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Thread: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

  1. #1
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    My beloved Bibbit is very sick. While watching him this morning I noticed he was having troubles getting to the top of his water. I've had him for 5 years, and he's never done this. When he got to the top he almost fell backwards into the water. He recovered, went back to the top (still with issues) and then floated on the top (usual behavior for him). Well as much as I hated to leave, I had to go to school. When I got back home he was at the bottom of the water on his back. Mourning my seemingly deceased froggie, I flipped him over, brought him to the top of the water and started gently petting him. To my surprise, he gasped for air!!!
    Since he was having troubles swimming, I put him in a smaller aquarium with just enough water to cover him. That way, he can easily just stick his little head out of the water to breath. I've only seen him use his arms to turn and weakly swim a few centimeters, but not his back legs. Also he seems to spasm, bowing his back up while his head goes down. He'll also "crunch" to the side or even twist while opening his mouth. It looks like he's writhing in pain!
    What has happened to him? What can I do for him? Please Help!!!

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member AlbinoFroggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Im sure there are some people on here how will be able to give you a full detailed explaination, however im no expert with these things. I use this site alot i find it very helpful and they have alot of information of illness and disease in african clawed frogs and how to treat.

    http://www.clawedfrogs.com/id20.html (illnesses)

    http://www.clawedfrogs.com/id33.html (illness and disease)

    hope it helps and i hope bibbit gets well soon.

  4. #3
    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Based on your description, your frog probably has bloat. There are two kins of bloating disease. Here is an explaination, you may have to consult a vet.

    Sorry to hear about your frog. Bloated frogs seem to be very common these days. Xenopus (African clawed frogs) experience two kinds of "bloat".

    1) "Hard" bloated frog appears all of a sudden at the surface of the water. If this is the case, you will need to quarantine yor frog. This condition is usually caused by an internal bacterial infection and in nearly all cases it is fatal. There is some success using a product called Maracyn along with a salt bath. Maracyn is a gram-positive antibiotic found in stores that sell tropical fish supplies. Your vet will be able to advise you on a treatment plan.

    2) "Soft, squishy bloat", sometimes known as the "Michelin man syndrome" or hydrops in older amphibian literature, is caused by an excessive amount of fluid accumulation in the body and limbs. Untreated, this can cause liver and kidney damage. Although, frogs can live a long period of time with this condition, it will eventually lead to death. This condition is not associated with any particular pathogen, but it does occur with poor husbandry conditions. Since aquatic frogs live in water, their skin acts as an way for fluids to enter and exit the body (osmosis). When this process is interrupted, the frog begins to swell. The two leading causes of this swelling is poor water conditions and poor diet. Repto-Min is a perfect diet for your clawed frogs. ACFs are both predator and scavenger, so they do not require live foods like other frogs. I have been keeping clawed frogs for over 30 years and only feed Repto-Min. The only other problem could be the water. Make sure you use a good water conditioner, I recommend Stress-Coat. Keep the water clean and siphon any uneaten particles or waste. I would talk to the vet again about draining the fluid, the frog will probably recover without the additional stress. Also, continue the salt bath, ACFs are very salt tolerant and this would reduce the bloat.

    Treatment: The easiest way to treat the frog is to put him in a plastic container (like Rubbermaid) about 3 gallons in size. Put a gallon of conditioned water with about a half-teaspoon of epsom salts. Water temperature should be about 72 degrees. Dissolve the salt before putting the frog in. Don't put anything else in the container. Punch some small holes in the lid for ventilation. Leave the frog in the bath for 1 hour each day until the bloat is clear. Replace fresh water and salts each day. If the bloat isn't cleared within 10 days, then there isn't much more you can do. Don't feed live food. I suggest Tetra's Repto-Min frog pellets.

    Watch for any unusual skin discoloration which could be as sign of bacterial or fungal infection. Usually the salt bath will take care of this problem too.

    I understand your frustration. Be patient and most likely things will go well for your frog.
    Last edited by tgampper; November 14th, 2010 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Use this treatment only if the frog is "bloated"
    Terry Gampper
    Nebraska Herpetological Society




    “If we can discover the meaning in the trilling of a frog, perhaps we may understand why it is for us not merely noise but a song of poetry and emotion.”
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  5. #4
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    He doesn't look bloated. If anything he looks a little skinnier than normal. He had also been shedding his skin a lot lately. I don't know if that's related or not. I checked my water and everything seems fine except that the water hardness is at about 150 ppm. I feed my frogs a variety of things to try to avoid a poor diet. Tubifex worms, blood worms, meal worms, and occasionally beef heart.

    I found this on a website:
    Stroke: This is when blood flow to the brain is decreased due to a blocked vessel or burst small vessel. Symptoms of this may include Lethargic behaviour, not eating, unable to move back or front legs/arms, continuous trembling of a limb or unable to regulate balance in the water. Strokes can caused by stress caused by handling or movement of the tank, they can also be caused by feeding too much fatty foods like bacon fat etc., and temperature fluctuations can also be a cause.
    This seems to describe him pretty well. If this is what is wrong, is there anything I can do?

  6. #5
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    I'm afraid that the excessive skin shedding may be where this all began. By excessive, I mean more than once a week. Perhaps twice or even more. My other frog Freckles has been shedding his skin a lot too. If this is where this whole terrible mess began, I would like to start treating my other frog as soon as possible before it gets as bad as Bibbit did. What could the excessive skin shedding be? Bibbit was eating perfectly fine until his incident. Freckles continues to eat normally for now.

    I found a video of exactly what my frog is doing. Bibbit is doing what that frog does at the 14 second mark.

    YouTube - Sick Albino African Clawed Frog

    Thanks in advance for your help guys.
    Last edited by Dejavudoo; November 13th, 2010 at 06:36 PM.

  7. #6
    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Sorry, I jumped to conclusions about bloat, your frog seemed to have the same symptoms. But, I wouldn't start a treatment program without first identifying a cause. Red leg is a definate possibility though. I would take the frog to the vet. There are several diseases of Xenopus that have some or all of these symptoms or behaviors:

    • hanging at the water's surface
    • stifness or lethergy
    • loss of appitite
    • vomiting
    • tumbling
    • excessive skin shedding
    • skin discoloration - red, brown, gray, black
    • growths or tumors on skin
    • skin hemorrages
    • sticky or rough skin
    • anorexia
    Another possibility could be a secondary nematode infection caused by Pseudocapillaria xenopodi. Good luck!
    Terry Gampper
    Nebraska Herpetological Society




    “If we can discover the meaning in the trilling of a frog, perhaps we may understand why it is for us not merely noise but a song of poetry and emotion.”
    ---
    Adrian Forsyth

  8. #7
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    There aren't any vets in my area that deal with amphibians though.

    I don't see any reddening or swelling in his legs. So I hope its not that since red leg (from what I've read) seems pretty hopeless.

  9. #8
    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    I'll try to do the best I can to help. Do you have any pictures of the frog you can post? Hopefully its not red leg. These are really tough frogs and there is a possibility it will pull through.

  10. #9
    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    I am not a vet, but let's go ahead with a basic treatment program. I want you to isolate the frog in a bare tank. Add three gallons of water with one tablespoon of epsom, sea, or aquarium salt (not iodized table salt) and allow the salt to dissolve. Make sure the water is conditioned and temperature about 72 (F). Keep the frog in the water for 30 minutes and remove. Do this daily for 5 days (of course, change the water each day). This may kill any internal or external bacteria or parasites. These frogs are quite salt tolerant. If you can, please post pictures.

  11. #10
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    That's my sweet little Bibbit. I hope those pictures help. I have pretty crappy lighting and didn't want to attack his sensitive eyes with flash.

    He recently shed his skin but couldn't kick it all off the way these frogs usually do. So that's the fleshy stuff in the second picture.

    Also, I don't have a heater that will work in that amount of water so I'm not sure what his water temperature is. Its about 70 in my house though. Will this be ok?

    I've been doing the salt baths yesterday and this morning as well. I can't do it with 3 gallons though because then he can't reach the top. I have a container that i put 1/2 gallon in with 1/4 tsp epsom.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  12. #11
    ramble
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    I'm not pro (obviously!) but could you float or hang his isolation tank in the other to keep the temperatures the same?

    From the comments on the video, it looks like he has a bacterial infection of some kind. I hope you can figure it out quick.

  13. #12
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ramble View Post
    I'm not pro (obviously!) but could you float or hang his isolation tank in the other to keep the temperatures the same?

    From the comments on the video, it looks like he has a bacterial infection of some kind. I hope you can figure it out quick.

    I finally found an old thermometer that I used in his 20 gallon before he and his friend Freckles got upgraded to a 40. The water is at 70-72 thankfully.

    He is still holding on. He's so brave.

  14. #13
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    I also noticed this morning that he is missing one of his toenails. I heard that can be caused by nutrient deficiency. I've always tried to feed my frogs a variety of things. Maybe he has parasites?

    What I find odd is that he has been calling after his spasms sometimes. Other times his head will twitch up and down, which I've noticed him do while in amplexus before. I have no idea if this is at all related to his illness or maybe he's just lonely without his friend. Just throwing anything out there.

    Any time he tries to move he spasms, but other times he spasms just while sitting there.

    Also, when he pokes his head up to breath he'll sometimes take a couple of gulps of air and then sometimes blow out little bubbles from his mouth. I don't think that's normal for him.

    There also seems to be a very small dark spot on about the middle of his side, running pretty much along his lateral line.
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  15. #14
    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Thanks for the photos. Without knowing for sure what is causing the infection, it is hard to determine the proper treatment. If it is a bacterial infection, the salt baths may prevent any osmotic problems (the ability of the skin to exchange fluids and wastes) that may occur. Continue the salt baths for another 5 days or until it clears. However, it may not address the possible bacterial infection. There are two types of bacteria, gram-negative and gram-positive. Red leg is a gram-negative infection. There is an excellent product you can get at any store that sells tropical fish products - it's called Lynmozyme. It is used to treat and prevent red leg. You can add this to the aquarium that the frog normally resides. Hopefully, this will take care of the infection. I add Lynmozyme whenever I do water changes.

  16. #15
    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Concerning the diet - it is a good idea to feed your frog a variety of foods. However, it has been my experience that Tetra's Repto-Min is a great staple food and I've been using it for 30 years with great success. I also hear that many Xenopus keepers feed their frog bloodworms. This is a bad practice since bloodworms have little or no nutritional value and may cause excessive bloating. If you must feed bloodworms, do so only as an occasional treat.

    Just a FYI.

  17. #16
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Thanks for all the help. I think his spasms have been less frequent today and a little less severe. I hope that this trend continues and that Bibbit and Freckles can soon be reunited.

    As for the bloodworms, I'm not sure why they became such a popular food for these frogs. Petsmart even use to carry something called ReptoTreat that had a picture of the ACFs right on the package, so I naturally assumed that's what I should feed them. Many sites also recommend bloodworms. I definitely won't be feeding them to my froggies anymore. I just hope that after so many years of not feeding them the ReptoMin, they'll still recognize it as food and eat it.
    I read in another post that it was ok to supplement with Tubifex worms. But when I read the nutritional analysis of them, they were 9% fat!!! People say not to feed them mealworms or beef heart because they're high in fat but the tubifex worms were higher than either of these. Although the tubifex worms do have more protein content. I don't want to just feed the guys sticks everyday. What IS safe other than the sticks to feed?

  18. #17
    Dejavudoo
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Unfortunately, Bibbit has passed away. :'(

    Thankyou for all your help anyway though.
    Last edited by Dejavudoo; November 16th, 2010 at 12:36 PM.

  19. #18
    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Sorry to hear about Bibbit.

  20. #19
    Jace
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    Very sorry to hear about Bibbit.

  21. #20
    Ken Worthington
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    Default Re: Please HELP my African Clawed Frog!!!!!

    I'm sorry for your loss...

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