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Thread: New Huge Cane Toad

  1. #1
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    Default New Huge Cane Toad

    Greetings! I have gained a lot of information off the site so I figured I would join! I have had a variety of amphibians when younger and as (more) of an adult a large pixie frog and a Colorado River toad that eventually sold to other hobbyists when I was moving apartments before I bought a house a few years ago.
    I have always wanted a huge cane toad after seeing one in the Chicago zoo. Something about those giant toads just captures the imagination, perhaps it’s from seeing our native toads so often and something so much larger is so attention grabbing, even seems like an animal from a fantasy realm to me. Anyway I had kept an eye out for years for a really big specimen. It seems like many places just estimate the size and it’s like a fish story, “oh they must be 10 inches!” but if you ask for a photo with a ruler or if they are really that big you get “well I guess they are closer to 6 inches….”

    Well I saw NERD had some monster suriname toads. After emailing them I was pretty assured it was the monster I was looking for and quickly placed an order, and sure paid a premium, but they delivered.

    You can see in the pics she is 9.5-10” and (with tote zeroed out of course) she varies around 3.4lb and after a big feeding and bath sometimes pushes 4lb.

    Here is the tricky bit, she has never fed for me in 5 months. I have tried earthworms, hornworms, moths, superworms, dubia roaches, hissers – nothing. I read here and other places these big females can take a long time to get sorted in captivity. I took fecal sample in for worm test was it was ok said the vet. I feed her the above foods and also mazuri amphibian and carnivorous reptile and rephasy grub pie gels as staples. We have a system where I slip a credit card in the corner of the mouth and pop the food in. Not ideal but she has just started coming out to her water bowl at night so I hope we are heading down the right path after 5 months.
    He house is a exo terra 36x18 naturalistic vivarium. I drilled the bottom for drainage with a bulkhead and pipe and there are from the bottom up, clay balls, substrate barrier, then josh’s frogs sphagnum mixture with leaves and their bioactive kits of springtails and rolly pollys. Heat mat on the side with thermostat to shut off above 74 air temp (which it never gets) and large corner water bowl with a cave hide.
    I recently made a mistake, I took her outside to see if hopping around would do her any good, and she hopped a few times over the concrete driveway, didn’t think much about it, but she is so heavy it cut her leg. Appeared to be healing well but then got very swollen so we just came back from the vet yesterday with a shot of bayril (her skin bent the 1st tiny needle he tried) and 10 days of giving it to her orally. The vet wondered if she might have had the infection already and the cut just exacerbated it, but who knows. He is also going to take another look at a fecal sample, but hopefully she will make a full recovery. The dose he is using is 5mg/day which is on the lower side but a good think considering the side effects it has sometimes.

    A long intro I know! I know it’s slow in here so this is more FYI for anyone that might stumble across the site with a google search like I did.





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  2. This member thanks Hart24601 for this post:


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  4. #2
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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    She is absolutely massive and gorgeous! If you ever want to sell her or trade for a slightly smaller one, let me know

    That aside, I think your forced feeding is having a negative effect on her opening up to you. It is really traumatizing to them and often very painful to have their mouth forced open. Some have even broken their jaw doing it, leading to their amphs inability to eat on its own ever again... This technique should really only used when providing medication that is mandatory and when they're so emaciated they HAVE to have something or they will die. I did this to an American toad one time and she never ate from tongs for me again. Prior to that, she was a very healthy eater.

    You saw my pics on the other site. I didn't force feed her at all. Just gave her space and let her her thing for about a month. Then, once she realized this place is safe and food is coming, she turned into bottomless pit, almost doubling in weight in a couple months.

    These toads are extremely hardy and can survive months with zero food. (many are rarely fed after being captured for import and can sit in boxes for weeks).

    I highly recommend you stop force feeding and try to let her recover. Don't hold her unless it's mandatory and leave insects in a ceramic bowl they can't climb out of. It is likely going to take a long time (over a month is not unreasonable) before she digs into food on her own. Just make sure she has fresh water daily and a clean place to hide. (they like to poop in their hides when they're stressed so, I am guessing she's done this)

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    I went about a month without her feeding before I force fed, and let her go hungry for at least 1.5 months if not 2 months and neither attempt was successful. I really don’t take force feeding lightly, however the credit card method has been easy as she opens up right away and I pay attention to any redness or damage that might occur closely, once she opens up I put my finger at the corner of the mouth since my finger is soft. Neither one of us like it much so I will try letting her get hungry again but will have to wait until after this treatment since I need to force her to take antibiotics for 10 days. After not eating for 3 months (combined – not at once) I figured keeping her alive was top priority, as I doubt she was eating at NERD and honestly at that point I wasn’t comfortable letting her go longer since it could have been many months (plus the one I waited) since she ate. I also wanted to get a fecal sample to the vet and can’t do that with no poo. I personally feel she would be dead if I hadn’t done it. I think I read (maybe here) about someone with exp with large cane toads and force feeding if needed and some of the big wilds didn’t take food for 6 months but would come around.

    She finally comes out to soak in her bowl at night, took 4 months, and now poops in there so that is a great quality of life improvement for us both! Took some fresh poo in to the vet so once we clear this round up antibiotics which hopefully work, will try food again with a deep bowl and let her go up to two months before force feeding. I have tried the bowl before several times but hopefully she will get it sometime. I know it’s not ideal but I feel have to make a bit of a judgement call at that point and I do keep a log of her weight and how many grams I feed her so I will see how much loss is during that time.

    Really appreciate the ideas and comments!

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    The poo came back as ok, so no wormer needed. I have been very worried about her leg wound, the vet said to wait it out and let him know when the antibiotics are done unless it gets worse or black spots appear to be debrided. The leg looked really bad last week, however it seems to be improving, I was thinking might lose her last week. The antibiotics are 10-14 day and it's been a week so will give it 7 more days before decide if she needs to visit the vet again. I called him few days after initial treatment to say it was swelling much more and he increased the daily dose to .1ml, aka 10mg daily. Fingers crossed.

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    100+ Post Member Animallover3541's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Could she not be eating out of fear of you or maybe other animals? If she feels like there's a predator around her she might not be willing to give away her location by going after food.

    I hope she gets better soon! Keep us updated.
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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Quote Originally Posted by Animallover3541 View Post
    Could she not be eating out of fear of you or maybe other animals? If she feels like there's a predator around her she might not be willing to give away her location by going after food.

    I hope she gets better soon! Keep us updated.
    It's very possible, although she does now come out at night to sit in her waterbowl sometimes so she will come out that far at least. Before she was sick I tried keeping her in a smaller frosted Rubbermaid tote for few days with night crawlers in the basement so there would be 0 movement down there without luck.

    Hopefully her infection clears up so I can worry about not eating again!

    The vet thought there could have been some sort of infection or issue that was already present before the leg injury, so it's possible she had been fighting something off for a while that made her not eat, but it wasn't until the cut that the illness was noticeable.

    I think that I have read every post on the site about toads not eating, frustrating when the wild toads here will eat from your fingers!

    You bring up a good point, she doesn't seem to worried in her cave when I pass by, but maybe I should tape construction paper on the sides of the glass (outside) to remove any potential stress she might have.

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Butcher paper. Handy for smoking food and sick toads!



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  10. #8
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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Off the antibiotics now. Still some swelling so brought her in for a follow up. The vet said no charge for follow ups which blew my mind. I even protested a bit, ha! Just seems like can’t take up that much of their time for nothing...

    He chatted about the Chicago show and his previous reptile breeding, was really nice. I asked about possibility of her breaking the leg so he said ‘let’s take a radiograph for fun!’

    Long story short there is some bone damage on the left knee, which isn’t too bad and not unexpected because the bone is so close to the skin and he figures was caused from the infection. He said aside from a limp should be fine.

    The other vet came in and we talked about ideas for her eating. They suggested raising temp up to 80 and see if that helps since she was collected in tropics. Said 3-4 weeks is ok to try, then force feed her and try again but a month is the limit at one time.

    Total bill. $0. Total including last time with the antibiotics and two feces exams? $45. Amazing place. He even tried finding vendors selling marine toads at the Chicago fair to ask about how they kept them and issues although couldn’t find any.
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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    I forgot to say, I am leaving her alone after that last trip to the vet yesterday and put superworms in a bowl. Per the vet's suggestions I raised temp to 80, her hide stays a bit cooler, and have also as seen above put paper over the tank. I will let her go 3 weeks like this and at that point will force feed her again, and then repeat the above. I only open the tank to take out the water when soiled, and to add water to the substrate. Although I will need to take her out once a week to make sure the infection stays away for a while.

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Update time. I did force feed her a bit last week as it had been the vet's recommendation as the maximum time, it was just a small amount though. There has been a bowl in her enclosure the entire time of superworms as well which she didn't want. Seemed exactly like it has been.

    However the craziest thing happened, Saturday night I had a dream I got her to eat with crickets. I also have a chameleon that I feed mostly dubias from my colony but I do give him crickets at times for fun, so I went out and got a few dozen. I put a few in her bowl, scooted her out of the hide over the bowl and went to refill the chameleon's bucket for the automated misting system and give him the rest to free hunt.

    I came back up and she had not retreated back into her hide as normal, but seemed to be looking over the bowl, I didn't want to disturb her so I left but I heard that noise that is really only made when an amphibian strikes. I slowly looked over the top and by gosh she was striking at those crickets!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even got a little video of her eating from the top of the exo terra.

    Finally, after almost 6 months!!!!!!

    I had tried them before, along with other small items like waxworms, baby silkworms, small hornworms and the such, but for whatever reason yesterday the banded crickets got her interested. Picked out some small dubias to put in there too and she was going after them all! The small size seems to be key here, she must have been in an area where she ate quite small food items. I have never seen banded crickets before (we got a new store in that sells them, previously I got them from box store that don't sell banded), so perhaps something about their movement finally stirred something in her. I put some small immature dubia in the dish again this morning, and she went after them too, so mission accomplished!

    I am happy to spend the time training her on other food items when mixed with the small banded crickets, that is relatively easy. Ordered 500 from Josh's frogs and some phoenix worms since they are about the same size too. My goal the next few weeks is just to give her plenty of food she wants, and change her water and leave her alone. I want to train her that when she sees me open the cage it means food.

    Perhaps it was the antibiotic treatment, perhaps it was time, perhaps it was increasing her enclosure to 80-85 degrees, perhaps it was adding UV light, or maybe just all those things combined with small active food items.

    I have had a lot of challenging animals over the years, even some fish getting them to eat live food, then train on frozen/thawed with sticks and fishing line before moving to pellets - but nothing has been this much of a challenge as this toad, which ironically are so tough they are ultra invasive, lol.

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Gave some more small roaches this morning, which she ate. So thankfully don't need the crickets to train, however she will quickly deplete my colony of small roaches so I need to be careful how many I offer. She seems to have 'accidently' snagged some superworms while eating the smaller bugs too, so that is a great sign.

    My wife found 4 crickets in the office today as I got a very upset text message! I think the rear cord cutouts on the exo terra might not be closed fully. Need to have a happy wife and a happy toad, ha!

    I wonder if solider fly larva will be more cost effective long term.

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Awesome to hear your girl is finally eating on her own. It's interesting that she only wanted to eat small bugs. If you need to order bugs online, I have had great experiences with Dubiaroaches.com. They gave me a container of free hornworms when I ordered a big cup of dubias.

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Thanks!!! I will check them out for sure. I have a large colony of dubia and wide horn hissers in a 29g for a few years, but it's a good idea to supplement the colony before I collapse it from taking too many. Really appreciate the suggestion! I imagine a 4lb toad is going to need an awful lot of small bugs since she wont eat anything large yet....

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    I went ahead and placed an order from some small and medium dubias from there. Might as well beef the colony up.

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Quote Originally Posted by Hart24601 View Post
    I went ahead and placed an order from some small and medium dubias from there. Might as well beef the colony up.
    Awesome! Yeah I've had nothing but good experiences from them, and their customer support is apparently top-notch too, though I've never had to contact them about anything. I don't have the patience to keep a colony, and my cane toad would eat all the big adults before they had a chance to breed! I think that's a bit hilarious considering she's only about half the size of yours, but mine was caught as a youngster and little ones probably adapt to captivity a lot more readily. I'm hoping to grow mine into a monster!

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    My God is that a big toad lol



    I am happy that you shared this on the forum I am seriously in awe of that toad.

    Sent from my BKL-L04 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Wardog View Post
    My God is that a big toad lol



    I am happy that you shared this on the forum I am seriously in awe of that toad.

    Sent from my BKL-L04 using Tapatalk
    Thanks!!!

    Funny story. My wife is a very nice person, but has not been 100% team toad, particularly at 1st. It didn't help that shortly after I received the toad, I was changing some water or doing some sort of work on the enclosure so I picked the toad up and showed my wife saying "how can you not love that face!" which is funny because the toad looks so grumpy all the time, and right after this the toad started peeing...

    I swear it just wouldn't stop! I kept holding her out of pure shock and I swear it must have been a half gallon of water right on the floor. I wish that I had a camera to capture my wife's horrified face.

    In retrospect it makes sense, toads normally pee when you pick them up, and a toad this size can pee a lot!

    I pretty much never handle her so it's not been an issue, but it was great when she also showed off that skill to the vet.

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

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    Her new pose now, over the food bowl! I also took a slow motion video but doubt it will come across. She now will eat adult dubia.


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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    What a BEAUTIFUL big girl! Thank you for sharing the video of her! Nice slow-mo! It seems like once she decided being in captivity is a good gig, she settled in perfectly. Happy ending to a months-long saga.

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    Default Re: New Huge Cane Toad

    Another update. She ate one of my male wide horn hissers today. I was shocked - these are not regular hissers but the largest hisser species I know of. Figured it was worth a shot since the males are only good to look at and fight each other. Took her a few tries! They don’t grow fast enough to be anything but a treat, still is exciting.

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