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Thread: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

  1. #1
    FBTmom
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    Default One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Hello,
    When we rescued our two FBT's from my son's gr. 4 classroom 3yrs ago, one of the toads had a cloudy eye. Considering the bad living conditions these two were in (a plastic betta container for 2yrs plus kids poking at them) I figured it was an injury.
    Now, 3yrs later, the other eye has gone cloudy! Plus the 2nd toad has one cloudy eye now. A 3rd toad we purchsed about 2yrs ago has clear eyes. All three are in the same tank.
    From what I've read, it sounds like it could be some sort of fungal infection, but maybe not. I do regular water changes, and I use dechlorinator each time. They live in a 35 gal. tank that's 60% (heated) water, 40% land. The toads are fed every 3-5 days, having two to three crickets each. The one with two cloudy eyes has trouble with his aim (my son hand feeds them all), but my son touches his mouth with the cricket, then moves it half an inch away so he can get it. He still has a good appetite. This toad also spins a lot in the water, and he's not as actively moving about the tank as he used to be. It's like he can't see properly, if at all so, he just stays put most of the time in the water. He used to watch us move all over the house like the other two do, following our movements, but not anymore. Sometimes he'll sense us near, or we'll have our hand in the tank to adjust a rock or something, and he'll jump up, like he's thinking were're holding food out for him and he's trying to grab it.
    The 2nd toad with one cloudy eye hasn't changed his behavoiur, but his other eye is still clear so I'm not sure if he has limited sight in the cloudy eye or not. If I move my finger on either side of his head, he ignores me or takes off.

    I live in a small town with a vet that knows nothing about anything except cats and dogs. Our pet store has no idea, nor do they have anything except basic fish meds. I wouldn't know what to use anyway, or what to do, since I have no idea what could be wrong.

    Could putting too much dechlorinator in the water harm them? I use AquaPlus. I also keep a bucket full of water, without declorinator, near their tank so I can top up the water in between changes, if needed, but it always sits at least 24 hrs before I'll use it so the chlorine will be gone.
    I just don't know what to do or even where to start. I'm so worried the second frog is going to get the cloudiness in his second eye. Or frog #3 will get it.

    If anyone has a suggestion, I would be so grateful. I'm so worried about these guys, and I feel so awful thinking they may be losing their sight. It's so frustrating living in a small town sometimes! If there's any way to clear this up and fix it............

    Thanks so much,
    Diane
    Last edited by FBTmom; May 7th, 2012 at 02:15 PM. Reason: add info

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  3. #2
    FBTmom
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    I'm really hoping someone has an idea as to why my toad's eyes are clouding over. I want to treat this, if possible, and other threads I've read about it, plus research on the internet, are giving me conflicting opinions. The two toads are getting worse and I don't know how to help them. I don't want to guess on the treatment and get it wrong, thus hurting these little guys. Nor do I want my toads going blind.
    I just did a water change today, and the one toad with the two cloudy eyes was freaked. I think it's because he can't see, because water changes have never bothered him before. He used to play with the water vacuum when I sucked water out.
    This is getting worse fast.

  4. #3
    KayIS
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Diane,

    I have a similar situation - our toad's first eye went cloudy, we tried gentamicin sulfate and maracyn 2 (minocycline) with no luck, not to mention the usual saline drops, etc. He seemed stable but now, 5 months' later, the good eye is now clouding over. The description of behaviour, etc. is identical to what I am experiencing. I combed through the local university's biology department, and the local zoo, looking for herpetologists. The curator at the local zoo emailed me a link to http://www.pollywogsworldof frogs.com/Text-html/frong-rx-fungal.html and under "cloudy eyes" it states that this is caused by a bacteria called chryseobacterium, and to treat it, you need to use methelene blue full strength as eyedrops, 2x/day for 3 days. Spray 5% solution of Baytril (bayer corporation liquid formulation, active ingredient is enrofloxacin) on the frog FIRST before using the methelene blue. The site claims your froggies will be fine in 3 days or so.

    I just found this information, so I will be heading to my vet armed with this information on Monday. Meanwhile, quarantine the affected toads if you can. You can use Wiki and look up chryseobacterium, as well as a second possible aeromonas hydrophila, both are gram negative, rod shaped bacteria, I suspect both will respond to the use of a floxacin. WHile I am surprised that the gentamicin and minocycline were unsuccessful (both attack gram negative bacteria), I have read that chryseobacterium is resistant to many forms of antibiotics.

    You need to go to the vet to get a prescription - you cannot by Baytril without one. If you need to, draw up a waiver and sign it, telling your vet you absolve him/her from responsibility should the toads get sick or die because of the treatment. From what I read, this bacterial infection is likely lethal in the long run. THe waiver is probably the only way a reluctant vet will help you out. I am a lawyer, make sure your waiver is clear that you will not sue the vet for whatever the outcome is.

    Good luck. I will be back next week to report in.

  5. #4
    FBTmom
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Wow, KayIS, thanks for the great info!! I'm going to do a bunch of reading on the site you linked me and head into the vet's with an armload of info. I'm not too optomistic about our local vet, but I'm sure going to try. And I'll have to see if I can get the methelene blue here. I've never even heard about it.
    I really appreciate your help with this, and I can't wait to hear your report. I'll report as well after I talk to the vet and see if I can get any of this stuff.

    Diane

  6. #5
    KayIS
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by FBTmom View Post
    Wow, KayIS, thanks for the great info!! I'm going to do a bunch of reading on the site you linked me and head into the vet's with an armload of info. I'm not too optomistic about our local vet, but I'm sure going to try. And I'll have to see if I can get the methelene blue here. I've never even heard about it.
    I really appreciate your help with this, and I can't wait to hear your report. I'll report as well after I talk to the vet and see if I can get any of this stuff.

    Diane
    Diane,

    have been treating my toad for 2.5 days now, there is some improvement, but the spot hasn't gone away completely. If anything, though, the rest of his eye looks remarkably better. I amusing the oral Baytril in liquid form. I am going to dose him for one more day, and if he isn't better - I will be taking him to see a specialist vet from the local zoo. Unfortunately, most amphibians are out of luck if they get sick. My local vet said they rarely see amphibians, which is why this is so hard.

    Signs of poisoning: strange uncoordinated behavior - baytril is strong stuff, if you see this you need to stop treating your toads!

    I am going to sterilize my tanks in the meantime. The paranoia about the rest of the toads getting sick is very high.

    Any luck on your end?

    K

  7. #6
    FBTmom
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Hi Kay,

    I have had no luck with my vet, but I haven't given up yet.

    Are you following what you originally wrote, using the methelene blue drops for the eyes, and spraying the Baytril on the toad first? Or is there a different routine you're following?

    In the meantime, would you recommend trying the Maracyn (or something small pet stores would carry) in the off chance it'll stop or slow the progression of the infection? I have three toads in the tank (it's a 50/50 land water setup). One of the toads has perfectly clear eyes, but I'm thinking the Maracyn wouldn't hurt him since he has already been exposed to infection? I don't want to move him to my other (healthy) toad tank, obviously, because he may be carrying the infection even though his eyes are still clear. I'm not sure how to dose with this medicine for toads. I used it once for my fish, but the instructions in the package were for fish.

    I'm not sure what to do. I haven't given up on trying your treatment advice. I'm heading out of town this weekend for a day, so I'll try other vets, but if I strike out, I'd like to at least try something over the counter. I'd just need some guidance on dosage and methods.

    Thanks, Kay, and I have my fingers crossed for you. I'm frustrated with my vet, but if it isn't a cat or dog, it's a waste of time with him. It's a helpless feeling watching my two toads lose their sight.

    Diane

  8. #7
    KayIS
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Diane,

    I am doing exactly as the other forum mentioned. I spray the toad well - but just on his back - until he is most definitely wet. I leave him in a plastic container (with high sides) on a wet paper towel for 10 minutes, then I use the full strength methelene blue on his eyes. I then wait a minute, then stick him back into his tank. The treatment has worked somewhat - his eye is most definitely clearer, and the opaque area has shrunken, but it has not gone away. The other eye looks good, though, so it might be that the long term infection has caused some permanent damage. Or, it may just be a case of needing a longer dosing period because it was so huge to start with. The vet was nervous - he said he was giving me a really strong dose - but said that 3 days probably wouldn't hurt him. I have to decide whether he can take another day. I need to do more research.

    The maracyn 2 didn't do anything, but it could be that the formulation is not easy for the toad to absorb through the skin - and I dosed my toad by having him sit in a solution of the maracyn 2 and water. He sat in it for 10 minutes before I moved him back to his tank. I weighed him then calculated what looked like a proper dose. I also calculated a proper dose for the gentamicin sulfate and created a bath for him to sit in as well, since he would absorb more through his skin rather than with eyedrops. Maracyn 2 is similar to gentamicin sulfate in that they are both broad spectrum antibiotics that kill sensitive gram negative bacteria, but I suspect as they both worked about the same, they either were not strong enough, or that the bacteria involved is gram positive (and Baytril will kill both positive and negative), or it might be that this is fungal in nature, but the vets are fairly certain this is bacterial, they just can't figure out what to use to kill it. I think this is likely bacterial, and probably resistant, which is why I opted for the stronger floxcin (Baytril).

    My vet was good about giving me what I wanted - he admitted they rarely see amphibians (though lots of reptiles). I told him I would be seeking help next week if this didn't work - and told him that since he was out of ideas, if he'd indulge me with this request, he'd be off the hook in terms of possible bad consequences. He was most happy to mix up the medicines, and I think as some cya he then only charged me for the medicine, and not for the office visit. He also said all vets get training in exotics, just many are leery of treating pets they don't see much of. Baytril and methelene blue are really common -the latter is used for staining in labs - and Baytril is used all the time for dogs and cats, so I am sure your vet has this available. Vet didn't go for your waiver? Must be really scared of lawsuits.

    I see you are in BC, isn't there a zoo or aquarium in Vancouver (or is it Victoria)? I can't remember - haven't been to BC in the past 20 years. If you have one nearby, maybe they can help you. On Monday, I head to my local zoo's exotic vet to see if he can help me. I read another forum with some poor lady whose toad has exactly what ours are suffering from - we need answers, and I am committed to finding the source of this problem. I have 4 other toads, and it will kill my child if they all end up like this. I tried the local universities, no luck. Nobody likes amphibians enough. I even tried my alma mater, but the herpetologist I remember so fondly from my school days is long gone and nobody there cares about amphibians either, not enough to be a specialist of any sort anyway. I know more than they do.

    One more thing - floxcins are used for people too - and methelene blue is not by prescription. If you have a doctor friend who is willing to help you out, you may be able to obtain a liquid form of the floxcin. You'd have to be good at math so you can mix up a proper dose, but this is another possible route for you. In a pinch, I have known medical professionals who have prescribed medicines to their dogs, etc. to treat certain illnesses when there was no vet available. This is a tough route, though, and you'd have to pay out of pocket, unless you have some sort of insurance for pets. Floxcins are not cheap. It would be better to work on your vet. Isn't there someone else s/he could refer you to? You might ask the vet point blank waht it would take for him/her to feel comfortable with this.

    Good luck - and I'll be back again if there is any change.

    K
    Quote Originally Posted by FBTmom View Post
    Hi Kay,

    I have had no luck with my vet, but I haven't given up yet.

    Are you following what you originally wrote, using the methelene blue drops for the eyes, and spraying the Baytril on the toad first? Or is there a different routine you're following?

    In the meantime, would you recommend trying the Maracyn (or something small pet stores would carry) in the off chance it'll stop or slow the progression of the infection? I have three toads in the tank (it's a 50/50 land water setup). One of the toads has perfectly clear eyes, but I'm thinking the Maracyn wouldn't hurt him since he has already been exposed to infection? I don't want to move him to my other (healthy) toad tank, obviously, because he may be carrying the infection even though his eyes are still clear. I'm not sure how to dose with this medicine for toads. I used it once for my fish, but the instructions in the package were for fish.

    I'm not sure what to do. I haven't given up on trying your treatment advice. I'm heading out of town this weekend for a day, so I'll try other vets, but if I strike out, I'd like to at least try something over the counter. I'd just need some guidance on dosage and methods.

    Thanks, Kay, and I have my fingers crossed for you. I'm frustrated with my vet, but if it isn't a cat or dog, it's a waste of time with him. It's a helpless feeling watching my two toads lose their sight.

    Diane

  9. #8
    FBTmom
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Hi Kay,

    Any more improvement with your toad?

  10. #9
    KayIS
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Diane,

    THe specialist from the zoo told me the eye cloudiness is likely lipid keratopathy, which is essentially a harmless cholesterol deposit in the eye. This is largely caused by a single insect diet - and crickets are a big culprit. He recommended feeding all my toads wild bugs - except fireflies and not ants (which he said they don't like eating). Highly recommended were maggots, small worms, wingless flies, and beetles. Lots of beetles. So my daughter is out bug catching. THe deposits may or may not resolve with the new diet, but they shouldn't increase. He will have a confirmation of his diagnosis on Thursday - he took a scraping of the toad's eye and was looking at it with the microscope.

    Sometimes cloudiness is bacterial - so he did say the Baytril was a good idea, but he also said just one drop in the eye was sufficient. I am to stop treatment if I see no further improvement. I do notice both eyes are much clearer, and the toad's activity level has picked up - he seems much more like his old friendly self. I was warned gentamicin sulfate is known to cause neurological damage if overdosed, so he didn't recommend using that at all. He was neutral on the maracyn 2.

    My toad is also spinning, and the vet was far more concerned about this - he suspects lungworms, or irido virus, so I went home with 2 different treatments: levamisole (184mg/0.5L water bath) and metronidazole (250 mg/1L water bath) to treat the toad by soaking for 24 hours each. If the spinning stops, I am to then treat everybody else in the other tank, and to sterilize everything down again. This is commonly spread through infected feces, so keeping things scrupulously clean is essential as well as reducing the bioload by having a larger tank or more filters or changing water more often, etc. You have a pretty big tank, so I would think that maybe more water changes or a second filter would be good. Getting out any leftover dead bugs and removing waste is very important. Metronidazole you might recognize as flagyl, and I believe that can be bought otc. The other one I am not so sure. Both are in pill form. Levamisole is well tolerated by frogs, so the vet said not to be afraid of this.

    Have your toads improved?

    K

  11. #10
    KayIS
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Whoa! beware the levamisole! Despite his assurance that this was well tolerated, my toad was only in there for 1.5 hours before I whipped him out and rinsed him because he looked dead and unresponsive. He revived with some rinsing, and he is now sitting and looking normal in a bath of 3ml salt to 1 gallon of water. Will be speaking to the specialist tomorrow!

    I think I also had a near death experience this afternoon....

    Kay

  12. #11
    KayIS
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Correction: levamisole for 4 hours max, not 24 hours!!!! The vet said that 1.5 hours was enough, if I didn't see an improvement, it was because it wasn't the right parasitic treatment. We have started the metronidazole. Toad has already sat in it for 24 hours, no change, still spinning, but at least it didn't kill him. I watched him like a hawk - he sat on my desk with me, on the counter as I cooked, etc. We have to do this at least one more time before giving up on this treatment and starting somethign else. that won't be until the first week of June.

    Meanwhile, vet confirmed my toad has cholesterol deposits in his eye, and said that sometimes they can improve, but usually this was a permanent situation. Treatment involves scraping the deposits off the eye, but he is reluctant to do this until the neurological problem is fixed. I must say, the cloudy eye is better - the opaque area has shrunk considerably, and he can most definitely see again out of that eye. In fact, he seems remarkably improved in his energy. He looks really happy these days, eating maggots and other disgusting larvae - you can almost see him smiling in there after he gulps a slug. He sure looks happy lately. I wish I could just let him loose in the lettuce, where he could slug hunt all afternoon.

    Have a great weekend.

    K

  13. #12
    FBTmom
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Hi Kay,

    What a scary experience for you! That would have been horrible. You are so fortunate, though, to have professionals right there to help you out. I'm 5 hours away from Vancouver Aquarium (2 of those hrs. by ferry). I never did get anywhere with my vet. But then, this is a vet that decided several years ago that he only wanted to treat dogs and cats from now on. No large animals anymore. So for a community with lots of horses, cows, sheep, pigs, etc, it's pretty scary at times. It can take hours to get a vet here by ferry. Or charter a plane for one in an emergency. $$$

    Anyway, on to an update on my toads. I started doing daily water changes on their tank, wondering if it could be something in the water, or too much conditioner, or something got into their bucket of water that I keep under their tank for top-ups. I was desparate. Anyway, damned if it didn't clear their eyes up! The one toad, she had a white eye when we rescued here from my son's classroom 3 years ago. That one eye is still white, but I think it's permanent damage from neglect before we got her. But her other eye is clear, and she is no longer spinning. I'm wondering if she was spinning because she was going blind and was confused? She no longer hides and is up front and center, hopping all over the place and watching all that's going on. My son says she gets her cricket on the first try now, too. The other toad with one cloudy eye is now clear, too. I don't have any other explanation, but I'm sure grateful since our pet store didn't even have methelene blue! I had nothing to try to treat with. I have my fingers tightly crossed that it is gone, and doesn't return. If it does, and it is some infection, then I'm hooped.

    With all my research, though, I did do a big change on how I feed and care for my crickets. I used to just give them gel and crushed cat food. But all the reading I did proved to me that crushed pet food is not good because it's so high in fat. It can cause eye problems, plus lots more deadly health problems, in toads and other critters. I now feel my crickets fish flakes, gel quencher, fresh greens each day, peeled carrots, and other veggies. And since I buy my crickets in bunches of 50 or so, I now keep them in a screened container for air circulation. I found out that cricket keepers, with only the tops vented, doesn't let enough air circulation in, and so crickets die if you have too many in there and they aren't used up in a few days. The poisonous gasses emitted by dead crickets (that's that icky smell) poisons the other crickets. Now I rarely have dead crickets, they don't smell, and if one does die, I remove it right away so it doesn't poison the rest. So maybe unhealthy crickets were part of the problem? I just don't know.

    Keep us posted on how your toads are doing, Kay. I'm very curious on how this treatment goes.
    I've got some not-so-great pics of my toads with cloudy eyes. I'm going to try to get some new pics of their clear eyes and post them on here. I have trouble getting clear close ups of these guys, but if I can you'll be able see the difference.

    Good luck!
    Diane

  14. #13
    KayIS
    Guest

    Default Re: One cloudy eye-then 3 yrs later the other eye goes cloudy

    Diane - I'm glad to hear about your toads improving. It is possible to reverse cloudy eye (if it is a cholesterol deposit) if you catch it early.

    Having unhealthy crickets could be a problem -dirty container means they usually it just die faster in the cricket keeper. It's more a problem if the crickets are nutritionally deficient. We added a vitamin and calcium powder, but that hasn't helped us at all.

    Sometimes cloudy eye is bacterial in nature, which is why I think my toad's eye cleared up somewhat too and that is probaby why yours cleared up as well. Keeping the tank really clean is important. I've had all the water tested, I am pretty sure my problem is not water or dirty tank. I am getting a bigger tank next month (35 gallon) so that each toad presumably has 7 gallons of personal space. I will be adding a second charcoal/ammo chip filter to this tank to increase water circulation and cleaning. Already, we do partial water changes every few days anyway and a full scrub down weekly.

    We are still doing the flagyl, and it is hard to tell if he is improving. He is still spinning, but not as much, which is supposed to be a sign of improvement. It is hard to gauge - if he spins 10 times a day, then only spinning 5 times is an improvement. But who watches a toad all day long? The treatments continue for the rest of the week. Then it's off to the vet next week for more help. My local vet tells me that every vet is trained in exotics, just many hate treating them because unless you see a lot of them, most of the time you dont' feel competent to treat, and a lot of things don't help - the animal dies, and the vet gets a black eye for it. THis one specialist we see is only one of two in my region (the other one also works at the zoo). I can see your dilemma - too bad you don't have a doctor friend who could prescribe stuff for you. I have known several doctors who would write prescriptions for medication for their own dogs and cats, it's all the same stuff people use, you just have to do some research on dosage.

    At least, my toad is seeing well enough that his aim is god again, and he seems a lot happier these days, back to climbing and escaping. I am more interested in finding the cause of this because we have 4 more toads, and if this is parasitical, they all have it and are just not showing symptoms yet. I think I will buy that microscope and look at the poop samples on my own - it has been years since I used one, but you don't really forget how to do that stuff! Here is a good learning opportunity for my daughter - to learn how to prep slides and view microorganisms through a microscope.

    K

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