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Thread: New here...with sick green tree frog

  1. #1

    Default New here...with sick green tree frog

    I'm new here, searching for answers for my son, whose green tree frog has gotten extremely thin and stopped eating. It doesn't even look at crickets crawling right past! Its color had also changed from bright green to a brownish-green. The frog does not have any reddish coloration at all.

    We noticed this a couple of days ago, and my son suggested we force-feed the frog. We managed to get 2 crickets in and within a few hours, the frog seemed more alert and yesterday it seemed much better. The bright color had started to return, and it was jumping, etc.

    Tonight we saw that it was lethargic again and seemed to have gotten even thinner. We force-fed 2 more crickets, both dusted with calcium. As we were getting the crickets from the terrarium I noticed a couple of tiny, pinhead-sized bugs crawling in the soil. Not sure what these were, I suggested that we quarantine the frog. We put him in a small lidded container (with air holes) with plenty of water for the night. We're planning to completely empty out the terrarium, clean everything and put in new substrate, etc. No easy task with a 50 gallon tank with 1-2 inches of substrate & moss, etc.

    Any suggestions as to what the problem might be?

    Any ideas what those little bugs are?

    For future reference, how often should he be completely emptying & cleaning out the terrarium? It's quite large and the green tree frog is the only inhabitant aside from the couple of crickets that he puts in every few days. We use the coconut fiber substrate with a little bit of eco moss over part of the surface. He has lots of plants, both real and fake, all purchased from the pet store.

    We have had the frog for almost a year, puchased from a local (non-chain) pet store.

    Thanks for any help!

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  3. #2
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: New here...with sick green tree frog

    The tiny bugs sound like mites. Remember that most mites are not parasitic species. They feed on detritus in terrarium soil. I doubt anyone has a terrarium that is free of them. So those I wouldn't worry about. In a well planted (live plants) terrarium, with decent micro fauna (spring tails, etc), you almost never have to change the terrarium soil. For substrate that is just there as substrate, it really depends on depth and the number of animals that are dropping faeces into it, but a safe routine would be to replace at most every 1-2 months.

    It sounds to me like your tree frog is suffering from a bacterial septicemic infection, brought on by a stress factor that I can only guess at since you haven't given us any info on temperature, humidity or terrarium conditions. At this point the frog's only hope is a trip to the vet. I don't believe you can save him on your own.
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  4. #3
    Paul Rust

    Default Re: New here...with sick green tree frog

    I agree with John. Sounds like a verbatim description of a bacterial infection. For future reference, you can treat with BAYTRIL. Put 8 drops in 125ml lepid water. Put a lid on the dish and make sure the frogs’ head stays above the water. Duration: 15 min. each day for 6 days. You have to get a prescription for Baytril so take it to the vet and have it diagnosed. Good luck.

  5. #4

    Default Re: New here...with sick green tree frog

    Thank you for the replies. The temperature in the terrarium is around 80 degrees when the light is on, and the humidity is usually around 70%.

    We have quarantined Kermit to a temporary container with new substrate and water. He looks much better right now. Earlier today, his body looked a bit weird - almost an hour-glass shape, with his backend almost as large as his head but the middle still pencil thin - and I was a bit worried that he wasn't digesting the crickets we force-fed him. His shape looks normal now, but still pretty thin. He has spent the last hour with three crickets crawling all around (and even on) him and he doesn't even look at them. I'm going to take them out - we know he ate 2 yesterday and 2 on Wednesday.

    I will have to try to find someone to take the frog to for treatment. I really hope that it is an infection that can be treated! I've been reading about some scary stuff (red leg, metabolic bone disease, etc.) and it all sounds bad. My son will be heart-broken if we can't get it figured out!

    Thanks again.

  6. #5

    Default Re: New here...with sick green tree frog

    Sadly, I just discovered Kermit has died in the quarantine container.

    My son has been away for a couple of hours and is due home any minute. 30 seconds ago, the frog was moving around in the little bowl of water. Then I walked back in the room to put away some things and noticed a white blob on the soil. It was Kermit, stretched out on his back. I turned him over, but there is no movement at all.

    It will not be a happy night in this house tonight.

    Thank you again for the responses - I guess we will never know what was wrong. I'm assuming that we'll eventually have some amphibian creature again, but we will proceed with completely sterilizing the terrarium and starting over again.

  7. #6

    Default Re: New here...with sick green tree frog

    Good luck. I might suggest that the little bugs could also be pin-head crickets. Did the frog have good ventilation? Treefrogs need good ventilation to live.

  8. #7

    Unhappy Re: New here...with sick green tree frog

    The exact same thing just happened to one of my son's frogs....exactly the same symptoms and died one week later. I did take the frog to the vet and she really did not do anything other than hydrate it and gave me food to feed it with a dropper. She gave me advice about the temperature, the diet, etc. but I don't think that was the problem. (and that was after spending $200) so even though she was an exotic pet's not like she was an expert in "frogs"

  9. #8
    Paul Rust

    Default Re: New here...with sick green tree frog

    Sorry to hear this from 2 people. Sad to say, not many vets are experienced in frogs. When I first started it was abundantly clear that I was on my own, things have not changed much. Attached is a basic guide to help diagnose amphibian diseases and how to treat them. Good luck in the future.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  10. #9

    Default Re: New here...with sick green tree frog

    Thanks for the document NW, saved to read it later. Have to agree that even exotic vets confuse reptile and amphibian care, was thankful for the antibiotics I got from the visit to the vet but dumped the advice which was incorrect. The same holds true for websites, if you research online for even basic tree frog care you'll come up with five different do's and dont's and of course every one of them is an expert of +20 years or so.

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