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HELP! Axolotl has a...pimple...? and is shedding!

bitea

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Hello Everyone!

I am in desperate need of help.
So I had to go away for a little bit and I left my axolotl in the care of my friend. When I got back, i noticed she had started shedding and had a small pimple-like formation on her back. At first, i thought it could be because of poor water conditions, yet after testing those, it was all good - ammonia and nitrite at 0ppm, and nitrate at safe levels, ph 7. Nevertheless, i tubbed her anyways, just to have a more isolated and overall sterile environment. I treated the water with API Pimafix, as i was told that even if there isn't a fungal infection, it feels good on their skin, and water conditioner. I also put an airstone in it. Changing the water every 24hs. However, i haven't had any luck. Bought Melafix and treated the water with it as well. She continues shedding, and the pimple looks to have been grown a slight bit (Her appetite is good and while she still was in the tank, was rather active, despite everything). I have been thinking of maybe buying aquatic antibiotics for her, but unfortunately, over-the-counter medication is not available here in Canada, unless you go through a vet.

I am panicking about what it could be... i have researched the whole internet and haven't really found anything entirely similar to it... Could it be saprolegniasis? The flakes are not cotton-like, however.. doesn't exactly resemble fungus, yet i could be wrong. They are more one-piece, and flaky. Could it be a wart? That could slightly explain the shedding. Tumour?? The pimple is more on-skin, rather than under, as a tumour would be, and it is even in shape.
I am in desperate need of help and advice. I have been losing sleep over it and hate to see her this way, and not being able to help her, i am trying my hardest.

Really looking forward to your responses! Thank you for everything in advance.

All the best for everyone,
A.

P.S I have contacted multiple vets in my area yet none of them treat axolotls... I have come across one possible specialist however, i am contacting them ASAP.
 

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axolotl nerd

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Mar 17, 2021
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Location
oklahoma
Hello Everyone!

I am in desperate need of help.
So I had to go away for a little bit and I left my axolotl in the care of my friend. When I got back, i noticed she had started shedding and had a small pimple-like formation on her back. At first, i thought it could be because of poor water conditions, yet after testing those, it was all good - ammonia and nitrite at 0ppm, and nitrate at safe levels, ph 7. Nevertheless, i tubbed her anyways, just to have a more isolated and overall sterile environment. I treated the water with API Pimafix, as i was told that even if there isn't a fungal infection, it feels good on their skin, and water conditioner. I also put an airstone in it. Changing the water every 24hs. However, i haven't had any luck. Bought Melafix and treated the water with it as well. She continues shedding, and the pimple looks to have been grown a slight bit (Her appetite is good and while she still was in the tank, was rather active, despite everything). I have been thinking of maybe buying aquatic antibiotics for her, but unfortunately, over-the-counter medication is not available here in Canada, unless you go through a vet.

I am panicking about what it could be... i have researched the whole internet and haven't really found anything entirely similar to it... Could it be saprolegniasis? The flakes are not cotton-like, however.. doesn't exactly resemble fungus, yet i could be wrong. They are more one-piece, and flaky. Could it be a wart? That could slightly explain the shedding. Tumour?? The pimple is more on-skin, rather than under, as a tumour would be, and it is even in shape.
I am in desperate need of help and advice. I have been losing sleep over it and hate to see her this way, and not being able to help her, i am trying my hardest.

Really looking forward to your responses! Thank you for everything in advance.

All the best for everyone,
A.

P.S I have contacted multiple vets in my area yet none of them treat axolotls... I have come across one possible specialist however, i am contacting them ASAP.
i’m more or less at a loss, but figured you’d appreciate a quick reply (even if it’s not terribily helpful)
i suspect it’s her slime coat shedding, as for why, i’m not sure. possibly a temperature or other stress issue - as for her pimple/growth/tumor, i suspect it’s a cyst. she likely needs to be seen by a vet to have it lanced, or else it will eventually burst on its own and dirty the water greatly, leaving the wound open for reinfection. better pictures of the cyst would be greatly appreciated
- please take my advice with a grain of salt. i’ve had axolotls for only about a year, am not a vet, and am still a dumb teenager- i do not know all
hope they get better soon! good luck finding a vet!
 

bitea

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i’m more or less at a loss, but figured you’d appreciate a quick reply (even if it’s not terribily helpful)
i suspect it’s her slime coat shedding, as for why, i’m not sure. possibly a temperature or other stress issue - as for her pimple/growth/tumor, i suspect it’s a cyst. she likely needs to be seen by a vet to have it lanced, or else it will eventually burst on its own and dirty the water greatly, leaving the wound open for reinfection. better pictures of the cyst would be greatly appreciated
- please take my advice with a grain of salt. i’ve had axolotls for only about a year, am not a vet, and am still a dumb teenager- i do not know all
hope they get better soon! good luck finding a vet!
Hi!
Thank you so much for your quick reply! I do appreciate it!
The temperature was always around 18-19 degrees celsius, as for her stress levels - not sure. There weren't any obvious reasons why she could have been stressed in the tank.. being in the tub would be stressful though, yet she was shedding already before I tubbed her.
Now that you mention it - it could be a cyst. I hadn't thought of it.
Ironically enough, yesterday morning when I finally received an email from the specialist, was also the first morning when she had stopped shedding. She did shed again last night but hoping that it's more of a slow burn towards recovery. I am going to continue tubbing her for a little bit to see how it goes. If she continues on shedding every night, gonna contact the specialist again.
Haven't had a chance to take a good picture, will try again tomorrow and post it.

I Will update if anything changes. Thank you again so much for all the help! Even if it was just an educated guess, it was nice to hear a second opinion that, in fact, helped put things in a new perspective.

All the best,
A.
 

axolotl nerd

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
722
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252
Location
oklahoma
Hi!
Thank you so much for your quick reply! I do appreciate it!
The temperature was always around 18-19 degrees celsius, as for her stress levels - not sure. There weren't any obvious reasons why she could have been stressed in the tank.. being in the tub would be stressful though, yet she was shedding already before I tubbed her.
Now that you mention it - it could be a cyst. I hadn't thought of it.
Ironically enough, yesterday morning when I finally received an email from the specialist, was also the first morning when she had stopped shedding. She did shed again last night but hoping that it's more of a slow burn towards recovery. I am going to continue tubbing her for a little bit to see how it goes. If she continues on shedding every night, gonna contact the specialist again.
Haven't had a chance to take a good picture, will try again tomorrow and post it.

I Will update if anything changes. Thank you again so much for all the help! Even if it was just an educated guess, it was nice to hear a second opinion that, in fact, helped put things in a new perspective.

All the best,
A.
i’m not entirely sure of anything, but mysterious lumps and bumps seem to be relatively common in axolotls. most of what i’ve seen have turned out to be non cancerous tumors or cysts, more commonly cysts. as for her shedding, i suspect her slime layer is failing. this indicates something wrong with her immune system, or, in easier words to understand, she’s sick somehow. what are your parameters? she doesnt appear stressed (no pushed forward gills, no curled tail) but they don’t shed their slime coat for no reason. overall shes an interesting patient to say the least, and i’m mildly jealous of whatever vet gets to address her growth and determine what it is.
id continue tubbing her with water changes and frequent tea baths to help soothe her slime layer. other than that, you seem to be doing fine on your own :)
 
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  • axolotl nerd:
    betta*
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  • Asholotl:
    Just got to cycle the water. keep the water nice betas are pretty easy since they are very hardy, and they tend to glow once you give them the right attention. ive had a few. they are my go to fish to be honest.
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  • axolotl nerd:
    interesting.
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  • Nichill:
    Hi I'm a bit worried about our axolotl Berry she's approx 4 months old . She had a big meal yesterday of blood worm and today is very restless she's been swimming around all day and trying to get to the top sometimes not making it. Her tummy does seem really full even though she has had 2 poops . There's no gravel in her tank she's on sand . My water seems fine
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  • Nichill:
    Amonia 0 nitrite 0 and pH 7
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  • axolotl nerd:
    pictures would be very helpful- this could possibly be an emergency if it is something like bloat
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  • Nichill:
    I can't seem to upload a pic I've just searched bloat and it's nothing as severe as on there . How do I upload a pic
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  • Nichill:
    I have done another water check and my pH has gone down
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  • rads:
    Hey y’all! So I just had a quick question. I had a well established cycled tank. I added in a sand substrate that I had previously had in the tank (when it cycled the first time). It recycled and everything was golden. As I was re-adding it I noticed a smell to it but figured it was just “fish” smell. I also have a cat. Long story short, I think the cat managed to find the sand, pee in it, and because I was already suspicious I tested my tank just in case a few hours later to find my ammonia 2.0! I pulled my axolotl out and have done a 75% change. Prior to sand earlier today ammonia was 0. So do I add the ammonia blocker or stick to water changes?
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  • rads:
    The tank should be cycled but I believe the sand added too much ammonia that normally wouldn’t be an issue. So I’m thinking ammonia block for the next few days, but then won’t the ammonia just sit there since it can’t be processed? The safer bet is always going to be water changes I know,
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  • axolotl nerd:
    i have no words, honestly. this is like the time i accidentally dropped a worm in the sink and it was never heard from again, just a big “whoops” that i don’t know how to fix— my best advice//what i’d personally do is remove the sand entirely, remove all water, keep the filter media, and just recycle while your axie is tubbed. the sheer amount of ammonia in car urine is insane, and i’m impressed your axolotl survived
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  • rads:
    It was within the span of maybe two hours at most lol. I’ll do that and I have a second tank with lotls in it that has just enough room to temporarily keep them in it. I read up on it and decided to dose with ammo lock since it’s not a cycling tank and was cycled already along with water changes.
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  • JazAxolotl:
    Hello everyone :]
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    hiiiii!! currently on my way to typing out a welcome speech on your thread :)
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    Aaa ty
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    Hello 🙂
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    Happy 2022 everybody! 😁
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  • DeCypher:
    I used to breed axolotls, since I was 14, and sell and barter with people here. Now I’m 24 and the axolotls are fancy breeds for a ton of money. Does anyone have 2 or 3 wilds?
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    or leucistics
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  • Asholotl:
    I have a wild male with protein gene. I soon plan on getting a Lucy female soon.
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  • Nichill:
    Hi just need a bit of advice since I added plants to my tank (java fern ) my nitrate level has gone up to 0.5 what can I do to get them back down . My axolotl seems to love the plants so don't really want to take them out . Thanks
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  • britt6393:
    Hi new to forum and new to axolotl. Checked water parameters this am ph 7.6, high range ph 7.8, ammonia between 0 and 0.25 ppm, nitrate 5.0 ppm, nitrite 0. Should i water change or will this mess up the tank? Thank you
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  • bhollow:
    @britt6393, those water parameters sound good i dont think you need to do a water change. youd do one when the nitrates reach 20ppm
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    Hello Chat!
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