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Thread: Sick Pacman

  1. #1
    Ornata
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    Default Sick Pacman

    Hi, please let me know whats wrong with my frog. He is about 6.3cm now, had him for about 3 months. He used to be healthy but I woke up 3 days ago and found that his leg was bleeding. He rarely moves (has been like this since i bought him), but now i think he is unable to move at all (still unsure, he really does not like to move). Also, his coloration looks unhealthy, is this natural or is he sick?


    1. Size of enclosure
    3ft by 3ft terrarium

    2. # of inhabitants - specifically other frogs and size differences
    No other frogs

    3. Humidity
    I live in Malaysia, its humid enough

    4. Temperature
    29-32 degrees C

    5. Water - type - for both misting and soaking dish
    Distilled water

    6. Materials used for substrate
    This: JBL TerraBark - Reptile Products - JBL


    8. Main food source
    Crickets

    9. Vitamins and calcium? (how often)
    None

    10. Lighting
    Natural light - no direct sunlight

    11. What is being used to maintain the temperature of the enclosure
    Natural climate

    12. When is the last time he/she ate
    2 days ago, ate 2 large crickets

    13. Have you found poop lately
    About a week ago

    14. A pic would be helpful including frog and enclosure (any including cell phone pic is fine)
    Pics below

    15. How old is the frog
    4 months i think

    16. How long have you owned him/her
    3 months

    17. Is the frog wild caught or captive bred
    Captive bred

    18. Frog food- how often and if it is diverse, what other feeders are used as treats
    Crickets, earthworms occasionally

    19. How often the frog is handled
    Once a month

    20. Is the enclosure kept in a high or low traffic area
    Moderate, kept in living room

    21. Describe enclosure maintenance (water changes, cleaning, etc)
    Water change once a week, remove poop as soon as i see any

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    First picture shows something that looks like a crack on the left side of the body.
    The second picture shows the wound on his left leg.
    His colour looks off, does he look sick?
    What could it be? I have transferred him to a temporary tank in case it was something from his terrarium causing it.

    Heres what the little guy looks like when he is healthy:
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    Please help!!

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member DVirginiana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    Distilled water shouldn't be used for frogs. It can cause problems with mineral/salt concentrations in their bodies and even kill them. Bottled spring water is okay (only spring water though, other bottled waters can still have chlorine and other harmful substances in them). Treating tap or bottled water with water conditioner is also okay. The conditioner they sell for fish tanks works fine for this.

    The place on his leg definitely looks infected. If you can get him to a vet that would be the best option. If it will be awhile before you can get him to a vet, you can put neosporin on the place, but only the kind without painkillers. The kind with painkillers will kill him. Also, until he gets better, continue to keep him on moist paper towels with no substrate.

  4. #3
    100+ Post Member MeTree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    I can't see the spot on his leg very well, so I won't comment on that. The browning of green C. ceratophrys is natural, but it may be a wound getting infected on your frog, I can't tell. I agree with DVirginiana on the points he made.

    I was looking at your care information. There are a few things I wanted to point out. Firstly, I don't believe that the substrate you are using is safe. Bark is dangerous because it doesn't break down if swallowed, and it has plenty of jagged edges. Pacman Frogs are a burrowing species. It's possible that he may have gotten that spot on his leg from trying to burrow (they back up into their burrows). I recommend changing out all the bark and replacing it with a product like cocofiber (found at Petsmart, PETCO, etc.). That will retain humidity, and give him a safe material to burrow.

    Secondly, I noticed that you aren't giving him a calcium supplement. Pacman Frogs *need* a calcium supplement. Your pacman frog is most likely fairly calcium deficient. I recommend going to your nearest pet store and grabbing a Calcium with D3 (they need D3 to metabolize the calcium, as they don't get it from the sun/a lamp like some reptiles). It would also help if you got a Multi-Vitamin supplement, as those are important for Pacman Frog's health.

    Lastly, I noticed that you hadn't changed the substrate to date (or at least hadn't recorded it). I am not sure how that works with bark, as I have never kept bark. If you are going to switch to cocofiber (which I highly recommend), you'll need to do a complete change every 2 months at maximum. Otherwise, it starts to sour, and you may end up with critters that you don't want in your pacman frog tank. I also recommend changing out the water anytime that you see your Pacman entered the dish.

    Maybe not a lot to help with your current problem, but hopefully this will help with general maintenance. Hope this helps!

  5. #4
    Moderator GrifTheGreat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    DVirginiana and MeTree have given you good advice. Too add to it: The wound could have been caused by a number of things. He could have gotten in from burrowing in the bark or from something else in the enclosure. Is there anything in the enclosure with sharp edges? Like a fake plant or hide of some sort? He could have had cyst that popped. The crickets could also have cause the initial wound. Crickets can and will bite frogs, particularly if they are weak or sick. Once a wound occurs (whether it is from them or something else) they will continue to bite and tear at it. This is why crickets should not be left in the enclosure for long periods of time. Always remove any uneaten crickets each morning. Once the initial wound occurred, any of the above factors could have made it worse and caused it to get infected. The frog might also be digging at the wound himself - kind of like a kid picking at a scab. Frogs will scratch at a wound until it bleeds. Your frog will most likely need antibiotics to deal with the infection. If left untreated it could become septic. In the meantime, apply Origional Neosporin (Like DVirginiana said any ointment with painkillers in it will kill the frog) twice a day very gently with a Q-tip/cotton swap dampened with de-chlorinated water. He needs to be in a "hospital setup." Just paper towels dampened with de-chlorinated water, the water dish, and maybe a fake plant or hide to minimize stress. Keeping the wound clean is VITAL to fight off further infection.

    Other notes: Distilled water should only be used for misting. De-chlorinated water must be used in any water dishes or for expanding the substrate. There are no nutrients in the distilled water so it will leach the nutrients out of the frog's skin. This can cause health problems long term. Also, the water dish should be changed every day or At Least every other day. If left sitting the water will become stagnant. This increases the risk of infection or illness.

    Coco fiber is the best substrate for them. They can burrow in it easily and if they do swallow some it will pass through their digestive tract much easier than other substrates such as bark. Substrate should be changed about once a month.

    Pacmans need calcium with D3 and mulitvitamins for maxium health.

    Try using nightcrawlers as your main food source if you can. They are more nutritional and will not bite your frog. Always make sure any food items come from a reliable source.

    The darkening is completely normal. Most greens don't stay completely green as adults. What type of Pacman was he sold to you as? He is very stunning. I hope he pulls through!



    Hopefully this helps. Please keep us posted on how he is doing!


  6. #5
    100+ Post Member DVirginiana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    I use repti-bark for my turtle. When it's dry it's probably the cleanest substrate I've used, but if it gets wet it takes maybe a day to get really gross. I wouldn't want to use it for any animal that had to have high humidity just because I think it wouldn't take very long to start breeding some nasty bacteria. Plus, I wouldn't use it for any animal that ate in its enclosure. It's probably the most fatal bedding to ingest IMO.

  7. #6
    Ornata
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    Thanks alot for the info guys!

    I'll switch him over to coco fiber and dechlorinated water once his leg gets better, ive gotten him an anti-bacterial cream without painkillers for the wound.

    He was sold as a Cranwelli, but he isn't growing as fast as my dad's Ornata - they started out as the same size and now the Ornata is about twice his size.

    I've tried earthworms, but he doesn't seem to like them very much. Mostly he prefers fast moving food like crickets. I'm already gutloading them with apples and cornflakes, but I'll get some supplements to dust them with before feeding.

    Will keep you guys posted, hope his leg heals soon.

  8. #7
    Ornata
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

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    I came back home today and he looks extremely bloated, ive never seen him this big before. He feels like a water balloon, and doesnt move even when i carry him up.

    Is there anything I can do?? I've read another thread here on a bloated pacman and his frog died a day later

    I can't take him to the vet as none nearby specialize in frogs.

  9. #8
    Moderator GrifTheGreat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    Bloating doesn't necessarily mean he is on his deathbed, but it can be very dangerous. In this case, it is probably caused by the distilled water. His body is trying to hold minerals and nutrients in and it is causing him to be extremely bloated. Give him a soak in lukewarm Dechlorinated (Not Distilled.) water with a couple of drops of honey in it. This should help him urinate. Keep us posted.


  10. #9
    Ornata
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    Ok, he's soaking in it now. How long do I leave him there?

  11. #10
    100+ Post Member DVirginiana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    I usually leave mine about 15 minutes soaking, but just try to watch him. If he looks like he's in distress, you can take him out after 15 minutes and then do it again later, if he looks fine you can leave him in there a little longer.

    Even if you don't have a herp vet around, you can take them in to a regular vet and tell them you know it has an infection and ask for antibiotics. If they don't know anything about frogs, you might want to ask for Baytril specifically; I know a lot of people use that for their frogs when they have infections. You can probably order that online as well. I don't have any experience with using it personally though, so you should probably to wait for someone else to comment to make sure this would be okay in this situation....

  12. #11
    Moderator GrifTheGreat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick Pacman

    15-20 minutes in the soak. You will need to keep a close eye on him. The bloating could also be caused by infection, in which case his condition is more serious.

    The diagnosis of which antibiotic to use should be made by a vet. Different antibiotics are effective against different types of infections. Calculating the right dosage can also make the difference between life or death. These are relatively small animals so a difference of a couple milligrams dosage is huge. Try and see if there is a vet who will run a urine sample for you to check for infection. They should be able to determine what type of infection it is even if they don't specializing in frogs. Another benefit is that you can just drop the sample off with out having to put the frog through the stress of a vet trip. Although ideally he should be looked at by a vet, I realize that circumstances don't always allow that.

    Baytril does seem to be the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for frogs, but it is not effective against all types of infections. For instance, it does not work on Gram-Positive bacterial infections. For that, you would want Fortaz (Ceftazadime). I recently switched Herp vets and my new vet seems to be much more knowledgeable about frogs. He recommends the Fortaz over Baytril. As it turns out, Baytril has more side effects and it is injected directly into the muscle. It is known to cause weakness, swelling, muscle damage, and even muscle necropsy. This is why home diagnosis is very dangerous.


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