Hello everyone! I have two California toads that I raised from tadpoles last spring and I've been noticing some pretty serious problems that have ramped up in the past week. First of all, I want to put it out there that this is entirely my fault and I was misinformed, I had not been taking the proper care I should have.

The toads are unable to grab food when striking, and show inaccuracy at times. Sometimes after striking at a food item, they will sort of "freeze-up" with their back legs stuck out (they sometimes do this in other situations as well). After and during this they breathe heavily and sometimes even make a clicking noise. Occasionally they will show some difficulty in movement, but other times they will appear to walk around normally. They are becoming increasingly less active and staying within their hides as of late. After attempting to capture prey a few times, they will completely give up. Look a bit bloated at times. Haven't seen them visit their water bowl lately. Haven't seen a shed recently, but rarely do. On two circumstances in the past 2 days I have seen a small white thing floating on top of their water, I'm unsure as to what it could be (maybe just some multivitamin dust?).

What I've been doing:
I noticed that one of the toads was experiencing some difficulty in eating earlier on but thought nothing of it at the time, I just assumed he was missing his attempts. I recently cleaned out their entire tank after noticing the issue in both toads. Both then seemed to get worse more quickly as the week progressed (the other toad was completely fine before this past week and a half or so). I was feeding them primarily meal worms without supplements (I didn't even think about it, and I have a feeling that this is what caused it). The mealworms were getting expensive and hard to find in small enough sizes so I decided to begin keeping a small colony. The colony ended up getting an infestation of some sort of mites and I am currently not feeding with them. Before they were large enough for meal worms, I fed them a diet of fruit flies, which they showed no issues with. Last weekend (Feb. 9th) I went and picked up crickets, fruit flies, Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamin, and Rep-Cal Calcium w/ D3. I attempted to feed the toads crickets with multivitamin, but they could not catch them (I found another thread describing toads with similar symptoms that recommended feeding with vitamins for 7 days, then switching off from calcium and no calcium afterwards. That thread lead me to believe that this could be a case of Short Tongue Syndrome). The other day , before I stopped feeding the meal worms, I was able to get them both to eat a meal worm coated in multivitamin and they seemed a bit more lively the day after. In between those two days I put some dusted fruit flies in with them so that they could snack on them if they wanted to. Today I took both of them out of their hides and placed them into their water bowl for a bath, which one stayed in for a bit, then they both went back into hiding. Additionally today, I tried to feed them crickets once again coated in multivitamin. They both wanted to eat, but only tried to catch them a few times then gave up. They are housed in a 20 gal high with eco earth/coconut fiber as the substrate.

What might be happening:
I believe that it may be a case of Short Tongue syndrome (vitamin A deficiency), but they are showing other symptoms that might not be associated with the condition. The weather has been fluctuating a lot here in SoCal, so it could be something to do with the weather, but I find that unlikely.

Thank you for any help in advance, and if you have any other questions about something that I may have left out don't hesitate to ask. I tried to get some videos and photos of how they moved, hunted and froze up at times but they didn't turn out too great, if anyone would like me to provide those as well I can.

-Caden F.