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Old 24th December 2007   #1
YellowSloth
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Default I need help re-growing some arm :-(

Greetings!

I have noticed lately that one of my zebra fish who has been living without a problem in my newt tank for well over a year has been picking on my smallest red bellied newt. I thought the other day that maybe they hadn't been fed so I have been careful to make sure no one goes hungry.

Today when I checked in Itchy (the fish) was biting at Goliath's left arm.. I separated them then checked, and Goliath is, in fact, missing a noticable amount from his upper left arm. He's not using it much, but can move it. I've put him in a little quarentine tank with some water, but mostly rocks. Is there anything I can do to promote healing? Anything to keep it clean? Here are a couple pictures, I'll try for better ones later, didn't want to stress him out any more than necessary!

Thanks!!

Jess
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Old 24th December 2007   #2
Kaysie
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Just keep him cool and clean, and feed it a little extra, if it will eat more.



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Old 24th December 2007   #3
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This does not look good; the whole upper arm appears to be eroded. It is unlikely that the arm can grow back normally unless the entire arm comes off. Also, there's a big risk of infection with that much open tissue.

At a minimum, keep the newt in a clean environment. Wet paper towels changed daily may be easier to keep clean than water and rocks. There are various things you could apply to try to stave off infection, but it comes down to what you have access to. See:
http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/illness.shtml
http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/sores.shtml



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Old 24th December 2007   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies!

I've given Goliath his bloodworms, he didn't eat quite as much as usual, but with the injury and being moved into quarentine, I can't say I blame him... will try to give him a few more tomorrow. He's not being very active at the moment either, but he seems okay for now.. I have some tetracycline I can add to his water, but really don't want to as it seemed to bother my last injured newt more than help him....

someone told me I could use diluted rubbing alcohol (or was it peroxide?) on a q-tip to clean the wound.. anyone know much about that?

reading the articles you sent me right now! :)



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Old 24th December 2007   #5
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Ah! found the bit about peroxide



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Old 25th December 2007   #6
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The Axolotl Colony recommends against using tetracycline, as it is an amphibian skin irritant. There are other fish antibiotics that are better tolerated. See:
http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/illness.shtml

Peroxide is not the antiseptic of choice, as it tends to destroy underlying tissue. And definitely don't use alcohol. Neosporin (w/o pain killer!) may be a better choice. Or possibly diluted Nolvasan or diluted betadine.



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Old 27th December 2007   #7
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Thanks for the information! I haven't had anything other than peroxide here and haven't been able to get to the shops because of Christmas and everything, so I decided not to put anything on him or in the water until I'm able to get something better.... unless of course I start seeing signs of infection.

I've been keeping a close eye on him, no changes in the way his arm looks. He wasn't moving around a lot yesterday but today I've seen him moving around and even using his arm for swimming and walking... I'm moving him into a dirt quarentine with a little dish of water right now. I'll let you know how it goes :)



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Old 30th December 2007   #8
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Goliath is recovering! I've been keeping him clean but he's mostly just been hanging out in his little dish of water. He's slow moving, but definitly more active and using his arm more than a few days ago! I think the arm is looking loads better... no skin yet, but he's working on it - he's shedding right now. I think he's having difficulty shedding without being able to swim and wiggle out of the old skin.. Is it bad for him to have his old skin still on? it's like a big over sizes sock... I'm sure it's not comfortable, but I don't really want to pull it off him. I don't think it's around his face...


I didn't end up using a dirt quarentine - just paper towel and a dish of water big enough for him to lay comfortably in the bottom...

I've attached some pictures of his arm and skin - please excuse the dirty water I took the photos while I was cleaning and wanted to get some of his floppy old skin incase it fell off when I moved him... (it didn't) it you look in between his head and hand in the third picture you can see his hand skin floating in the water...ewwww... (but very cool at the same time..)

Should I wait until he's got new skin on the wound before I return him to the big tank? I'm worried about that but I also feel really mean keeping him in his little quarentine all alone..

thanks!
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Old 31st December 2007   #9
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I'm glad to see he's doing well. Newts have surprising healing powers, as long as they can avoid infection. What other animals are in the big tank? He'd have problems if he got into a scuffle with another newt. And if the zebrafish is still there, then definitely don't return him. The shedding looks fairly normal.



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Old 31st December 2007   #10
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Hooray!

Golly's finally shaken off his skin and eaten it. (ewww)

My tank has 4 newts (Goliath, Cabot, Oliver and Fluffy), 3 snails (Gary III, Gary IV and Gary V) the zebra fishy, two small rubies and a loach (Mittens).... Mittens and Itchy (the zebra) are the biggest after the newts but the loach has never caused any problems, just hides under his rock and comes out to lick the rocks and bamboo. I've only ever seen the newts fight at feeding time too....

I would just take Itchy out of the tank, but I haven't got anywhere else to put him at the moment... I think if I keep an eye out and maybe feed a bit more often or pay closer attention to make sure he actually gets his fair share of the blood worms, it'll probably be okay.....still going to wait untill Goliath's got a bit more of his arm back...

Thanks again for all your help :)



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Old 31st December 2007   #11
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I would really recommend separate tanks for the fish and newts. At this time of year, the newts would enjoy being cooled down (60F or below), but you can't do that if they live with tropical fish. Also, you've discovered that fish can seriously injure newts when they decide to (and you never know when they will decide to, as I also discovered the hard way). If you want the newts to be happy and healthy for many years to come, separate tanks would be the way to go.



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Old 3rd January 2008   #12
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ok, I've got another small tank that'll be ready for the fish by the time Goliath is ready to go back in the newt tank. :)


Goliath is eating lots and being more active... not using his arm as much as he could, but it is still looking better everyday.

Last night he shed his skin for the second time (that I've seen) in a week. Is that normal? I thought skin shedding was a good sign, but I didn't think it happened so often!

Thanks!



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Old 3rd January 2008   #13
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During times of growth and recovery, they'll shed fairly often. As long as he's not shedding every day, and is still eating well, growing, and healing, I wouldn't worry about it too much. And yes, they'll eat their shed almost every time. Why waste the nutrients?



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