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Not eating for weeks, green poo, etc.

arsn9lea

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Rosie (female name, but don't really know gender) is about two years old and lives alone in a 29 gal. fully cycled tank with a bare bottom. Water checks consistently show 0.0-0.25 ammonia (always somewhere between the two colors), nitrite 0, and 10-20 for nitrates.

I don't think she's eaten since about Christmas, so for about a month.

About 3 weeks ago or so, I found her in the upper corner of the tank, floating head up with her tail down. She wasn't very responsive, but with a lot of prompting, swam to the bottom. She has not had problems staying on the bottom, and rarely goes to the top. In fact, she seems to like to wedge herself in very tight corners and places.

She has been extremely lethargic since then. Her cloaca area looked very swollen and I attempted to bring down her tank temperature significantly as a form of mild fridging. Several days at about 52F/11C resulted in some poo, but not much and no apparent reduction in the swelling.

I fridged her for a bit over a week, which produced some poo, but again not much, and a reduction in the swelling.

She has now been back in the tank for a few days, at room temperature. She remains very lethargic and still hasn't eaten. She doesn't even strike at the red wigglers, which are normally the staple of her diet. She She seems able to get around when she wants to and still likes to crawl into very awkward tight places. Earlier today, she was literally folded in half, with her head up, and the rest of her body underneath her. Also, for the last couple of days, she has kept her mouth partially open. I think she's losing weight, but doesn't look terribly emaciated to me at this point.

Today, I've started to see some bright green poo emerge from her behind, but it is just trails behind her. Her gills have always been somewhat forward, but they appear more so right now, and today I've noticed some tail curling, which is new.

It's very difficult to take pictures in the tank, but I've attached four of them. The photo with her looking to the left is from when she was first placed in the fridge a couple of weeks ago. (Never mind the tail - the curled look was just because she was moving at the time.) The other three are from today, back in the tank. The top is meant to show her weight. The facial shot shoes the mouth being open and the gills bent forward. The full profile shot looking to the right shows the whole works, including the tail curl. Ignore all of the green lines, as they are scratches on the glass. The animal has no obvious scratches, cuts, or skin issues.

Any suggestions?
 

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arsn9lea

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Today, she is perched on some rocks, with her front end on the rocks and her back end hanging over the edge. There is a long (more than 1"/2.5cm) string of green material hanging out of her cloaca. It's the width of a string or maybe a little wider, but nowhere near the size of a full poo.

I'll tag @wolfen into this thread in case they have ideas. Thanks.
 

wolfen

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his/her eyes are almost white/clear so there is a touch of anaemia (it is easier to tell if there is anaemia with albinos as their eyes don't have any colour, the red is blood flow)
what is the ph kh gh
green faecal matter is normally a sign of infection (whether bacterial or parasitic) or ingestion of plant matter (also been known for fake plants to be ingested)
for anaemia fluid therapy can be used, this involves the use of 50% - 100% holtfreters and possibly amphibian ringers solution, for the green faecal matter vet treatment may be required to determine cause and therefore treatment.
 

arsn9lea

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I'll check the levels when I get home from work.

No plant material in the tank, real or fake, so infection seems much more likely. Any home treatments while I try to figure out how best to proceed on the feces/vet situation?
 

wolfen

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methyline blue baths can be used as can acriflavine baths for infections, using holtfreters will treat anaemia and slight cloaca swelling used with magnesium sulphate will also aid digestion.
 

arsn9lea

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methyline blue baths can be used as can acriflavine baths for infections, using holtfreters will treat anaemia and slight cloaca swelling used with magnesium sulphate will also aid digestion.

I've ordered some methylene blue 2.3% fluid, which should arrive in a couple of days. What do you recommend for dosage and exposure time? I intend to provide the treatments in a small separate container, which holds about 3L or so.

And how about the holtfreter's? Is that something she stays in or for certain exposure times? If I use a similar 3L container, does my math of about 5g of salt sound about right? Can I add the methylene blue to the holtfreter's or should these treatments be administered separately.

Also, my high range pH figure is somewhere between 8.2 and 8.3, judging by the color.

Thanks again.
 
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wolfen

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methyline blue is fine being used with holtfreters, methyline dosage needs to be half fish dose (the water should be sky blue ie.. same colour as 0ppm nitrite test) 10 minute bath.
test ph with low range first, is it at the limit? (has been known for low range to read low and high range high)
holtfreters is permanent solution that creates the ideal environment for axolotls to live in, 5g salt in 3 litres is just over what would be in 50% holtfreters which is fine.
try to test kh gh.
 

arsn9lea

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I don't have tests for kh and gh, unfortunately.

With regard to the pH test, the numbers above were after performing the low range test first. That color appeared identical to the highest number on that scale, which is 7.4. Then I did the high range test and got the 8.2-8.3 figure. That was yesterday, right before I posted. After that, about 24 hours ago, I did a large PWC of 40-50%. Now, the low range pH has the same result and the high range test is a bit lower, maybe 8.0-8.1. Because my tap water is unsoftened well water and is quite hard (will leave scale if left on a surface), I tested that and it was very close to 8.0. The ammonia in both the tank and the tap water remains the same as always, where it looks somewhere between 0 and 0.25. Of course, the hard tap water has been a feature for as long as I've had this axolotl, and a prior axolotl, who was generally quite healthy.

The methylene blue should arrive tomorrow. Is that a 10 minute bath once per day?

Rosie looks the same today as yesterday. Just kind of sitting there with a bulgy sore looking cloaca, green poo stringing out, and bright red forward gills. Yesterday, I picked her up to view her underside. I was able to do so, but she put up a fight, so there's some strength left.

One more point: I think her eyes have always looked like that. I've attached a photo from over a year ago and I don't really see any difference.

I really appreciate all of your help and advice.
 

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wolfen

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his eyes are really pale as are his gills, do they go red with exertion? albinos eyes should have a red tint to them as you are seeing the blood vessels so it is quite a concern.
the normal routine for methyline blue is 10mins per day but in some cases this can be extended to 1hr.
at any point has there been any red tint in the water, anything that could indicate bleeding externally.
there are cases where bacterial infections have caused anaemia and swelling in areas although this will have to be diagnosed via a vet as antibiotics such as Oxytetracycline will be required.
if you have high ph with calcium carbonate deposits then bicarbonate of soda and calcium chloride aren't required in the holtfreters solution and can be substituted with magnesium sulphate.
 

arsn9lea

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I don't remember ever seeing the eyes a different color than they are. They've always had that empty look, even under exertion.

The gills do get more red with exertion. They have also been almost consistently red since the illness began.

I've attached two current pictures.

No red tint to the water at all, whether tubbed or in the big tank.
 

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wolfen

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is there any way to test your kh gh.
if your water is hard with limescale traces then you should have enough calcium in the water, adding holtfreters (without bicarb or calcium) at 100% with magnesium sulphate at 0.2g per litre water used as medical dose should help, this can be reduced to 50% after a week.
how active is he at night?
without proper diagnosis only supportive therapy can be used, try to keep the water temperature around 15°c if possible, use modified holtfreters, methyline blue bath.
when you do a water change rinse your filter media through as well.
get some 12% hydrogen peroxide, add 20ml per 25 litres water 1 hour before adding to aquarium.
 

arsn9lea

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I looked into kh gh kits. From an internet search, I was not able to find any locally. The kit could be ordered but it would likely be more than a week before arrival.

She is normally fairly active at night. She has not been very active, at night or during the day, since becoming ill. She does move some, though, because I do find her in different positions from time to time.

She had one soak in the methylene blue today and has been tubbed in 50% Holtfreters (with the modifications you described for epsom salt/MgSO4) for several hours since. (I did that before getting your most recent message.) I'll increase that to 100% now and repeat the methylene blue and fresh 100% Holtfreter's tomorrow and each day unless something changes.

I've attached two photos from just now. In person, the eyes and gills looked exactly the same (the darker red color and some tint in the eyes) when taking both pictures, so there must be quite a bit of color difference using the phone camera at different angles. The cloaca is very bulgy with a small amount of green poo. It's hard to see in the picture, but the very tip of the tail has a distinct bend.

One question about the hydrogen peroxide: I assume that you're NOT telling me to add that to the hospital tub, but instead to add it to the regular aquarium an hour before she goes back in upon being (hopefully) recovered to full strength?

Related question: Should I be adding fish flakes or red wigglers or something to the aquarium to keep the cycle going? If so, how often?

Thanks again.
 

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wolfen

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the hydrogen peroxide will kill bacteria and any single celled organisms in the water, after 1 hour it will have mostly broken down into water and oxygen and will be harmless to aquatic organisms, once this process is done the water is safe for both aquarium and tub.
hydrogen peroxide is one of the safest ways to clean and sterilise (it can also be used to kill algae), the reason behind using hydrogen peroxide is to limit exposure to bacteria whilst he is in a fragile state.
there does seem to be a visible change in the colouration from previous photos, the gills are brighter and there is slight colour to the eyes.
 

arsn9lea

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Today was day 3 of the methylene blue and 100% Holtfreter's solution. She (or he?) seems a bit livelier, but still no eating and she's getting skinner. The cloaca looks terrible. I was able to get a couple of photos, which I've attached. As you can see, it's extremely swollen, red, and there's green goo coming out. I wouldn't think that the fridge makes much sense, since I doubt she's constipated at this point. In the meantime, I'll keep up with the blue and Holtfreter's.
 

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wolfen

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that is a definitely an infection and will require antibiotics as a matter of urgency.
 

arsn9lea

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I was able to get her into the exotic vet today. I accepted her recommendation of euthanasia. She indicated that, using the ultrasound during the euthanasia procedure, she was able to see very significant fluid buildup in her abdomen so she had some sort of very serious systemic issue.

RIP Rosie.
 
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