ive just changed the water in the Tank containing my Fire belly newts (3 of them) and noticed the smallest one was sitting at the bottom of the tank on the gravel, i looked closer and saw that his right front limb had completely gone leaving just a stump and what looks like a white bone/cartalidge
his left front limb has also sustained damage and his toes are all missing par 1, and he doesnt seem to be using his foot/hand (like a broken wrist in a human)
the poor little guy is only a couple of inches long so i have moved him to a clear tupperware box so i can keep an eye on him (i put a small quantity of water in the bottom, just to stop him drying out and scooped some gravel all to one side to use as a bank)
he seems to be swimming fine but struggles to move when out of the water
i have no idea what could have caused the injuries but im concerned about his survival (i.e. will he survive with only one front limb? or will the other limb grow back?)
Infection is also a worry, is there anything i could do to help prevent the wounds getting infected? and will they grow back over time?
There are two other newts in the tank, both are larger than him but i think one of them may be a female so perhaps the other male has had a go at him? ive had them for a good couple of weeks without a problem so im not sure why anything would be different now...
Gwa probably is right, most salamanders and newts can be surprisingly violent with one another and limb biting is common. Whether the limb grows back or not is open to debate though, while some amphibia retain a limited ability to at least partially regrow limbs, most never grow back fully, though the stump may lengthen and show some semblance of growing into a limb , its almost never a perfect replication of the lost limb. One dslamander in dozens manages to pull off the healing feat of a full limb replacement.
Many amphibia have their own toxins, and indeed a few species even have their own counter bacteria (Pedobacter cryoconitis) for preventing fungal and bacterial infection, but many tropicals do fall victim to Chytridiomycosis infections, and treatments for that are limited, one of which was discovered fairly recently - Chloramphenicol , which can be found in optrex. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloramphenicol
The other big bacterial worry will be Aeromonas hydrophila, which while usually treated with copper meds in fish would be more appropriately handled by proper antibiotics from the tetracycline groups, or nitrofuran. Typically the amphibia will do better if given subcutanious injections by a very skilled vet rather than just relying on water dips. I have personally saved several batches of frogs and slamanders from "red-leg" by using this method, but it really does depend on the size of animal youre dealing with. Small patches of infection of surface bacteria and fungi can be controlled with topical application of dilute betadine (povidone iodine).
Given amphibia have immense self protection from disease and very few treatments available that will actually help them overcome illness, if the budget isnt an issue, consider UV sterilisation of their aquaria, between the ambient pathogenic reduction performed by a UV unit, and the amphibians natural chemical and bacterial protection, it should prove a more effective protection than even with fish.