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Thread: My toad can't eat

  1. #1
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    Default My toad can't eat

    Hello,
    I've noticed that for some while now my toad literally can't eat, meaning she can't extend her tongue all the way to catch insects, even when they are literally in front of her. One time she tried to catch the same worm for about 10 times before giving up, I think her tounge hurts when she tries to eat for some reason.
    What can I do?

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  3. #2
    Junior Member PhunkeyPhish's Avatar
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    Default Re: My toad can't eat

    Hi,
    Sounds like you toad may have "short tongue syndrome" caused by low vitamin A (hypovitaminosis A). I have been going through something similar with my two Eastern American Toads. Deficiency in vitamin A can lead to the tongue losing its stickiness so that toads have a hard time grasping their food. My two were mildly affected, they would miss like 4-5 times but end up going in and grabbing with their mouths. I think I may have caught it early fortunately. Other signs of low vitamin A can often include swelling under the eyes, as well as fluid build up in the abdomen and weakness/lethargy.

    Treatment is aimed at using high vitamin A supplementation. I have found a treatment protocol that uses 1 IU of vitamin A per gram of body weight. You can use the fluid from human vitamin A gel caps, but the dose is very small for a toad so need to dilute it in vegetable oil. This is given daily for 14 days and there is a paper that showed good results. I have been treating my toads by this method in addition to using a multivitamin dusting powder (Repashy) with high levels of preformed vitamin A. My toads have responded really well. They are way more active and having a much easier time catching food, maybe not 100% but way way better then they were and on the road to recovery! In addition to the multivitamin I would also recommend a gut load called Mazuri Better Bug to gut load your feeders. A fellow member here recommended it and I posted a paper that found high levels of vitamin A in the toads that were fed crickets gut loaded with that gut loan. Speaking of which, what do you currently feed?

    Good luck with treating your toads. If you do end up treating with the vitamin A gel caps you should invest in small syringes to get the proper dilutions and I found that injecting the feeders with the vitamin A is a much less traumatic way in getting the vitamin A into the toad, however if yours cannot eat at all then you will need to orally medicate. There is a water soluble vitamin A that amphibians can absorb - its called Aquasol A, but good luck finding that, I have had none.

    - pp

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