Advices for heavily neglected - near death axolotl

SimoneB

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I recently recieved from a friend a heavily neglected axolotl.
He hardly wants to eat anything, misses an anterior leg (it is growing back) the tips of various fingers are turning red (infection?) And it Is VERY skinny (i can feel wothout use of immagination every single bone especially in the tail) almost forgot to tell that also its tail is missing a piece (it's growing back too).
All big injuries are old and healing back now, but my big concern is that this ax is not gaining a gram of weight and it is probably very stressed. At the moment it is in the fridge (2 days now) in an attempt to reduce stress and increase healing but this is decreasing even more its willing to eat (not counting a small piece of heart eaten yesterday he isn't eating anything from a week).
I don't really know what to do to improve its conditions, i am desperate for advices and open to everything
Attached a pic of him
 

KumquatSquats

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first of all make sure the water is super clean, you want a pH on the high end of normal (dont let it drop below 7.0) since too low will irritate the skin more.

if its an infection you might see improvement after a round of treatment with furan-2, use half the recommended fish dose on the box. you can see a list of other safe medicines here

it looks like ammonia or nitrite burns to me so id also recommend Methylene blue dips to detox the nitrites, again only use half the fish dose for axolotls (furan 2 also includes Methylene blue but at lower concentrations so just an extra measure if you already have it)

you can also try adding tannins to the water but id wait to do that after using the medicine as it can make it harder for the medicine to work into the skin. you can add tannins with pure black tea, just make sure the box only has tea leaves as an ingredient, there are threads about how to do a tea bath when the time comes.
 

SimoneB

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Thanks for the great advices, i will surely proceed in this direction.

I would like to ask a couple more questions
1- what about the fridging? Should i remove the ax or not? I think removing it just after 2 days would cause more stress.
2-what about eating? This is to me the real emergency. Because it's getting thinner and thinner and refusing to eat anything at all. Any advices on how to help gain weight?

Please take note that i have tried the following food:
1- earthworms - totally refused, not even interested by the movement
2- fish cubes - some interest (couple pieces eaten in a couple of weeks)
3- chicken heart - often interested but recently refusing all feeding attempt
4- chicken meat - as fish cubes

Thanks in advance for the support ;)
 

KumquatSquats

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Thanks for the great advices, i will surely proceed in this direction.

I would like to ask a couple more questions
1- what about the fridging? Should i remove the ax or not? I think removing it just after 2 days would cause more stress.
2-what about eating? This is to me the real emergency. Because it's getting thinner and thinner and refusing to eat anything at all. Any advices on how to help gain weight?

Please take note that i have tried the following food:
1- earthworms - totally refused, not even interested by the movement
2- fish cubes - some interest (couple pieces eaten in a couple of weeks)
3- chicken heart - often interested but recently refusing all feeding attempt
4- chicken meat - as fish cubes

Thanks in advance for the support ;)
fridging will slow down metabolism so id keep them cold for now, its probably your best chance at having time for the treatments to work.
are the fish cubes bloodworms or brine shrimp? if not id try those. if you can get some gel food mix (repashy is the brand here, its normally sold for reptiles) or melt carnivore pellets in hot water you could pipette it into the mouth and maybe the taste would make him more eager to eat, ive seen a thread where that helped

i wouldnt try and feed them more chicken, its not what they are meant to eat so its hard to digest and this guy really needs easy foods right now. hope he gets better soon!
 

SimoneB

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Thanks a 'lotl fot the advice! I will keep you updated. By the way, i did water tests yesterday and all parameters were just fine.
 

axolotlmom89

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I would try live black worms for that particular axolotl as it can eat as it gets hungry and you can leave them for extended periods with the axolotl.
 
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  • MuggleMiChu:
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    @MuggleMiChu, how big they are? also for substrate, i would not do gravel at all I would either do sand or none at all!
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    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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    Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.
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