Illness/Sickness: Swollen axolotl - worried for his life

Kooc98

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Hello, this is my first time posting here and also my first time dealing with a sick axolotl. I have had my axolotls for about 4-5 years now. About a month ago one of my axolotls stopped eating and sadly passed away last week. I have another axolotl in the same 55 gallon tank and he is extremely swollen. His chin, face body and legs are all swollen. His eyes look sunken in from how swollen his face is. He has not eaten or gone to the bathroom even once in the last two weeks. I have been keeping him in the fridge but nothing has changed in two weeks. I am starting to worry that he might die on me if I can not figure out why he is so swollen, not eating and not pooping. He also has these pin prick sized red dots on his body that I just noticed a few days ago. He is only about 3-4 years old himself. He was at least 2 years younger than the one who passed away. I think she was 5-6. Still very young.

The Nitrates have been high for the past few weeks and water changes have not helped bring them down at all. Last I checked which was 2 days ago they were in the 80s. Ammonia, Nitrites and Chlorine were all 0 and P.H was 7.8. Our water hardness is 300 but it has always been that high, its due to how hard the tap water in my city is. I figure the Nitrates have a part to play in all this.

My axolotls are kept on no substrate as of a few months ago. That is the first time since I got them 4-5 years ago that they have had no substrate, could that be a factor? The substrate was large river ricks that were much larger than their heads so he is not impacted by a rock. They eat mostly earthworms but i will give them small fish as a treat every once in a while. They will get minnows, goldfish, guppies or whatever other small feeder fish I can find that does not look sick. Could a sick fish cause such a problem?

I have no idea what is going on or what I can do. And the worst part is I can not find a single vet. Please help!

p.s I have realized I might have to euthanize him. I am just trying to find out if there is anything I can personally do to help him before taking such drastic measures. Thanks everyone

I included some photos and a photo of him when I first got him
 

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Hayleyy

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Have you been able to check inside his mouth? There could be something stuck in there.
If not, it may be fluid retention possibly from organ failure. If it's this is the case a vet is necessary, but I don't think the outcome is likely to be good.
If you do need to euthanise I have read that clove oil is a good painfree method.
Wishing you the best of luck
 

Hayleyy

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Hi Kooc98, how did you go with your axie?
 
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    Could be he's just excited, spooked or temporarily stressed, which could pass in a few hours. It could also be an indicator of other problems. Do you have any recent water parameters?
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    Does anyone have any idea how to help with high ammonia levels? I have the API freshwater master kit and everything else’s test results were great besides ammonia. I did a 50% water change and I use API products including ammonia lock.
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    Help! I got my first axolotl two days ago and they have stopped eating. They ate a few frozen blood worms the first day and haven’t eaten or been interested in food since. I feed them frozen blood worms and the tank is around 64 degrees. I do have a filter that moves sometimes and I noticed them swimming up to it, I have a new filter and a fan coming today or tomorrow. I leave the worms in the tank or a little bit before taking them out so I don’t know if they ate when I wasn’t looking. I know it takes a while for them to digest. Does anyone have any tips or knowledge they can share? The pet store I bought them from didn’t have gravel or sand in the tank so I’m not sure if theres an issue or if I’m just impatient. Thank you!
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu, how big they are? also for substrate, i would not do gravel at all I would either do sand or none at all!
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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    Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.
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    @MuggleMiChu,your so welcome im glad to be of help! and I'm glad that they are eating as well!
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