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

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Old 26th November 2017   #1
Courtlez
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Default My axolotl floating on its back.

I really need some advice. Two days ago I came home from work and one of axolotls was moving around on the top of the water kind of irratically It seemed to be floating on one side and couldnít seem to balance itself in the water. I was a little concerned but other than that she seemed fine. A few hours later I heard a bit of splashing so I went over to check and she was floating on her back. She couldnít flip over at all. I tried to help her but as soon as she left my hands she would flop right back on her back. I quickly tried to search on here and online and figured she may be constipated. I didnít want to leave her in the tank like that because I didnít want my other axolotl to bite at her so I decided to put her in the fridge. I expected that she would clear herself out but she hasnít. Iíve changed the water every night since then but sheís still on her back. I messaged the breeder I got her from (because thereís no vets around where I live to take a look at her) and he basically said sometimes these things happen and thereís nothing you can do about it. I donít accept that, there has to be something I can do. It seems to me like her stomach if filled with air and thatís why she canít flip over. Her stomach just popped out of the water. Itís been two days and no change. Aside from being flipped the wrong way she seems in good spirits. I havenít tried to feed her and she hasnít used the bathroom since being in the fridge. I would really like to help her somehow but Iím not sure what to do. (Iíve also tried to massage her stomach as I read that can help but Iím scared Iíll hurt her &#128514 the temperature in the tank she was in is about 65. Nitrate 0.2 / ammonia 0.1. I try and do small water changes 2x weekly in their tank as it helps to keep the temperature low so I donít think it was the water tbh. In the tank I have a piece of pvc, a plastic hide and a fake bonsai tree with sand for substrate. I havenít changed anything in the tank since I got my axies in April. Thereís nothing I can see that could cause impact ion. Iím very sad over this and would like to know any suggestions you guys have as to how to help her get better.



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Old 26th November 2017   #2
Chillaxolot
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Default Re: My axolotl floating on its back.

Can't offer any advice as I'm a new owner. I hope your axie gets better



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Old 26th January 2018   #3
tgmiller
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Default Re: My axolotl floating on its back.

I have had some problems with this occurring with a few of my juvenile axolotls as well. Unfortunately I don't have a fool proof method of removing the air, but I can give you some advice through my own trial and errors in trying to solve this problem myself.

What was your axolotl's diet? The only ones that this happened with for me were the ones that were still eating live brine shrimp. Any that were on strictly frozen bloodworms and frozen brine shrimp I have thankfully not had any problems with. I'm wondering if they ate some of the unhatched eggs that inevitably were mixed in with my hatched brine shrimp during feeding. This is only speculation on my part.

Don't stop trying to feed them. I "quarantine" any that this happens to and put them in shallow water to help reduce stress but I still try to feed them every day. Put either live brine shrimp in with them (they can still eat them upside down) or use a tweezers to wave bloodworms/frozen brine shrimp in front of them to try and entice them to eat. I had a juvenile axolotl recover after floating completely upside down for 2 weeks only to lose him 2 days later because he gorged after days of my not being able to get him to eat. Looking at him, his stomach was completely full but there was nothing in his intestines, even after 2 full days of all he could eat. I assume he was unable to pass the brine shrimp. My only theory is that his gut may have been damaged due basically to starvation.

Of everything I have read on caudata so far on this problem in juvenile axolotls, I have yet to find a case where fridging has helped anyone. Not to say that this isn't worth trying but it seems that people have even had them in the fridge for 1-2 weeks without any changes. I have not refrigerated any of mine but my success rate is also very low when they are completely upside down like. The best of luck to you and your axolotl!



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