FYI: How to: Force feed an adult axolotl

aviark

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Has anyone seen a pattern on what types usually quit eating first? Like, maybe, albino..
Anorexia in Western Australian axoltls: Great question Willowcat. I have seen it, but never seen it raised as an issue viz link betwixt Anorexia and colour morph. Two variations on the theme too. 1) Healthy adult axolotls becoming Anorexic. 2) Wasting phenomenon in hachlings and small larvae.

Returning to Willowcat's question... I have seen it, over 10 years, in two breeding-age males, about 5 years apart. Both dark-eyed mocha coloured males. Unrelated (as best they can be, given no 'new blood' in Australia, to speak of.) And not 'inos.

The first male never really recovered, but I did get him 'over the line' by keeping him 'penned' in a coral bed filtration pipe with constant cool running water. I'm fortunate to have commercial grade aquaculture facilities at my work site. He died, but from other accidental causes. The second male fully (?) recovered a year ago and is paired at the moment. When he had anorexia he fed poorly, with a gap of between 2 to 4 weeks between feeding. This went on for about a year. He got very skinny. Now, awaiting eggs from his mate. Successful breeding, by him and his mate, will be the real test to see if he is functionally recovered.
Anyone experiencing this problem, but losing the adult axoltls should, if they can bear it, do a post mortem. The problem could be as simple as a gut blockage. (Small stones etc.) You cannot put Humpty back together again- but you can take steps to avoid future blockages and losses, if that's the cause of the problem.
 

willowcat

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What are the species that your aquaculture facilities culture? May I ask what you do there? (if I don't get back too you soon, I am not ignoring you, I am hitting the sack)
 

Sylerwin

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Has anyone seen a pattern on what types usually quit eating first? Like, maybe, albino..
I lost a melanoid first, then a leucistic.
after that I had a wild stop eating for a few weeks then start, and now I have a dirty lucy acting up
 

IgosDuIkana

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Güero, my leucistic stopped eating for almost three weeks, since I wasn't able to find eating pills or powder food i decided to use Tubifex. I followed the procedure and taked a little bit of tubifex in the syringe, with enough water of course, then I pumped it slowly into Güero's mouth, i made sure he has swallowed it all and then I left him at peace. I made that for two to three days, now he eats by his own.

Conclusion: Don't be afraid to try it with Tubifex :)

Sorry for the bad english... :D
 
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HitmanSougo13

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Güero, my leucistic stopped eating for almost three weeks, since I wasn't able to find eating pills or powder food i decided to use Tubifex. I followed the procedure and taked a little bit of tubifex in the syringe, with enough water of course, then I pumped it slowly into Güero's mouth, i made sure he has swallowed it all and then I left him at peace. I made that for two to three days, now he eats by his own.

Conclusion: Don't be afraid to try it with Tubifex :)

Sorry for the bad english... :D
Very cool idea IgosDukana! I am glad the force feeding helped your Axie! =D a vet once told me that amphibians can forget how to eat after not eating for a while so they can be encouraged to eat again.
 

KBow83

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Thank you for this. I will definitely be bookmarking this in case I ever need it!
 

tue91774

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Thank you so much for this post, very helpful
 

nerdybirds73

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I am posting this thread as one possible option to help an axolotl. ULTIMATELY, IT IS YOUR DECISION on what you feel is best for your axolotl as every axolotl behaves differently. People do not like the idea of force feeding an axolotl because one can crush an axolotl's jaw or squeeze its soft body. I want to let people know that there is a way to preform force feeding that does minimal harm to an axolotl. You don't need to crush their jaw or squeeze its body. This is a two person job.
NOTE: Your axolotl will be stressed and will be scared of you.

Force feeding is not good in general, but amphibians sometimes are force fed if they will not eat and may die of starvation. In some cases, force feeding encourages some amphibians to start eating again (Of course my research into it only talks about general amphibians.) The option of force feeding is for you if you are really worried about your axolotl who has not eaten for weeks and you fear you will lose it since nothing else seems to work and it's gotten awfully skinny. Or in some cases, if you have to give it medicine prescribed by the vet. My vet advised me to not fridge the axolotl if you are forcefeeding since fridging shuts the system down. Instead by letting the axolotl be in it's usual temperature, it's metabolism is not slowed down.


SUMMARY
This post shows you how to force feed an axolotl by wrapping it up in a soft towel and prying its mouth open with a rubber spatula. A syringe is used to administer wet food into the axolotl's mouth. The axolotl may rub it's gills against the towel it is wrapped in. But they will grow back.

NOTE: I DO NOT recommend this on a young axolotl because they are too soft! Force feeding a little one can seriously hurt them. I am sorry that I do not have a solution to force feed young axolotls. :(





You need:

  • A rubber spatula scrapper


  • A very soft cloth like Microfibre, make sure this towel is about the length of half your axolotl's head to half of the axolotl's tail. If not fold the towel to become that length
  • A small syringe - 2ml or 3 ml works great
  • A small tub to put your axolotl in make sure there is room for your axolotl and your hand
  • A small container to put powder food in
  • Powdered form of food or if you don't, use a pill crusher to crush some pellets. Buy a new pill crusher, don't use the one in your kitchen as it may have traces of other pills people have taken.
  • A partner to help you

DIRECTIONS - To feed an Adult axolotl

  1. Fill the tub with declorinated water enough to cover the axolotl.
  2. Put the powdered food into the small container
  3. Fill the syringe with declorinated water up to about the 1.5 ml line
  4. Empty the syringe into the small container and allow the powdered food to thicken
  5. Fill the syringe with the moist food up to about the 2ml line.
  6. Wet the cloth with declorinated water and squeeze it out, we just want it moist.
  7. Get your axolotl into the tub (best to do this in a bathroom)
  8. Quickly put your axolotl on the towel with belly down. Make sure more than half its head is not on the towel.
  9. Quickly wrap the towel around the axolotl firmly to lock it in place (it will look like a burrito or a baby wrapped up). If you wrap the towel too loosely, the axolotl will squirm and move out of it. If it does, put it back into the tub and prepare to preform step 7 again.
  10. Gently hold your axolotl upward but do not let the towel become loose. If your axolotl's neck is exposed or the axolotl's eyes are not exposed, then redo step 7. (If the axolotl's neck is exposed, the axolotl will squirm a lot, if the eyes are not exposed, the axolotl may rub their eyes against the towel)
    NOTE: DO NOT SQUEEZE YOUR AXOLOTL!
  11. Pry it's mouth open gently with the spatula. Turn your spatula clockwise or counterclockwise to get your axolotl's mouth to open a bit.
  12. Get your partner to place the syringe slightly into the axolotl's mouth and gently empty out about a quarter of the syringe. If the food paste is too thick, get your partner to hand scoop a bit of water from the tub and pour the water over the axolotl, a bit of the water will go into the axolotl's mouth.
  13. Remove the spatula and keep the axolotl upright until you notice it swallowing. During then feel free to scoop a handful of water from the tub over your axolotl's face.
  14. Repeat step 11 to 13 until the syringe is empty.
  15. Put the axolotl back into the tub and you can keep it upright for a bit just to make sure it swallowed and won't regurgitate or put the axolotl in the tub and lift it's chin up. The axolotl may still regurgitate in the tub.
  16. Put your axolotl back into the tank if you feel it won't regurgitate anymore.
And of course now your axolotl will look awful in color after being force fed and be stressed out...:( but it will calm down. I hope this thread gives some insight on saving some axies from emaciation.
Could you use blended or crushed up earthworms, or blood worms? or are there other things you can use besides pellets?
 
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