Is my Axolotl sick or dying???? HELP ASAP

GodZilla 36

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So it was a little bit ago that i found out i have a mini axolotl, that why his size and body was weird. He wasn't a baby, he's over a year old and only 3 inches big. I recently got a female dwarf and a have a divider in the tank.

For about a week now, he won't eat anything. I switched over his diet to what it should have been and he started doing really good! But within the past week, he refuses to eat any kind of worm, I've offered him blood worms, earth worms, and red wigglers. He won't eat pellets either and he won't even eat brine shrimp. It was his favorite treat. I offered him chicken yesterday and he took a piece, kept it in his mouth, then spit it out.

He's so skinny now and he can barely hold himself up, and i think its because he has no energy from not eating. He swims around a little bit but not much. His gills have also gotten very curled and it's the first time ever I've seen his tail curled. Is it because he's scared of the new axolotl in the tank? Is he sick?? What do I do??? I NEED HELP ASAP

I took him out of his tank for the pictures and to try to feed him. One of the pictures i took to show my new female, luna, compared to him. She's only 5 inches full grown. Just to put into perspective his condition. He also has always had some kind of lump by his back leg. One of the pictures shows it from the side. It's transparent.
 

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Hayleyy

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How long have you had this little one? I've seen dwarf axolotls but they still get larger, just look stunted. Never seen one this small over a year old, how weird!
What are your water parameters?
Was the larger axolotl quarantined before putting it in the tank? It may have brought in something if the parameters are all in check. From what you're describing with the gills and tail he must be stressed from something.
I would suggest tubbing him and changing 100% of the water every day as we figure out whats happening. Keep the water nice and cool.
 

GodZilla 36

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I've had him for about 4 months now.
There are no nitrates or nitrites and the ammonia is .25ppm.
and yes she was.
I think the stress came from the new axolotl being with him. I'm so scared he's dying. he refuses to eat and won't even react to food. he's lost so much weight that he can't even swim without flipping himself over. He's just under 3 inches long. I have no idea what to do at this point. It's killing me to see him suffer.

I went out today and bought a whole new tank and everything to separate them to see if that's the issue. I'm just waiting for it to cycle. I'm keeping him out of the other tank and I put him in a container until his new tank is safe. I have to keep the water in his container just above his height because he keeps trying to swim up to breathe but he's so weak and light he can barely get himself off the floor.
 

Giuseppe

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There's a sticky at the the top of the "sick axolotl?" Forum that gives instructions on how to force feed axolotl and that might be something worth trying, I'm sorry I've never done it myself.
 

Hayleyy

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Try the force feeding, I've also never done it but it's worth a shot.
If your results show 0.25 ammonia and 0 nitrites and nitrates then the cycle has crashed. You want 0 ammonia and nitrite but nitrates up to about 40ppm. This is probably contributing to the issue. A small axie will be more susceptible to parameters so it's important now to tub him and change 100% of that water daily while the other tank cycles through, this way he isn't exposed to any ammonia, etc. They should be separate so a smaller tank is a good idea. Keep the water nice and cold, this should help with the weight loss. Keep any current minimal.
The size is so weird. I don't think I've seen a case like this. Mine is around the same size but is 2-3 months old!
This one may just be sickly but all you can do is try your best. I know it's heartbreaking to see them looking so bad but just do what you can.
Keep me updated!
 

GodZilla 36

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Unfortunately he passed away 2 days after posting about it. I had so many break downs that day. The last day, his jaw just hung open, he didn't move, and he passed at 11:30 at night. I called several vets and they all said it was most likely genetic issues. I made an appointment for the next day but he didn't make it through the night. I must've messed up the testing because there is 40ppm in the tank. 0 nitrites and the ammonia level has decreased between 0 and 25ppm. My dwarf, Luna, is perfectly fine. eating swimming, being her chubby little ball of happiness. I'm absolutely crushed about Zilla passing away. He was my first axolotl and I loved the fact that he was different.

He was well over a year old. he was sexually mature and his fingertips were black. When I noticed that I could tell his gender even though he was only 3 inches big, I realized he was already an adult and fully grown. That why he didn't shown any growth at all after having him for 4 months
 

Hayleyy

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I would agree with the vets that there was a genetic issue out of your control. I know how hard it is losing an axolotl, just take comfort in the fact that you gave it a loving home. Best of luck with the other one :)
 
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