
Jennewt
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Default Re: Please help, i think hes dying!

It sounds like bloat.
Caudata Culture Articles: Bloat
It is possible to provide palliative care in the form of Ringers solution. This will hold off the swelling, but there is usually an underlying cause - either infection or organ failure - that is still there. Amphibian Ringers solution can be purchased online, or mixed using the recipe in the article linked.



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Old 8th October 2010   #4
kuphie
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Default Re: Please help, i think hes dying!

I agree, this definitely needs to be seen by a vet. I'm not a specialist, and without pictures it's hard to say for sure. This sounds like edema to me, as for the cause... i don't know.

I find it hard to believe that a 2 year old axolotl with a health (low fat/oil) diet of earthworms would have heart failure, kidney disease, or liver disease. All main causes for edema. So maybe it's an internal infection that's effecting the liver etc. I think a trip to the fridge and a course of antibiotics from your vet is your best option.

Good luck and please let us know the outcome.



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