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

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Old 26th August 2018   #1
Hayles
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Default Can't work out what is up with my axie :-/

Hi

I've had Godzilla for over 4 years with no issues at all. About 6 weeks ago she went off colour - I think it might have been heat stress as I was struggling to keep water temp down. She refused to eat for a couple of weeks and started to lose pigment (she's a wild type colour). I got temp stable and she seemed to bounce back but I've got to the stage now where she's eating fine, but isn't putting on weight, her back end has been a bit floaty for about 3 or 4 weeks but she's pooping regularly, I've done water changes and the PH and nitrate levels are fine, and the temp is fine, she's had a couple of salt baths, and she seems to have less of a floaty butt, but now her gill filaments have all but disappeared, within a couple of days.

She seems fairly happy other than being skinny, pale and gill-less! Her appetite is good and moving through her fine. I'm just stuck as to what to do next.

Any advice would be very much welcomed!!



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Old 27th August 2018   #2
Hayley
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Default Re: Can't work out what is up with my axie :-/

Post a picture if you can so we can see her body condition. If there's an issue with her skin you might find tea baths more helpful than salt baths, which I reserve for fluffy fungus.
Wildtypes can change colour through life, my one turned dark through adolescence. I've seen a couple of posts where wilds have lost pigment.
What are the ammonia and nitrite levels? These usually contribute to a lot of health issues. particularly gill loss. Have you tried fridging for the floating? Even if she is passing poop maybe there's still some digestion issues.
What is her diet? If she isn't putting weight back on, try offering more food and/or more often.
Love the axie's name!



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Old 27th August 2018   #3
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Default Re: Can't work out what is up with my axie :-/

Thank you so much for getting back to me!

Pictures attached :-)

I'd be interested to know more about tea baths (I kinda want one myself )

She's super interested in food and eating for Britain. She has mostly crickets but also latterly some waxworms (when she was really ill it's all she'd eat) and the odd baby slug from the garden - they've always been her favourites!

I did a majority water change last Thursday and scoop poop as soon as she does em, nitrates are coming up as zero - I'm just using test strips from a pet shop.
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Old 27th August 2018   #4
Hayley
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Default Re: Can't work out what is up with my axie :-/

Wow! It looks like the other posts I have seen where there has just been a loss of pigment, similar to vitiligo.
I used to feed crickets too, long before being on this site and knowing better. It's not the best diet for them as they don't have the right nutrients and there can be digestion issues due to the exoskeleton. Get your hands on some worms and feed however much she will eat in a day and you should see a change pretty quickly! Bucky got really plump after a couple of weeks on nightcrawlers. Any worms without a hard exoskeleton will be better than crickets, nightcrawlers are my worm of choice.
The diet is probably causing the floating issue, switching should help. Give fridging a go and see if that does anything. Here's the guide: https://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?t=85263

It doesn't look like she needs a tea bath, since it appears to be pigmentation. I use them when I notice a slime coat issue. The reasoning behind it is the tannins in the tea help soothe the skin and promote healing. You can put straight indian almond leaves in the tank, or brew some pure black tea and add it to the tank. Scroll down on this link and it explains it more for you http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/illness2.shtml

Hope this helps!



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Old 27th August 2018   #5
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Default Re: Can't work out what is up with my axie :-/

Here's another post of an axolotl with a similar thing :) https://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?t=66100



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Old 30th August 2018   #6
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Default Re: Can't work out what is up with my axie :-/

Thank you, I had seen sites say crickets should be dusted with nutrient powder but so many places recommend them as ideal food that I never even thought they could cause an issue. Now I think on her poops are made up of mostly exoskeleton so obviously she can't digest it. Will definitely get her onto worms straight away, will go dig some up :-)

I noticed yesterday her gill frills are starting to regrow, and they're double the length today, and she's not floating on the back end at all, so I'm hopeful we've seen it off. If not I'll get her fridged (though my fridge is not the most reliable on temp hence some reluctance)

The pigmentation is still a mystery, will see if it changes or stays the same once she's more of a fatty again!



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Old 31st August 2018   #7
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Default Re: Can't work out what is up with my axie :-/

Great! There's so much misinformation, especially from pet stores, so it can be hard to know exactly what to do. This forum has saved me and my axies haha
Goodluck!



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