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Thread: Sick ADF: Spinning, redness by eye

  1. #1
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    Default Sick ADF: Spinning, redness by eye

    Hello, our little african dwarf frog Maple is sick.

    She usually lives in a 10 gallon long tank which we keep filled up a little over half way (about 6 gallons of water) to make it easier for these little guys to swim up. She shares the tank with 3 other ADFs, no other species.

    I noticed her odd behavior yesterday. She was acting extremely skittish whenever the other frogs came close. When she would move away from them it was accompanied by a weird spin she would make while swimming away. When trying to feed her she would also just swim away from the food instead of eating it. I will include a link to a video below to demonstrate this behavior.

    Upon inspection she has a red streak near her left eye. I couldn't tell whether it was an external injury or something internal, but since we keep the tank clear of anything that could be sharp I can't imagine what could have caused it. The frogs themselves can get a little nippy over feeding time but I haven't seen any of them ever actually injure another.

    I have moved her out to her own tank for now. I did a water test before the move and things seem okay. pH right at 7, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, nitrate levels is somewhere between 10 or 20 ppm (I'm awful at reading them.) It had been a week since their last water change and they were due for one, which I've since done. We have a small water heater for them, the temperature is kept between 76 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit and we have a gentle filter. Her diet alternates between frozen brine shrimp and pellets

    Some more details for anyone kind enough to help and interested. We got Maple along with two other frogs back in February. We kept them in quarantine for 60 days before joining our other frogs, Darby, who we've had for over 3 years now, and Glenn-Peter who's been around since the end of December. A few days before quarantine was up, the male frog in the group of three became sick with what seemed to be bloating issues and later redness in the limbs, underside and head. It struck quickly and he passed within 24 hours. The water parameters at that time all were normal as well, and the other frogs never exhibited any signs of illness. We kept them separate for another week before joining them together and until now all has been fine.
    Furthermore, we got another frog along with Glenn-Peter who also passed away about a month into quarantine. It was hard to tell what happened with her because they are leucistic dwarf frogs and I couldn't notice any redness, but there did appear to be some bump on the underside of her jaw.

    Image of the redness by her eye.
    Name:  Maple eye.jpg
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    Video of the spinning behavior.

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member BossFrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick ADF: Spinning, redness by eye

    Not sure what could be causing this to your poor lil frog, however I’d take her to the vet asap if she’s still alive. How is she doing?



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    Default Re: Sick ADF: Spinning, redness by eye

    Thank you for asking, BossFrog. She is still hanging in there. It's been a couple of days since I first noticed something was wrong, and began treating her. Daily water changes to make sure the water is as clean as possible to give her the best chance. I'm currently operating under the assumption this is some sort of bacterial infection so I have been adding some maracyn 2 to the water to treat her. I read some suggestions to use that the last time one of our frogs became sick with something similar resembling a bacterial infection, by the time we got it I think it was too late for it to have been of much help.

    So far I haven't seen any signs of her condition deteriorating further, but unfortunately I haven't seen any definite signs of improvement yet. In her current state I can't get her to eat as she'll swim away if she notices me bringing anything too close to her and isn't searching for food on her own if I leave it nearby.

    There is one animal clinic nearby that we found would at least take a look at these little ADFs but it wasn't the best experience. The exotics vet there was more specialized in birds than amphibians and wasn't familiar with these frogs, all he could really tell us about the previous frog was that it was likely a bacterial infection which was affecting it. We have an axolotl who we took to see a different vet at one point. That guy was very good. Not sure he takes frogs either, but I'll have to check.

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    100+ Post Member BossFrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick ADF: Spinning, redness by eye

    No problem, hope she makes it.

    It’s good that her condition isn’t worse. You’re doing great as far as I know, keep us updated!



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    Default Re: Sick ADF: Spinning, redness by eye

    I wanted to post a follow up.


    On another forum someone pointed out that the spinning looks similar to when these frogs are trying to shed and remove old skin. This got me thinking, and I watched back in the video I recorded to see the exact way she would spin around. Whenever she starts it up she always goes to the left, the same side her injury is on.


    Now I have no idea why frogs would exhibit this behavior, as these ones don't have teeth or even a tongue, but it made me think of the way an animal would try to lick its wounds when injured. So is she just aware that there is pain on her left side and trying to reach it somehow... but it being right on her face she's never able to reach it and keeps spinning? I don't really know for sure, don't even know if these frogs would have some similar behavior.


    But this could explain the bizarre spinning thing which I can't find any info on elsewhere, and wanted to keep this thread updated on that regard. So far she's still hanging in there, but as she still refuses to eat I feel like her activity level has started to drop. Hoping she recovers enough to get her appetite back before much longer. Still no signs that there is an infection that has spread anywhere else for now.


    I might try to see if I can find someone nearby who will examine these frogs and confirm whether or not it is a physical wound. It was my first thought when I saw the injury but I couldn't fathom what could be the cause. Now I'm starting to suspect that it may have been the work of one of the other frogs. They can get into fights during feeding time, just today I noticed the biggest one latched onto another's leg and was particularly aggressive. Wouldn't let go until I reached in and lifted them both in my palm out of the water for a few seconds. Due to the nature of the bare bottom tank I have them in, these frogs seem to retain their claws. I have no idea how sharp they are, but it seems plausible that it could injure the skin.

    I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has kept these types of frogs if they've had any experience with them fighting bad enough to injure one another. I've read mostly that they are non-aggressive and won't harm each other. This has mostly been true in my experience too, but our biggest frog who we've had the longest does tend to get more aggressive than the others, particularly during feeding time. She has tried to grab food from another frog while they were eating it, and I'm wondering if an encounter like that may have been what lead up to this situation.


    I'll update again with the outcome or if there are any other significant developments. Thanks for your responses and kind words, BossFrog!

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  8. #6
    100+ Post Member BossFrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick ADF: Spinning, redness by eye

    The spinning could be shedding or pain, yes. She’s most likely pretty distressed about having a wound on her face. Poor lil thing not sure if there’s any way to force feed a frog that small so you may just have to wait and hope she’ll eat. Maybe try feeding a different/favorite food?


    I’ve kept a couple of African clawed frogs before, a male and female in the same tank, and they seemed to enjoy each other’s company- they’d snatch food from each other occasionally, but I never saw them fight. Their claws however could be sharp enough to injure the frogs. Thanks for keeping us updated! Good luck with little frog.



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