Fire Bellied Toads - Dropsy
by, May 20th, 2012 at 02:59 PM (27327 Views)
Hello, this is probably the only post Iím going to write but hopefully someone will find it helpful as when I was researching the topic there was very limited information in regards to Fire bellied toads and dropsy. I myself am an owner of 2 Fire bellies whom Iíve had for almost two years. One of them has a poorly developed front foot and at first had trouble feeding so he readily took feed of tweezers as it must have been easier for him, but eventually he learned to hunt for himself; the other one was left unhandled except for cleaning and was completely independent. It was the unhandled one that got sick. Within a week he swelled substantially to the size of a ping-pong ball with legs. He didnít seem uncomfortable at first so I thought he was just getting fat but the speed of the swelling was pretty alarming. Before this Iíve never heard of dropsy so I researched the symptoms (which at this point was just swelling) and asked the pet shop from here he was purchased but either source came back with very little. I eventually found some treatment options but they were for different frogs and I as apprehensive to try them. I found a less severe treatment (a salt soak) and tried it for a few days whilst I researched more but eventually I came across some information that suggested my chosen treatment was harmful (it was suggested it upset the frogs osmotic balance). By this point he had stopped eating and was just sitting there looking very dark (literally, instead of his usual bright green). By this point I had isolated him and put him in mostly watery terrain to make it easier for him to get around. I tried contacting some vets but none of them could offer a solution other than putting him down. Some days later I found a website that described the lancing of a frog with dropsy (granted it was a different type of frog). I decided as a last ditch attempt to try it. I couldnít get hold of any adequate needs so we ended up sing an Animas 2 ml Cartridge by Johnson&Johnson (itís a syringe and a thin needle used to refill diabetes pumps). The site said to lance the thigh and drain the fluid through there but when I tried the frog looked extremely uncomfortable and distressed. So I decided to go in through the stomach, aiming away from the tiny blood vessels and internal organs (but he was so swollen there was a slim chance of hitting anything). On the first go I drained 4ml and then got 2ml out every few days for about 2 weeks. By the last few draining session I had to squeeze him ever so slightly on one side to get all the fluid to gather on the side I was lancing but he seemed to be relatively ok with the procedure and didnít seem to be in distress (even though he most probably was). After a few weeks he returned to normal size, though a lot smaller as he hadnít eaten for some weeks, with a lot of loose skin around his middle. Soon after he started eating and excreting as normal. A few months after though his back legs became paralyzed and he stopped eating again and I canít help but think it was the initial thigh lancing that had damaged the nerves. Anyhow, a few weeks after that he learned to take food from tweezers. It took a while as unlike the other frog he was never hand fed. Three months on heís now eating three crickets a day by hand and gaining weight slowly. His legs are still out of action but they have been twitching more and more over the months and hopefully with regain some function eventually. Collectively Iíve managed to keep him alive for 6 months after severe dropsy and am still hopeful heíll make a full (or almost full) recovery. Hope someone found this at least a little helpful!
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