Axolotl is a very popular indoor amphibian among animal lovers because of its flexible adaptations and unique ability to regenerate limbs. Their fleshy appearance melts your heart until it becomes bulky.
Scientists define this negative change in shape as obese Axolotl. However, the cause is not necessarily due to their appetite but some other diseases. Scroll down to know the details.
- 1 How Much Do Axolotls Weigh?
- 2 Obese Axolotl: Why My Axolotl Is Getting Fat
- 3 Is Being Fat Bad for Axolotls?
- 4 Fat Axolotl: Care & Prevention Methods
- 5 Conclusion
How Much Do Axolotls Weigh?
An adult weighs up to 300 grams, though some malnourished species are only 60 grams. Females are often slightly heavier than males. Besides, the width is the most recognizable feature to check your pet’s health status.
Axolotls should maintain the width of their bellies in balance with their heads. Otherwise, it is obvious to say that your amphibian is obese.
Age determines the standard for an Axolotl’s healthy weight and size. Its life cycle goes through three periods with significant changes in shape:
- Larval stage: Axolotl is about 2 inches
- Juvenile phase: This species grows to 6 inches
- Adult stage: Average length ranges between 8-10 inches. Some zoologists have documented cases of growth up to 18 inches.
Note that the length is measured from the nose to the tip of the tail.
Obese Axolotl: Why My Axolotl Is Getting Fat
Your Axolotl Hasn’t Peed In A While
Axolotls should defecate daily to remove leftovers from the digestive system. The consistency of stool points out intestinal tract problems. Once the discharge goes out with gravel, its abdomen probably contains a large amount of sand. If you do not notice any waste in the tank for 2-3 days, its symptoms worsen.
Food of the wrong size is considered the root of this problem. Combine with other symptoms, such as bloating or loss of appetite, etc., to support your diagnosis.
Fortunately, the treatment does not require a lot of veterinary techniques. You should stop feeding until your pet returns to its normal pooping frequency. Consider moving it to a cooler water environment for a few hours to accelerate recovery.
Your Axolotl Has Been Impacted
Impaction is a more severe progression of constipation. Large chunks of food or a piece of gravel have blocked the intestinal tract causing spasticity. This phenomenon is due to the instinct of amphibians to suck in one bite instead of chewing.
The blockage causes the abdomen to enlarge and turn blue or bumpy. The bad news is that your animal cannot heal itself, as is the case above. Take it to the doctor when you notice the symptoms listed. Surgery comes in handy to remove the obstruction.
Your Axolotl Is Pregnant
A change in shape is a common phenomenon in the adult stage of females. Their bodies become rounded due to the creation of eggs. Hence, a potential possibility for the bloated belly is pregnant, or rather gravid. It is not surprising if you have a couple in the tank.
The intimacy between the two genders shows specific interactions different from their daily contact. Of course, you must learn to distinguish mating behavior. Once you have confirmed, separate the pregnant female into another care facility. Let the worry strip off your feet and implement the care routine as usual.
Your Axolotl Is Just Overweight
Overeating is responsible for being overweight in Axolotl. This species rarely eats as much of its demand in one session. Their stomachs never hold excess as their slow digestive system triggers the vomiting mechanism to get rid of the leftovers.
Then why should nurturers pay attention to gluttony? The problem lies in the frequency of feeding. Juveniles consume a lot of food, but the level declines significantly in adulthood. Mature Axolotls have a nutritious meal to maintain health for 2-3 days.
Daily feeding poisons your pet because it instinctively eats even when not hungry. BMI stats get worse over time due to typical low-calorie consumption. Hence, building a scientific feeding schedule is best to keep its habitat clean and prevent obesity.
Your Axolotl Is Bloated
Bloating is a symptom of constipation, but itself is an underlying medical condition caused by certain changes in the environment, such as:
- Warm habitat: Axolotl faces discomforts and physiological transformation when the water is too warm. The ideal temperature for stable life should run between 60-64 F without sudden adjustment.
- Declining water quality: Pristine ammonia and nitrite levels are a prerequisite to keeping this amphibian healthy. You should perform regular cleaning to monitor the pH between 7.7-7.6.
- Excess oxygen in the tank: It may sound weird to wear it, but your pet experiences bloating from swallowing too many air bubbles. Therefore, it would help to prepare an oxygen meter and maintain saturation < 100%.
Is Being Fat Bad for Axolotls?
The answer is always YES. In any case, obesity always comes with health problems. The most common symptom that first appears in the gastrointestinal tract is bloating or constipation. At worst, excessive stress on internal organs may lead to death.
Another obvious concern is a lack of physical activity. Though Axolotls are not very energetic, at least they move a few times a day. However, the large belly reduces their desire to act, aggravating the present issues.
Fat Axolotl: Care & Prevention Methods
Overeating is almost impossible for babies and adolescents because of their fast metabolism but possible for adults. If your amphibian suffers from obesity, the best treatment is to cut the feeding frequency down to 1-2 times a week. Use earthworms for the weight loss phase until your pet loses extra grams.
Additionally, building a consistent feeding schedule determines Axololt’s health. It depends on how often and how much food you put in the tank, as this species cannot control its satiety.
Drop to a staple diet to balance health and nutrition, such as bloodworms, ghost shrimp (for young animals), and blackworms, nightcrawlers (for adults).
As you have seen, the potential causes for obese Axolotl are very diverse. If you find that its abdominal width is much larger than its head, be calm, observe symptoms and investigate the in-depth root. Tell the veterinarian when you feel uncertain of conclusions or fail to find harmful agents.