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Thread: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

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    Default Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    Yesterday morning, my mom was quite surprised when she walked into her craft room to discover what we think is a gray tree frog on the floor. It's winter here in Michigan, so it probably came in on a potted plant on her porch she brought into that room in the fall. It probably figured on hibernating in the pot but it's kind of warm in that room so we don't know how long it's been out of hibernation. She put him in a cardboard box and planned to ask a teacher at the school she works at that knows a lot about different animals but that teacher was out ill yesterday. I've been doing some research and suggested we set up a little habitat.

    This morning my mom found something that she thought would work for an enclosure, but when she got the frog it appears dead (she was worried about it during out which seems to have happened). We have him sitting on moistened paper towel on the off chance that rehydrating can bring the little guy around, but she said he seems pretty stiff which in most species means rigor mortis and death occurred some time ago. But she has seen fish that escaped the tank and dried out and appeared dead revive when placed back in water amazingly enough. Basically we're not sure how to tell definitively that he has passed. We're pretty sure it's too warm in the house for him to have gone back into hibernation.

    Is him being stiff the "dead giveaway" it would be in most animals? If not, at what point do we know he is well and truly dead?

    If there is a chance, is putting him on the moist paper towel the right thing to do? Anything else we can/should be doing?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    You done the right thing by not disposing of the frog! I've had an escapee before that dried up on the floor and was almost about to dispose of it, but decided to place it in some shallow water and was glad i did because it reanimated in a few hours. If a full day or so go past under the warmth of the home and moisture from the water and there's no sign of movement then i would say it's probably gone.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    Out of curiosity, was your escapee stiff? With any animal I've dealt with, stiff equals dead, so stiff but alive is kind of a new concept, but I realize amphibians are going to be drastically different from mammals.

    Would shallow standing water be a better source of hydration at this point than the moist paper towel?

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    Hi, ya it would be better to place him in a dish with some shallow water then just letting him sit on some damp paper towel. Make sure the water room temp or even a little warmer, and another thing you could do is get some unflavoured Pedialyte and mix it with the water. If you do the pedialyte you want it to be a 10;1 ratio, so for every 10 oz's of water add 1 oz of the pedialyte. You could mix it in a jug then just pour what you need into the dish your going to put him in.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    Okay I transferred the little guy from the paper towel to a dish with shallow water. I'm not holding my breath as he/she appears for all the world like a frog shaped pebble. But it's worth a shot.

    Is well water okay? I know chlorinated is bad, which well water wouldn't be, but I thought I'd ask. At this point if he's to have a chance I figure any water is better than none, but I want to make sure well water works if he makes it.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    well water is...well it depends on the well and the ph and whether there are heavy metals. I'm guessing for a single soak it shouldn't matter.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    Okay I just checked the little guy. Legs are pliable rather than stiff. I gently felt his/her underside to see if I could feel breathing or heartbeat and I didn't, but I don't know if these guys can be so slowed down that you can't tell. Zero response to stimuli. He's been soaking approximately five hours now. I'm not optimistic, but he's still soaking.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    You said it looks like a pebble, is it curled up into a ball or all stretched out? I've never seen a dead frog that wasn't stretched out.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    I don't know if I'd say like a ball but legs were underneath and not stretched (though I have moved the legs around to see if I could elicit a response).

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    Okay, he/she has been soaking about 24 hours now and still nothing. Can't detect breathing or anything when I feel the underside which I'm guessing I should be able to by now if he was coming around? Absolutely no response when I manipulate his/her legs.

    Not that I was ever thinking he had much chance, but I was hoping he'd revive. After 24 hours though, I'm guessing it's safe to say he's pretty much toast? At what point do we officially "pronounce" death? I don't want to dispose of him if we haven't waited long enough, but considering there's zero change when does waiting around become silly? I don't have much sense of smell, but when my mom gets off work maybe I'll ask if she can smell decomposition...he's not visually getting gross or anything, but I don't know how long that would take. I don't even know how long before a dead frog would start to stink. Obviously though signs of decomposition would be pretty definitive.

    Do we wait for that or figure we'd see signs of life by now if there were any?

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    So sorry to hear, I doubt there will be any life now unfortunately, but another day of waiting wouldn't hurt if it eased your conscious

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    Okay yep, it's been 48 hours now and still lifeless. Worth a shot but I'm pretty sure we're well past the point where we'd be seeing any signs of life. Drat!

    I should probably have my mom check all the plants she brought in off the porch for more stow aways. The room is cluttered enough that anybody'd be easy to miss if not still in a plant. She saw this guy because he was sitting on the floor. if there are more frogs though, they're probably not hibernating and thus probably also dessicated. Hopefully this was the only frog that came in.

    Cute little critter, hopefully the only casualty.

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    Ok so this thread literally helped me bring my frog back to life, as crazy as it sounds.

    During my panic of seeing her (usually green) now very grey, shriveled Little body - my instincts kicked in and I started dumping water on her - I got the guts to grab her and put her in her shallow water. Well guess what.... I went back to check in her and she had come back enough to climb out of the water bowl and onto the side of her tank.
    As the hours go by, she’s getting her color back and moving more, and becoming more active and responsive to stimuli. I’ll watch her closely for a few days and pray she comes back to her little playful self - but there you have it - I was able to get what I though was a dead and dried up frog, rehydrated and alive again!!!! #payersforcami

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    Default Re: Gray tree frog likely dead from dehydration?

    wow. Any chance she was hibernating?
    I would continue to keep an eye on your frog, though. Hopefully she'll pull through without any complications from drying out.

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