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Thread: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

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    Default Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    My mom's horse stepped on a frog and destroyed a hind leg. I really want to help it, but it doesn't seem like any animal rescues in the area accept amphibians, and the vet doesn't take wild animals. I know very little about amphibians (my experience lies mostly with turtles and fish), so I'm asking for help. I have no idea what kind of frog it is, but I'm in northern Illinois. The frog was hiding in mud, and he's about 2 inches long nose to butt.

    Name:  unidentified frog.jpg
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    I know the leg's got to come off (it's only gotten more twisted and discolored since the picture was taken). It's a clean break. Everything above the knee appears healthy. I really hope I made the right call, but I tied a string tightly around his knee to help cut off blood flow to that mangled mess (the picture is from before the string). Despite the injury, he's active and alert. He's settled down in the water, hiding under its surface but periodically raising his head for air. After I tied the leg he's started responding to my presence, shying away slightly when I reach in.

    I don't want to leave the leg on for too long and risk infection, but I'm worried about the next steps. Does anyone have any experience treating major injuries like this? I saw that neosporin without pain killers is recommended for frogs, but how do I keep the wound clean and healthy while keeping the frog's skin moist?

    I have a 20 gallon long tank to keep him in with wet paper towels along the floor and a dish of water (and I have a spray bottle to mist the tank with). I have small crickets to feed him when he's willing. The temperature is 72F, but I have no idea how to measure humidity.

    Any input would be appreciated.
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    Last edited by Torqued Teeth; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:33 PM. Reason: the photo was huge

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    I couldn't bring up the nerve to cut the frog at all, so I'm leaving its leg tied overnight.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    I would not cut the leg off just yet I would allow the leg to dry up even though that sounds risky I would just give the leg some time. You have an American bullfrog and a 20 gallon long is more than enough for an injured frog. The temperature should be cooler the temperature you have it at now is good and because these frogs live in water the humidity is not something to necessarily worry about. You just have to keep the Frog really moist remember it's a pond frog. The frog would probably benefit from a UVB light 10 to 12 hours a day. I hope you're planning on keeping this frog because if you release it it will probably become prey for something.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Thank you so much for the help! And yes, if all goes well I'll be keeping this frog. I'm just reading up on bullfrog care now.

    and it looks like he'll be spending the night in his water area (he's able to submerge or leave as he pleases)

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    The frog is still alive and responsive this morning. Going by the tympanum size, I'm guessing female. I'm going to get a UVB light and a heating pad later today.

    I'm actually getting a little excited looking at bullfrog care - I love aquascaping, but my turtle will eat everything I give her (including moss balls). Once the frog is well again, I plan on giving her a good home with plenty of safe plants and hiding spots. For now I'm keeping it simple and easy to monitor/clean.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by Torqued Teeth View Post
    The frog is still alive and responsive this morning. Going by the tympanum size, I'm guessing female. I'm going to get a UVB light and a heating pad later today.

    I'm actually getting a little excited looking at bullfrog care - I love aquascaping, but my turtle will eat everything I give her (including moss balls). Once the frog is well again, I plan on giving her a good home with plenty of safe plants and hiding spots. For now I'm keeping it simple and easy to monitor/clean.
    That is a great idea to keep it simple right now. If the leg should somehow recover or if the Frog seems to be swimming incredibly well you might need to upgrade to a 40 gallon at some point only if the Frog can maneuver in and out of water. usually the care for a bullfrog requires a 75 gallon or larger but because it's an injured frog kind of have a benefit because you won't need as large of a tank to accommodate the injured frog. They like it a little bit cooler then room temperature so somewhere in the low 70s and upper 60s is great. aquascaping could be a lot of fun for the Frog. You even could breed small mosquito fish in the water and then feed it to the Frog. They are a lot of fun to handle keep giving us updates and hopefully the leg recovers. I also wanted you to know that female bullfrogs can get massive so don't be surprised to see the Frog grow rapidly.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    I called the vet and he agreed to see her this morning. He trimmed away the exposed muscle and cartilage, cauterized the wound, and gave her some glucose because she's not eating. I now have instructions on how to maintain circulation in the leg. He doesn't think she could take the shock of losing it.

    My vet was amazing as always, but the receptionist gave me some serious **** for bringing in "a FROG? An outside frog? A frog from OUTSIDE?" I think she would have kicked me out if I hadn't called ahead and gotten the vet's permission to come in.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Good for you for being so kind. I hope she recovers well, and you're my hero of the day. World could use more people like this.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Update on frog, now named Kumatora. There's been no bleeding from her leg for the past few days, and she's been increasingly active, so I added some bedding (wet coconut stuff) and a larger water tray to maintain humidity and allow easier access to the water.
    Name:  happy kuma 1.jpg
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    I may add some plants (real or fake) for cover and something to stick to the glass walls so she knows she can't go through, but for now she's exploring. Kuma checked out the flowerpot, then the water, and now she's walking the border of the tank. I'm a bit worried she'll twist up her leg again, but she seems so much less stressed now than when she was cowering in her little cave all day. I'll pick up some mealworms on my way back from work and see if she likes those more than the crickets. (although there were a couple missing when I went to redo the tank. Hopefully they were eaten since I don't think they can get out).

    Name:  happy kuma 2.jpg
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    The swelling and discoloration on the leg have gone down (although it does swell up again when it gets twisted), and I'm hoping that extra skin there is just normal shedding. She's not out of the woods yet, but she seems to be improving. I've just got to hope that there's enough structure left inside the leg for it to recover. She can fold the leg up to her body, but I don't think I've seen her extend it yet. It mostly just drags.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Kuma's not been looking too good since I got back from work. She's just lethargic and sulking in the corner. The swelling is up a bit. I'm worried

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Small update: Kuma's still alive and doing okay. She's somewhat active, but she spends most of her time resting in various parts of her water area (she doesn't have much space for swimming, but she'll move to a new hiding place a few times a day). Her leg's been slowly getting worse, but being in water helps reduce the swelling by a lot. Thankfully her appetite's back and she ate a worm yesterday.

    Not really sure what to do now but wait. Even if her leg does heal, there's nothing left in her knee to stop the leg from getting twisted and dying at a later date. And I don't have it in me to amputate - especially when my vet warned me it would most certainly kill her. I'm doing my best to keep her comfortable and give her space, but I'm worried I'm just making her suffer for no reason if she won't be able to thrive after this.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by Torqued Teeth View Post
    Small update: Kuma's still alive and doing okay. She's somewhat active, but she spends most of her time resting in various parts of her water area (she doesn't have much space for swimming, but she'll move to a new hiding place a few times a day). Her leg's been slowly getting worse, but being in water helps reduce the swelling by a lot. Thankfully her appetite's back and she ate a worm yesterday.

    Not really sure what to do now but wait. Even if her leg does heal, there's nothing left in her knee to stop the leg from getting twisted and dying at a later date. And I don't have it in me to amputate - especially when my vet warned me it would most certainly kill her. I'm doing my best to keep her comfortable and give her space, but I'm worried I'm just making her suffer for no reason if she won't be able to thrive after this.
    I'm relieved that you pressed a Veteranarian to give this one an examination and that you received good medical advice on her treatment. I have 4 Gray Tree Frogs malformed and otherwise afflicted from first leaving the water as tiny morphs and it's good to take those ones in if you have the level of commitment it takes to be their long-term care-giver. This one's fortunate that you noticed her after her mishap.

    You made the best decision in seeking out a professional to help you begin your years with this frog.

    One thing that's absolutely critical is that you change her water daily without fail as infection is the greatest danger. If you can, make her tank 90% water with an island or bank of the other 10% and get a filter to keep the water free of bacteria and other pathogens. As a Bullfrog, she'll enjoy as much water as you can provide for her as long as she can get out onto land and dry out for awhile. With as much water as she should have it becomes completely impractical to change it daily which is why I reccomend something like an Aqueon Quiet Flow self-contained submersible filter and fairly deep water for 90% of her tank. At this point if it hasn't killed her, it suggests that she can retain at least limited use of the leg. Amphibians are remarkably resilient and able to heal.

    Once she's truly out of danger, you should get the largest tank you can afford to give her as much of a pond setting simulation as possible.

    Hoping for the best for her and also to read some positive updates soon.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Thanks so much to the advice!

    It was scary for a while, but she improved a lot yesterday. Kuma's been more active and less corpse-like. I'm going to hold off on upgrading her tank for a couple more days since her health has been so back and forth, and I really don't want to stress her out with another big change to her environment. (not to mention, this is an old aquarium and I'm not sure it will hold water. It will take a while to test and make sure it won't leak) She's doing really well in shallow water, and she's getting less shy when I enter the room.

    Also, she caught a big cricket this morning after it wandered too close to the water. It was fun watching her stalk it because there were two she was interested in, and every so often she would spin around to watch the other one.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Hey, thanks, that's great news. Sounds like she's been saved by you.
    About the tank size, if you have a petco nearby they have 50% off prices on up to 75 gallon tanks about 2-3 times a year which makes the 75 gallon not cheap but reduces it to just under $100 dollars. For a leaping swimming frog of her kind that would be a nice size tank for a house frog. Her newly limited mobility would still be able to take full advantage of it at, as I suggested, about a 90/10 water to dry land ratio. It's a spendy investment with a filter as well, but if you can afford it it would be very good for her. Her kind love to spend a lot of time in the water.
    I'm not surprized she's getting better, you've done right by her from the start.
    There's an interesting thread here of a person who has amputated a frog's broken leg and it healed up nice and seems to have been doing well for over a year now.
    Would appreciate pics and updates of Kuma's progress and happy life as she progresses, if you can.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    I would just cut the leg off w\ scissors and cauterizing the wound w\ a sterile knife then put some Neosporin on it to keep any dirt off the wound.

  17. This member thanks MuchoTaco for this post:


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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Quote Originally Posted by MuchoTaco View Post
    I would just cut the leg off w\ scissors and cauterizing the wound w\ a sterile knife then put some Neosporin on it to keep any dirt off the wound.
    This is the person to whose thread I was referring who amputated simply and with excellent results. Something to consider.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    I would not recommend the filter because the frog isn't as strong and could get sucked into it. A sponge filter would be good. 6-7 inches deep would be all you need. Remember it's a paralyzed frog so we need to make accomodations for it.

    I would create a small land area the frog can seamlessly float above the land on a shallow area and can swim deeper if it wants.

    Yes clean water is essential and you could actually keep mosquito fish and raise them and offer them as a feeder for the frog. If you need more advice I would be happy to help. For cricket care I can send you this.


    This is how I keep Banded Crickets. They can last for 6-7 months and maybe longer I stopped count doing it this way.

    Get a large plastic bin and drill air holes on the too of the lid.

    Buy Mazuri Better Bug Gutload as the food for all your feeders and give it fresh two times a week to the crickets. You can and I recommend add in with the gutload Tetrafauna Reptocal with D3. This will give D3 along with more nutrients to the cricket and to your toad.

    Add repashy crested gecko diet and whatever repashy supplements to the gutload and calcium this makes the food smell better and attract the crickets. It adds more variety to their food. I use the color enhancer with this but it's not really anything necessary.

    Get Flukers Cricket Gel for a water source. It's kind of like giving the crickets Jello and the cricket gel has calcium in it to also help boost the crickets nutrition up for your animals.

    there's a lot more you can do with the diet but this is just the base and most important part that I'm explaining. Next you purchase a bulk amount of crickets from like Josh's Frogs or from Rainbow Mealworms. I'd say if you have a lot of animals somewhere between 200 to 1k could last you a very long time.

    The next step is very important you want to allow the crickets to have to or even three days if you're not in a rush to eat the food and drink the gel that you have provided. Doing this allows you to make sure the crickets have eaten and they are nutritious for your animals. The gutload actually says this on the instructions.

    if you want to breed the crickets they are very easy to breed in captivity and you could continue to have a living colony if you want. I am just covering the basics of keeping crickets for three to four months.

    I just tried roaches and they are the alternative to crickets. I am not generally sold on roaches I like using crickets more for the sound and for the hunt. I have large enclosures and I enjoy allowing my animals to hunt. There is nothing wrong with roaches but I have found great success with banded crickets. I have not had a cricket die in the last 4 months of keeping them and I got them when they were small. there have not been any that have bread in my bin either. I have replenished only once or even maybe twice but I have not had one Cricket died. This used to give me headaches and is why I switched the species of cricket I use and why I buy in bulk now. If you want to know more about how to feed the crickets to your animals and how to keep them alive I would gladly explain to you more in detail if you want. The nice thing about this species of cricket is that they are not aggressive and handling them by hand I have never been bitten by them unlike the other crickets you would receive in the pet store. They have never attacked my frogs or toads and I feel very comfortable with using them and calling them my staple feeder. I obviously use multiple feeders but they are the most important feeder that I keep and I make sure that I have good sanitary conditions for them as well as provide buffet style meals and I also make sure to keep up with them two to three times a week. Imagine A farm with many cows living but they are happy well-fed able to reproduce and they are nutritious for everybody to eat. This is the philosophy that I approached with having right now my crickets and also my mealworm colony. I hope this helps you.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    This is some really good advice! I'll keep it in mind for later when I have more space (I plan on moving some time within the next year or two. It really depends on a number of factors outside my control). I need to upgrade my turtle's setup first, so I'm hoping the turtle's 40 gallon tank can tide Kuma over until the move.

    And I wouldn't say Kuma is paralyzed. The knee and muscles required to extend her left hind leg are competently destroyed, but she can still pull the leg closer to her body. It greatly impacts her swimming ability, but I'm not sure to what extent yet since her water area is so small. She can still jump around when she wants to, as demonstrated last time I cleaned her tank (I had to take out her flower pot hiding place because it was starting to mold, so I had to move her to the angry bucket while I worked. She hasn't forgiven me yet). Kuma was flying around the aquarium, but I don't think her knee twisted once!

    I think it's time to remove the bedding and make it a mostly aquatic environment. I am really happy I saved all my old equipment from when I was a kid, or this would be expensive. Since she's only two inches long (not counting her good leg), I'm thinking of making the water 2 inches deep with gravel substrate and a filter (wrapped in window screening to keep her leg from getting sucked in). And some rocks to perch on, hiding places, and a land area.

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Name:  Kuma in the angry bucket - week 2.png
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    Kumatora in the angry bucket (week 2)

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    Default Re: Help, badly broken leg on frog! (with pictures)

    Here's the type of filter I use. Your frog won't get sucked into it. Look over the website and you'll get all the info you need about them to make an informed decision about them. https://www.aqueon.com/products/filt...-power-filters

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