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Thread: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

  1. #1
    100+ Post Member Bolisnide's Avatar
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    Default Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    I don't know what has happened to our dear Sloppy.

    Here's a little history:
    I bought a white's tree frog, 'Froggy,' November 25th for my 4 year old son from a local independently owned pet store specializing in aquatic pets. However, I found out later the man who helped me, also the owner of store, doesn't know much about amphibians. He told me the frog was a Blue chubby. Also housed in same one gallon tank was another white's and a white lipped tree frog.
    After a couple weeks and some friendly advice here at the frog forum, we moved him into an 18x18x24 enclosure with 5 safe and real plants, several vines and sticks for climbing, fake hanging vines, water dish. Humidity and temp good.
    Then we decided to get Froggy a friend (I know, not necessary, but still we wanted to add one more frog).
    We bought Sloppy two weeks after we bought Froggy from same said pet store.
    We were told by same man that quarantine was not necessary because they were from same breeder and were housed in same tank at store.
    Nonetheless, we quarantined. But only for one week. Sloppy seemed very healthy.
    Then after one week, we introduced Sloppy to Froggy.
    Both were eating and eliminating normally. Everything seemed to be going very well.

    This evening I find Sloppy nearly and just about dead in back of enclosure - this is now two and a half weeks after we brought him home, and only 1 1/2 weeks in enclosure with Froggy.
    I panicked, picked him up. he was limp and barely breathing.
    I quickly got a small container and filled it with warm water and a couple drops of honey. (I don't know why, but remembered reading that was helpful, for what I couldn't remember). He seemed to barely perk up for a couple seconds.
    Then, nothing... gone. I noticed after he passed that he did look a little bloated, but not terribly.
    I'm sorry, but no pictures. I can barely look at him I'm so sad. We will bury him in the morning.
    We are so, so sad. And I feel terribly guilty.

    I sat at the vivarium for about half an hour mourning our new and now lost friend, wondering what went wrong. (By the way, I'm the type of person that follows instructions obsessively, so everything should have been in order with my husbandry. There still was question of the well water I use that recently tested high in calcium, magnesium, and iron - but still considered safe by the water co and pet store said should be fine, so I continue to use it unless someone here says not to). Anyway, while sitting by the viv I saw what looks like a milkweed bug, but I'm not sure what it was, in the tank. I've seen these in the house before. They make a fruity odor when feel threatened. I removed it. Could Sloppy have eaten one of these bugs and was consequently poisoned? Anyone know if the sudden death could be explained by eating a poisonous insect?

    My concern now is Froggy (the first one). What do we do now? Clean and replace everything in tank?
    He currently seems the same as ever. Even eating a cricket this evening after everything settled.

    Any advice on how to keep our remaining frog safe, healthy, and happy would be most deeply appreciated.

    Thank you

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  3. #2
    mommyof4froglovers
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Do you put any dechlorinator in the water? I am not sure about the metals in the water they could harm frogs if to high, but I know chlorine can kill them really quickly. Good luck with Froggy I hope he stays healthy. If you are worried about him having been sick then I would clean the tank if not and you think it was the water or something he ate no need to clean the tank. I am so sorry about your loss. It is hard loosing a frog no matter how long you have had them.

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    100+ Post Member Bolisnide's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Quote Originally Posted by mommyof4froglovers View Post
    Do you put any dechlorinator in the water? I am not sure about the metals in the water they could harm frogs if to high, but I know chlorine can kill them really quickly. Good luck with Froggy I hope he stays healthy. If you are worried about him having been sick then I would clean the tank if not and you think it was the water or something he ate no need to clean the tank. I am so sorry about your loss. It is hard loosing a frog no matter how long you have had them.
    I don't use de-chlorinator as there is not chlorine in the water. I have been concerned about the high mineral content. I could definitely change to bottled spring water just in case...
    And thanks for your sympathy, I am mostly concerned with my 4 yr old son who can't understand why his beloved pet is now gone.
    And by the way, the frogs were only handled when necessary, so I don't think it would be caused from over-handling...

  6. #4
    mommyof4froglovers
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    I have the same problem. Our whites belong to my 6, 5 and 3 year old. They have a huge home. But we had a frog who was deformed and we got him for free from a petstore that only lasted 3 days. It was hard on my 3 and 5 year old. I had to explain he came to us sick and we made his life better for the short time we had him, then I promised more frogs, so we went from 1 whites and 1 green tree frog (different tanks) to several more whites. I would probably change to bottled water and see if that helps. Its good you only handle when needed. I have to get our two female frogs everyday and make sure the go eat. But other than that we dont touch ours either unless we need to clean the tank or someone excapes.

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  8. #5
    En333
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    I'm so sorry for your loss.... :/

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    Moderator Mentat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolisnide View Post
    ...There still was question of the well water I use that recently tested high in calcium, magnesium, and iron - but still considered safe by the water co and pet store said should be fine, so I continue to use it unless someone here says not to). Anyway, while sitting by the viv I saw what looks like a milkweed bug, but I'm not sure what it was, in the tank. I've seen these in the house before. They make a fruity odor when feel threatened. I removed it. Could Sloppy have eaten one of these bugs and was consequently poisoned? Anyone know if the sudden death could be explained by eating a poisonous insect?...
    Sorry for your frog's untimely death. Milkweed bugs, ladybugs, fireflies, and other bright insects either taste bad, are toxic, or both. Native animals know them by experience and don't consume them, however, many non-local pets do not share such instinct. A bearded dragon will happily eat a firefly only to die minutes later while owner tries to figure out what's going on. Milkweed bugs get their toxicity from the milkweed plant and if both are in your area (and you found one near cage) there's a possibility that's what happened to your frog.

    If you are concerned with your water; some water conditioners also neutralize heavy metals on it. If buying bottled water make sure it's from a spring and has no chlorine or chloramines added. If so will need to add conditioner to it too.
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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    Moderator GrifTheGreat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Even if your well water isn't chlorinated it needs a water conditioner /de-chlorinator to remove heavy metals and contents that can build up in their systems. Its an easy mistake and many have done so. Still it is not your fault because without someone to tell you this you would never know. I'm terribly sorry for your loss. Without and expensive autopsy from a vet its hard to say what could have caused his death. Its always hard to read posts like this and I can surely feel your pain in your words. Its not your fault you did all you could do. Once again I'm sorry


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    100+ Post Member butcher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Very sorry for your families loss.
    I agree with Grif and Carlos the water conditioner still needs to be added.
    don't mess with my frogs

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    100+ Post Member Bolisnide's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Thank you all.
    What a stupid mistake!!!! I did ask on the forum about the water a couple times, but no one replied so I assumed it was OK. And with the pet store saying it was fine, I just assumed....
    I'll be getting the water conditioner right away, and until then will use bottled spring water. The bottle says 'spring water', so I'll assume it's safe until I can get the water conditioner.
    So no one seems to think it's necessary to completely break down the terrarium and clean it out?
    Everyone believes it was the water or a poisonous insect and not a contagious illness?

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    100+ Post Member butcher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    I am far from an expert but I would just to side on caution, you can never be too sure without a vet examination.
    don't mess with my frogs

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    100+ Post Member Bolisnide's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher View Post
    I am far from an expert but I would just to side on caution, you can never be too sure without a vet examination.
    Yes, guess you're right.
    I'll work on it right away...

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    100+ Post Member Bolisnide's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Hi guys,
    So I've cleaned the viv, changed the water, I think we're good. Froggy seems active this evening and still healthy, so hopefully he didn't get too stressed with all the changes and having to stay in the small critter keeper all day...

    Just a passing thought that I wanted to run by you all:
    I cooked with a teflon pan yesterday morning and accidentally left the pan on while I did something else; it may have gotten too hot.
    Does teflon kill frogs like it does birds? Maybe that's the culprit?

  20. #13
    mim
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    so sorry for ur loss of sloppy, im glad that froggy seems ok. i got my lil 4 yr old son two whites tree frogs but its me whos fallen in love with them lol. its really hard trying to explain to kids why their pets are no longer here. 2 of ours cats were poisoned with anti freeze and as a result had to be put down, my daughter (5) was distraught! if i were u id try to use a different petstore in the future if possible as it really doesnt seem like the owner knows wot he is on about. im no expert but i know that u need to quarantine for at least 4 weeks and use dechlorinated water. also species shouldnt be mixed and the enclosure (in the pet shop) seems way too small for 3 frogs. if ur ever unsure of anythin this site is brilliant, theres always someone to help. i also hope that ur lil boy is ok and not too upset

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    Moderator Mentat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolisnide View Post
    ... I cooked with a teflon pan yesterday morning and accidentally left the pan on while I did something else; it may have gotten too hot.
    Does teflon kill frogs like it does birds? Maybe that's the culprit?
    Are you sure your pans are coated in teflon and not another non-stick coat? I'm asking because teflon coated pans, cleaners, etc. were removed from market a few years ago when discovered they can mess humans up with long term exposure (dying birds did warns us). Unsure if frogs are as delicate as birds and hopefully they aren't. However; for your family sake, if your pans are old and really covered in teflon, recommend you replace them ASAP. Good luck!
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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    100+ Post Member Bolisnide's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Quote Originally Posted by mim View Post
    so sorry for ur loss of sloppy, im glad that froggy seems ok. i got my lil 4 yr old son two whites tree frogs but its me whos fallen in love with them lol. its really hard trying to explain to kids why their pets are no longer here. 2 of ours cats were poisoned with anti freeze and as a result had to be put down, my daughter (5) was distraught! if i were u id try to use a different petstore in the future if possible as it really doesnt seem like the owner knows wot he is on about. im no expert but i know that u need to quarantine for at least 4 weeks and use dechlorinated water. also species shouldnt be mixed and the enclosure (in the pet shop) seems way too small for 3 frogs. if ur ever unsure of anythin this site is brilliant, theres always someone to help. i also hope that ur lil boy is ok and not too upset
    Thanks mim.... it is hard on the kids, and yes - I've become probably more attached to the frogs as I'm the one who cares for them.
    And I think I will use a different pet store from now on. But the other one near me is one hour away, or PetSmart (an american chain store, which is probably worse than the one I bought the frogs from)!
    Anyway, just to clarify - my water doesn't have chlorine in it, that's why I didn't know I still needed the de-chlorinator, and the petstore said it wasn't necessary...
    This forum has saved my remaining frog, I'm sure of it! Thanks for all the advice.

    And I'm sorry about your cats. We have cats also
    Last edited by Bolisnide; January 3rd, 2012 at 01:33 PM. Reason: forgot to add my sympathies

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    100+ Post Member Bolisnide's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Quote Originally Posted by Mentat View Post
    Are you sure your pans are coated in teflon and not another non-stick coat? I'm asking because teflon coated pans, cleaners, etc. were removed from market a few years ago when discovered they can mess humans up with long term exposure (dying birds did warns us). Unsure if frogs are as delicate as birds and hopefully they aren't. However; for your family sake, if your pans are old and really covered in teflon, recommend you replace them ASAP. Good luck!
    Oh, well maybe it's not teflon - it's a brand new pan. That's a relief!

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    Moderator GrifTheGreat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Frogs are more sensitive than birds. The fumes from teflon could have killed the frog, but since its a new pan that more than likely wasn't the cause.


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    100+ Post Member BlueisallIneed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Name:  gus.jpg
Views: 2286
Size:  111.1 KBI am so sorry for the loss of your baby It almost sounds like he could of had a parasite too. I bought a Meller's chameleon from a pet vendor and he claimed he was very healthy and got along great with other animals and they breed them. Turned out, he was snatched from his home in Brazil and was caged with others for a bit until he was put on display like a tee shirt, I feel in love when I saw him and wanted him out of that place asap, he was drinking, eating climbing, and then in 3 days of having him he feel very ill and ended up dying at the vet. Turned out he was infested with parasites and it was too late I was devastated, still am! Moral of this sad story you never know what you are really getting and where they came from! They might look ok (because as a new owner you dont know) and turns out a different story. Now you have the tools to keep your other baby healthy and happy! Good luck hun.

    My 15 year old White's Tree Frog Hetfield (RIP 1996-June 4, 2012) and my little girl Lucy

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    100+ Post Member Bolisnide's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueisallIneed View Post
    Name:  gus.jpg
Views: 2286
Size:  111.1 KBI am so sorry for the loss of your baby It almost sounds like he could of had a parasite too. I bought a Meller's chameleon from a pet vendor and he claimed he was very healthy and got along great with other animals and they breed them. Turned out, he was snatched from his home in Brazil and was caged with others for a bit until he was put on display like a tee shirt, I feel in love when I saw him and wanted him out of that place asap, he was drinking, eating climbing, and then in 3 days of having him he feel very ill and ended up dying at the vet. Turned out he was infested with parasites and it was too late I was devastated, still am! Moral of this sad story you never know what you are really getting and where they came from! They might look ok (because as a new owner you dont know) and turns out a different story. Now you have the tools to keep your other baby healthy and happy! Good luck hun.
    I'm so sorry about your chameleon, he was gorgeous!
    Thanks for the support, it is greatly apreciatted.

    Also wanted to mention to everyone that I found a vet in my area who specializes in amphibians (I'm quite shocked), but I made an appointment to bring in my other frog and have him checked out for parasites just in case.
    Thanks again...

  27. #20
    100+ Post Member BlueisallIneed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sudden death of my white's treefrog

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolisnide View Post
    I'm so sorry about your chameleon, he was gorgeous!
    Thanks for the support, it is greatly apreciatted.

    Also wanted to mention to everyone that I found a vet in my area who specializes in amphibians (I'm quite shocked), but I made an appointment to bring in my other frog and have him checked out for parasites just in case.
    Thanks again...
    Thank you! Thats great you found a vet for froggies! I hope they can help your little one!

    My 15 year old White's Tree Frog Hetfield (RIP 1996-June 4, 2012) and my little girl Lucy

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