Salamander help: not eating and flopping

Nalem

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Hi folks! Hope everybody is doing well.

I've been pulling my hair trying to help my boy Axel out. Let me start from the beginning.

Axel is a salamander; he was given to me by my brother

FB_IMG_1593643650957.jpg

Since very little was known about him when they got him, they did what they could without much knowledge. He was fed bloodworms and his substrate was sand on one end with a filtered "ocean" on the other. Due to adopting 2 human kids, he was given to me, the animal lover of the family. He lives with me now and has for the past year.

His substrate is cypress mulch, he has a humidifier on a timer that runs 12 hours a day, a little dish for a soak, and lots of places to hide.

More updated photo:


But over the last few months, something seemed up. I always would find him on his back.

Note: I use to use coconut fibers but found they got way too soggy

Then today this started.
Click to watch video

I started researching like CRAZY to find him some help. I contacted an exotic vet who advised me to gently massage near his vent and his neck. She believed he was constipated.


She also said to give him some Gatorade so I'm not sure how much I trust her opinion [ahemdumbahem]

Having an iguana in the past with bone issues [Axel is not using his back legs very much] also got me worried maybe it's Metabolic bone disease so I'm currently gut loading some crickets [the only other bug he'll eat. He hates nightcrawlers and earthworms] I did discover his back legs do work on account of him kicking me while I gently massaged his belly. Still, gut loaded crickets are good to have.

Anyway, back to the vet. She directed me here.

Funny enough, I've been using this site for the majority of my research for the past year. Upon closer research, my dumb butt has been feeding him mealworms when I should have been feeding him earthworms, d'oh! Considering their tough exterior, maybe he IS constipated! So I started massaging his abdominal area.

I saw a few suggestions about putting him in the fridge. I remember when my axolotl was constipated last year, I put her in ice water and she pooped out EVERYTHING. I figured since they're closely related, this is a similar idea and I could give it a shot?

I put Axel in the fridge for 2 hours. I wasn't sure how long to keep him in there. I checked on him every 30 minutes. He fell asleep. Once I took him out, I put him back in his tank, and it SEEMED like he was pushing to poop. I could be projecting human attributes to him but I swear it seemed like that.

I saw a post from awhile back with a woman with the same issue and somebody had some suggestions. She never followed up so I have no clue if she had any success. I've also seen advice to give him an oily worm but he's very blah about food right now. He's eating one or two bugs a week instead of the 9 he use to eat.

I'm also scouring the county for an exotic vet and MAN ARE THEY HARD TO FIND. CO-VID 19 does not help matters either.

So I figured I should come here and ask the people who I've been following all along! Maybe they have some advice to help my boy.

Thank you John for inviting me in and thanks all for the great posts that lead me here! I look forward to joining the community.

-Mel

Update: I managed to get him an appt for next Monday. I hope he lasts :(((
 
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Ohmy

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Aw, please keep us updated on this little guy. Praying for healing! You sound like an excellent salamander mom (or dad?).
 

Nalem

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Aw, please keep us updated on this little guy. Praying for healing! You sound like an excellent salamander mom (or dad?).
Thanks :D

I love my little guy! I read some salamanders live up to 20 years. I want him to stick around as long as possible!

Update, he seems a little better, not flopping over as much. I did get him to eat a single cricket.
 

Nalem

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Hey all! Update!

Axel went to the vet. Turns out he is lacking bone density, which can only mean the dreaded MBD.

She gave him a vitamin shot and some liquid calcium. I'm currently gutloading some crickets and looking to purchase some phoenix worms which have a buttload of calcium. I must save my boy
 

Ohmy

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Oh poor boy! Let's hope it's just a little deficiency and you can clear this up quickly. Stay strong, Axel!
 
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    My axolotl can you all take a look at that thread, I am freaked out about my axie
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  • MVM1991:
    His gills seem kinda small, I don't think that's normal but I'm not a huge expert on axolotls
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  • Roadrunner:
    Yeah his gills is kinda small and it can be caused by nitrate level, I am taking care of it atm, I am worried about his weight, is he only overfed or are there any kinds of problems there ?
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  • MVM1991:
    Well, again, I'm no expert. But I did just read axolotls are supposed to have a body about as wide as their head. The gills I'd say are the biggest problem, which could reduce oxygen intake, which could make a whole mess of problems.
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    Thanks for the help then, I will deal with his gills in no time
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    mine hasent eaten in weeks and im not sure what to do
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  • LauraLobster:
    Hello, I am a new owner of a 3 month old axolotl, and although I have done a lot of research on axolotls, I can barely find any for babies. If anyone can help me with these questions, I would be super happy. How many hours do baby axolotls tend to sleep per day? How many times should I feed it and what would be considered too much (it's current diet is freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms, and I currently feed it around 3 bloodworms since they are not that big)? How many times a week should I change the water and how? I have a good filter and use Prime as my conditioner to remove the chlorine and other chemicals, but I still need to figure out how to deal with ammonia and such in the water. How do I clean it's waste (should I use a dropper to easily pick it up)? I need a better cooling system because currently I use ice packs on the side of the tank and I make sure to angle my ac so that it hits the tank.
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  • LauraLobster:
    I also leave the lid open during the day so that evaporation can cool down my tank. I want to buy a fan, but since winter is coming I won't have to buy one yet. Lastly, what water testers are effective and affordable for a broke student like myself? Please, if anyone has any advice I will love to hear it. I care for this creature too much at this point, but I have no one to help me with caring for it other than the internet :,)
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  • EmilyP:
    Hi LauraLobster I am a new owner of axolotls myself and have been getting advice from things like this, I feed mine twice a day on blackworms and brine shrimp blood worms are more of a treat food, a question on where you are keeping you axolotl are you keeping it in the main tank or in a tub also if in the tank did you cycle it first? and if not i suggest tubing it until the tank it cycled, mine are still tubed since I was given bad advice by the shop people about cycling my tank and am still in the process of cycling it. I use pipettes to clean up the mess of my axolotls. I use the API mater test kit for freshwater tanks I am also a student and had to look around to find it the cheapest I could.
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  • AnimeDan:
    Hi LauraLobster, like you I got my first ever Axolotl back in July. Iv found that he has enjoyed and eaten red wigglers well. They are a good source of protein and help provide the nutrients a young lotl needs to grow up big and strong. You will probably need to break it up into smaller pieces until they get bigger but they are what I have primarily fed my buddy since I got him. He’s actually so picky that he won’t even eat his pellets anymore and will hold out till he gets his favorite wormy.
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    Hi I would like to know how you treat nea
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    Hi I would like to know how you treat newt inflamtion I've got one and recently it's started to develop an inflammation on its throat can someone please tell me how you treat this I've also checked if he had something stuck but I didn't se anything
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    Anyone have any Notophthalmus viridescens for purchase to a loving home?
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    Hi, I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this as I am new to the site, b
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    Hey, can anyone recommend a good fan/cooler in UK?
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    I’ve got proven female axolotls available if anyone is interested.
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    Hey, does anyone know if shale is ok for long-toed salamanders?
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    As long as its cleaned yeah! You can even make overhangs if you have enough pieces to make nice caves and platforms
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    Ok, thanks!
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  • MVM1991:
    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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  • Mark.H:
    Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :)
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    So everywhere talks about testing your water parameters but I can't find what to do it there aren't right?! Like too low not too high, anybody any ideas?
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    Tinky: So everywhere talks about testing your water parameters but I can't find what to do it there... +1
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