This is a discussion on Sick FBT within the Fire Belly Toads (Bombina) forums, part of the Frogs & Toads category; Hi, I'm looking for some advice on helping my sick firebelly toad. I've had two of them for about 7 ...
I'm looking for some advice on helping my sick firebelly toad. I've had two of them for about 7 years with no problems. About 1.5 weeks ago I went to Petco to buy crickets but they were out (AGAIN!? Like every week lately) so the rep told me they could eat wax worms. All I've ever fed them in all these years is small crickets. Anyway, the worms looked kinda big for the frogs but I read on the web that wax worms were a pretty common diet for them. Since they hadn't eaten several days, I gave one worm to each frog. I could tell it was a bit of a struggle for them to eat the worms -- they'd be clawiing at remaining portion of worm sticking out of the mouth while swallowing. But they got them down fine.
Anyway over the next 3-4 days, one of the frogs refused to eat anymore, but the other, a fat female frog, happily ate two more worms as small as I could find in the tub.
The smaller male frog first had a problem. He stopped eating for about a week, and I noticed that he would sit a lot more in the water with his legs open. He seemed to get lethargic and at one point his back legs became almost paralyzed after I picked him up to see if he was ok -- he was dragging himself around the ground and started twisting around into the dirt. I noticed him twisting a bit in the water looking like he was drowning as well, and took him out. My first concern: Was he impacted from the big worm he ate? Anyway, to cut his story short, I eventually saw a quite large dropping on a rock he sometimes sits on and he got better after a few days.
Unfortunately, that was just the beginning for these poor frog's woes! I noticed about 4 days ago the large female frog starting to exhibit similar behavior. First spending more time in the water looking like it was struggling. Then over the course of the last 4 days, it slowly became weaker and bloated up like a balloon. I haven't noticed any significant droppings and I guess it just took longer to affect the bigger frog. It started out with paralyzed back legs and foot twitching. (In the water it looked like it would periodically strain itself.) It basically has been pulling itself around by the front hands. It's very very bloated in the stomach looking and feeling like a water-filled balloon. Still suspecting impaction, I read forums and info on the web and found advice to give it lukewarm water baths and try to give her some mineral oil. She has stopped eating completely so I can't get her to eat any mineral oil dipped crickets, but in desperation yesterday I forced it to take a drop of mineral oil by mouth. I read there was risk of it inhaling it and I'm horrified to say it did inhale some because since yesterday it's been coughing! (little tick tick coughs, which have gotten louder today) It's so horribly sad! I feel horrible for making her suffer more than she already was by giving her that oil! I know fluid in the lungs can lead to pneumonia is there anything I can do to help?
She basically seems to have given up the will or doesn't have the energy to do anything but crawl into a dark corner and lay there or float in the water. (I'm periodically taking her in/out of the water.) I couldn't find a herp vet until yesterday, but they're closed on the weekend. I don't know anything else to do. I've read putting pedialyte in the water can help give it some electrolytes, so I will get some today. Otherwise, I don't know if it's going to get better on its own.
So sad! I hate wax worms.
I'm very sorry to hear that, D:
they don't seem to be stocking crickets well these days here either ><
just a few tips in a pinch:
if you live somewhere with earth worms, get some some water treated however you treat the water in their enclosure, and put it into a gallon bottle with a screwed-on lid. dump 1/4 of a cup of mustard powder into it and screw the lid back on and shake it really well. get some more treated water and place it in a pan with a clean fish gravel "beach" ( boiling them works fast P: ) and take the pan and the jug outside on a warm day. find some soft soil where you'd think worms might be, ( make sure there's not lots of clay or the water won't travel, ) set the pan down and pour the mixture slowly around the soil, just a little area, slowly, and let it sink into the earth before pouring more. when it works its way down it will irritate the earthworms, it won't hurt them, but it'll annoy their skin the way onion hurts your eyes. they'll come to the surface trying to get out of it, when they get all the way out, grab them and toss them in the pan. the water will wash them off and stop the stinging ^-^ the beach gives them some dry ground, and once you get them all and finish you can take them back inside. MAKE SURE THEY ARE EARTH WORMS. if they're red, ( night crawlers ) THROW THEM BACK. google images will help
take the earth worms and CUT THEM UP into little bite size pieces. they'll still wriggle, and if left alone they re-generate into new worms like starfish, so it's okay
scoop them up with a plastic spoon, ( only one piece in the spoon at a time ) and feed one piece at a time to each frog by placing it in front of it. ( they should see the movement and jump at it just like crickets ) don't do this all the time or they'll get too many nutrients, but it's good to toss in every now and then and it's good in a pinch. NEVER GIVE THEM MEAL WORMS. they're too big and hard to digest with their hard shells, and they're pincers can hurt the frogs' insides as crazy as it sounds. I'm not sure about wax worms, but if they're all you can get try cutting them up into smaller pieces, and if the have pinchers cut their heads off. it's a little squeamish but it keeps the frog safer. you can feed them piece by piece in a spoon as well.
if a frog hasn't eaten for an overly long period of time, portion control them. they'll eat tons, but it's not good for them. ease them back in.
if you have a problem with them fighting you can keep them separated with a nice soft fishtank net so that each can eat their food in peace. mine generally take turns but they can get pretty vicious ><
hopefully the vet can help,
but don't be yourself up too much, you were doing all you knew how to and it wasn't your fault <3
I recently took the plants out of mine's winter enclosure to make it easier for him to catch the crickets, and I forgot to put it back in and stressed him out and accidentally nearly killed him. accidents can happen even with good intentions D:
on the up side if the smaller male made it, maybe the female will as well. make sure she's not being bullied and stuff like that, and try not to handle her if not needed, maybe she'll work through it, and you have done a ton to try and help her. best wishes
Thanks for the response!
my pleasure, I know I talk a lot but hopefully some part of it somewhere in there will help XD;
indeed, ^-^Thanks that's interesting. I'm not sure if there are earthworms around here, but I guess it couldn't hurt to try! Would bringing in wild bugs have more chance of introducing pathogens vs raised?
raised would be best, lets you know where they're coming from and all, and lets you know for a fact they're safe ^-^ but wild should be fine too. as someone reasonably pointed out to me, the parasites that infest a worm, aren't gonna be the type to infest a frog. ofcourse do try to get an area where chemicals aren't used, weed killer spray etc., avoid those spots. and if something looks obviously strange about the worm I'd still put it back. they should be fine though, ^-^ I'd limit that to worms though, I think they can get sick from crickets, though I'm not positive, and worms are way more simplistic. if you're not too squeamish it's supposed to be fairly easy to breed and raise worms, and you could try your hand at crickets, though I hear it takes a little more work and can apparently wreak >< and any time you bring a bug in make sure you know what it is, which it seems like you do P: and make sure it's safe etc. etc.
I never even thought about the crickets actually D: they'll complete mutilate eachother that's for sure 0-oThe meal worms at Petco were a lot smaller than the wax worms, but yeah the hard shell. They've never eaten either before. I worried about the worms being able to bite from the inside as well. I hope they didn't! But crickets should be able to do that too, I would guess. Still I always give them small to medium small crickets.
though maybe they have weaker jaws? ><;
that sounds like a really good idea, it'll help keep the nourishment at least a little ^-^So far I think it's been at least a week since it ate the last wax worm. It's not eating at all, spends most of the day in the water. I'm putting honey and vitamins in the water to try to give it some energy.
actually, would it be a bother to get the names for the products you use? that seems like a good thing to always keep on hand... I'll have to look up the honey, never thought about that ^-^
I'll be wishing you the best for sure. ><
oh, and one last thing, I'm guessing from your posts and the nourishment you're being sure to add that you don't use distilled water, but if you do switch over to spring and treat it, distilled screws up their osmosis, which is probably definitely needed for this particularly ><
Good news! She's been slowly gaining strength back the last 3 days after a regimen of baths of various types and lengths of different combinations of lukewarm water, vitamin powder, honey, pedialyte, and amoxicillin. (I'm trying everything I can think of!) Also the coughing stopped as well. When I wrote the first post, she was so weak she wasn't trying to get away at all when I'd take her limp body in and out of the water and doing various treatments (like rubbing her tummy). She was too bloated, slow, and weak to chase crickets down and frankly didn't even bother to try and would not eat from my hand or a toothpick. I knew even though her energy levels were coming up the last 3 days, if she didn't eat there was no real chance of permanent recovery. So in order to try to get her to eat without me being too close to her and scare her, I got a long string of 4 lb fishing line and threaded a pin sized cricket onto the end and slowly dangled it over her water.
IT WORKED! After 10 days with zero food, she FINALLY ate 4 pin sized crickets (one with amox dust) last night! She didn't go for them immediately and it took me an hour to get her to eat them (the smaller frog was jumping like crazy after them and took down 6), but her interest in crickets is much better today eating 6 (small guy was off in the corner so no distractions)!
I think the swelling is going down a bit, but I'm still not sure if she's constipated. About 15 minutes after eating she started doing some strange strained convulsing which I'm not sure how to interpret. She would squeeze her eyes in like they do when swallowing, but this time much more completely (like the eyes were flat in like an old corvette when the lights close). And then with her eyes closed, a strained looking muscle ripple in her back and sides went down from her head to back legs like a wave. She did this at least 10 times and was clearly putting her whole body into it. Anyone seen anything like this?
Thanks for your help and good wishes!
Ugh... spoke too soon. After yesterday's feeding, she's back to being bloated and somewhat weak.
yeah, that sounds like a pretty good shot ^-^Good advice. I live in small apartment with a small back yard which nobody in the building except me seems to use (I planted some potatoes and garlic down there... land lord is very relaxed here.) I doubt any chemicals have been used back there for over 10+ years (nobody even cuts the grass) so that'd probably be ok.
[quote]I've wanted to do this for a while, trying to breed the crickets. But I don't have the space. It sure would save a ton of money. $0.12 per pin sized cricket is, what, like $100/lb or something haha. Maybe I'll look into what it involves and see if it would be too difficult. (Uh oh, here comes another stab at another inappropriate apartment-living hobby after an attempt at beer making, soap making, making crab traps...)
yikes, tell me about it >< my mom did the math the other day to see how much we'd spent on them, and it like a good completely awful amount ><; hahaha, I guess it's a good thing the landlord's easy going ^-^ definitely sounds interesting :P
someone said they're tough because it's hard to keep them from getting too big. I think pinheads are a specific smaller breed though, so that should be okay. I suspect if your weather conditions are decent enough for them then finding space would be the only hard part..
thanks a ton for the supply list, I'll have to look into some of these. ^-^ I'm always looking for ways to add a few varieties of nutrients in so these would be great to keep in mind.Well, I'm no expert as this is the first time they've gotten sick in 7 years (that I know of), but I've been using: Walgreens Pedialyte clone clear liquid, Zoo Med's Reptivite with D3 powder, honey (costco), and amoxicillin capsules. (Started treating with amox about 3 days ago, concerned with bacterial dropsy and possibly developing pneumonia from inhaling the oil).
I checked out Dropsy and it sounds like similar symptoms; though I'm not sure if that's just what frogs do in general with ill, if it is the case it sounds like you're doing well... lots of nutrients, and honey's apparently supposed to have anti-bacterial properties so that might be a bonus..
I'm glad the treatment seemed to work for a bit, and sorry the poor dear had a relapse ;-; I guess if she got better for a bit you most being doing something right though, and she must be at least trying to fight it....
I appologize for the delayed answer, some outside life issues came up that prevented me from being around for a bit ><
I hope things are going well though,
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