• Basic Frog First Aid

    EMERGENCY DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF AMPHIBIAN DISEASES


    © Paul Rust - NorthWest Amphibian Rescue


    A very special thank you to Bruce Maclean, DVM




    THE SYMPTOMS LISTED IN THIS ARTICLE COULD BE INDICATORS OF A MUCH WORSE UNDERLYING PROBLEM. THE TREATMENTS ARE INTENDED FOR EMERGENCY USE TO STABILIZE YOUR ANIMAL UNTIL IT CAN BE SEEN BY AN AMPHIBIAN MEDICAL SPECIALIST. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE VETERINARY CARE.


    Before treating any frog, you need to be sure that it is sick. Therefore you should keep a close eye on it so you can intervene if necessary. Placing the animal in quarantine should keep any contagious diseases from spreading to the rest of the population.
    One of the problems commonly found among frogs is stress. It is caused by prolonged captivity in a small area or a vivarium with too many frogs in it. Messy vivariums and too much exposure to humans can also cause stress.
    Symptoms: animals won't eat and/or lay on their backs while twitching (often occurs with young animals). If you buy a new frog, place it in a small dish with some tepid water and a teaspoon of honey. Place the frog in this solution for 30 minutes. Then quarantine the frog for 30 days.

    A FEW NOTES ON MEDICATIONS USED IN THIS GUIDE


    Panacur (Febendazole) is a great medicine to have on hand. Purchase it as Panacur-C in the 4 gram packets. It is safe to use and some people recommend treating your collection routinely with it once every 1-2 weeks to keep worms under control. Personally I treat my frogs for 3 days on the first of every month. It is very easy to use; you just dust the food with it.

    Flagyl (Metronidazole) the oral liquid also a good one to have on hand as it is useful for a broad range of problems, from parasites to appetite to bacterial problems.

    Another good one to have around is a topical cream (Neosporin), as you could quickly apply it to any frog with a bump or scratch from shipping (or anything else) and head off a potentially serious infection.

    Another item I use commonly is an Electrolyte solution (Pedialyte), for new frogs or ones that seem dehydrated or listless, a few minutes in a bath of this can bring them around.

    As far as liquid de-wormers go, I would not get one of these unless recommended after a fecal exam, as they kill all the worms at once. A bunch of dead worms inside the frog can lead to death from Septic Shock.

    LymnoZyme is a pro-biotic that can be added to the water for aquatic species. It is a very safe treatment that competes for the nutrients (waste material) that pathogens require to survive and will reduce the bacterial count of Aeromonas, Pseudomonas or pathogens to such low levels that they will not be a threat to the health of your frogs. It is effective against both Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria.

    Symptoms:
    Disease:
    Treatment:


    Doesn't eat, loses weight, is listless, has lumps or other irregularities on the skin.

    Bacterial infections.
    Treat with ENROFLOXACIN (BAYTRIL) Put 8 drops in 125ml Tepid water. Put a lid on the bowl and make sure the frogs’ head stays above the water. Duration: 15 min. each day for 6 days.


    Listless, often found in water or hiding, watery droppings.

    Parasites in intestines, “Protozoa”
    Parasites are always present in the intestines, but they will cause problems when the animal is weak. Treat with METRONIDAZOLE (FLAGYL)
    1 drop in 8 drops of tepid water. Place one drop on the back of frog. Duration: Each day for 6 days. Treatment for the vivarium: 1ml per 5 liters of water; use this to spray the vivarium.

    Does eat, loses weight, listless.
    Parasites in intestines, “Worms”
    Treat with FENBENDAZOLE (PANACUR) 25mg/kg of bodyweight. Dissolve and drop on frogs’ back once a day for at least 10 days. Or dust the food items for 3 consecutive days.

    Pink area surrounding cloaca, bulging cloaca.
    Infections in intestines.
    Treat with SALT. Grind into a powder and sprinkle on food.

    Acts spasmodic, is active but loses weight, dry skin.
    Worms.
    Treat with ERGAMISOL(LEVAMISOLE) 1 drop in 3 drops of tepid water, pour water over frog's back, then place and leave one drop on its back. Duration: 7 days.

    Listless and doesn't eat.
    Hypothermal.
    Same as treatment for stress. Duration: 7 days.


    Flesh-colored spots on skin, toes or nose.
    Wounds, scrapes, cuts.
    SULFANILAMIDE POWDER Antibiotic. Apply to wound several times per day.

    Skinny front legs (young frogs).
    Spindly Leg Syndrome.
    No treatment. Euthanasia is the only option. TRICAINE METHANESULFONATE (FINQUEL) or (MS-222) Mix 2X the recommended dosage with an equal amount of SODIUM BICARBONATE Dissolve in an equal amount of water and inject into the abdomen.

    Fungus on skin.
    Red Leg, Pseudomonas, Hydrophila.
    Use the water area of a quarantine vivarium and add 0.6% SALT by volume. Make sure that the frog gets in the water often. Duration 6 weeks (refresh water often). Use a solution of 0.2% MERBROMIN (MERCUROCHROME)on areas of the frog with fungus, rinse after several minutes.




    PAUL’S FROG FIRST AID KIT
    HAVING THESE ITEMS ON HAND SHOULD GET YOU OUT OF MOST EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.

    SALT
    HONEY
    NEOSPORIN
    PEDIALYTE
    LYMNOZYME
    PANACUR-C (FENBENDAZOLE)
    FLAGYL (METRONIDAZOLE)
    BAYTRIL (ENROFLOXACIN)
    MERCUROCHROME (MERBROMIN)
    SULFA (SULFANILAMIDE POWDER)
    ERGAMISOL (LEVAMISOLE)
    TRICAINE METHANESULFONATE (MS-222) (FINQUEL)
    SODIUM BICARBONATE (BAKING SODA)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Basic Frog First Aid started by Paul Rust View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Bombina Bob's Avatar
      Bombina Bob -
      Do you mean salt as in a special kind or just regular Sodium chloride?
    1. VegaIIIsGirl's Avatar
      VegaIIIsGirl -
      Where can I get these items from?
    1. Heatheranne's Avatar
      Heatheranne -
      Most medications are prescribed by a vet.
    1. RockyGurly's Avatar
      RockyGurly -
      This is awesome! Thank you!
    1. Indigo sky's Avatar
      Indigo sky -
      Hi, I have a 2 year old green tree frog, his eye has suddenly bulged out of it's socket and is surrounded by a blood clot, i've posted this question in a million places, hoping someone will read it. I have contacted zoo's and the amphibian research centre etc, I live in the bush, the vets here are into horses, cattle etc, the nearest vet that knows anything about frogs is hundreds of kilometers away, Australia Zoo ( Steve Irwins animal hospital is the closest I have come to any answers and that frog had an operation to remove his eye( not possible to go there interstate import , export licences required and $1000.00 in travel; costs), I don't know if he is in pain, he is still eating and fluxuates between bright and active and lethargic, I have isolated him and his tank mate ( who is fine ) in a small fish tank with heat pad under the glass and UV in the day, Misting tank walls for humidity and temp is about 22 celsius, occassional spray mist them, with warm rain water, feeding on gutloaded crickets. ???? Is there anything I can do or is thne vet my only option? would appreciate some advice , Thanks