Illness/Sickness: Tiger Salamander shedding nonstop, has sores

Auditor12

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Hey All,

First time post, long time lurker. What I have is a wild-caught Tiger from Eastern Washington, been living happy and healthy in captivity for about 3.5 years now. Based on advice from a local herp biologist, I've just kept him on a paper towel substrate the entire time. He eats portions of nightcrawlers powdered with calcium, no heat control and no artificial light. He has a water dish that he occasionally lays in and a nice artificial log hide. Like I said, he's been happy and healthy all this time, until recently.

About 6 weeks ago I noticed a sore on his chest right between his front legs, where the skin was rubbed raw. This wasn't an abscess or oozing anything. My guess is that it was due to a change in paper towels to a brand with a rougher texture to them. We stopped using those paper towels right away. The sore has mostly healed by me flipping the tank upside down and allowing him to keep his water dish, but no paper towels and he just hangs out on the tank lid ( with moist paper towels underneath, but not touching him ) and a few other smooth surfaced reptile terrain furniture I had. I make sure he stays drier than he was and that seems to be helping the sore to heal up ( I've also been applying non-pain killer Neosporin to the wound daily). I did all this because I wanted him to not be rubbing on the moist paper towels and I read that a change in environment can help with infections. The issue that I can't seem to fix is this weird shedding he's been doing since the sore appeared. It's like he's shedding on only certain parts of his body, one day it's his legs, another it will be his head, and it's sloughing off in these pathetic little slimy patches, NOT like a normal full body shed. I assume it's some type of skin infection, but I'm not sure how to treat it. He's also just randomly lost 2 of his toe tips on one of his feet. He still eats, but he's just not as active and vital as he used to be. Thanks for reading my post and any advice that can be offered.

Ps: I should mentioned that the temps normally hover in the 68-73 range, but about the time he got the sore, we had a heat wave and the house got up in to the high 70's (F) before we got the A/C up and running. I've read that heat shocks like this can be devastating, so I thought it should be mentioned.

Thanks!
 

sde

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Though I don't know why he is shedding like that and has the sore, I would suggest changing his setup. They like to have lots of dirt for burrowing, they are natural diggers. I will attach a care sheet for them below. Also, the temperature probably did stress him, they like the temperature between 65 and 72 F.
Temperatures over 78°F (25.6°C) for extended periods of time are potentially life threatening
That was taken from Caudata Culture.

Caudata Culture Species Entry - Tiger salamander Caudata Culture Articles - Tiger Salamander 101

Does his sore look like any of these? http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...amander-help/96250-bump-tiger-salamander.html http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...no-idea-pls-help.html?highlight=tiger+pimple? http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...der-burns-pimple.html?highlight=tiger+pimple? -Seth
 

Auditor12

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Thanks, Seth. His sores are more of a large patch of skin rubbed raw, not like these isolated 'pimple' type sores in the threads you listed. I agree that a change of setup is in order. I plan on getting a larger tank and using coconut fibers as substrate and maybe some high quality organic topsoil free of chemicals and any manure.
 

Auditor12

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One thing I forgot in the original post: his back leg is twitching a lot now when he lifts it up. I've read about several things that could have caused this, but it is definitely another symptom of the overall problem(s).
 

sde

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Thanks, Seth. His sores are more of a large patch of skin rubbed raw, not like these isolated 'pimple' type sores in the threads you listed. I agree that a change of setup is in order. I plan on getting a larger tank and using coconut fibers as substrate and maybe some high quality organic topsoil free of chemicals and any manure.
I am actually glad to hear it isn't something like in those threads, those 'pimple' things are mysterious and I don't know how to treat them. Good choice on substrate.

One thing I forgot in the original post: his back leg is twitching a lot now when he lifts it up. I've read about several things that could have caused this, but it is definitely another symptom of the overall problem(s).
I am not sure why his leg would twitch. -Seth
 

bellabelloo

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Could you get a couple of photo's please, so we can see ?
 
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I would suggest saline baths.
 

Auditor12

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So I've gotten a 10 gallon tank, put about 4 inches of coconut fiber in it, put in his water dish, a smooth platform for him to lounge on, and his artificial log hide. He immediately burrowed under and has been doing that for a week and a half now. I also have been giving him salt baths once per day, for 13 minutes. I'm using a mix of 2 tsp non-iodized salt per 1 liter of water. for the first week, every other day he would shed a thin layer of the slimy 'skin.' For the last few days, I haven't seen any of the skin shedding, so I'm hoping we might be done with that business.

However, he's formed a kind of 'pressure sore' on each of his back legs, on the front of each leg where the leg meets his body. He's had a lot of coconut fiber stuck in there, and I think I've read on this forum before about fibers getting stuck and causing irritation. I can handle this, but today when I checked he's developed a sort of ring of black fungal/bacterial spots around each leg sore, and on the side of his mouth. It's most likely the same as this thread: http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...amander-help/58646-help-black-spots-what.html

and this one: http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...-salamander-help/55589-tiger-help-please.html

The first thread listed above came to a decent resolution with salt baths and sulfatrim tablets, so I may have to go that route if things don't resolve soon. Today I put him into a quarantine tank to let his leg sores heal and get him out of the substrate awhile. He loves the fibers and burrowing, so I'm not sure what to do if it keeps giving him sores. I may have to dig him out every day and dry off and clean his folds around his legs. He's not obese at all, btw. His eating has been a lot slower lately. Thanks for any advice and thanks for reading this follow up post.

I'll take some pics of him tomorrow during bath time.
 
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    I have a tiger salamander and i got him as a gift , recently it looks like something has been eating at his tail! Almost like its dissolving..? Ive checked that there is no other bugs in the closure, ive also ben giving him salt baths but its inly getting worse. Sorry if its much hahaha im just super worried!😓
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