I had noticed a few days back that he didn't want his dinner, which is unusual, but then I came down sick.
It seems that so had he - I found him floating on his side in a right mess. I won't go into graphic details, but even his extraordinary powers of healing weren't going to be sufficient - his lower abdomen was intruded by a large mass; I've seen and treated axolotl prolapses and impactions before, and this wasn't either.
I've done the kindest thing for him and freezered him; axolotls are pretty unusual - they can happily cope down to 2C, then their metabolism slows down enough to send them into a form of suspended animation. He will be totally unaware and not feel a thing below this.
There wasn't much I could have done even if I'd picked up on it earlier. That's the trouble with axolotls - there's not a huge amount you can do when they're really ill, except for cool them down and hope their healing ability outpaces the slowed condition - and I could see immediately that this wouldn't be enough for Spyyk. The vets here wouldn't have been able to deal with him, and he was about nine years old already, not a bad age for an axolotl. (The usual life span is 8-12 years, though the record is 15!)
He was also more travelled than most axolotl - he went to Bath city and then to Somerset before coming back home to Grimsby. He was a happy 'lotl. Didn't ask for much. Mind you, they don't, normally. He mooched round a lot, sat staring into space a lot, floated round a bit, slept most of the time, and always charged over to see if I had food when the lid opened.