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Thread: African Clawed Frog Illness

  1. #1

    Default African Clawed Frog Illness

    I have a 3 year old "Grow A Frog". Two days ago she started acting lethargic but was still eating. Yesterday I noted her skin was shedding in tatters and her appetite is now decreased. She also appears a little puffy all over but not like a true bloat. I have no idea if it is related but she has also developed a small mass approximately 1 cm in diameter next to her left hip. The skin is not discolored or ulcerated.

    The changes that have occurred recently are the addition of 2 mystery snails approximately 3 weeks ago and a diet change 1.5 weeks ago. She was absolutely normal until 2 days ago.

    Gertie lives in an 8 gallon Biorb and was alone until the addition of the snails. Her substrate is large stones too large to fit into her mouth. She has always has bottled Eldorado Springs water per the Grow A Frog instructions to use Spring water. Her aquarium temperature is maintained at 72 degrees. Her diet is currently Tetra Reptomin Mini because she will not eat sinking food. The ReptoMin is labeled for aquatic frogs. She was previously on Zoomed Aquatic Frog and Tadpole food but the last batch sank and Gertie would not eat it, hence the diet change.

    Last night her aquarium was negative for Amonia, Nitrites and Nitrates. Her PH was 7.6.

    Without knowing all that much about ACF, I began treatment with Maracyn yesterday. Today Gertie received her first hour long salt bath. I have Anti-bacterial fish food available but am hesitant to feed it without direction from a more experienced member.

    My questions are:
    1. Feed the Antibacterial Fish Food?
    2. Am I pursuing the correct treatment path with Maracyn or should I use something else?
    3. If a salt bath is indicated, how frequently should Gertie receive them?
    4. Why did she get sick? Seriously, I might have overfed her. When the ReptoMin arrived she went crazy and I suspect other family members were providing snacks between my feedings. Could that alone have made her susceptible to illness.


    i would consider taking her to a vet but for 3 considerations. Gertie is not a friendly frog and would not be easy to handle. She is also quite small at 4" (I was lead to believe this diminutive size is normal for a Grow A Frog). I am also hesitant to stress her with a car ride and further progress her illness.

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    100+ Post Member daybr4ke's Avatar
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    Hi, I'm sorry your frog is sick. I haven't kept ACFs before, but I have read some about them, their diseases and the treatment thereof for another thread involving a sick ACF not too long ago. Your frog's symptoms could be bloat/dropsy or a early case of Red Leg, but that would be swelling centered in the legs, and you didn't mention any redness. Since dropsy is a bacterial infection, Maracyn should be a good choice. Maracyn is a good option from what Ive read, and I've also read about it being used for other frog species. I would continue with Maracyn treatments, but make sure you follow any directions to the the letter, or it can harm your frogs. I couldn't find anything about feeding ACFs antibacterial fishfood, not even a passing reference or question, so I wouldn't recommend feeding it to your frog. Maybe someone else will correct me, but barring that it's probably safer not to give it to them. You included a lot of useful info(ph, nitrates etc test, food switch, addition of snails), but there are a few more questions that might help discover the cause:
    When you purchased the snails, where were they kept? If they were kept with fish and/or frogs, it is possible they could track the bacteria into your tank, but I consider this unlikely considering the time frame.
    How often do you change the water?
    What would they have fed the frog for these snacks? If it's normal ACF food, or acceptable items it's fine, but if they fed it something else that might be a problem.
    I hope this helps, and I hope I can help figure out why Gertie is sick. Good luck!
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    1
    Below taken from an old post by Terry; and as mentioned by bryce were you hoovering up the gravel during weekly 25% water changes* you said the water paramaters were ok but there can still be a bacterial issue if proper regular cleaning not followed* also i read somewhere snails produce a lot of waste for there size!








    ) "Hard" bloated frog appears all of a sudden at the surface of the water. If this is the case, you will need to quarantine yor frog. This condition is usually caused by an internal bacterial infection and in nearly all cases it is fatal. There is some success using a product called Maracyn along with a salt bath. Maracyn is a gram-positive antibiotic found in stores that sell tropical fish supplies. Your vet will be able to advise you on a treatment plan.

    2) "Soft, squishy bloat", sometimes known as the "Michelin man syndrome" or hydrops in older amphibian literature, is caused by an excessive amount of fluid accumulation in the body and limbs. Untreated, this can cause liver and kidney damage. Although, frogs can live a long period of time with this condition, it will eventually lead to death. This condition is not associated with any particular pathogen, but it does occur with poor husbandry conditions. Since aquatic frogs live in water, their skin acts as an way for fluids to enter and exit the body (osmosis). When this process is interrupted, the frog begins to swell. The two leading causes of this swelling is poor water conditions and poor diet. Repto-Min is a perfect diet for your clawed frogs. ACFs are both predator and scavenger, so they do not require live foods like other frogs. I have been keeping clawed frogs for over 30 years and only feed Repto-Min. The only other problem could be the water. Make sure you use a good water conditioner, I recommend Stress-Coat. Keep the water clean and siphon any uneaten particles or waste. I would talk to the vet again about draining the fluid, the frog will probably recover without the additional stress. Also, continue the salt bath, ACFs are very salt tolerant and this would reduce the bloat.

    Treatment: The easiest way to treat the frog is to put him in a plastic container (like Rubbermaid) about 3 gallons in size. Put a gallon of conditioned water with about a half-teaspoon of epsom salts. Water temperature should be about 72 degrees. Dissolve the salt before putting the frog in. Don't put anything else in the container. Punch some small holes in the lid for ventilation. Leave the frog in the bath for 1 hour each day until the bloat is clear. Replace fresh water and salts each day. If the bloat isn't cleared within 10 days, then there isn't much more you can do. Don't feed live food. I suggest Tetra's Repto-Min frog pellets.

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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    Quote Originally Posted by ACFGertrude View Post
    I have a 3 year old "Grow A Frog". Two days ago she started acting lethargic but was still eating. Yesterday I noted her skin was shedding in tatters and her appetite is now decreased. She also appears a little puffy all over but not like a true bloat. I have no idea if it is related but she has also developed a small mass approximately 1 cm in diameter next to her left hip. The skin is not discolored or ulcerated.
    You might find some of the information contained in these old threads helpful:


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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    Another typical post with problems yet no responce to the answers or health of the frog from original poster* not long back from the local pet shop and some woman was about to buy 6 baby ACF as they were tiny and cute swimming around" after 5 mins telling her how much time required to keep 1 and the size of tank required she thanked me and looked at some fish

  9. #6

    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    Thank you for your kind patience and understanding in my delayed response considering that no one initially responded for more than 24 hours to this post and notifications were not working correctly. Polite support is always well received.

    I do weekly water changes with suction to remove solid waste.

    Unfortunately the snails were housed with fish fry so certainly could have been carriers of disease, although the delay in symptoms is strange.

    The snacks provided from other family members were just more ReptoMin.


    I have repeated the salt salt bath once since my original post and completed a 5 day course of Maracyn per the package instructions.

    Gertie's skin has cleared up but she is still listless and has intermittent apppetite. She has no further puffiness and no redness in her extremities.

    I am not clear on what the statement above about improper living space and involved care is in reference to. The Grow a Frog instructions never indicate larger housing and yet this frog has been housed in 8-10 gallon aquariums all her life, cleaned regularly, had water parameters tested with proper testing kits between water changes and her diet considered with as much knowledge as we have.

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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    I'm glad her skin has cleared up, but the listlessness+appetite loss is still concerning. I wish I knew more about this species. Salt will make swelling go down, but doesn't treat the infection, so that is/was up to the Maracyn. At this point all I can recommend is to switch out the water more often than usual to make sure the environment is very very clean. I read that this on of the best things to do when an aquatic frog is sick. I really hope your frog continues to improve, and I hope another user has more advice.
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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    You mentioned the tanks( SUBTRATE) within the orb is large stone(and you say I siphon ) thats noy easy LOL::: grow a frog instructions are fine until bacteria issues arrive then we have posters : not your fault am so glad asked:: over 1000 previous post worth reading if you care to take time

    Make it simple: remove gravel then add external filter which will balance your tank for you:: froggy will be so happy and i guarantee you will never ever post here with issues again: so long as you follow feed clean regime

  13. #9

    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    Sorry for the long silence. I'm caring for my Mother who has stage 4 cancer. Gertie is doing well and back to her normal frog self. I do have secondary filtration in the tank. I took the scorched earth approach since the last post and removed and re-homed the snails, replaced the carbon filter in the filtration a little early and did a 90% water change. As previously suggested, I have also bumped up by 25% water changes and cleaning to 5 day intervals. I am unsure which action resulted in clearing up the problem but we are doing fine. Gertie never did exibit true bloat signs or any indication of red leg. Thank you for all the knowledge and support.

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    Default Re: African Clawed Frog Illness

    So glad its sorted Gertrude sorry about yer mother very similar situ here* but to recap ne need for bottle spring water especially since your going to be changing more frequently but you will require a very good water conditioner and several large buckets which will hold the clean conditioned water several hours before you add to tank, add correct dosage conditioner such as PRIME to buckets::: then about 30 mins before you add new water to tank bring buckets close to tank temp using boiling water and temp gauge; dirty water siphon out using the proper aquaruim siphon which has large neck especially designed to pick poo grom with the gravel use a slight twist stab

    The sponge filtrate with filter cannistor never re-new this unless its falling apart lol it contains millions of beneficial bacteria that take ages to colonise but to keep them in tiptop condition every 3/4 weeks remove and rinse out in some of the old water removed from tank but never tap water, if you have actual carbon subtrate(not sponge)this can be replaced regular

    Am sure your already aware of most above but a good recap might help new readers

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