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Thread: Green and gold bell frogs swell with air?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2017
    [New Zealand]

    Question Green and gold bell frogs swell with air?

    I have 7 frogs, all about 8 months old. Their bodies sometimes appear 'swollen' outwards, but with air, not fluid, and they sometimes inflate or deflate over a fairly short period of time (I'll sometimes look back after a few minutes and see they've 'gone down'), though it doesn't seem to be intentional. The inflation does not seem to serve any purpose or be in reaction to anything. I'm not completely sure if I should be worried or not as I can't find anything online about it and it doesn't seem to affect their behaviour. Their legs and heads don't inflate - it's just the sides of the body and makes them more circular. Some important backstory:

    They were rescued as tadpoles from a petshop with very bad care standards that was in the process of closing down. The tank they came from was discoloured, didn't appear to have a filter, most of the tadpoles swam near the top, many of them were dead or on visibly sick, sported injuries or visible fungus, etc. One of the dead ones had been left there so long it had gone white and had frayed at the edges. I later talked to a man working at a specialized aquarium shop (who keeps and raises frogs) who said he was surprised they'd made it as far as they did.

    One frog has a knee that didn't form properly and so his leg sticks out from his body. He doesn't seem to take much notice and is just as active as the others (he's the third largest, in fact.) He was originally the only one I noticed the 'balloon' effect on and, seeing as it didn't seem to be getting any worse or better and wasn't affecting his activity levels or appetite, put it down to an unseen abnormality.

    I've since observed the air swelling in several of the others, though much less frequently/extremely. Again, it doesn't seem linked to any behavioural changes and tends to come and go, but I'm now worried it's something other than just a quirk of that frog.

    I have been feeding them a combination of fruit flies (cultured myself) and blowflies/houseflies (caught wild. If they're not from inside the house I keep them for a short period first to make sure they haven't been poisoned.) Their food is dusted with Repashy Calcium Plus about half of the time, generally on the fruit flies. The fruit fly cultures are based on porridge oats + sugar + yeast + vinegar and I have sometimes observed mold in them.

    Their current substrate is tightly packed (similarly packed to ground outside), sterilized claysoil (fine stuff dug up by rabbits) over aquarium gravel with a layer of boiled oak leaves over that. I have some tradescantia zebrina planted in pockets of sterilized organic compost, covered over by the claysoil. The soil is slightly damp to the touch but not wet or waterlogged. I have the components of ABG mix ready which will be used in a larger tank that they will be moving in to soon.

    I can't find a herp vet anywhere in my country. I could take them to the local vet but I doubt that'd be productive as they have very little experience with exotics.

    If anyone knows what's going on, that'd be great I will get some pictures when I can, but all I can say is it's definitely noticeable/'weird' looking. I'm gonna smack myself if it's just a normal frog thing lol.

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