Wednesday, October 7, 2015
While looking them over, Dr. Maas repeatedly commented on how great they looked. While we wish we could take all the credit perhaps we can share some of the glory. We looked at a lot of axolotls before choosing these two. What did we look for?
Although not veterinarians, our Animal Care staff has learned to look for signs of general good health in our own animals. We know when a slight change might be an early warning of health problems to come. Choosing a new animal for its health is an extension of knowing what to look for in our current animals. Of course each species is unique but guidelines for our axolotls make a good strategy for choosing any healthy animal.
• Full, branched gills held out at an alert but relaxed angle. Axolotls breathe through their gills therefore the more expanded, fluffy and branched the gills are, the better! This is the equivalent to a clean nose in a kitten or puppy. Dr. Maas showed us that Babbitty’s pale gills turned red briefly when she went near the air bubbler, and also when she was upset during her exam. The posture and color of axolotl gills can show mood, health, and water quality.