Illness/Sickness: Tiger Salamander: When to be concerned?

Charlotl

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My tiger salamanders occasionally go through phases where they aren't as hungry but this time one of mine is acting a little different. Except for being a little skinny he looks fine, no fungus or skin problems or mucus; he just won't eat. For the past 3 weeks he would run after the worm and open his mouth for a second but I had to shove the worms in his mouth or he just couldn't catch it. Now he won't open his mouth but still runs after it and keeps smashing his closed mouth on it. He has eaten night crawlers for years but I tried wax worms and small crickets and he still wont open his mouth. His tank mate is as glutenous as typical, I recently separated them in case the fatty is causing him extra stress, the temperate is around 75F, moderately moist coco nut fiber substrate. The water bowl did get some extra coconut dirt in there and started to smell really bad before I noticed but that was 4 weeks ago.

Any idea on what to do to get him to eat? Does anyone see anything that could be causing this? At what point should I find a veterinarian?
 

sammiethes

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My son's salamander hasn't eaten in around 7 weeks. I took him to the vet this morning and she told me that he has edema in his back legs. Not a lot of bone density either.

I was worried that he was suffering from constipation or impaction but the x-rays showed this is not a problem. She assured me that him not eating for such a long time is not that big of a deal other than being a symptom of another issue which I am now dealing with.

I can't really give you any advice other than to say that if you are really worried take the salamander to a vet. At the very least it will put your mind at ease.

S.
 

Charlotl

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Hope your family's little guy gets better soon. Makes sense that animals aren't super interested in eating when they don't feel good. What did the vet say to do for edema and do they know what causes it?

I wouldn't be worried with the not eating if there weren't multiple behaviors that together combine to odd behavior (not burrowing, being lazy, flopping over occasionally...). He had done a combo of all those over the past 6 years I've had him but individually. Makes sense that there is usually not a hard cut off for yes-go-to-the-vet-now for salamanders when behavior is the main cause of worry.

He developed a small skin spot thing so I did take him to the vet a couple days ago. Unfortunately, despite the vet having 35+ years of experience with exotics (mainly birds) he had never seen a salamander. I did get some anti-biotics and carnivore food mix to syringe feed him. He has gained a little weight and the spot is looking better (I guess) so yay for vets.
 

sammiethes

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Hello.

The vet has me giving him(?) a soak in a calcium solution twice a day and in a sugar solution twice a day. Thirty minutes each time. The sugar solution is to draw some of the fluid out of his legs. She has no idea what caused it. She wanted to give the calcium orally but there's no way of getting his mouth open to do it. She did try but it was impossible. I've got enormous fat fingers and there's no way I'd even want to try.

I have to go back next week for a follow up.

S.
 
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