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FAQs About Anurans/Frogs: Health/Disease

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

Related FAQs: Frogs other Than African & Clawed 2,
FAQs on: General Frog Identification, General Frog Behavior, General Frog Compatibility, General Frog Selection, General Frog Systems, General Frog Feeding, General Frog Reproduction,
FAQs on: Bullfrogs, Fire Belly Toads,
Leopard Frogs, Surinam Toads/Pipa, Tadpoles of all Sorts, Toads/Terrestrial Frogs, White/Tree Frogs, Amphibians 1, African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Newts & Salamanders, Rubber Eels/CaeciliansTurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

Eye problem with my fire-bellied toad      12/12/12
I have two fire-bellied toads which my husband gave me a few years ago for a Valentine's Day present.  They've been doing fine, but today while feeding them I noticed an issue with one toad.  One of its eyes is red in color and appears to be bulging out of its eyelid.  I only noticed it today and am not sure how long it's been like that, but it's pretty noticeable so perhaps it's a recent development.  Do you have any idea what's wrong and what I should do about it?
<"Finrot" type infections on these largely aquatic toads are quite common.
They're usually caused by physical damage, sometimes from other animals but also from things like a filter inlet lacking an appropriate screen to keep the frog or toad out. In any case, treat as per Finrot in fish, using an appropriate antibacterial medications; I'd go with a combination of Maracyn and Maracyn 2, dosed as instructed on the package. Remember to remove carbon from the filter if used. Do also check water quality is good, i.e., zero ammonia and nitrite; if water quality sucks, then no amount of medication will help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Eye problem with my fire-bellied toad      12/12/12

Thanks, Neale.  I'll give the Maracyn a try!
<Good luck. The nice thing about using both Maracyn and Maracyn 2 is that they each target different categories of bacteria, gram-positive and gram-negative, so you have the best shot of killing off whatever's causing the problem. If you have a vet used to treating amphibians and reptiles, they may be able to help (possibly more cheaply if they'd prescribe just one antibiotic) and that's standard operating practise here in the UK; in the US, you can get some antibiotics (like Maracyn 1 and 2) in pet shops, so you do have this other way forward. Cheers, Neale.>

Bombina injury, infection     4/22/12
Good afternoon.  I have been caring for 2 fire bellied toads in our classroom now for about 4 or 5 months and up until about a two weeks ago things were going great.  I noticed one morning that one of he toads was floating in the water with one let sticking straight out and it seemed a bit swollen but the other let seemed like it was curling in on itself or so I thought.  After taking a closer look I noticed that his back right foot was gone.  He was shaking a bit but otherwise in good spirits.  I took it  out of the container and put it in a smaller more portable one then took him to our local pet store to see what they thought.  They said it sometimes happens in the wild and in captivity and that he would most likely be fine but to keep it away from the other one for several weeks and to also make sure that when I feed it not to leave the crickets in there for to long because they may nibble on his wound.  Never found the missing foot.  Is it
possible that the other toad ate his foot or what?  I am a teacher at a early childhood education school and I am  at a loss for what to tell the kids who are all 4 and 5.  I want to be correct with the information I give them and don't want to do anything wrong for the toad.  What do you suggest?
<Our resident herp. specialists appear to "be out", so I will ask you to read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FireBelToadF.htm
and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GenFrogHlthF.htm
for background, input. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bombina injury, infection  /Neale      4/22/12

Good afternoon.  I have been caring for 2 fire bellied toads in our classroom now for about 4 or 5 months and up until about a two weeks ago things were going great.
<I see.>
I noticed one morning that one of he toads was floating in the water with one leg striking straight out and it seemed a bit swollen but the other let seemed like it was curling in on itself or so I thought.
<Ah, not good. Do look up "Red Leg" before anything else. While these toads are pretty resilient, they can be quickly infected with opportunistic bacteria should they be both damaged and environmentally stressed. If the injury is a clean amputation, and the water conditions are excellent, the wound can heal without any intervention on your part. Unfortunately, this isn't always the scenario, in which case prompt use of antibiotics is required. Do read this page about Xenopus:
Though your toads are a different species, the issues and medications are identical.>
After taking a closer look I noticed that his back right foot was gone.  He was shaking a bit but otherwise in good spirits.  I took it  out of the container and put it in a smaller more portable one then took him to our local pet store to see what they thought.  They said it sometimes happens in the wild and in captivity and that he would most likely be fine but to keep it away from the other one for several weeks
<A good idea.>
and to also make sure that when I feed it not to leave the crickets in there for to long because they may nibble on his wound.
<Possible, but seems unlikely if the toads remain in the water all the time. And do vary the diet a bit -- crickets are fine, if dusted with vitamins first, but "as they come" they're nutritionally limited, and even in the best situation, shouldn't be the only thing the toads eat.>
Never found the missing foot.  Is it possible that the other toad ate his foot or what?
I am a teacher at a early childhood education school and I am  at a loss for what to tell the kids who are all 4 and 5.  I want to be correct with the information I give them and don't want to do anything wrong for the toad.  What do you suggest?
<I'm a high school teacher, and if all else fails, I tell the kids the truth. If the issue is welfare -- the vivarium is too small, there's nowhere for the toads to bask, the water isn't filtered and changed enough -- then let them understand the cause/effect and then encourage them to participate in improving things. There's a pretty good summary here:
At some point I should get something written about these popular amphibians for WWM. We seem to be getting a flush of queries about them. Anyway, hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Bloated fire belly   11/13/11
To whom it may concern,
My green fire belly toad started to shed its skin like two weeks ago. He's still bloated and now his tongue is sticking out. He's not moving and has notost
< not lost?>
any color. I thought he was dead but his tongue is moving. The other fire belly toad I have is normal and eating healthy and still likes to go near him. I don't know what to do?
Thank you for your time,
<Shannon, do need some information on this toad's environment. Fire-Belly Toads are temperate-zone species that appreciate room-temperature water, proper filtration to keep their water clean, a varied diet, and a dry land area that is at least smooth and ideally contains something they can dig into, either coconut husk or moss. Kept properly, they can live a long time, typically 10-12 years. If they sicken or die prematurely, there's usually something wrong with their environment. Common problems include poor water quality (i.e., no biological filter); tap water not properly treated before use to remove ammonia, chlorine, Chloramine and copper; monotonous diet; lack of humidity in the land half of the tank; and handling by their owner that causes damage to their skin. Once frogs and toads are stressed or damaged, they quickly become subject to bacterial and fungal infections, and these are very difficult to treat. A vet should be able to prescribe the right medication, assuming the frog or toad isn't too far gone, but otherwise prevention is always the best way forward, rather than trying to find cures. Without information about his environment (size of the tank, filtration method, temperature, diet, etc.) it's impossible for me to give any specific treatment ideas. But without information to the contrary, my assumption would be that the problem is environmental, and even if this toad can't be saved, you need to establish what's wrong if you want to keep the other one healthy .Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bloated fire belly   11/13/11

Thank you for all the info. He didn't make it.
<Too bad. Not unexpected though, given what you said was happening.>
I have a filter and I didn't know you have to treat the water.
<Oh my, yes! Buy yourself aquarium water conditions like that used for tropical fish. Ask your retailer specifically for one that removes chlorine, Chloramine, ammonia and copper. That's the one you want! All
these are very toxic to animals like your toad. The old school approach of letting tap water stand overnight will allow chlorine to go away, but Chloramine, ammonia and copper will remain. Much better to treat your tap water at each weekly water change.>
I recently changed the type of water I was using.
I have big and small rocks because that's how I got them.
<Look for sharp edges. Even small puncture wounds and scratches allow frogs and toads to become subject to bacterial and fungal infections. If in doubt, remove everything from the aquarium except stuff that's obviously smooth and safe. Good choices are ceramic and plastic ornaments sold for vivaria, as well as clumps of pondweed (toads like this stuff!) and of course the sand bank area of the tank topped with coconut fibre or moss.>
I did notice that the water is colder than temp.
<Maintain these toads around or slightly above room temperature; not too hot, not too cold. 20-24 C/68-75 F is ideal.>
It a 20 gal tank. I use a light and mist to try and keep temp and humidity.
Thank you again.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Frog with bubble   10/21/11
My cat brought in a frog last night. It appeared to be uninjured. I put the frog in a container with some water and a rock to sit on, l was going to release it this morning but it has a bubble coming out of its butt and I doubt that is normal. Thanks for your help
<If you can, release it into a nearby pond or stream. There's really not much you can do to help. Toads are toxic and cats generally learn to avoid them after trying one time (when bitten, toad skin releases a toxin that causes the cat's mouth to froth for hours). But frogs are harmless and (relatively) easy to catch, and cats view them as meals. In good conditions the frog may heal, but in dirty conditions (which will likely be the case unless its container is sizeable and equipped with a biological filter) ambient bacteria can infect even slight wounds. Frogs are extremely sensitive to infections of that sort. A local animal rescue place may be able to help, and there are Herpetological societies and clubs in many cities that provide help to people keeping amphibians, and an e-mail or phone call to one such might be very useful. Much as I like cats, there's no escaping the fact they are vastly destructive predators that have worked their way through wild populations of small animals. Here in England, there are something like 8 million cats. Per year, these 8 million cats kill an estimated 275 million mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. True, not all cats are let loose at night, and day-active cats aren't likely to catch very many prey animals. Housebound cats obviously catch very little except maybe the odd housefly and spider. But night-active cats are a major problem for many small animals. Collar bells help reduce the ability of cats to hunt birds and mammals, but unfortunately these don't work for frogs or lizards. In the case of frogs, probably the best thing to do is to avoid attractive frogs to your garden, by not installing a pond, for example. Sorry there's no simple solutions here, and good luck. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Frog with bubble   10/21/11

Thank you for your help. Sadly I took him to a wildlife rehab that had to euthanize him. I have a small townhouse with a little yard with a cat fence where my cat can't get out of the yard but the frog entered and he got him.
I really appreciate the time you took to answer me. Sincerely, Rita
<Sorry for the sad ending. Glad I was able to help.>
"All souls are the same, just our bodies are different" Hippocrates

<Wise words indeed. Cheers, Neale.>

Using Melafix with Oriental Firebellied Toads    9/29/11
I have an Oriental fire bellied toad that has what appears to be an eye infection. The eye itself is slightly cloudy. The lower rim of its eye appears somewhat gooey for lack of a better descriptive. Yesterday it was keeping its eyes closed but today they are open more often than closed.
The tank got a complete tear down and clean up about 10 days ago - no chemicals, everything just rinsed really well. We used bottle spring water
<Mmm, not really suitable depending on make-up... May have too much mineral content or not enough... What is pH, alkalinity? Is this system cycled?>
and not tap.
We have a submersible sponge filter- no carbon. I have been reading the archived answers on your site for other fire bellies with eye problems and it seems that Melafix is the most often suggested treatment.
<Not by me, no>
I have a bottle but no idea how to actually administer it. It seemed from the previous posts that I am to apply the Melafix directly to the eye and not to the water?
Please advise.
Thank you for your time!!
<I'd place nothing here. Your frog will very likely cure on its own w/ the system maturing. I would add a modicum (like half) of tap water to the bottled. Bob Fenner>

sick whites tree frog   8/7/11
This evening while checking on my son's two Whites Tree Frogs I noticed one of them to be extremely bloated with a small lesion on top of his head.
After some research I have concluded the most likely cause is Dropsy. (The frog was taken to the vet and was humanly euthanized) I am worried about his other frog. I am aware now of the mistakes we were making that caused the illness in the first frog and are taking precautions to make sure those same mistakes are not repeated. I understand it is not contagious and I have re-sanitized the entire tank. The frog we have left is very thin despite eating a few wax worms a week (hand fed) along with some crickets (hunted) and she seems to have clouding over the tops of her eyes. Is this related to the bacteria or is this something else? So I need to be worried that she is thin?
<Hello Joy. Frogs are extremely sensitive, and while these Tree Frogs are not especially difficult to keep, they're not easy pets for children or teenagers. Apart from the fact that handling them stresses them, it can also damage their skin because our skin is so much dryer than that of the frogs. Plus, the keeper of the frogs needs to ensure humidity is quite high and that may involve daily misting. Diet is always a problem with reptiles and amphibians, and while they may eat all sorts of bugs and worms, these do need to be dusted with vitamins or gut-loaded before usage. UV-B lighting is needed to synthesise vitamin D. Without both the right food and UV-B, nutritional shortcomings are likely. There are some lamps that provide both heat and UV-B, but these are likely to dry out frogs and I don't recommend them. Instead, use an under-tank heater because these are tropical frogs and won't live long at room temperature, even in the continental United States or Southern Europe. Again, lack of heat will reduce the immune system and make dietary imbalances more likely, which can lead to wasting and failure to thrive. I'd give the vet a call in this instance. Injections of vitamins can be very effective with reptiles and amphibians, and at the same time the vet can give the frog a once-over to see if she's thin because of disease or lack of food. Better safe than sorry. When it comes to amphibians, I would always recommend Axolotls and African Clawed Frogs as generally much easier for teenagers to look after, though I don't really rate any of these difficult pets as suitable for younger children, unless of course their parents are happy to be involved on an at-least weekly basis. Cheers, Neale.>

Whites Tree Frog   7/27/11
Wet Web Media -
My Whites Tree Frog had what I believe was a case of Cloudy Eye, but after a few days of his cage being mistakenly flooded, the Cloudy Eye seems to have cleared up, but both his eyes are more bloodshot. I've read that moisture can help clear up Cloudy Eye - are the bloodshot eyes an aftereffect? Or is it possible that my Whites Tree Frog got some kind of illness from the water?
Thank you!
<Hello Rebecca. Amphibian eyes are extremely sensitive, and a bloodshot appearance can mean all sorts of things, from dry or dusty air through to bacterial infection. Obviously toxins in the air, such as bug sprays and paint fumes, can cause a reaction too. So while there isn't anything specific you need to do here, you should review conditions generally. Make sure humidity in the vivarium is high -- at least 50% humidity -- so misting is very important if you don't have an automatic vivarium humidifier. Do also check the air is clean, that the water pool in the tank is clean and chlorine, Chloramine, ammonia and copper free, and that the vivarium generally is free from things like mould and other fungi that can cause reactions in frogs. Cheers, Neale.>

Lump on an American Bullfrog - indigestion or a tumour? 6/28/2011
I have been keeping a relatively young American Bullfrog for the past 2 weeks. The frog is currently 4.5 cm long from its snout to its vent.
I keep it in a plastic 30 cm by 30 cm by 30 cm tank. This is filled with shallow water and a few smooth pebbles. I don't line the bottom with gravel as I'm worried that my frog may accidentally ingest tiny sand and rock particles. The tank has a filter and I change the water once a week. The average temperature is within the 28 C ~ 32 C range (I live in the tropics).
<That's a bit warm for this species. Can the vivarium be placed anywhere cooler?>
I feed the frog a mixture of crickets (it's staple diet) and mealworms.
<Do you supplement with vitamins and calcium? On their own neither of these foods is complete. But if you can dust them with vitamins, or gut-load them with a good food (even aquarium fish food would be better than nothing) you can avoid problems with vitamin and mineral deficiency. For example, lack of iodine can cause growth problems, lack of calcium problems with the bones, lack of B1 can lead to skeletal deformities, and so on.>
Exactly three days ago, I noticed a small lump on the left side of my frog's belly. It has been there ever since. (Please see attached photo - is this high resolution enough? The frog's been placed against a white background for enhanced visibility but if the image of the lump still isn't clear, please let me know.)
The frog also occasionally regurgitates cricket heads and abdomens. This is especially so if the crickets are around 2 cm long - perhaps these crickets are too large for the frog's liking
<Quite normal.>
Apart from this, the frog is apparently healthy and has no appetite issues.
I have no idea how to distinguish between a cancerous lump and one that's merely due to indigestion. I thought that the likelihood of having a tumour was rather low (considering that my frog is still young) but brought it to see a vet anyway. The local vet was downright clueless and callously suggested I throw my frog away.
<Yikes! Would have to imagine Bullfrogs would VERY UNWELCOME in most tropical countries, so if you do destroy this animal, you would have to dispose of the corpse carefully. The risk of carrying frog diseases to the wild is much too high (amphibians around the world are in terrible trouble).>
I've read a similar article on WWM but it dealt with the African Clawed Frog, so I'm not sure if the information provided applies.
Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
<Do think a cancer is unlikely, but a nutritional problem is very possible.
Do review diet, and act accordingly. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Lump on an American Bullfrog - indigestion or a tumour?    6/29/11
Hello Neale,
Thanks for the absolutely prompt reply!
<Glad to help.>
I've placed a few cooler packs beneath the tank and the water temperature has dropped to 26 C. I know it's not much, but does this help?
<Can do. So will evaporation and a carefully-placed fan near the aquarium.
Of course these animals jump out, so a mesh lid would be essential. Whilst these animals are very tough, I'm just a bit concerned that constant tropical temperatures wouldn't be good for what is basically a temperate-zone animal.>
I'll try dusting the crickets with some vitamin powder and see what happens.
Su Fen
P.S.: No, it's not that Bullfrogs are disliked in my country. It's just that most people view frogs as a delicious source of food rather than a pet. The American Bullfrog is farmed and commonly sold in local markets.
<Interesting. Only eaten frogs the one time, in France.>
But I'll certainly keep in mind your suggestion of disposing the corpse properly when my frog dies (let's hope it doesn't come to this) - I wouldn't want to decimate our indigenous frog populations!
<Quite right! Good luck, Neale.>

Cloudy Eye in Whites Tree Frogs    4/26/11
To Whom it May Concern,
Lately I have noticed the my White's Dumpy Tree has a clouding in one of his eyes. It is opaque, kind of bluish almost. I noticed it about 2 months ago. I was wondering what the possible causes were and whether to take my frog to the vet. If not, what kind of treatment should I do?
Thank you!
<Hello Rebecca. Cloudy eyes typically mean one of two things: physical damage (usually from handling, which should be avoided as far as humanly possible) and secondary infections. Infections can follow on from damage, or from poor diet, or from overly-bright light, or from insufficient humidity, or from excessive heat or cold. Without details on these issues it's hard to say what's going on. Visiting a vet is an extremely good idea, and some of these problems are more easily treated with antibiotics and/or vitamin injections than they are identified. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Cloudy Eye in Whites Tree Frogs   4/28/11

Thank you!
<Most welcome! Neale.>

My frogs died :-(    2/22/11
I've had two fire bellied toads for about six months now.
<Bombina orientalis I assume, the Oriental Firebelly Toad.>
They've been healthy and happy as far as I can see. They eat very well (gut loaded crickets as well as worms!).
They have lights (purple nightlight is new, had a red one until two weeks ago) for heat and uv (white light added in daytime because I turn my heat down). I only have two in a 20 gal terrarium with one anole. The anole stays on the "land" side, pretty much. The frogs will leave the water often (feeding, exploring).
<Indeed. They like damp moss and peat for crawling around in.>
There are several small plants in there, coconut bark for bedding. I have several pieces of wood and some small rocks. They were still fat. Today, the electric went out for a few hours when I wasn't home. My neighbor said her heat never went off so I'm assuming mine didn't either. The worst it could've gotten was 50-60.
<Hmm the thing is that Firebelly Toads are subtropical animals. They hate being kept too warm. Room temperature, around 18-24 C/64-75 F, is usually ideal for them. If you have a heating lamp for the Anolis, you should find the frogs bask at the surface of the water if some of the heat gets to the water, but otherwise you shouldn't need to heat the water at all unless your house is very cold. Indeed, even in winter, temperatures as low as 10 C/50 F will do them no harm at all.>
When I got home, they were dead :-( They were outside their water container (about 3" high, round pebbles on one side) dried up and sprawled out. They have not had any white stuff on them or anything else I noticed. They bark regularly.
<I see.>
Can you figure out why they died?? I'm so upset over this. I love my terrarium and now am afraid I'll kill them if I get new ones. I don't handle them (except for cleanings). I've done my homework and believe they have a happy, healthy, well diversified home.
Thanks for your help.
<Firebelly Toads shouldn't be killed by cold, so the fact the heater went off for a few hours isn't likely to be the problem. Review other issues such as water quality (there should be a simple filter, like an air-powered sponge, installed) and that they aren't bring harassed by the Anolis (personally, I wouldn't mix them because of their considerable differences in requirements). Try and get a book called "Keeping Amphibians" by Andrew Gray, a short book sold very inexpensively at places like Amazon (where it sells for under a dollar!). It is filled with lots of excellent tips on keeping these toads, and is squarely pitched at those who don't want too much technical detail, Latin names, and all that sort of stuff. Cheers, Neale.>

Salmonella Poisoning From Frogs 12/2/2010
My little boy (age 10) just spent 4 days in the hospital with Salmonella poisoning. I am worried he contracted this from his frogs (White's Dumpy and Cuban). We tried to be diligent about him washing his hands. Since he is 10, I think he may have slipped a few times with the handwashing or perhaps didn't wash well enough.
My question is can you get Salmonella again, or is he now immune? Also, is there anyway to treat the frogs for Salmonella so they don't continue to shed it in their feces?
He really likes the frogs, but I don't want to go through this again. If there is any chance he can get it again, we will be seeking new homes for our little buddies.
Thanks, Julie Southern Illinois
< Your son can continue to get salmonella over and over again if he doesn't wash his hands carefully after handing his frogs. I don't think there is anyway to treat the frogs. You may want to check with a vet. I understand your concern. People should wash their hands after handling all pets. There are parasites/diseases that be transmitted to humans from dogs and cats too. I am sorry your son and your family had to go through this but I am glad he has recovered.-Chuck>

**Foamy water after fire belly toad death 11/08/2010
We had 2 fire belly toads for almost 2 years and one died. We replaced it 2 weeks ago and it died last night. Then the frog we had longest died a couple of hours later. They are in a small aquarium that is cleaned weekly and fed only crickets that have been covered with vitamins. The water is dechlorinated. They have a dry area and a wet area. The water area has a filter. After we took the dead frog out, the water started to foam like large soap bubbles. We have never cleaned the tank with soap. The frogs have been healthy and eating then just dropped dead and then the foam formed in the tank. What happened? Debbie M
<Hello Debbie. It's unlikely that whatever killed the frogs caused the foam. But organic material from dead animals, or for that matter mucous produced by stressed frogs shortly before death, can form foams when mixed with air and water. If you've ever seen foam along the seaside or a large lake, or for that matter a protein skimmer in a marine aquarium, you'll be aware of this phenomenon. The organic material may be unrelated to the death of the frogs, or even tangentially related, in the sense that whatever caused the foam also stressed the frogs, though the foam itself didn't cause the death of the frogs and wasn't in turn caused by the death of the frogs. In other words, you have to keep you mind open on this one! Let's recap what Fire Bellied Toads need, because the usual reason for death is poor care. Cold-blooded animals can take a very long time to weaken and die, so simply because they lived for a year or two proves nothing either way about how well they were looked after. Put another way, a good lifespan in captivity for Bombina orientalis, the Oriental Fire Bellied Toad, is 20 years, so dying after 2 years is very abnormal indeed, and for both of them died within a few weeks of each other, that implies more than mere bad luck but something very wrong with your vivarium. So, here are the basics. Firstly, a reasonably big vivarium; a 20 gallon tank should be adequate for 2-3 specimens. I'd go for a "tall" one in this instance because it's easier to decorate but it shouldn't matter too much either way. Next, the tank needs shallow, luke-warm water, about 8-10 cm/3-4 inches at most. This should be filtered using a small fish tank filter; a small air-powered box or corner filter would be ideal. Use a heater if your home gets colder than 15 C/59 F, but you'll probably need to keep it at its lowest setting and make ABSOLUTELY sure there's a heater guard over the heater (many heaters come with these already, but if yours doesn't, buy one). Otherwise you shouldn't need a heater if the vivarium is kept in a centrally-heated room. Stick a clump of Pondweed or Indian Fern in the water. Fire Bellied Toads love floating among plants under a warm light! Use smooth gravel to form the substrate at the bottom of the watery part, then build it up to form a hillock at the dry end. Shore this up with smooth pebbles and bogwood roots. You can alternative use a vivarium expressly designed for amphibious animals that has a watery compartment and a dry land compartment, but do bear in mind that anything less than 20 gallons isn't really worth using. Place moss on the land part to create something soft. These toads are easily damaged by sharp gravel, and the moss provides a good place for them to rest and cool down. Add some smooth ornaments of whatever sort you want to provide extra hiding places above the waterline. Keep the air humid by placing a lid on the tank, but there should be some ventilation to stop fungus. If you have good lighting, any number of houseplants can be grown in the land side of the tank. Clean the tank regularly, throwing away soiled moss as required and changing the water at least weekly. Diet should be more varied crickets! While useful snacks, they lack moisture and are not nutritionally complete. Instead offer a variety of invertebrates: earthworms, spiders, mealworms, and so on. Do not handle these frogs; it's bad for them and bad for you. If you haven't already bought a good book on keeping amphibians, let me recommend "Keeping Amphibians" by Andrew Gray, an excellent book that can be bought used from Amazon for the princely sum of one whole cent. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sexing Fire bellied toads. Hlth. now 8/28/10
Thank you for replying so quickly!
<My pleasure.>
You have provided useful information.
<Glad to hear it.>
I have some questions I forgot to ask. I noticed today there seem to be a small patch of slightly lighter colored Green skin on the back of this one fire belly. The patch in question is located just behind the skull, actually it looks as though there are two tiny patches. This is normal?
<Not normal, no. But difficult to say if actually harmful or merely some genetic abnormality. A photo would help. Do be aware that amphibians have skins that are easily damaged, and they should never be touched with dry hands, and even with wet hands handling must be only when 100% essential. Once damaged, they quickly become prone to opportunistic bacterial and fungal infections.>
Also today I had to remove the fire belly from the tank for some maintenance but the toad managed to jump to the carpet. I immediately caught him again only to have him jump on a blanket. From here I moved him into a proper container and from there back to the tank.
I wouldn't be as concerned in this were a reptile or a mammal but I have been told Amphibians are prone to absorbing cleaning agents and other hazardous chemicals through there skin which are fatal to them. It seems uninjured from the jumping but I am skeptical that the animal could get away with crawling on the carpet without somehow suffering some ill effects.
<The walking on the carpet shouldn't be too bad, but being grabbed with anything washed with laundry conditioner isn't going to be helpful. With amphibians, the best approach is to either use wet hands to catch them, or else drive them into a plastic container like a Tupperware so they can be lifted back to their vivarium.>
I tried feeding the animal afterward and it didn't have a problem eating but I'm not sure if that matters. What can potentially happen in these situations?
<Well, the damage is done now. Just have to see what'll happen. With luck you'll be fine. But do make yourself aware of the early signs of bacterial secondary infections such as Red Leg so you can act should things take a turn for the worse.>
Thanks again.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sexing Fire bellied toads. 8/29/10

Thanks for the heads up.
I will monitor him to see if anything occurs. so far it seems fine.
Oh and to clarify in case I did not make it clear, I did use wet hands to catch it, and he was indeed deposited in a empty Tupperware container during the tank maintenance. it was not actually grabbed with anything except my hand, the only thing I think the animal came into contact with was a blanket that the he landed on.
I have tried researching Red leg disease just in case. I am curious though,
Since these animals have red undersides to begin with how can you determine if red leg is present.
<Very different! Red Leg is more like Finrot or for that matter an open wound on a human.>
Specifically how does the disease manifest, does it resemble a rash, lesion or a growth of some type?
<The first two in your list. Starts off as a sore or bloody rash, and then becomes more severe. Usually fatal by that stage.>
Thanks again.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Tadpole with air bubble 7/7/10
We received two leopard frog tadpoles about 30 days ago. They have done very well. Yesterday we noticed one was swimming upside down and appeared to have an air bubble in it's belly. Is this normal? Is it dying? What do we need to do. I have a very emotional 6 year old thinking his tadpole is going to die.
<Greetings. Without any information on the environment I cannot say anything at all useful about what precisely might be the problem. So instead, let's recap what you need to maintain Rana pipiens tadpoles.
Anything on the following list you're not doing is likely the cause of the issue you're seeing here. First you need a reasonably big aquarium, 10 gallons upwards. Anything smaller would be a waste of your money and inhumane in terms of living conditions. Obviously, if you want to keep the frogs as pets, you'll need a tank larger than that, 20 gallons or more.
Rana species are rather nervous in captivity, and in too-small quarters tend to bash their heads on the walls trying to get out. What's the point of keeping a pet that's clearly unhappy? Anyway, your 10 gallon tank needs to be partially filled with *dechlorinated tap water*, not mineral or RO water, to a depth of about 15 cm/6 inches or so. Install an air-powered filter of some sort, a bubble-up box filter filled with ceramic noodles would be ideal. You MUST have a filter. It's not an option. Without a filter ammonia builds up in the water and eventually kills the tadpoles.
This may take some weeks, which is why tadpoles can seem "fine" for a long while in an unfiltered tank, and then suddenly die for no apparent reason.
Every couple of weeks gently rinse the biological media -- e.g., the ceramic noodles -- in a bucket of aquarium water to rinse away any solid waste. Don't clean biological media any more aggressively than that or you'll kill the filter bacteria. You don't need a heater, and in fact the aquarium MUST be somewhere relatively cool and out of direct sunlight. By all means use a fluorescent light to illuminate the tank, but don't use a hot incandescent bulb like an angle-poise lamp. If the water gets too warm, above 18C/64F, the tadpoles will become stressed and eventually sick. Stock the tank with some inexpensive floating plants if you have a light to keep those plants alive. Elodea, also known as Pondweed, is ideal. Once or twice a day feed the tadpoles good quality tropical fish food. Feed sparingly, aiming to keep the tadpoles obviously rounded but not swollen-looking. Rana pipiens tadpoles take about three months to grow into froglets, at which point you will need a bigger tank that provides 15 cm/6 inches of water plus lots and lots of bogwood and rocks above the waterline where the frogs can climb about and feed. The frogs eat only live foods, so at that point you'll be providing a mixture of earthworms, small crickets, fruit-flies,
etc. Frogs are VERY POOR choices of pets for 6 years olds since they're almost entirely nocturnal as adults and cannot be handled; children are far too rough and end up damaging the sensitive skins of frogs. Note also that
amphibian vivaria will culture Salmonella bacteria, not because of the frogs as such, but because of the damp and organic material like uneaten food that accumulates around the enclosure. Healthy adults shouldn't be at any risk at all -- I've swallowed gallons of aquarium water over the years while siphoning out tanks -- but very small children as well as adults with immunity problems are at some risk. Consult your healthcare provider for more information. Cheers, Neale.>

Aquatic Frog Excessive Shedding  7/29/08 Dear WWM Crew, <Jean> I have an aquatic frog who is shedding excessively; is this a form of a fungus? <Mmm, no... perhaps an indication of something noxious in the environment... water quality...> If so, can you recommend treatment. <Mmm, really just to look about, see if there is something toxic... metallic, shells...> I do know that aquatic frogs shed and then eat their skin for protein and etc. I also noticed he has not eaten in the pass two days. Please give advice. Thanks again for your help. Jean <Mmm, and to take care in water prep. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm and the linked files above, and on WWM re Anuran Husbandry period. Bob Fenner>

damaged frog -05/07/08 Hi, I was out walking and found this frog in the road hit by a car he seems to be ok except for his back legs, the flesh is tore and bleeding slightly. he is not using these legs and I can't take him to a vet I hated to leave him there because I know a car would finish him off. My main questions are what can I put on his wounds? and what over all should I do for him? I have him in a tank with a little water on two paper towels. He can hold his head up but the two inner thighs are split down on the seams exposing his muscles with slight bleeding like I said before. He hasn't moved at all either just now he moved slightly <Hello Candie. There's not much to do with a frog in this condition. In the wild this fish would be quickly eaten by a predator. You could certainly maintain him at home in a cool, damp enclosure with some water to paddle in and see if he improves. He probably won't eat much at first, but you could offer an earthworm or two. If he looks better after a few days, then consider "adopting" him for a while. We can offer some more detailed information on this issue down the road. Otherwise, painlessly destroying the animal is the most human way forward. Cheers, Neale.> Re: damaged frog -05/08/08 Thanks Neal, for emailing me back sadly he died the next day. <Too bad. But thanks for writing back and letting me know what happened. Cheers, Neale.>

Please tell us what's wrong!! Spinning toads... No data  4/12/08 Hello, We are starting to get a little bit worried about one of our twelve fire bellied toads. We call him Spinny because every time he gets in the water he starts to spin uncontrollably. <Mmm, not good> At first we thought he was just one of those "freak" frogs... You know the one, a little bit different from the rest. But as time progressed and the spinning got more and more out of control, we feared something might be seriously wrong. Especially when we noticed that even his land behavior is kind of strange. His head bobs in this strange way... What is going on? <Mmm, likely genetic trouble... perhaps developmental... not likely (as all would be affected), but possibly pathogenic> Is there something wrong with his equilibrium? Is he sick? <Likely just this one> To top it all off, we just recently noticed there is now a Spinny number two. <Oh oh...> Is Spinny number one infecting our entire population of toads?? Love, <3 <3 <3 Cochina <Mmm, perhaps environmental... nutritional... Need to know much more re what it is you're doing to keep these specimens... Their systems, maintenance, foods/feeding... Bob Fenner>

Re: Please tell us what's wrong!! Spinning frogs 4/15/08 > <Mmm, perhaps environmental... nutritional... Need to know much more re what it is you're doing to keep these specimens... Their systems, maintenance, foods/feeding... Bob Fenner> Okay... Here goes... These "specimens" a.k.a. frogs... reside in a 30 gallon tank. <Mmm, may need more room than this... many amphibians are very sensitive to metabolite build-up> It's set up with sand, rocks, trees, water which is continuously filtered and changed weekly... <... how changed? With pre-stored water I hope/trust> Even a floating lily pad. The frogs are fed every six days. They are given crickets for sustenance... Also the crickets are dusted each time they are placed in the tank. The tank is heated and maintained at a constant temperature of 77 degrees... The water is always flowing and moving... There is even a waterfall. There is also something else we forgot to mention earlier. Almost all of the twelve frogs have these white dots around their mouth and head area...Some have them on their legs also. Is this yet something else we should be overly concerned with?? Thank you for your time and any assistance you might provide. We love you. <Do see the Net re the care of this species... and do please include previous correspondence when writing us. I suspect the same general issues as above... the environment and nutrition are lacking. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Miss Katrina Joyce Newsome and Jimmy James

Arizona pond with frog dying   3/5/08 Hi Crew, I have a 600 gal. in-ground pond. My neighbor's pickerel frogs (I believe) come hang out at my pond. In summer this is fine, even great. In winter, the die off begins and I don't know why. Now, come spring, they are coming out of hibernation and dying off again. I don't like it, but I have been buying crickets to feed them as the insect population has not caught up with the frogs. Is this why they are dying, nothing to eat. Even though I have been putting out crickets, they are still dying. Any feedback appreciated. Marty <Hello Marty. Frog mortality is unfortunately increasing. The causes are multiple, but likely include things like poisoning and air pollution. For example, some people use pesticides in their gardens, and while excellent for killing slugs and insects, these pesticides also kill the things that eat them: frogs! Lack of food may be an issue, but to be honest amphibians are very good at surviving without food for a long period of time, particularly when it is cold. Your first step is probably to visit Frogwatch USA; they have lots of information about frogs in your area and the pressures on them, plus an "ask an expert" area that'll put you in contact with a real amphibian expert. http://www.nwf.org/frogwatchUSA/ Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Arizona pond with frog dying 3/6/08 Thank you. I will check out Frogwatch. I do not use chemicals, but I live in a neighborhood and I know they travel around from water source to water source. Marty <Hello Marty, good luck with your researches and hope you can do something to help all those frogs! Cheers, Neale.>

Leopard Frog, hlth.  1/26/08 To whom it may concern, My son has a Leopard frog, which he has had for about a year now. He has had it since it was a tadpole. His first grade class was giving some away. <Progressive. Good for them> Anyway, after about 6 months, he became kind of sluggish, and started to have difficulty catching the live crickets we feed him. I just figured it was due to the winter months and him just feeling like hibernating. <Could well be> Next, as time went on, on occasion, I noticed that when he tried to move, he would start twitching, and could not move, until the twitching stopped. He is still eating, but the condition seems to be getting worse, and he is getting weaker. My son is extremely distressed about his pet. Any ideas? We do turn on a light / heat lamp for him each day, for anywhere from 2-6 hours. Thanks, Brian <Mmm, could be simply "age"... and likely influences of captivity. Exposure to sanitizers in your source water, treatment... How is new water prepared, system water filtered, tested?... Perhaps a deficiency syndrome nutritionally... Do you supplement the food/s at all? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibdisfaqs.htm and the other Amphibian files linked above... to grant you insight, raise questions here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Leopard Frog  1/26/08
The frog is only about a year old, <Mmm, well, Rana pipiens is relatively long-lived for an amphibian (up to about nine years), but generally only a year or two in captivity... due to vagaries of water quality, nutrition...> and his little water "dish/pool" is filled with bottled water only. <... "Bottled water" may not be a good idea... what are the chemical qualities of this product?> His diet consists of live crickets, nothing else. <Need more...> His tank has the moist coconut medium in the bottom. Brian <Do take the time to read on the Net re this species husbandry... You read as a conscientious keeper, but am sensing the same issues hinted at as in our previous correspondence. BobF>
Re: Leopard Frog 1/31/08
Can you give some examples / manufacturers of calcium supplements and vitamin supplements for frogs? I found "JurassiCal" for a calcium supplement (says ok for amphibians), but I haven't found a vitamin supplement yet. Thanks, Brian <Ah, yes. Baby/children's liquid vitamins are fine here, as are commercial aquarium products like Selcon, MicroVit... BobF>

Meds and Frogs 11/20/07 My name is Banjo, I have 2 tanks. 1) 2 gallon with one male Betta (Mitch) and his plant. I have had him for 1.5 years. He is right next door to the larger tank so he gets to see and occasional girlfriend that swims by. 2) 10 gallon with 7 small to med sized plants, 6 fancy guppies (2 males, 4 females), 2 female Bettas (which do great with everyone including each other. I do put them in a floating cup at feeding time so the frogs don't starve. What pigs!) <Heee, good technique> , 1 Albino Pleco, and 3 DAF's (I have now had for just under 2 months (I'm still crossing my fingers, hoping that fungus doesn't show up). So far things have been going great except for one thing (of course!). I noticed on my Betta's, a light outline on the gills, two rows on each side. Everyone likes to rub against the decorations pretty often (not obsessively but often enough to know they have an itch they cant get rid of), and it seems like they are rubbing their gills. On the guppies I cant see any other visible signs of disease besides flashing. When I installed my heater, it was my first time working with a heater, so the temp took a 10 degree jump in one day! Oops! I now have the hang of adjusting the temp by only a few degrees at a time. I lost one guppy a few days later (the one that was most pregnant), she then developed inflamed and red gills and hung around in one spot, and her color was slightly cloudy on the front half of her body. I put her to sleep. I figure I have a parasite, b/c of the itching and the lines on the gills of the Bettas. It seems to only kill a fish if they are stressed (i.e. being ready to give birth and then a 10 degree jump in temp). I'm sure if left unattended it will eventually kill my fish one by one. Water parameters are normal Ammonia and nitrites are 0 and nitrates hover between .05 and .15. I always treat and let tap water sit for at least 3 days before water changes. <Good> My ph hovers between 7.7 and 8.0, is that ok? <Mmm, a bit high... but not likely worth "fooling with"... Mainly an issue here (with high pH) IF you have any ammonia or nitrite present. MUCH more toxic at elevated pH> and my water is about as hard as it gets. So here is my question. I have Jungle parasite clear. Ingredients: Praziquantel, Diflubenzuron, Metronidazole, and Acriflavine. Is that safe for the frogs? Will it stress them? <Is "pretty" safe in terms of the first three, not much stress> Unfortunately I don't have a QT tank at the moment, but I can put them in with my Betta if I have to (It is only a 2gal). <I would do this> Are the parasites something that will bother the frogs? <Am not so sure there are parasites present here... Could be residual stress from the heater incident, or the high pH alone...> I also have a total of 4 teaspoons of aquarium salt in there to help the fish. <Not a good idea to expose the frogs to> Will the frogs be ok with that? <Not likely> I have heard mixed opinions Also how does the stocking sound? Do you think I am over-stocked? <Getting there> I will be getting a 20gal long within the next 5 months for everyone so I can let some guppy fry make it to adult hood by adding more plants with more room. For now all the guppy fry will be live food for everybody. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it. Banjo <I would move the frogs now. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Fire Belly Toad With Infections I have a fire belly toad with cloudy eyes and a swollen leg and have no idea what is wrong with him. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Sarah <Frogs are very susceptible to infections when the water is not kept perfectly clean. Start by doing a large water change, vacuuming the gravel and cleaning the filter. If things don't get better in a couple of days then try treating the tank with Myacin.-Chuck>

Fungusy Firebelly  3/12/07 Hi, <Hi, PufferPunk here< I had wrote to you before regarding my Firebelly toad that has a fungal problem, I think. You had told me to use erythromycin in the water and it has not helped at all. His upper lip is red and he still has the discolored skin near his eye and around his mouth. He is not very active and is always hiding his face or has his head way down to the ground. Any other suggestions?  Thanks <Try adding Melafix & Pimafix, in addition to the antibiotic already recommended, for an added boost.  Be sure to keep it's water clean. ~PP>

Fat Fire Bellied Toads   3/4/07 I have one female who has become large in the stomach region.  Tank has river rock and lots of live plants.  She is active and likes to stay in the shallow end of the water.  Just recently, another female has begun to get large but spends most of her time in the deep end.  Their diet consists of small crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and chopped up earthworms.    Humidity is between 80 - 100 and water temperature ranges between 70 - 75 degrees.  There is a total of 9 fire-bellies in a 56 gallon tank. Can you tell me what is wrong with them?  Some people have said they are with eggs and others say bloat but have no idea how to tell which is which.  Like I said, both are very active and act completely normal.  Any help will be very much appreciated since I have been researching this for quite a while and haven't found any answers.  Thank you! Nicole < Keep track of where the food goes. If these two in particular are actively eating prey then I am going to assume that they are healthy and may indeed be pregnant. If they are not eating at all and still getting fat then it may be an internal infection.-Chuck>

Cloudy Eyes on Fire-Belly Toad  1/16/07 Hi! <Hi Sue, Pufferpunk here> I enjoyed reading through other amphibian owners' questions but am still unsure of what to do for my daughter's fire-belly toad. Both eyes are very cloudy and have been for some time. I think I see a little blood around the edges too but that may be irritation. He/she is still feeding normally but seems to be in discomfort and is significantly less active that when his/her eyes were clear. After reading through questions and responses, I'm pretty sure it is a water quality issue. We can take care of the water quality by cleaning the 10-gallon tank and changing the water more frequently but I would like to get advice on treatment, as the irritation or infection looks pretty severe and I would like to keep the poor toad from going blind if possible. <Since these animals eat, sleep & drink in water that they poo in, water quality is definitely important.> I noticed that one Crew member's advice to one owner was to put one drop of MelaFix in each eye daily but that was an Asian bull frog. In answer to another question relating to cloudy eyes, a different adviser suggested sulfa drugs in the water. Could you please help? <Actually I was also thinking of using Melafix for the eyes (I believe that's what you meant?)  Worked for some of my frogs.  Be sure to dechlorinate the fresh water, after cleaning the tank.  ~PP> Thank you so much!! Sue W.

Fire Belly Toad On Fire 10/22/05 Hi. I have 3 Firebelly toads. I've had them for about six years or so. Just today, one of them started acting weird. It is very weak and has constant spasms in its legs and body. Its stomach sometimes pulsates and it can't jump. I have no idea what is going on and I was wondering if you could help me out.  Oh ya, and also its back legs have a lot of mucus on them. I don't know if that's related, but I just want to find out what's wrong with my toad. Thanks < Frogs can succumb to bacterial infections. One in particular is called red legged disease which is a bacterial infection on the legs of the frog. The mucus on the leg may be this disease. It is difficult to see on a frog when a red pattern is on the belly and legs already. Clean the tank and the filter. Heard of some remedies using dyes and antibiotics with mixed results.  Sometimes the frog is too ill to survive the treatment. Frogs in general are very sensitive to chemicals in the water since they seem to absorb everything through their skin. Isolate the toad from the rest so he doesn't contaminate the other two. I would try a product from Jungle called Start Right.  It is a little Methylene blue and salt. This should inhibit the bacteria and give you toad a chance to fight off the disease on its own. It looks like it is getting worse then antibiotics would kill the bacteria but I am not certain how the frog would react to the medication. I would recommend that you look online at some frog site that have had success in treating this disease to be sure.-Chuck> 

Bullfrog with possible fungus?   3/4/06 I have recently taken in a Bullfrog. A Friend of mine found it sitting in a parking lot here in Ohio. It's been snowing here. <Must've been imported...> He is very active and has a good appetite. I noticed over the past week he has developed white spots on his eye lid, hind legs and on his back. Is it a fungus? <Too likely so> If so what is the best way to treat it? <Mmm, this animal needs to be in a "proper environment" first and foremost... heated, filtered, with the water checked for metabolite build-up... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibsysfaqs.htm> I have read a variety of different things about using fish meds on amphibians and am not sure what to do? Is Malachite Green, Formalin, or Methylene Blue safe? <No> Is Maroxy? I read somewhere that Malachite Green could be deadly to amphibians. <Yes... shades of the Jan. issue of National Geographic... which contained a harrowing piece on the disappearance of frogs... I would try a "sulfa block" devised for aquatic herps here. ZooMed, among others offer these... Along with an adequate environment. Bob Fenner> Erin

Frog with cloudy eyes   2/8/06 HI WWM Crew: I have had my White's tree frog for 8 years (he was full grown when I got him, so he is probably 9 or so years old). <This is a good long time for this species> I have always kept him in a 20 gal. tall tank with sphagnum moss and a water dish and some live plant, and fed him crickets.  Last month I traveled for the month and put him in a smaller container with moss and a plant which died.    I didn't notice at first, but he was sitting in the plant pot and when I picked him up his eyes were clouded over and so he couldn't eat.  I bought some Fluker's Repta-Rinse, but it wasn't working and he wasn't eating (or pooping) for about a month Finally, I took him to the vet and he gave me saline and atropozine (sp?) drops to treat corneal edema.  His eyes were getting better and he finally ate and pooped and I thought we were good...for 1 week, and now the clouds are back and he won't eat cause he is blind...again. Do you guys have any suggestions?  I feel terrible and would really like him to get better. Thanks, BEA <... Not much to do here... "old age"... accumulation of genetic anomalies, lack of ready fit with environment...: http://www.google.com/custom?q=Frog+with+cloudy+eyes&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

White's tree frog   2/8/06 We recently acquired a whites tree frog, after a couple of days we  noticed one of his toes looks broken or bent backwards. What , if anything can be  done to fix or at least prevent further injury. Its possible we got him that way but we still like him. >> There is not much you can do, and he will likely be ok so long as there is no infection on the toe. Make sure to watch for places where he can break his toes. Screen covers are the worst for these types of frogs if the mesh is too large. Oliver

Sick FW Frog Does Not Like Ich Medication  3/15/06 Hello and thanks for taking the time to answer questions.  I have two small silver dollars, two small pink Gouramis, and one African dwarf frog in a ten gallon tank.  My tank was cycled for about one month before the fish were added.  Recently I decided to change the gravel because I didn't like the color.  I changed half one week and the rest one week later.  Nitrates went up a bit but all seems to be leveling back.  A couple of days ago I noticed that one of my silver dollars had a small tear on a fin and small white spots.  I treated the tank for Ich and now he seems to be fine.  Now the problem is my frog.  Today I noticed that he has an off white film developing on his body.  Is it the medication or has the gravel change ruined the biological balance of the system?  Can my frog be saved?  I am only a beginner but I sure do enjoy my fish, especially the frog.  Thanks, Amanda < Frogs and denitrifying bacteria do not like Ich medications. Add a good quality carbon to remove any remaining medication in the system. Check the water quality for ammonia or nitrite spikes. Add Bio-Spira if needed to get the biological filtration going again.-Chuck>

Frog Damaged   7/7/06 Please help any one out there. It is 2:00am Chicago time and I don't know what to do. I was just awaked to a large rumble, so I start to investigate when I find my 3 year old frogs body hanging limp from the back of a box fan on the floor. I pulled him out and thought he was dead but decided to give him a chance and put him in a quarantine tank (about 2 to 3 gallons) put water in it. Still no movement. By the way he is severely hurt a part of his lip or mouth has been cut off, and still attached and hanging from the rest he is bleeding and I really can't tell if his eye is hurt or not its covered in blood. Well so I decided to put some MelaFix, PimaFix, and Ick away in the water and he started to move and hope around again. I don't know what else to do please help me. I want him to suffer to much any info you may need just ask. Thank you in advance. < The MelaFix and PimaFix were good ideas. Frogs don't like the dyes like the malachite green in the Ick medication. Keep the water clean and watch for infection. If any cloudy areas appear on the frog then that is a fungus and needs to be treated with Nitrofuranace. Lots of water changes will help. That is just about all you can do except take him to a vet for a more precise diagnoses and treatment.-Chuck>

Fire Pebbled Bellied Toad   6/16/06 Dear Crew, I know for a fact that my small fire bellied toad just swallowed a large pebble.  She was going for her second cricket and missed.  I was trying to catch her to pull it out of her mouth, but she choked it down.  I don't think that there is any way that she can pass that, unless these critters are extremely stretchy.  Is there anything that I can do?  I don't want her to suffer. Thank you, Linda < If the stone went down then it can go back up. When the toad is ready I'm sure he will cough it up.-Chuck.>

Cuban Frog - Damaged Leg - 07/18/2006 Hi Bob, <Actually, Sabrina with you, tonight.> Here at work we have a Cuban frog that has taken up residence outside. He seems like a friendly fellow, however, this morning when I saw him, apparently the lawn person had cut off the frogs rear foot with the weed eater. <Ouch!> It looks like a clean cut, but can you tell me if the foot will grow back or have problems healing? <It will probably grow back.  Frogs are pretty resilient animals.> Is there anything I can do to help? I would be open minded to setting up a terrarium for him if you think the frog would do well in captivity or make a good "pet". If you think so, then could you recommend set up and food options? <Mm, sadly, I don't know a huge amount about frogs and amphibians....  but do please take a look here:  http://talkto.thefrog.org/ and here:  http://www.amphibiancare.com/frogs/caresheets/cubantreefrog.html .> Thanks so much for your help! Love the website! <Thanks for these kind words!> Kimberly Searles <Wishing you and your amphibious pal well,  -Sabrina>

Frog With Respiratory Infection  7/15/06 Hi, my frog has gotten sick about 3 days ago and I was wondering if you all could help me. My frog is doing some thing really strange, he is not really swimming he is just floating above the tank and doesn't move when I come to him. He just stays there. He also shrivels up at times and opens his mouth  up really wide. He won't eat much either but he does eat a little when I am  not looking. I feed him gold fish flakes and he had no problem eating them  before. Also, he sometimes turns with his belly up when he is trying  to swim, when I think he's dead I flip him over and he moves. I have been  keeping him in a small tank with about 5 inches of water in it because he  cant swim back up to the surface when he is not floating, and I have been  boiling and cooling our city water to get all of the chlorine out. What else  should I do. From, Tina, 14 yrs old < Your frog sounds like it has a lung infection. The lungs fill up with fluid and your frog floats all the time. He stays at the surface and tries to breath through his skin. If this was a turtle I would say to heat him up. A turtle would go up to a basking site and the heat would inhibit the bacteria. At this point I would try to elevate the temperatures slowly to 82 F. Keep the tank clean and the water well aerated. At this point I think you need to take your frog to a vet for antibiotics.-Chuck>

Firebellied toad hlth.  - 09/01/06 Hi. < Howdy! >   I recently bought two young fire-bellied toads.  I have had  them for about one week, and they seem to be doing fine.  But today one of  them has started making weird faces and rubbing his front feet over his head and  kicking his back feet around as if he were in pain or something.  I can see  what looks like loose skin clinging to his sides and am wondering if he is just shedding? < Sometimes these guys are affected by excess metals and minerals in the water. Have you tested the hardness of the water? They are also affected by improper water quality: excessive ammonia and nitrites. Last, but not least, air-borne pollutants and contaminants can have this reaction as well. Aerosols, room fresheners, carpet fresh, etc. will cause chemical burn. >   He is even opening his mouth and making faces, and I wonder is  all this normal behavior just to shed his skin, or might there be something else  going on? < Possibly shedding, but more likely a chemical reaction. > Could he have swallowed a pebble or something and maybe it has  nothing to do with the shedding skin? < I hope not, pebbles can be hard to pass! >   Any advice you could give would be  greatly appreciated.  I've never had any type of frogs before, only fish  and turtles.   Thanks. < I hope I helped some. RichardB >   Paula
Re: Firebellied toad
  9/11/06 Richard, thanks so much for responding.  Believe it or not, I think he  was just shedding after all.  After he got the loose skin off, he resumed  acting normally.  A little later, I was looking through a book from the  library on frogs and toads, and there was a picture of a toad doing exactly what  mine was doing, and it said that he was shedding his skin and eating it and that  this was normal frog behavior.  So I think he's OK!  He's eating and  acting completely normal now.  Thanks so much for your response! < You are very welcome! RichardB >

Firebellied toad hlth.  - 09/01/06 Hi. < Howdy! >   I recently bought two young fire-bellied toads.  I have had  them for about one week, and they seem to be doing fine.  But today one of  them has started making weird faces and rubbing his front feet over his head and  kicking his back feet around as if he were in pain or something.  I can see  what looks like loose skin clinging to his sides and am wondering if he is just shedding? < Sometimes these guys are affected by excess metals and minerals in the water. Have you tested the hardness of the water? They are also affected by improper water quality: excessive ammonia and nitrites. Last, but not least, air-borne pollutants and contaminants can have this reaction as well. Aerosols, room fresheners, carpet fresh, etc. will cause chemical burn. >   He is even opening his mouth and making faces, and I wonder is  all this normal behavior just to shed his skin, or might there be something else  going on? < Possibly shedding, but more likely a chemical reaction. > Could he have swallowed a pebble or something and maybe it has  nothing to do with the shedding skin? < I hope not, pebbles can be hard to pass! >   Any advice you could give would be  greatly appreciated.  I've never had any type of frogs before, only fish  and turtles.   Thanks. < I hope I helped some. RichardB >   Paula
Re: Firebellied toad
  9/11/06 Richard, thanks so much for responding.  Believe it or not, I think he  was just shedding after all.  After he got the loose skin off, he resumed  acting normally.  A little later, I was looking through a book from the  library on frogs and toads, and there was a picture of a toad doing exactly what  mine was doing, and it said that he was shedding his skin and eating it and that  this was normal frog behavior.  So I think he's OK!  He's eating and  acting completely normal now.  Thanks so much for your response! < You are very welcome! RichardB >

Tree Frog Care   1/26/06 Hi  I have a tree frog, my children found him outside and I was told after some pet store calls he is either a NYS tree frog or a frog that escaped.  Anyway we kept him and he has been doing well.  Tonight I was watering and feeding him and he has a popped blister, saggy skin thing hanging from his neck, he also hasn't eaten and keeps opening his mouth.  I don't know what to do.  I have an over head lamp so I know he didn't burn himself, anything other than that and I'm clueless... Thanks so much for any help you can offer! < Your frog is being kept too warm. His mouth is open trying to let the evaporation cool him down. Sounds like a native frog. They will only eat moving objects. Try small crickets , mealworms and earthworms.-Chuck>

Chubby Frog 8.27.05 My chubby frog has been acting strange. He doesn't seem to be eating and he doesn't move. I picked him up and he barely moved his leg. I have noticed him breathing so he is still alive, but I am concerned. I have also noticed that he is shedding skin. Could this have to do with it? I keep this frog with three firebellies, a red ear slider, and a tree frog. Is this bad? Please HELP! <In this situation I would seek the advice of a reptile/amphibian/exotic animal veterinarian, or local reptile shop. Your local reptile shop might be the best place to start; all of the reptile stores I used to frequent were pretty good at diagnosing problems and always knew a good Vet to refer me to. The links below are to care sheets for the animals that you are keeping.  Best of luck, Gage http://www.anapsid.org/bombina.html http://www.anapsid.org/greentreefrog.html http://www.anapsid.org/reslider.html http://thelilypad.org/?q=node/view/125  >

Melafix on Frogs  9/8/05 I actually want to compliment you guys on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibfaqs.htm that article. I'm glad to see that SOMEWHERE on the net someone is able to use Melafix on frogs with success. I currently have a Whites Tree Frog that has some open sores ( they're healing with rinsing, but I want to keep them clean) and I was wondering , Melafix being a Natural substance , would it help me out with the problem. I see that people have used it with success from this link, and I really want to thank you! - Alicia < If you use this product as a bacterial inhibiter then I think it will work OK. If you try to use it as an antibiotic alone then I think you will be disappointed. Good housekeeping and sanitation goes along way in curing diseases. I think a combination of all of these is the key to a full recovery. If the frog shows signs of distress then I would discontinue to use it.-Chuck>

Frog With Bacterial Infection  8/31/05 My Aquababy frog just this morning developed some red, pussy globular thing over his right eye, and it suddenly burst, leaking blood and some other fluids into his tank, his eye looks like it is still there, but it looks like it might also just be an open socket in his head.  What may cause this and what can be done to help him.  He has been eating everyday, and I just cleaned his tank yesterday (which I'm worried may have been the impetus behind this injury). Thank you < You frog probably got a cut or scratch that got infected. As the infection got worse it grew until it ruptured through the skin around the eye. With it now opened up you need to treat the infection with Nitrofuranace. He may lose the eye but at least you can save the frog.-Chuck>

Tadpoles, Anchor Worms? - 09/16/2005 Hello. I recently acquired two new albino bullfrog tadpoles from a local PetSmart. Having worked in a reptile store a couple years ago, I know that PetSmart isn't exactly the place to get healthy animals, but because I had successfully raised another bullfrog tadpole that I got there, I thought it would be fine. Not only are these new tadpoles sickly, lethargic, and tiny (about an inch long still, as compared to my frog who was 3 inches or so) but they each have 3 copepods. <Hmm....> I am fairly sure that these are what they are, having skipped my first class of the day (ironically, biology) to do some research. They are about half a centimeter in length, thin, white / clearish yellow in color. They branch at the end. <Could be parasitic copepods called "anchor worms", Lernaea sp.  Definitely fits your description.> At first I thought they were small limbs, but unless the tadpoles are infected with Trematodes, this wouldn't make sense. If I look really closely, I can see that there is some sort of "pulse" inside of these things...a very tiny one but I don't know how to describe it other than that. In any case, my question is this: could the copepods, if that's what they are, be parasitically harming my tadpoles? <Yes.  And once reproductive, can be of more concern from greater numbers of them attaching....> They have both been sluggish and very very weak-looking lately. In fact, if I didn't think that removing the copepods would somehow harm my tadpoles, I would perform a small operation right now. How do I get rid of them? <Look up some images of Lernaea/anchor worms (many available on the 'net) to verify that's what they are, first.  Then, if so, you can remove these with forceps.> Thank you so much for your help. Sincerely,  Marisa <Wishing you and your frogs-to-be well,  -Sabrina>

Fire Belly Toads I've had my 2 fire belly toads for 3 years in a filtered 10g 1/2 full tank with 1/3 land today while feeding one frog has lost more then 1/2 body weight and seems to have an equilibrium problem only seeming to move one direction (very little movement ) basking on land , with other frog standing guard in some type of protective mode the sick frog was not strong enough to eat. I feed once a week and dust crickets with Reptocal is there any thing I can do I don't think it will make it very long and is there any thing I'm doing wrong. <Well... you've got me stumped here, I do not have much experience with fire belly toads.  If I had to guess I would say the problem may have started with the diet and developed into something else.  Most problems that I have encountered with amphibians were related to problems with their environment.  The link below has some good information on captive care of the Fire Belly Toad. http://www.livingunderworld.org/anura/database/bombinatoridae/bombina/orientalis/ I would make sure I am meeting all of their requirements.  You could also try using google.com to search for common ailments or diseases.  A local reptile shop may have some good information as well.  Best of Luck, Gage>

Frogs and Fungus 10/8/03 I hope you can give me some advice on what may be wrong with my Congo frogs.  I have had them about a month. They are only young.  They were in with an African clawed frog but I put her in another tank as she will soon outgrow them and eat them.  Since she has been out of the tank, the water became very murky. I feed frozen Blood worms which seemed to go moldy an hour or so after they go in. I know the Congo frogs can't see as well and so maybe not all the worms are getting eaten now the African Clawed frog is out but the mould that started to grow on the worms has now begun to grow on the frogs. One of them is particularly bad.  I use spring water and keep the frogs at a temperature of 70 F.  and try to remove the uneaten food.  Is there anything you can suggest might be causing this fungus to grow on my frogs and if there is a treatment I can use to clear it? Thank you in advance for your help.  I look forward to hearing from you. Miss Vaughan. <Miss Vaughan... my apologies for the delay in reply. But we have been swamped with mail lately. It is also not clear what species your frog is. Do you have a scientific name to clarify... or more information to share? As to the fungus on the frogs, improved water quality alone (smaller but more frequent feedings... and bigger/more frequent water changes) alone can reduce the growth. Adding a small amount of salt to the water (1TBN per 10 gallons) is also quite safe and therapeutic. Best regards, Anthony

Frog Query Hope you can help.  My son has two green tree frogs.  The smaller of the two has started to lose weight.  It doesn't seem to be interested in eating. There seems to be a brown patch on it's side.  The other frog in the cage is larger and very healthy and lively.  This little one just sits there and doesn't move around much.  It's eyes look closed or like the lid is shut. There are no vets in my area that can even answer simple "frog care" questions better yet what to do with this little one that is sick.  Help!! What do I do for it? Jen >>>Hey Jen, Sounds like a possible fungal infection to me, but I can't be sure without seeing the animal. Has the this frog been dewormed? It also sounds a little bit like he might have parasites. I'm mostly experienced with lizards so I'm going to refer your question. Please call this number (510) 841-1400, East Bay Vivarium -  and tell them you have a frog husbandry question. They will do a better job than I can. Cheers Jim<<<

Frog with something stuck in its throat? I think my frog has a stick or something stuck in his throat.  When he swallows it appears as if he is in pain and he is not eating.  How could I open his mouth or what should I do? <Very carefully... hold the frog in a damp towel... and use a blunted thick wooden toothpick (maybe one you've chewed a bit on the end) to open the mouth from the middle... carefully look... a flashlight that you can hold between your teeth... or a friend who can help you with this. Good luck. Bob Fenner>

Frog with cloudy Eye 3/22/05 Hi - <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have an Asian Bull Frog (Chubby Frog) and his right eye has a cloudy discoloration over it. Do you have any idea what might be causing this? He seems totally healthy otherwise but I'm concerned as to what could be wrong. <Generally, this is caused by poor water quality/dirty tank. Make sure to be meticulous with the cleaning of the tank & changing of his water. You can buy a product called Melafix, in the aquarium fish med isle. You can get a dropper & drop 1 drop in each eye/day, until it clears up. ~PP>

Firebelly Toads 3.28.05 Alright, I'm sorry if my improper punctuation bothers you. <I must have missed the first message, I am sure it was nothing personal, just a lot of emails to edit and post on the website. No worries.><((((º> Anyway, my dad thinks I should get a little fish to live in my Firebelly toad's pond. But I'm worried that the firebellies might eat the fish or poison it with their skin toxins, and the fish food might poison the toads. Is it okay to get such a fish? And if it is, what species would be most appropriate? <I'd leave the fish out of this setup, in my experience firebellies will try to eat just about anything that wiggles. I doubt eating the fish would harm the toad but it would not be very fun for the fish. The fish and fish food will also foul the toads water faster which means more work for you cleaning the pond. Best Regards, Gage >
Bloated Firebelly newt Follow-up
Thanks for the information. Any cures for gut impaction other than hoping nature take its course?  <I would think you could use Epsom salts at a rate of 1 teaspoon per ten gallons and if he is still eating you could use vegetables like peas.>

Frog's Not Hopping Hello, I've just been on you're very useful website and I know I'm probably clutching at straws here but I was wondering if you can help...   My Whites Tree Frog 'Bud' has been sick for some time now. He is eating willingly, with a little help from me holding his food. He lost a lot of weight, and it was at the point that I feared he would not make it. Hence the first trip to the vets...    Yet 6 months later he is still here, has gained a lot of weight, and is now as I would describe of 'average weight'. But it does not end here. He seems to be having difficulty controlling his limbs. He struggles to move around the tank freely, and when picked up he goes into a (excuse the description!) 'Starfish' position, legs splayed and toes curled. (If a photo would help I could forward one) He also seems to dry out a little, even though the humidity is high and I spray the tank thoroughly daily.   I have spoken to the vets and they cannot explain it. They assure me that if it was anything contagious/wrong with the habitat/a deficiency, my other frog 'Weiser' would almost definitely have shown symptoms by now. After the first trip to the vets I considered isolating him, but took into account what the vet had said and decided not to. I feel they would both get unduly stressed as they are a breeding pair.   They both live in a large 2ft square, 1/4 water, 3/4 land tank. In the water side they have a large waterfall & pump (to aid humidity). All water used in the tank is treated with 'Exo Terra, Aquatize for amphibians'. In the land side the substrate is large orchid bark chippings, covered in live moss. The tank is always kept clean. I also use pebbles, artificial plants, and corkscrew vines for decoration. The lighting is partly natural and partly artificial, I also have a heat mat at the rear of the tank and the temperature is correct. I treat the live food once a week with 'Nutrabol' vitamin supplement, and vary the diet with crickets & mealworms. (any other information needed I am happy to forward).  I have searched the net, read books, and asked vets; but cannot find anything sounding like the symptoms he displays. I am not overly worried as he does not appear to be suffering, and is happily eating. I would just like him to get back to being his old lively self! If you cant help then not to worry, I just thought I'd try! Many Thanks < Go to Allaboutfrogs.org/info/species/whites.html. There is lots of good info about frog problems. Especially check out the frog doctor. There are a number of things discussed that could be helpful.-Chuck>

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