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Thread: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

  1. #1
    Pleasantly
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    Default Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    First off, I want to apologize if you get this kind of post frequently on the forum, however, I could really use some help regarding an injured bullfrog my boys found. This particular little frog has been sitting on a hill near my house for 2 days, according to my boys. They just thought he was sitting there, but today they discovered his leg was wrapped up in a net used to protect new grass seed. The land used to have a large pond, but was drained last year for new construction At the base of the hill, some water still accumulates. There are quite a few frogs over there, but it's still pretty cold here.

    Anyway, they cut him free and brought him home to me, and I then gently unwrapped the string around his leg and cut it free. His leg was pinched down quite a bit near the knee and there is a cut. When the boys brought him home, he appeared almost dead. He was limp and wouldn't try to jump at all. I didn't think he was going to survive at all, and it was 41 degrees outside when this happened. So I thought I'd bring him in and make him a comfortable place to pass away, but he has perked up! This is what I have done so far:

    *Placed 2 rocks and a small plant into a medium plastic tote with dechlorinated water in the bottom, laid him limp on the rocks.
    *Gently ran some water over him to get his skin moist.
    *Applied very very diluted (in olive oil) essential oils to his wound but then read this is not good for frogs, so I washed him off with dechlorinated water and changed out his tank water.
    *After 15 mins in the tank, he sat up.
    *Provided live crickets (only 2 are in there).
    *Placed him in the sun for half an hour until he moved to the shaded area, then I put the tank back on the kitchen counter.

    Here is how he is acting:

    *Isn't eating.
    *Won't jump or go into the water, but moves slowly from the rocks to the plant.
    *He is currently sitting up in the tank sleeping. He's been in there for about 6 hours and this is the first time he's slept.
    *He lets the crickets walk on him, including his face and mouth, but won't eat.

    Is there anything else I should be doing, or anything else I shouldn't be doing? Should I attempt to force feed him? Is neosporin safe for frogs?

    Thank you so much in advance. I hope the little guy makes it.

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  3. #2
    Moderator LilyPad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    You can use neosporin WITHOUT pain reliever on the wound. Beyond that, I do not know much about bullfrog care to help. It sounds like he's probably really stressed out right now though and force feeding probably wouldn't help that. Could you get a picture?
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
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  4. #3
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Quote Originally Posted by LilyPad View Post
    You can use neosporin WITHOUT pain reliever on the wound. Beyond that, I do not know much about bullfrog care to help. It sounds like he's probably really stressed out right now though and force feeding probably wouldn't help that. Could you get a picture?
    Thank you. I was thinking the same about stress and force feeding.

    The first pic is when he first sat up from a lying limp. The second pic was taken several hours later and shows his injury (somewhat), near the knee. Eta: FYI, I have not been putting the lid to the bin he's in, on all the way to allow air.




  5. #4
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    So it looks like this guy is not a bullfrog. I think he is a Northern Green Frog? He appears to have ridges.

    Anyway, he is still not eating. I'm going to try small earthworms. I've let him be in the tank except for gently washing him over with water every couple hours to keep his skin moist. Today I did a pedialyte soak, from which he perked up a bit, but currently he's laying with his face resting on a tuft of moss at the base of the plant in his nursing tank. While I was transferring him from the pedialyte soak to his tank, I applied bacitracin to his leg with a Q tip.

    He seems to be getting darker in color? Darker green. I don't think he looks so hot today. I was really hoping I could help him out. Poor guy

  6. #5
    BrittsBugs
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    Default Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Awe, I wish I knew more about first aid and care tips, especially for wild frogs. But I don't, it sounds like your doing all you can for the little guy. If he doesn't make it. (: You at least know you gave it your best shot, and your boys are angels, it's absolutely sweet they cared enough about one little ole frog to bring him in so you could free his leg and do your best to nurse him to good health.


    -BrittsBugs
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  7. #6
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Quote Originally Posted by BrittsBugs View Post
    Awe, I wish I knew more about first aid and care tips, especially for wild frogs. But I don't, it sounds like your doing all you can for the little guy. If he doesn't make it. (: You at least know you gave it your best shot, and your boys are angels, it's absolutely sweet they cared enough about one little ole frog to bring him in so you could free his leg and do your best to nurse him to good health.


    -BrittsBugs
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    I'm so glad my boys care about animals and show compassion. When I was a kid, a little boy was a death sentence for a wild frog.

  8. #7
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    The frog is still with us. The boys named him "Survivor" His leg appears to be getting better, but I just noticed today that his toe on the same leg is either cut with a small bone poking through, or maybe a tendon? I'm not sure, but it is white. I try to apply neosporin to it and he gets really jumpy. I don't want to cause him too much stress. He's still not eating and he's not going into the water, but he appears to be improving. He has more energy overall, and more life in his eyes. I'm still washing over his back with water and plain pedialyte. So for now I'm just going to continue what I'm doing and hopefully he will fully heal up and we can release him.

  9. #8
    Member Emily1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Have you tried tong feeding (if you have some) just rub the prey on it's mouth and hopefully it will bite.

  10. #9
    BrittsBugs
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    Default Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleasantly View Post
    The frog is still with us. The boys named him "Survivor" His leg appears to be getting better, but I just noticed today that his toe on the same leg is either cut with a small bone poking through, or maybe a tendon? I'm not sure, but it is white. I try to apply neosporin to it and he gets really jumpy. I don't want to cause him too much stress. He's still not eating and he's not going into the water, but he appears to be improving. He has more energy overall, and more life in his eyes. I'm still washing over his back with water and plain pedialyte. So for now I'm just going to continue what I'm doing and hopefully he will fully heal up and we can release him.
    That's good to hear. Poor guy, he must've have been tangled in there pretty badly.


    -BrittsBugs
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  11. #10
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Emily1 View Post
    Have you tried tong feeding (if you have some) just rub the prey on it's mouth and hopefully it will bite.
    I haven't, but I will give that a try in the morning. Thank you.

  12. #11
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Quote Originally Posted by BrittsBugs View Post
    That's good to hear. Poor guy, he must've have been tangled in there pretty badly.


    -BrittsBugs
    Reptile & Amphibian Enthusiast
    Insect Breeder
    Former Rat Breeder
    Pets: 6 AUS WTF's, 1 Hon Milk, 1 SM Corn, 1 BP, 5 H.Crabs, 1 C.Gecko, 4 RB Newts, 6 Betas, 5 MH Roaches, 1 L.Gecko, 1 W.Hognose, & so much more
    Yes, he must've been. It's a shame they put stuff like that netting down.

    I was just looking at the pics I posted here, and you can see a little bit of the toe wound in the second picture. It's a little white spot on the toe and the tip of the toe beyond the white spot is bent.

  13. #12
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    We tried the tong feeding, but he still wouldn't eat. Even though he hasn't eaten, he is looking better and better. He moves around a little more than he was, but that just means adjusting his position on the land at the base of the plant. He still won't go into the water, so I'm still hydrating him by pouring a little water or pedialyte over his back.

    Another thing I take as an improvement is the speed of his throat movement. Previously, his neck was moving very seldom, sometimes so seldom, I wondered if he might have passed. Now it looks to be the speed I would consider normal from what I've observed in frogs or toads in the yard. I hope that's a good sign.

    Aside from the lack of eating, my only other concern is that he has an odor and I don't know if it's a normal smell or a sign of infection. He smells like worms after a heavy storm, if that makes sense. The smell seems to be getting stronger and stronger. Yesterday I changed out the water in his tank thinking it was the water. That seemed to help, but today it smells just the same. Is this a normal wild amphibian thing?

  14. #13
    Member Emily1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    As long as it does not smell rancid I'm sure it is fine an earthy smell is normal.

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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Looking good so far, poor guy.

    you need to change your set up a bit, it's not helping to heal properly, but it's definately seems it's getting better.

    hospital set up - wet papertowels changed daily, some easy to clean decor ( plastic or silk plant), cover all sides of the enclosure to minimize stress levels. You might want to cover the top though, or you might not find the guy soon
    You can get melafix ( fish section of the pet stores), dilute it according the instructions on a bottle and use it for spraying and papertowels. It's a very diluted tea tree oil that is safe to use for frogs. Use it in an addition to neosporin, that you need to apply 2-3xday.
    The most important part here is that a leg is not broken and he can move around, you are doing pretty good job so far!
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  16. #15
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    I am happy to report the frog now goes in and out of the water as he pleases, and HE IS EATING!! He just ate the last cricket in his makeshift tank. My Husband is going to pick up more crickets on his way home from work. The frog had 3 in there yesterday, and I just put the third one in front of him, walked away for a minute, and the cricket was gone, making that the last one.

    So now that he's eating, how many crickets should I put in the tank with him at a time and how many per day?

    Since he's now going in and out of the water, should I still do the wet paper towels instead? I've been covering 3 sides of his tank with a towel for majority of the day. The time of day I don't cover the sides is so some sun can get to him.

    @Lija, it happened to be very diluted tea tree oil I had originally put on his wounds and then washed off after reading it could be damaging to his skin. I'm glad to hear it's safe for frogs when diluted. Also, I do keep a cover over his tank, but I leave a corner exposed for airflow. Now that he's getting better, I should probably poke holes in the lid and snap it on. Thanks for the tips!

    I'm just so happy. I really really thought he wasn't going to survive. We brought him in to give him a warm, comfortable place to pass away and now he's almost fully recovered. That brings me so much joy.

    Once his wounds are all closed on his leg and toe, we will release him. Here he is as of just a few minutes ago...


  17. #16
    100+ Post Member Cliygh and Mia 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    It may take longer for the bone/tendon sticking out of his foot to heal, and honestly, are you sure about not keeping it? most green frogs aren't that bright green in coloration, and it can teach your kids about responsibility

  18. #17
    Pleasantly
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliygh and Mia 2 View Post
    It may take longer for the bone/tendon sticking out of his foot to heal, and honestly, are you sure about not keeping it? most green frogs aren't that bright green in coloration, and it can teach your kids about responsibility
    Well, I am open to keeping him, but I really have no idea what size tank would be appropriate for him or how to meet his needs long term. Of course, I can learn this though.

    To be honest, I have never been a reptile/amphibian person, and the first time I've ever picked up a frog was several days ago when I had to tend to this guy (no joke). However, he has a piece of my heart now and I feel like he actually even trusts me.

    Any pointers on what kind of set up a frog like this would need?

    And as of the last day or so, his skin has turned a much brighter green! I wondered if it was a sign of health.

  19. #18
    100+ Post Member Cliygh and Mia 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleasantly View Post
    Well, I am open to keeping him, but I really have no idea what size tank would be appropriate for him or how to meet his needs long term. Of course, I can learn this though.

    To be honest, I have never been a reptile/amphibian person, and the first time I've ever picked up a frog was several days ago when I had to tend to this guy (no joke). However, he has a piece of my heart now and I feel like he actually even trusts me.

    Any pointers on what kind of set up a frog like this would need?

    And as of the last day or so, his skin has turned a much brighter green! I wondered if it was a sign of health.
    For keeping it long term, the minimum terrarium size would have to be a twenty gallon tank, but bigger is better! If you have the space, a forty, or fifty gallon would be preferable. They are largely aquatic, and most of the enclosure should be land, basically, a floating lily pad/floating island/glass divider on 1/4 of the tank would be okay. And you can feed him crickets, night crawlers, (NOT RED WIGGLERS! Reds have secretions which make most frogs steer away from worms in general) wax-worms, (not to much of these they are fatty and so are pinky mice) thawed pinky mice, roaches, and guppies (NOT GOLDFISH/MINNOWS Most have parasites, that could harm him, and even with the guppies you would have to breed them/have a colony of them to be safe)

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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    Tea tree oil can be very dangerous if used in not proper concentration, if you are to use it melafix should be used.

    awesome news! If he is eating the things are going pretty well. Don't know much about care, I'll cover veterinary part. If you are to keep him, you will need to treat him for parasites that all WC frogs carry and adapted to live with. In captivity it's a different story and it will become a problem sooner or later

    If he is eating it would be very good if you could find reptiboost ( reptiaid) by fluckers and dust crickets with it. It would help him heal better.
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    100+ Post Member Cliygh and Mia 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help: Injured Bullfrog Care

    And while he is healing, I would invest in a lid on the tank. He will heal enough to jump out of his tank, and dry out, and probably die, so put a lid with air holes in it so he doesn't get out

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