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FAQs About Xenopus laevis, African Clawed Frog Disease Treatments

FAQs on Xenopus Disease: Xenopus Disease 1, Xenopus Health 2, Xenopus Health 3, Xenopus Health 4, Xenopus Health ,
FAQs on Xenopus Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic, Treatments,

Related Articles: Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf Frogs Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs:  Xenopus in General, Xenopus Identification, Xenopus Behavior, Xenopus Compatibility, Xenopus Selection, Xenopus Feeding, Xenopus Disease, Xenopus Reproduction, & Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Dwarf Frogs, TurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction

 Not metal solutions used for fishes.

Help with ACF      4/6/20
Hello, I've had my from for 7 years. About 2 years ago he got soft bloat.
He was still happy, eating and singing. I recently changed his diet bc I was told the wrong thing at Petco, and he got better for a few weeks. Now he developed this on his under belly and I just noticed the hole tonight.
Any recommendations? Thank you
<Bloating in Xenopus is not uncommon. Your specimens are a reasonable age, given they can live 20+ years, indicating essentially good care, but it's always worth reviewing living conditions. Do start reading here: http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
Always a good website for sick Xenopus. Maracyn II is minocycline, while Maracyn Plus is trimethoprim and sulphonamide. The RSPCA suggest Oxytetracycline for bacterial infections, so that's another alternative. If you haven't already read their report (aimed at vets and lab workers, but
useful for us pet-owners too) have a read:
Both sources recommend the use of salt, which through osmosis will draw out some of the water. A good starting point would be 2 gram/litre, but Xenopus are surprisingly salt-tolerant amphibians, and you could raise this a bit after a week or so to perhaps 3-5 gram/litre for a few days if needs be.
After a few days, come back down to 2 gram/litre. What you should find is the swelling goes down. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Help with ACF      4/6/20
Thank you so much!
<Welcome. Neale.>

Question about my albino African clawed frog     6/24/19
Could use some help. Included is a picture of my albino African clawed frog. As you can see it has a “blister” coming from it’s back end. It has been like this for the past 2 days.
<Medicate quickly; you have limited time here! Bacterial infections rarely fix themselves, and these frogs quickly sicken and die. I'm going to send you to some reading, here:
If you look at the Red Leg section, you'll see what you're dealing with, and the recommendation to try Maracyn II and Maracyn Plus. If antibiotics aren't available without prescription where you live, a vet may provide them if asked, or else you'll have to resort to a reliable antibacterial such as eSHa 2000.>
It is in a tank with one other frog who doesn’t have any issues.
<Yet! I'm a bit concerned by the substrate, which is much too coarse for these frogs, and could easily explain the damage. Standard operating procedure for these frogs is to use NO substrate at all, but alternatively, a very smooth, lime-free sand (such as smooth silica sand or pool filter sand) can be used. Avoid gravel because they can swallow it and that usually proves fatal if not quickly regurgitated.>
I have had them for 6 months now. I have tried google searching for possible diseases or fungus. Nothing appears to match my frogs symptoms. If you can please let me know what you think this could be and a possible solution to help it!
Thank you for your time,
<Hope this helps! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Question about my albino African clawed frog     6/24/19
Thank you for getting back to me. I am going to change the gravel & try to find the antibiotics today.
<Glad to help and good luck! Neale.>

Eggy ADF with red scratch under mouth.      3/23/19
<Good morning!>
This is my first time writing in but I have spent MANY hours on here reading up on ADF care. There is so much to learn.
My setup:
Established/Cycled 10 gallon tank with Aqueon HOB filter-upgraded to sponge & bio-ceramic rings and a sponge over intake filter, heater maintaining 78-80° and an air stone. Substrate is tumbled/smooth med-sized gravel, a driftwood log, a tall silk plant, 5 moss balls, a terra cotta pot for hiding and dish for feeding.
<Sounds great, though I might nudge the heater down a bit; 25 C/77 F is fine.>
Inhabitants: currently 1 male and 1 female ADF, and 2 Nerite snails
<All good.>
(I lost 2 ADFs to bloat and 1 to Red Leg disease about a week ago)... Since then, I got some Koizyme to add to the tank at 4 drops/week in order to help help snuff out gram neg bacteria, responsible for Red Leg, but my understanding is that I need to increase my alkalinity to around 100 ppm for it to work properly.
<Possibly. But Koizyme is a supplement for use with Koi carp, and absolutely NOT an antibiotic. I'd no more rely on this product to cure a disease than something like Melafix. What you want is a proper antibiotic, such as Kanaplex, or failing that, a reliable antibacterial medication such as eSHa 2000.>
So, today I started adding 1/2 tsp baking soda and plan to do this daily for 3 or 4 more days to avoid sudden changes that ADFs don't like. Is this okay?
<See above. What you're doing is not going to do any harm, but it's not a reliable fix either. Your frog might well get better under its own steam, and the Koizyme product will help create good conditions, though I don't really understand why you've selected a pond treatment for a tiny fish tank. Isn't dosing really difficult? The bottle seems to indicate teaspoon per 500 gallon doses!>
Water parameters:
PH-6.8 (hoping b.soda will help this move to more alkaline… > 7.0 )
<It will, but around neutral, 6.5-7.5, is fine for these frogs.>
Ammonia/Nitrites/Chlorine: 0
Nitrates: <15
Alkalinity: ~25
Hardness: ~70
Current problem:
I thought the other 2 adf's might also get bloat, decided to wait a bit before replacing any, and sure enough 2 days ago the female started getting bigger, but now-instead, I believe she is eggy because she looks much different than the others who got dropsy. She is not puffed up all over-- just her belly.
<Could easily be gravid, yes.>
But I confirmed today with a good picture that she has a red sore/wound? on the underside of her mouth. Should I go ahead and treat the water with something?
<I would always, ALWAYS treat wounds on frogs as per Red Leg, simply because healing sick frogs is extremely difficult. Best to use the medication as soon as wounds appear, rather than once those wounds becoming infected.>
(I don't have a hospital tank).
<Not an issue here. Antibiotics won't harm the other frogs or snails.>
Side note: I discovered that VitaChem can go a long way helping beta fish grow back their tails and is ultimately a great product for any and all fresh water fish…boosting their vitality. I should have some by tomorrow.
<None of these "boost" products is worth investing in. It's kind of like your doctor's opinion of vitamin pills -- for most healthy people eating balanced diets, vitamin pills contribute absolutely nothing of value whatsoever. Likewise here, anything marketed as a "boost" is more about extracting money from anxious fishkeepers. As/when fish or frogs get sick, you need to treat the pathogens involved with reliable medications, not vitamin supplements or whatever. You want an antibiotic here. Here in my country, the UK, antibiotics are only available from a vet, so for small fish and frogs, it's simply doesn't make much financial sense to visit a vet, so we tend to use antibacterial medications like Protozin or eSHa 2000 that work almost as well. But as I say, anything marketed in vague terms as a "boost" or "supplement" or "tonic" is probably a waste of money.>
Would this help my, frogs too?
<Almost certainly not. Your frog might get better of course, but the VitaChem likely won't have been the key factor in its recovery. Cheers, Neale.>

African clawed frog bloat    4/13/17
Your site is without a doubt the most informative on various issues/topics.
<Thank you.>
Neale emailed me the other day but I have another question. We have an African clawed frog with soft bloat and am working hard to save/help him.
We have been doing the Epsom salt soaks. I just received the product Maracyn II today and need to find the right dose. I'm going to treat him in hospital tank. Can the dose be adjusted with the same effectiveness in 1 gallon of water?
If so what would the dose be? The Maracyn II is in powder form. Recommended dose is 2 packets in 10 gallons of water.
<2/10 = 0.2; i.e., one-fifth of a packet per 1 US gallon.>
If effectiveness will be compromised I will use 10 gallons of water.
<Realistically, once you open the packet of medicine, oxygen gets in, and the antibiotic won't stay "good" for long. So unless you plan on using up the rest of the Maracyn within the next few weeks, I wouldn't economise too
much. If I recall, you dose once, then a couple days later, dose a second time. That being the case, I'd save one packet of Maracyn II somewhere cool and dry, and only open one. Put half of that into 5 gallons of water, stir
well, remove the old water from the aquarium, and put this new, medicated (and dechlorinated) water for the tank. Roll up the packet tightly, store inside an airtight bag or container, and store carefully away from moisture
and bright light. Then when the second dose comes around, I'd use the other half of the packet in a new 5 gallon container of water, dechlorinate, and then use as before. Make sense?>
As well, do I still soak Michael in the Epsom salt the same day as I do the Maracyn II treatment? (of course in 2 separate treatments)
<Yes, you can use Maracyn II alongside Epsom salt.>
Thank you
<Welcome. Neale.>
Re: African clawed frog bloat (RMF, feel free to edit out the drugs ref.)<Mmm; I'd leave. B>    4/13/17

Hi Neale,
Thanks again for your quick response.
I'm a bit dumb with math.
Do I split the powder dose (one packet) into 5 doses, then add one of those doses to a 1 gallon tub of dechlorinated water, in which I would put Michael in?
<It's 2 packets in 10 gallons, correct? If so, then 1 packet in 5 gallons.
Or one-fifth of a packet in 1 gallon. The problem is really dividing a small packet of white powder into 5 equal portions -- perhaps find your friendly neighbourhood coke dealer to help with this bit!>
I am trying to treat him out of the tank in a separate bucket. As well, how long would I soak Michael?
<Follow the instructions on the packaging, but normally Maracyn 2 is added to an aquarium and left like that for at least 24 hours. Antibiotics are very poorly absorbed through the skin and mouth this way, so it takes a long time for the fish or amphibian to get enough antibiotic inside them to get better. So if your vivarium contains 1 gallon of water, then just add the Maracyn 2 to that water and leave it be.>
P.S. We got him to eat fresh chunks of salmon! I have read salmon is good for them. Do you know if salmon can be a regular diet?
<Certainly once a week should be no problem at all; indeed, being oily it contains a lot of fat-soluble vitamins absent from other foods. HOWEVER, oily fish is messy, so I tend to use it just before doing a water change. I
would not use oily fish as a staple though. It isn't really an appropriate food for frogs, especially when there are other, more balanced food items out there, such as earthworms.>
Many thanks again,
<Welcome. Neale.>

Seeking ACF Medical Advice       4/11/17
Hello, one of our ACFs died yesterday (only 5 years old), presumably due to an ammonia spike or bacteria due to a weakened immune system. The tank has had issues with ammonia over the past two months and the frogs we
excessively shedding. We became concerned about his health two weeks ago when he refused to eat. Typically, we feed the frogs ReptoMin pellets but decided to try red wrigglers last week to see if he would eat. He ate two decently size worms and satisfied us that his appetite had returned (he's always been a light eater). five days later we found him floating around the top of the tank, we were unable to see bloating and when approached, he swam back to the bottom of the tank before swimming back to the top to float about fifteen seconds later. The next morning we found him floating dead in the tank. Ammonia was a little over 2 ppm.
Immediately I removed the deceased frog and took several pictures (Link: http://imgur.com/a/rTL8b) and proceeded to clean out the entire tank along with all decor. The other three frogs were returned to the tank, all gravel at the bottom was removed to prevent future trapping of waste and I started them on a round of tetracycline to be safe. Wanted to get a second opinion and ask how long to wait to place the biological media back into the filter after the carbon has been reintroduced to clear out the remaining tetracycline four days from now.
<I agree that this does look like a systemic bacterial infection following exposure to some environmental stress, but without doing detailed microscopy, it's hard to be sure. I think your approach of cleaning out the tank, doing water changes, and treating with an antibiotic is a good one.
Antibiotics generally lose their effectiveness within 24 hours in the warm, oxygenated environmental of an aquarium, so I wouldn't worry about waiting too long between the last dosage and removing the carbon. It's not as if residual tetracycline will cause any problems. Let me also stress the importance of doing the complete course of tetracycline as recommended by the manufacturer or your vet. Incomplete courses of antibiotic are the major factor behind antibiotic resistance, and we all have to play a part in staving off this particular doomsday scenario! Regards, Neale.>
Re: Seeking ACF Medical Advice      4/19/17

Hello Neale, finished the full course of tetracycline and two of the frogs are back to eating.
<A very good sign.>
The female, age five, however, has been shedding profusely and refuses to eat regardless of the food since the other frog died.
<Less good, but probably not a huge amount you can do at this point. Give it a week, keep up with water changes, and see what happens. If her condition worsens, for example she is obviously losing weight, then a
second full course of antibiotics might be helpful. But do also try offering a range of foods, for example earthworms, even if she's off her
normal fare.>
Water conditions: Nitrates 20 ppm, Nitrites 0 ppm, ammonia 1 ppm. Current course of action we're thinking is to continue water changes every 1-2 days (dependent upon water conditions) to control ammonia levels between weekly feedings, though we're certainly open to suggestions.
<What you're doing seems fine. The ammonia is a problem though, and may well be causing the shedding -- so using an ammonia remover, such as Zeolite, in the filter could be very helpful. Certainly, optimize/increase
filtration (e.g., by adding an extra filter, or simply increasing flow-rate through the existing filter) ensuring biological media is of the best possible quality/type. Xenopus aren't especially ammonia sensitive in the
short term, but 1 ppm is quite a high amount by any standards; I would not be feeding at all like this, and probably wouldn't feed until at/almost zero.>
We also have a second full course of tetracycline on hand if you think it may help.
Thank you,--AR
<Good luck! Neale.>

My Albino frog (condition not mentioned)       4/6/15
hi, i have had my albino frog for quite some time buying it when it was hardly any bigger than a Congo frog, It has grown within a Large Community Tank 320L (im from UK so don't use Gallons) and now is what i expect Full Size taking up the most of palm of hand However within the past week i have noticed -kind of hard not to.
That One of its eyes has became Swollen and Red, As if it had gotten some sort of Black eye, however at first thought i thought perhaps it had a run in with one of my Catfish, but as the days passed its mouth seemed to be forced Open and i see a large Red ~Something~ Only be described as some sort of Growth and it shows no signs of Stopping and only getting Worse, The Red Growth is only on one side of the mouth and Seems to be under the Eye as well. Looks like it might be a clump of Red Flesh but i fear it could be a tumor and a Death Sentence to the frog. i don't really have another Aquarium set up suitable for the frog without Risking others or himself being Eaten. If there is anything i can do to Improve his/her Condition i would greatly like to know as i can find little on the internet.
If worse turns to worst and indeed there is nothing i can do, Perhaps there is something i can do to make its Last days as comfortable as possible.
It might be worth a note to mention that all my Fish both Scaled and those without scales are Healthy and fine, Water Conditions are also more than Satisfactory and there is no Problems with other Tankmates.....Plus there is nothing missing from my tank so he hasn't Eaten someone bigger than he can chew.
i Greatly look forward to hearing back Your Opinions and Feedback, Thanks for listening (Reading).....Lee H.
<Hello Lee. The short answer is that medicating aquatic frogs is somewhat difficult, and the best/most reliable approach is to use antibiotics. A vet will be the easiest source of these, which is awkward I know, but in the UK, the only legal way to obtain antibiotics. Your frog would appear to have an opportunistic bacterial infection, often referred to as Red Leg.
This is invariably fatal unless promptly treated with antibiotics such as tetracycline. A vet will provide you with details on dosing, etc. Expect to pay around £15-30 for treatment, which may include injections (the best way to deliver drugs) rather than stuff you add to the water (a pretty hopeless method in serious cases). The RSPCA and PDSA may also be able to help, and speaking with people in your local reptile pet club or store may provide some tips on vets able to provide useful support. To be clear: there are NO reliable off-the-shelf medications sold in pet stores, which is why prevention of disease in amphibians is so important. Mixing frogs with fish invariably goes wrong eventually, and while it's hard to say what the immediate cause of your problems was, damage by a catfish or some other spiny aquarium resident is one possibility, even when the frogs aren't kept with predatory or aggressive fishes. Cheers, Neale.>

help needed with African frog     3/4/12
I have two African Clawed Frogs in a 40 litre aquarium.  They were doing very well and cohabitated peacefully with the other inhabitants of the tank.  Recently I noticed that one of the frogs was suffering from a swollen leg.  The swelling is in the "ankle"  area just before the webbed feet.  The webbing seems okay but the affected area has become dark black.
The frog is not moving much, preferring to hover near the surface of the water and seems to have difficulty in moving that particular leg.  He is eating normally, but not moving much. The temperature of the water is 78 degree Fahrenheit and I carry out water changes regularly.  The other frog seems to be in good health.  Can you give me some advice as to how to treat this problem?  Thank you very much.
<Hello Donald. Do have a read of this page, here:
Redness and swelling of the limbs is dangerous, and difficult to treat without antibiotics. It's a bacterial infection, but triggered by environmental conditions, so review and act accordingly.
Cheers, Neale.> 
Re: help needed with African frog
Hello Neale,
Just wanted to thank you for finding the time to write back with your valuable advice. The frog's leg is slowly getting better day by day.
Thanks a lot!
<Glad the help was useful. Good luck, and thanks for the kind words.
Cheers, Neale.>

African Claw Frog tumour?     6/11/11
<Hello Jo,>
My two year old albino ACF has suddenly developed a lump under the skin at the top of his leg, just down and across from his bottom.
He appears to be his normal self, feeding and swimming without any difficulty and the lump doesn't appear to have changed at all in the last couple of days and he is not bloated or discoloured in any way. I feed him every other day on a mixed diet of frozen thawed red/white mosquito larvae, Artemia, daphnia etc, live mini meal worms and dried fish flake.
<Sounds a good variety of foods.>
Is this likely to be a tumour or some sort of bowel blockage?
<If the swelling is in the limbs, then yes, a tumour of some sort, benign or otherwise, is likely. Abdominal swelling caused by constipation is usually very obviously such, and constipated animals tend not to want to
eat much. The use of Epsom salt and live daphnia or live brine shrimp will usually shift constipation. But tumours are virtually impossible to treat.
Fortunately, they're quite rare, and if they don't obstruct a sense organ or orifice, shouldn't cause the frog any undue harm. With luck, the tumour may subside in time. In the meantime, do review basic living conditions, in particular things likely to promote tumour formation -- water quality, lack of vitamins, chlorine in the tap water, use of copper, etc.>
Many thanks in anticipation for your advice.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: African Claw Frog tumour?  6/13/2011

Many thanks for your reply Neale, it is very much appreciated. Since posting my message, my frog has allowed me a better opportunity to get a really good look close up at the lump and it is in fact where I can best describe as directly over his right bum cheek (were he to have one!) I can say with some certainty that it is not in his leg. His stomach and the rest of his body is not bloated and I have watched him eat both the frozen food and the live with his usual vigour in the last few days but the lump has not passed nor changed in size/shape.
My husband is firmly in charge of keeping the tank in tip top condition and I am confident this is all at the correct level. It really is baffling and I feel rather helpless and very worried about my little webbed one.
Thanks again,
<Sorry I can't offer anything more concrete to guide you to a quick cure.
If you Google terms such as "tumour" with "Xenopus" you'll see that such things are commonly investigated in laboratories, Xenopus laevis being one of the classic lab animals. Tumours may be genetic, but they can also be caused by exposure to heavy metals (for example copper) and various other chemicals that are toxic rather than immediately fatal. Vets can remove tumours depending on where they're located on the animal, and when performed properly, the frog can go on to enjoy a long and happy life.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African Claw Frog tumour?    6/16/11

That's all noted, many thanks for your advice Neale.
Kind regards,
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

African clawed frog swimming strangely and discolored 11/20/09
My son has a ACF that seems to be taking a turn.
<Oh dear.>
It has been healthy and fine, to this point, but I did notice it was turning a darker green color in blotches, rather than staying it's pretty light green color.
<This tends to be a reaction to poor environmental conditions. Essentially a bacterial infection. Can be treated with antibiotics, e.g., Maracyn II (Minocycline) and Maracyn Plus (Sulfadimidine and Trimethoprin, but best avoided.>
It lives with two other fish and a snail, and we change out the water by 2/3 weekly.
<Actually, these frogs should never be kept with fish. Whatever habitat you keep them in should be adequately large, maintained at around room temperature (rather than tropical temperatures) and ALWAYS filtered. Changing water instead of filtering just doesn't work. Do see here for the basics:
We have floating plants for the bowl. The frog is swimming in a twisting motion, and then stops and just floats.
<Sounds bad.>
Sometimes it seems to stay slight twisted almost upside down. This appears to be different behavior than we have seen to this point (one month).
<You see, it takes about a month for things to go wrong.>
I have removed it from the big tank and put it alone with a bit of shrimp in water that has been dechlorinated to see ---I am not sure to see what!
Is it dying or is there something I can do for it to try to save it?
<Maybe not at death's door, but certainly severely stressed. Review the conditions in the tank. It needs a tank at least 10 gallons in size (ideally twice that for an adult) at about 15-20 degrees C in temperature
and filtered with a good, strong filter. A small internal canister filter would be ideal.>
Thank you. Susan
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African clawed frog swimming strangely and discolored 11/20/09

Thank you, Neale...
<Happy to help.>
I am not sure how the Pet Stores stay in biz. ugh
<I look at it this way: A sales clerk wouldn't stop himself selling me a ghastly pair of yellow trousers with pink polka dots.
<<Hey! I bought those!! Heeee! RMF>>
It's up to me to make an appropriate choice. So with a pet shop: They'll sell any animal to anyone who pays the money, regardless of the ability of that person to keep that animal. Yes, I agree, the *ethics* is totally different, since it's an animal we're talking about, an animal that can suffer in various ways. But so long as the law doesn't enforce some sort of ethical dimension, it's up to us to make sure we research the needs of those animals prior to purchasing them. I do my best to help people *after the event*, but often-times that isn't much good, perhaps because the animal is too far gone, or else because my correspondent doesn't have the funds or space to house the animal properly. It's a thorny problem, I admit.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Two ACF's with red sores 4/28/09
Hello, my question is concerning my two African clawed frogs. One is a male who is 4 or 5 years old, the other a female who is about 3 years old. They live in a 20 gallon long tank. They have Whisper internal filter 20 to 30 gallons, a heater and a cave. No bottom substrate at all.
<All sounds good.>
Apart from my male getting something that made him shed three times a day last year, which was easily cleared up, neither has been sick until know. About 4 weeks ago I noticed the female had a red eye and lip and was swimming incredibly crooked. She still had quite an appetite. So I treated the tank with salt and
Fungus Clear, which is what the guy at my local pet store said would work.
<Salt is sometimes used with Xenopus to reduce swelling, and sometimes alongside the appropriate medications. But in this instance, it doesn't sound as if your frogs have fungus. Fungal infections are very distinctive: white, fluffy patches on the body. The standard treatment is Mardel MarOxy.
For bacterial infections -- what I suspect your frogs are dealing with -- either Maracyn II or Maracyn Plus are recommended.>
He also said to treat them both as the male would likely get it too. After two weeks of treating, water changes and the female going crazy and jumping out when I opened the lid, she seemed to be better. (I learned to not open the lid unless she was in her cave). No more red anywhere on her body, but she still wasn't swimming too great. So I continued the treatment for 3 more days. her swimming wasn't getting any better, nor was it getting any worse. She was still eating fine. All levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH were good.
<Meaning 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and a steady pH between 7.5 and 8? Xenopus do need hard, alkaline water to do well.>
None of them spiked during treatment. Everything was fine an dandy for a few days when I noticed the male had a red sore about the size of my pinky nail in the center of his belly. His front toes are reddish, but not too bad and the tip of his snout is red. The rest of his belly is perfectly creamy white, as are his legs. He is
swimming fine and eating fine
<It does sound like a bacterial infection, something like Red Leg. This is an opportunistic bacterial infection caused by Aeromonas, equivalent to Finrot in fish.>
I started the treatment again last night. 1 tablespoons of aquarium salt per 3 gallons of water, 2 tablets Fungus Clear and a water change every 3 days. No carbon in the filter so I'm not feeding them as much because I don't want the ammonia to spike. There is no ammonia as of midnight last night. PH, Nitrite, Nitrate and all that good stuff is perfect. I have been treating them again for 3 days and the male doesn't seem to be getting any better. Not worse and it isn't spreading, but not better.
<Well, the fungus medication isn't helping and you should be using an anti-bacterial treatment instead.>
Do you have any suggestions at all that could possibly help? The treatment only seems to be keeping the infections at bay, not getting rid of them.
Any other medications I could try?
<See above.>
<Weirdly, I'd just finished writing a whole piece about aquatic frogs for WWM, so if you stop back in the next day or two, you should see something come up on the New Articles page, here:
In the meantime, treat with antibacterial medications as explained, and as with Finrot, review possible triggering factors: water quality, physical damage, rough handling. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Two ACF's with red sores 06/03/09
Thank you for your quick reply. I don't know what was up with the male, but before I got to treat him he shed his skin and the sore was gone.
<It is often the case that healthy animals get better of their own accord; at least some of the time, optimal water quality and diet are the key things, and medication helps more in preventing further/secondary infection, rather than fixing whatever is immediately and obviously wrong.>
But darn it the female did not get better. Her eye cleared up and the redness on her lip lessened, but her other eye went cloudy and she developed a sore on the other side of her lip. She lost her appetite and
hasn't eaten in three weeks. I treated her with Maracyn TC everyday for two weeks, but she didn't get any better. I isolated her this morning in her own ten gallon with a filter. I noticed her legs were twitching. This only lasted a few seconds immediately after I put her in the tank and then she stopped and hasn't done it since. I noticed she has had a little trouble reaching the surface.
<Do lower the water so she can "stand" up if needs be.>
Her legs look fine. I have attached some pictures of her. She doesn't appear to be in pain, but since she is a frog I guess it is kind of hard to tell if she is or not.
<Doesn't look irredeemable at all... would switch to a different antibiotic if Maracyn TC (which is a Tetracycline) to perhaps Furanace (a Nitrofuran) or Maracyn Plus (Sulfadimidine and Trimethoprim).>
Are there any stronger antibiotics I can give her? I am willing to try to get some antibiotics down her throat if it would help her. What about medicated foods?
<If she'll eat them; it is certainly true that orally administered drugs work much better than those added to water.>
Thank you very much.
<Do have a read here:
It's a bit technical, but the table at the end will help you shopping, and the sections of how to use antibiotics is very useful.>
Here is a video of her swimming, maybe it will help.
<She looks quite strong and still a good weight; I'd expect good results, once you've used the right drug. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Euthanizing Xenopus, now salt form. with frogs 2/15/09 Dr. Monks, I wonder if I can ask an unrelated follow up? In my 55g frog tank I have two Apple Snails that are showing REALLY poor shell growth. You once recommended a Malawi Salt mix recipe for some snails I had in another tank. Can I use this in the frog tank, or will it hurt them? Thanks again. Laura <Hi Laura. Used as indicated, Malawi Salt mix will do snails no harm at all. It is important that the carbonate hardness is reasonably high when keeping Apple Snails otherwise, as you've probably observed, they develop thin, brittle, discoloured shells with lots of pitting. cheers, Neale.>
Re: Euthanizing Xenopus 2/16/08
Thank you. Um I wasn't worried about it hurting the snails, sir. I was wondering if it would hurt their Xenopus tankmates? Thanks again. Laura <Laura, quite right, and I knew that. Forgive my confusing mistyping. Snails, frogs alike should be fine with the Malawi salt mix used as directed. In fact Xenopus laevis come from naturally hard waters in South Africa, and there's some lab work to indicate raising hardness increases reproductive success. A quick Google search of Xenopus and hardness will reveal more. Cheers, Neale.>

Euthanizing Xenopus 2/15/09 Hello crew, I have a Xenopus froglet that has what appears to be a very painful condition. I've included pictures. He is currently in a hospital tank with a dose of Maracyn. His condition has been unchanged for several hours. He's not eating. Actually I can't say for sure when was the last time he ate, because up until this morning he's been in a 55G with 5 brothers and sisters. However, I can say that up until this morning he was swimming and behaving normally otherwise. A few days ago I noticed that his tummy looked swollen and hard and his legs looked unusually skinny, but since everything else seemed ok, I just kept an eye on him. This morning I noticed what, at the time, appeared to be a small scrape on his side and decided to move him to a hospital tank for treatment. Seconds before catching him, I looked for him and noticed nothing out of the ordinary except, of course, his still swollen belly. I placed a large plastic cup in the tank and gently encouraged him to swim into it. This was much easier than I had expected. Then transported him, in the cup, to the Q Tank. At no time, did I net or handle the frog directly. Upon placing him in the Q Tank, I immediately noticed the protrusion. At any rate, I don't think it's looking too good for the little guy and would like to minimize his suffering if possible. So, I read the article about Euthanising fish, very informative, but I have a question. If I were to use the clove oil method for a frog would it be the same painless process? I ask because the frogs have to surface to breathe, and drowning doesn't seem to me to be an easy passing. Thanks, as always, for your input. Laura <Hello Laura. Methods for euthanising amphibians are not the same as those for euthanising fish. Unlike fish, amphibians breathe air, and also unlike fish, they respire across their skin rather than via their gills. In addition, amphibians are able to tolerate much longer periods without oxygen than fish, so any methods that rely on suffocation, such as the use of Clove Oil, won't work. By far the best way to euthanise an amphibian -- and the only one I will recommend -- is having a vet do the job for you. In terms of background reading, I'd point you to two scientific commentaries on the subject at the links below. Both of these describe appropriate methods for painlessly destroying amphibians. If you choose the euthanise your amphibian at home, you may still need to contact a vet to get hold of the required chemical(s) and to discuss appropriate dosages and methods. http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/euthanasia.shtml  http://www.research.cornell.edu/care/documents/SOPs/CARE306.pdf  Because amphibians don't move their gills and generally show less activity than fish, it is critically important to follow these verified methods to the letter. With fish it's pretty obvious when it's dead, but this isn't true with amphibians (or indeed reptiles). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Euthanizing Xenopus 2/15/09
Thanks, Dr. Monks. Laura <Hello Laura. Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>

F/U Euthanizing Xenopus 2/25/09
Dr. Monks and Crew, I wanted to thank you for your help with my little froggie, and share some interesting information. As you suggested, I took the frog to an exotic pet vet for euthanasia, the day after our original correspondence. The vet said the frog had spina-bifida. Just some random, natural developmental problem. So the frog's in a better place, and I learned something new. Anyway, thanks again. Laura <I've learned something new, too. Thanks for the update. We often make reference here to genetic and growth issues that can effect fish, but actually putting names to a particular syndrome is something I'm not able to do. So this information is very useful. Cheers, Neale.>

Sick Albino Clawed Frog? 5/14/07 Hey there I have an Albino Clawed frog in my tank with a few fish and two snails. The snails and filter help keep the tank rather clean and it's a newer tank. I know the Clawed frog is going to get big enough to eat the fish but for now he's just a little baby. (Barely larger around than a quarter). Anyway... the last couple days I've been noticing his belly is looking a little swollen on one side. Then I woke up today and it's -huge- (bigger than his head). It seemed to blow up from just slight swelling... where I wasn't sure if it was actually swollen or if it was just distortion from the angle I was looking at him at. (He moves around a lot and it's hard to get a good look at him!) Today he's just hanging right at the top of the tank and man it's big. I've looked at several pictures of Albinos with dropsy and it doesn't look like dropsy. I wish I could get you a picture but no digital cam... it's only on his left side so I'm thinking blockage. I read a post where someone had a similar problem and you suggested a teaspoon of Epsom salt per 10 gallons. I'm wanting to try this, in fact I have my Epsom salt and teaspoon on hand and ready!!... But I'm worried that this may hurt my snails. Should I take my snails out of this tank and put them in the other tank before I try to salt the water? Thanks! Erin in Arkansas < Your frog has eaten an item that is being broken down by bacteria and not being digested by the frog's stomach juices. As the bacteria break down the food item they generate gas and expand the abdomen of the frog. In fish we use a medication used on Protozoans that may work with your frog. Try some Metronidazole found at some fish stores or can be found online. I have not heard of Epsom salts being used on frogs but they can tolerate some salts in the water so I would give it a try but I don't think it will be effective.-Chuck>

Bloated African clawed water frog 5/8/06 Hello: I appreciate any help you could give me. I have a 15-16 year old African clawed water frog named May. <This is an unbelievably "ripe old age" for Xenopus> She is 6 to 8 inches long. She has been very hardy and healthy. I have never done anything special for her. She eats ReptoMin pellets. That's all she has ever eaten except when I once made the mistake of putting goldfish in her tank. She has lived through several near disasters. I haven't been diligent about cleaning her water. She has tolerated the lack of good care all of these years. Now she is bloated horribly. But she acts normal, still wants to eat, moves around, comes up to the surface. She has been bloating slowly for several months, maybe up to six months. I have had personal crises so I haven't been able to focus on her. I have read online that I could maybe use Maracyn 2, maybe aquatic salt, MelaFix, stress coat. Her water had a lot of "stuff" on top of the surface recently. My daughter recycled her water, using Genesis in the tap water she added. We have always used Genesis to remove the chlorine. What is the best way to treat May? <... I'd go with the Minocycline... the Maracyn2 product> How much longer can I expect her to live? We have never used soap to clean her tank, but is there something I can use to disinfect it since she might be suffering from some bacteria? <Mmm, best to just use clean water, rock salt...> If I use Maracyn, how do I know what dose and how long to treat her? Thank you for any help. Maria C. <Three treatments, change water and re-administer every three days. Bob Fenner>

Amphibian Ailments (4/2/2004) Hi your site was suggested to me by a rep a pet land. <A well informed pet store employee> I have 2 African albino clawed frogs and one of them seems to have some thing wrong with its foot. It looks like the skin is peeling off, or shedding. Its also blood shot. <Could be bacterial or fungal...is there any "fuzziness" or anything indicative of a fungal infection, or is it more red and swollen, possibly indicative of a bacterial infection? As a side note, do check your ammonia levels, and I assume you are not using chlorinated water?> I at first thought that it might of hurt it self or the other frog bit it. But today it looks a little better. But now if you look at it, you can see the bones on the foot. <Not good. Does it appear to be spreading? Any red\swollen skin or any red "blood poisoning" obvious in the legs\blood vessels? Frogs of this species are especially susceptible to "Septicemia"> Would you guys have a idea as to what it could be? The guy at Petland thought that it might be a fungal infection, but the other frogs seem ok. <Probably bacterial (Septicemia), a nasty and all to common infection of these animals.> If you can email me back at * I'd be grateful. <Try treating the frog with 'Triple Sulfa' by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals or Tetracycline (available from Kordon and other vendors, shouldn't be hard to find at your local pet store). Do this in a separate container of tank water or a quarantine tank. Dose appropriately and make sure to keep the water heated. If you don't notice any improvements in 4-5 days, do send me another email, along with the aquarium size, tankmates, and a picture of the frog if possible> Thanks <No problem, let me know if your frog doesn't improve in health in a few days. M. Maddox>

Frogs and drugs (no toad licking here) Hi, I just treated my freshwater tank for what appears to be velvet. I bought Greenex to treat the tank. I have an African Albino Clawed Frog in there that reacted badly to this. Am I going to lose the frog due to using this product? Thanks, Lynn <wow... I must admit that is doesn't look good for the frog. Do remove it from the tank or the medication from the water immediately (water changes and carbon). Medications that include metals (like copper) or organic dyes should never be used on invertebrates or scaleless animals (including some fish). The frog was indeed overdosed... but don't give up, please. They are hardy. Fresh water ASAP. Best regards, Anthony>
Re: frogs
Anthony, Thanks for your reply. The frog was dead by morning : ( I sure felt bad. The rest of the fish are dropping like flies. I wish that I had gone on line before I bought the Greenex. The product said it was safe, HA! Now I am just trying to save as many of the fish as I can. Thanks, Lynn <alas... sorry for the loss too. Some such meds are not necessarily bad, but rather cure or kill remedies. For virulent infections they may be called upon. I personally do not care for this medication in most applications, but many fine aquarists have had very favorable results with it. I do not recall the manufacturers warning to know if it considers invertebrates, amphibians and the like. I suspect it must mention scaleless fishes/animals though. Best regards, Anthony>

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