Broken/dislocated arms with molting skin :(

LizzardFish

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Hi friends! I've been a silent observer of this site for a long time but need your help now. I have two axolotls (~5 years) with no history of any problems, no fighting, no infections, etc. Yesterday I noticed that BOTH front arms on one of my guys look broken/dislocated. He is holding his arms at an awkward angle at his side and not moving around very much, he also had no appetite. In addition to this, the skin on both arms appears to be molting off (almost looks like a rotting is happening). Has anyone ever seen anything like this? The only thing I can imagine is that they got into a fight but it's very odd that its both of his front arms. My other axolotl is happy as a clam with no injuries or issues that I can tell. From what I've already read online, it looks like we can wait it out or amputate. Any advice would be really appreciated!
 

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LizzardFish

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Could he just be going through and uncomfortable shed?
Maybe... My understanding is that axolotls aren't supposed to shed their skin unless something is very wrong (they're highly stressed). Neither of my axys have noticeably shed before.
 

Murk

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Might be I'm looking at the picture wrong - but it looks like there is similar white stuff on some of the gills?
 

LizzardFish

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Might be I'm looking at the picture wrong - but it looks like there is similar white stuff on some of the gills?
Sorry for the rough quality of the pictures, it was hard to avoid getting a glare. The gills had no issues yesterday when I first noticed the arms but as I keep monitoring throughout today it does look like perhaps there is a little fungus becoming prevalent on a couple of his gills (it's still a very minor amount, in relation to his arms). The other axolotls gill are completely healthy.
 

michael

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Maybe... My understanding is that axolotls aren't supposed to shed their skin unless something is very wrong (they're highly stressed). Neither of my axys have noticeably shed before.
Axolotls shed their skin. You might not notice it except when their are problems with the shedding. It looks like wounds and or infections to me. Keep an eye on it to see if it gets worse. If it starts to look worse medicate.
 

Calgarycoppers

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Looks like wounds and sloughing to me. Likely from tank mate attack.

I would tub and do daily water changes - you may need treat for infection
 

LizzardFish

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Thank you for all the helpful replies - I wanted to post an update in case anyone stumbles across this in the future. We isolated our axolotl in a fridge and did daily water changes but became more concerned after a couple of days when she still wouldn't eat. We took her to an exotic animal vet this morning who found a cancerous mass in her throat that had been pushing on her lymph nodes and cutting off blood supply to her extremities. The prognosis was bad (less than a couple of days) and even with surgery to remove the mass, the vet said she likely would make it less than a month due to stress. We made the difficult decision to put her down.
 

Binditheaxolotl

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Thank you for all the helpful replies - I wanted to post an update in case anyone stumbles across this in the future. We isolated our axolotl in a fridge and did daily water changes but became more concerned after a couple of days when she still wouldn't eat. We took her to an exotic animal vet this morning who found a cancerous mass in her throat that had been pushing on her lymph nodes and cutting off blood supply to her extremities. The prognosis was bad (less than a couple of days) and even with surgery to remove the mass, the vet said she likely would make it less than a month due to stress. We made the difficult decision to put her down.
I’m very sorry💔 you did the the right thing putting her down, there’s no way you could have known. Odd she got cancer, that’s super unlucky. I’m so sorry for your loss💔💔 I hope you recover and heal soon and remember that you couldn’t have done anything and you did what you could💔💔
 

LizzardFish

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I’m very sorry💔 you did the the right thing putting her down, there’s no way you could have known. Odd she got cancer, that’s super unlucky. I’m so sorry for your loss💔💔 I hope you recover and heal soon and remember that you couldn’t have done anything and you did what you could💔💔
Thank you for the kind words. The vet performed a necropsy and found that the mass that she thought was in her throat was actually much more severe tumors protruding from her swollen heart. She let me know that if even if we went through with the surgery there would be no other course than to euthanize her as the tumors had taken over her heart. Until that point I had felt guilty that we opted to not do the surgery, but I'm able to make peace with it now. I'm glad she's no longer in pain
 
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