Some help please and hello - black lump

Marianna

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Hi, I am after some help with Nesty. Thanks for all of the great threads on heat stress and dealing with cycling of the tank.

We have had Nesty for almost a year and she ( who we thought was a he hence the name Ernesto :p ) has always been a solid eater and very chipper. Our 5 year old daughter 'plays' with Nesty lots from the outside of the tank.. reading books to her, setting up a fairy garden outside the tank - and usually she follows our daughter around and seems very interested in our daughter's activities.

Since we moved three weeks ago we had some problems with heat (we live in Brisbane Australia) but we have followed the suggestion on here about large frozen water bottles and the fan. The tank manages to stay just under 20 and a little over some days.

She started to not eat about 9 days ago... we got the tank water tested at the local aquarium and the ammonia was too high. So we have been doing daily 20% water changes and vaccummed the sand thoroughly. We had the water tested today and they said the nitrates we slightly high (sorry didn't get a measurement) and to keep up what we were doing and check in a few more days.

However, we had thought that Nesty was constipated due to not eating and the black lump that she was developing was a bowel issue that would resolve itself once she started to eat again and flush her bowel out. She usually eats frozen turtle food an the occasional freeze dried tubifex worms. We purchased some ox heart today to tempt her with to no avail.

But we took a picture of it just in case to the aquarium and they think it is a tumour - they hadn't seen it before.

So I wanted to post it here with the wealth of experience on the board and see if we could get some feedback from you all about it.

Has anyone seen this before and any suggestions? Please bear in mind that she is looking really skinny at the moment

Much thanks,
Marianna
 

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Marianna

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Hi... sorry should add that we thought it was constipation also because he was floating bum up which is unusual for him.
 

kapo

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Hi Marianna - you could place him in the fridge for a week minimum and see if anything comes out! Hard to say what the lump is. Is there anything he could have ingested in this or the previous tank?

Ask them if they meant nitrItes or nitrAtes? Nitrates at any level under 60ppm is fine. Greater than 80ppm/m/g; regular partial waterchanges will also fix.

Nitrites appearing wouldn't be a surprise though especially as you have ammonia quite high in the tank and it may be cycling due to your recent move. Just stick with the daily waterchanges while he is in the tank.

Do they use the test tube tests or the dip strip sort?

Don't be tempted to buy anything to fix nitrites/nitrates or ammonia. The constant partial waterchanges will keep it low enough and allow it to cycle. Heat also speeds up ammonia buildup.
 

John

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It seems to be beyond the digestive tract so I doubht it's something she swallowed. I am going to hazard an educated guess and say that it's an internal hemorrhage due to bacterial septicemia - I suggest you check underneath and see if there's something similar developing below the belly - that's the usual place I've seen it. I must say that the axolotl doesn't look good in general. I think if you're seeing this bleeding the axolotl hasn't got many days left in it - I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news for you and your daughter. I suspect while you had the best of intentions with the water bottles that there was too much fluctuation and that shocked her into getting sick. If there is any hope I believe it would require immediate fridging and administration of appropriate antibiotics by injection (from an axolotl-savvy vet) but I honestly don't think there's much you can do at this point.
 

Marianna

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Hi.. thanks for the speedy reply!

No.. we use sand in the tank so I doubt he could have swallowed something.

We did buy some stuff for the tank today out of sheer desperation :uhoh: We put a bag of stuff in today called"Purigen". It is supposed to be additional filtration for the tank. Here is the product here http://www.seachem.com/products/product_pages/Purigen.html
If this stuff isn't good, please let me know and I will remove it

My partner has been getting the water seen to at the shop - so I am not to sure of the exact details.. but just relaying what he has told me.

We were just talking about moving him(her) to the fridge and I am in the process of cleaning it out to make room for him now. I will go and scan through some threads to get exact details.

Thanks
 

Marianna

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Hi John... we started with the water bottles after she developed the bulge and it doesn't appear to be anywhere else apart from the spot in the photo.

Sorry.. in my haste I forgot to add that we gave her some antibiotics to get tank last night
 

John

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What antibiotics? Many antibiotics prescribed for fish are toxic to axolotls...
 

Marianna

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and another question.

We ordered another axie a few weeks ago that has arrived at the aquarium - which has been kept there this week. While Nesty is in the fridge would we be able to collect the new one and put them in the tank? Or would that stress Nesty too much on reintroduction (keeping fingers crossed)? Also what should I be doing with teh tank while she is in the fridge? Keep up with the water changes I suppose, but anything else, especially for the new axie.

Much thanks
 

Marianna

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We were given Triple Sulfa - broad spectrum
 

John

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There is likely a higher than normal bacterial load in the tank and introducing a new axolotl would possibly increase its own risk of getting sick. It's also possible that the new one could have something that would worsen the condition of Nesty. Keep the new one separately and do not share water between the tanks for the time being.

As far as I know, those sulfa products are safe for axolotls but I am unsure if the concentration recommended for fish is right for axolotls. I know there are other people here who would know better.
 

Marianna

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Thanks John.. the person at the aquarium that we have been dealing with has axies of his own and suggested a dosage that we have been following.

Thanks for your help - I am off to put her in the fridge
 

John

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You are welcome. Good luck. And remember we are here to help.
 

Saspotato

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I am pretty sure Triple Sulfa is ok for axies... but yea, make sure you have the right dose and everything. However, if I was you I would take my axolotl to the vet as she is looking quite sick :( They can administer the best antibiotics for you.

If that is impractical for you however, I think its best you keep her in the fridge so it is a stable cooler environment as that is more helpful for healing. I have no experience with using Triple Sulfa though, so can't really advise on what is the best thing to do with that sorry. I found this link though, with information about dosages in case it is useful... [SIZE=-1]www.mirc-info.ch/practicalaxolotl.pdf


[/SIZE]
 

Marianna

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With adding her to the fridge, should we start her off in straight fresh water (declorinated and ph checked) or should we go 50/50 from her tank?
 

Saspotato

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I would go fresh dechlorinated water in case there is anything in the tank that is exacerbating the problem. You will need to do 100% water changes each day. It helps to keep a bottle of replacement water in the fridge near the container so the temperature of the replacement water is the same. Just in case you haven't put your axie in the fridge before you will need to have the temp above 5C and cover the container with something to block out the light.

Anyway, I hope the best for your axie~~
 

Marianna

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Thank you - the pdf file was very helpful. We are making the fresh water up right now and adding the antibiotics in the amounts that it recommends for water changes.
 

ianclick

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Hi Marianna,

I have nothing really to add you have been given very sound advice all round just wanted to say best of luck
 

Marianna

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Hello and thank you.

Just a little update... she has been in the fridge since I posted. She had a massive bleed - the container was full of blood two mornings ago. I thought she had died, but she hasn't amazingly. The black bulge has drastically reduced and we have taken her out of the fridge last night to change the water and try and feed her and she was very mobile but still didn't eat. We have been changing the water everyday and she is usually very sedate

I just wanted to say a very heartfelt thanks to the forum. Nesty is a pet shop bought axie and my ex-husband is shocked at the very poor care information that he was given about her - It would appear that her living for almost a year in his care (guided by what he was told) is basically a fluke. After I moved in with him a few weeks ago and her health started to change, the forum was such an excellent source of information, and support. We have loads to learn and hopefully Nesty will pull through. It is shattering to understand that you have been neglectful in her care and that has resulted in the problems she is having now.

Much thanks.
 
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