"RED LEGS"

OR RED PAW SYNDROME

CAUSES

The "red leg" syndrome is a common infection in amphibians (anurans and urodeles). This pathology is recognized by the redness of the legs and / or the abdomen of the amphibian and is generally due to the bacteria: Aeromonas hydrophila, an opportunistic bacterial pathogen. But other bacteria have been identified that can cause this pathology: in particular Pseudomonas, Proteus, Citrobacter, Salmonella and Escherichia coli. It has also been suggested that Chlamydia-like organisms and even certain viruses could cause red leg disease. Newly acquired malnourished amphibians that are kept in poor water quality or overcrowded, are particularly susceptible to 'red leg' syndrome, spoiled food, exposure to toxins such as pesticides are also factors. of this disease. Several animals are usually affected if they are housed in the same area.

SYMPTOMS

The redness of the amphibian's legs and abdomen is caused by the dilation (or stretching) of the capillaries under its skin. The amphibian may even begin to bleed from the muscles, tongue, or “third eyelid,” (a protective skin fold under the amphibian's eyes). Other symptoms that may be observed include:

  • Anemia

  • Lethargy

  • Extreme weight loss

  • Open sores on the skin, nose, and toes that do not heal

  • Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity)

DIAGNOSTIC

Your veterinarian will look for signs of generalized infection, which may include inflammation or localized dead cells in the liver, spleen, and other abdominal organs. Blood or body fluid tests to check for the presence of the organism causing the infection are also done.

As other axolotls are at risk of being affected, it is good that they receive antibiotics for prevention.

Even with treatment, many affected animals will die from this disease. Its course can be so rapid that by the time the animal shows signs of disease, considerable irreversible damage has occurred to internal organs.