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Thread: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

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    Question Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    My Pacman has not eaten in a week. I removed him this morning from his enclosure and soaked him in warm water for one-hour. He did not poop. I removed the water, put him back in the Critter Keeper, and offered him Dubia roaches and 1-Hornworm.
    He showed no interest in eating. He has been totally "burrowed" in the substrate for a week. Is there something wrong here?
    Is this normal behavior ?

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Frogs in the genus ceratophrys will burrow for a few reasons.
    1. They will naturally burrow deeper if the substrate is dry and the ambient temperature is too cool. In nature they will brumate during colder dryer conditions and form a layer of thick dry mucous over their skin to prevent moisture loss. This process is a natural reaction to the aforementioned conditions. They will also go off feed during this time.
    2. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if temperatures are too high they will burrow deeper to find a cooler more comfortable temperature.

    It would help to know the age of the frog, its size and the size and setup you currently keep it in. If the frog is entering brumation the best way to stop it (bear in mind it is preferable for them not to brumate in captivity unless you're cycling them for breeding) is to bring the temperature to the mid to high 70s and make sure the substrate is moist.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by DanDrobates View Post
    Frogs in the genus ceratophrys will burrow for a few reasons.
    1. They will naturally burrow deeper if the substrate is dry and the ambient temperature is too cool. In nature they will brumate during colder dryer conditions and form a layer of thick dry mucous over their skin to prevent moisture loss. This process is a natural reaction to the aforementioned conditions. They will also go off feed during this time.
    2. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if temperatures are too high they will burrow deeper to find a cooler more comfortable temperature.

    It would help to know the age of the frog, its size and the size and setup you currently keep it in. If the frog is entering brumation the best way to stop it (bear in mind it is preferable for them not to brumate in captivity unless you're cycling them for breeding) is to bring the temperature to the mid to high 70s and make sure the substrate is moist.
    Thank You Dan for your reply. My PacMan frog is a sub-adult, 6-8 Months of age. I have had him since May 8th. He is in a 10-Gallon glass enclosure. He has Eco-Earth substrate, 3-5" in depth. Lamp above tank with 60w Daylight heat bulb. 3/4 of the screen lid is covered with Aluminum foil. The substrate is moist, the Temperature is 77F, sometimes reaches 82F. Humidity levels run between 60-70%. So with all of this said, I am still baffled as to why this PacMan won't eat, and wants to burrow. He has not eaten in a week.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Your enclosure sounds perfect so i'd rule out brumation then. I've had some of mine burrow and then shed a few days later and even go into brumation for a few days due to unknown causes and then emerge like nothing happened. How is the overall appearance? If his eyes are above the substrate and appear clear and alert that means all is well. If it has a layer of slimy translucent skin and the eyes are flush with the skull it could be shedding or somehow dehydrated. I'd include a water bowl in the enclosure so it can soak its leisure and withhold food for a few days. Remember this species can go a reasonable period without food so I wouldn't panic. You can also try misting the enclosure to simulate rainfall and get the humidity up.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by DanDrobates View Post
    Your enclosure sounds perfect so i'd rule out brumation then. I've had some of mine burrow and then shed a few days later and even go into brumation for a few days due to unknown causes and then emerge like nothing happened. How is the overall appearance? If his eyes are above the substrate and appear clear and alert that means all is well. If it has a layer of slimy translucent skin and the eyes are flush with the skull it could be shedding or somehow dehydrated. I'd include a water bowl in the enclosure so it can soak its leisure and withhold food for a few days. Remember this species can go a reasonable period without food so I wouldn't panic. You can also try misting the enclosure to simulate rainfall and get the humidity up.
    No, he is totally submerged. You can not see him at all, and his eyes are not exposed above the substrate. I had him out this morning, washed him off, and he looks good. He does have a water bowl in the corner of his tank. Like I said, I attempted to feed him, but he showed no interest in eating. I mist his enclosure a few times a day depending on what the Hygrometer readings are in his tank. So, I guess I'm just not going to panic and wait and see what happens. It's a shame, because just yesterday and today, I received Food for him in the mail.......Dan, I will keep you posted for sure. Thanks for your help.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    UPDATE::: It has been 2-weeks since ErnieFrog has eaten. He has remained buried under his substrate. I need some suggestions on what I should do. Should I remove him and try to feed him and let him poop? Or do I leave him alone ? Thanks in advance for your help.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Ok here’s a trick I have used successfully in the past. Remove your frog from the enclosure and Transfer it to to a container with no substrate. Provide a half inch of purified water instead of substrate and something to serve as a hide or haul out (A piece of cork bark works well for this). The water level should be just below the frogs chin. Maintain it in this setup for a while and monitor its progress. Offer food at night. If he is losing weight and still refusing food after a reasonable period in this type of setup a vet visit may be in order. This is essentially a quarantine enclosure. I have “woken up” frogs this way by completely eliminating substrate. It’s also much easier to observe their progress, monitor feedings and provide extra hydration. You can drape a dark cloth over part of the quarantine enclosure to provide some extra security. Again use discretion though. If you feel a trip to the vet is warranted by all means do so.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    What you are describing is exactly what I did this morning. I removed him from his tank, put him in a critter keeper with Spring Water. Covered the critter keeper, and waited to see if he would poop. He did not poop. So I then attempted to feed him a Hornworm. He moved
    away. I did not leave him in the Critter keeper long. Perhaps 30-minutes. Once I knew he would not poop and would not eat, I put him back
    in his enclosure. I don't have a hide or piece of cork. The best I can do is cover half the tank with a small fleece. I will attempt to feed him tonight. I am concerned with the lack of heat he will have and the lower humidity levels while out of his enclosure. I just don't know how long these frogs can go without eating. I will give it a few more days, but then he will have to go to the Vet. Thank You Dan. I will update you again in a few days.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Keep him in the critter keeper for at least a few days. Think of it as an intensive care unit. It will be fine at room temperature as long as it stays near 70. Just drape a cloth over one side if you can’t find any cork bark. Fill the critter keeper with some water that completely covers the bottom. That will automatically increase humidity. Give him some time in this setup and be patient.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    I attempted to feed him last evening at 9PM. He would not eat. I checked him this morning. He's still there. I will try feeding him again tonight.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    I would prioritize pooping over eating. Anytime my girl has been "backed up", she barely eats or refuses food completely, so getting a BM is your best starting point. Are you able to feel or otherwise analyze the right side of his body? You might be able to tell if he has a poop brewing, the right side of his body will feel firm or show a prominent lump.

    I'm not sure of the temperature of the water you have him soaking in, but if you haven't already, try letting him sit in some warm water. Better yet, try adding a little honey to it, if you have it on hand. Hopefully one or a few sessions of a nice, warm soak will coax something out of him.

    On the other hand, if his right side feels soft and there's no indication of a stool, it may be prudent to bring him into a vet. It's possible he picked up parasites, etc. at some point and was fine when he was healthy, but the stress of a new environment lowered his body's defenses and allowed the invading bodies to get out of hand. However, identifying parasites usually requires a fecal examination, so it's kind of a catch 22. This is me purely guessing on my part, but often times if a frog isn't eating due to impaction or stress, it's because something else (parasites, nematodes, etc.) is hindering his appetite.

    To help you feel better about him not eating, my friend bought a baby Pacman that had a month long hunger strike, lol. Frogs can be delicate in some ways, but they are hardy in others, especially horned frogs.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    I've tried warm soaks so frequently, and none of them produced anything. I hate to have to keep digging him up from the substrate as I don't want to stress him even more, but I may have to in order to examine his right side --- He was eating and pooping fine, and then everything stopped and I don't know why. Ok well wish me luck - and I will let you know what happens. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    UPDATE::: I removed him from the tank - examined him - he does not have a lump on his right side at all. So, he does not have any poop inside him. I'm now soaking him in warm water with Honey for 30-minutes. I will try to feed him again tonight and see what happens.
    I will prepare to take him to the vet this week.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Yeah, I think a vet visit would be a good idea at this point, especially since he was eating before. They can give him a thorough check over and rule out other possibilities for his lack of appetite. Costs can add up pretty easily though, for me an examination is $67 without anything else included.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    If your pacman has a firm lump on his side protuding then could definitely be impacted. Then you should see a vet. If not he could be stressed from the handling. Let him burrow all day and leave some crickets for him at night. Or cup him in your hand like your making a hand puppet with his face out toward you. Firmly rub a cricket against his mouth. I've had to do this with an albino that just stopped eating and it saved it's life. However I still have to hand feed him. I think your frog will be fine.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by jonthomas233 View Post
    If your pacman has a firm lump on his side protuding then could definitely be impacted. Then you should see a vet. If not he could be stressed from the handling. Let him burrow all day and leave some crickets for him at night. Or cup him in your hand like your making a hand puppet with his face out toward you. Firmly rub a cricket against his mouth. I've had to do this with an albino that just stopped eating and it saved it's life. However I still have to hand feed him. I think your frog will be fine.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    I saw you said he doesnt have a lump. Hopefully nothing is stuck in his mouth or throat preventing him from wanting to eat. I don't think frogs can have sucralfate. I would feed him yourself. It's not hard if you do what I suggested. If he doesn't eat then gently open his mouth. I've done it many times with my albino.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Here are 2 PICS of my Frog. I took him out yesterday to clean him off and take PICS of him to send to the Seller bought him from. He has an appointment with my Exotic Veterinarian on June 27th.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    Late June seems so far, but hopefully his condition will maintain itself until then.

    I have heard of people force feeding their frogs and how it helped get them going on their own, but I'm not sure if it's necessary yet. If you do it for any reason, it should be so he produces a stool to be examined. If you do go this route, call to make sure they will accept it despite him not technically being a patient yet. Since you have a visit scheduled, I'm sure they would be understanding.

    He looks deceptively good. Nice, clear eyes and, despite not eating, isn't too skinny yet.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    GOOD NEWS! He Ate Today! and he pooped. So I am very pleased. I discovered the trick with him is to feed him in the Dark. He will not eat if in an open and fully exposed Critter Keeper. I need to cover it completely with a towel --- leave him alone with the food item for 15-minutes.
    He ate 2 Hornworms today which were a good size. So, I am pleased. Now I know moving forward how to handle feeding him.

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    Default Re: Frog not eating or pooping . . .

    He's probably fine. I'd save your money amd cancel the vet appt.

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