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Thread: Possibly Dead White's Tree Frog?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    [United States]
    United States

    Exclamation Possibly Dead White's Tree Frog?

    Hello everyone, I am a new user with a White's Tree Frog I have had since December 2008, so nearly 9 years. Let me start by saying I apologize if this post violates any forum rules or guidelines, or perhaps is posted in the wrong subforum, I read everything thoroughly but quickly. I know some forums require an introduction post, but I didn't see any requirements for it, and I'd rather save a bit of time right now...

    Today I just got home from a 3-day trip to find my little WTF, named "Hoppy" (yes, I know), motionless in the corner of his tank, dry, with purplish-brown skin and green patches, black eyes and closed eyelids. I suspect he is dead or dying, but before I put the nail in the coffin I thought I'd better consult the internets. I left him in the good care of my sister, who knows how to properly care for him and has done so before (and did so this time), and speaking of traveling we have taken him in his normal tank, in the back of a (running at all times) car on countless trips throughout the years, but this time I decided to leave him home.

    I have spent the last 2 hours monitoring him, watering him, and panic-searching Google for information. I've even gone so far as to search for pictures of dead WTF's to see if it's similar and I don't see more than 1-2 similarities on a few. I have skimmed each type of illness, symptom, and death cause and I have only pieced a few similarities together. There have been no recent changes in his feeding regimen, temperature, terrarium decor, etc that I can think of, other than cleaning nearly 2 weeks ago (no cleaners used ever, washed with warm sink water and paper towels, haven't changed that method the entire time either), and some minor changes in decor nearly a year ago (threw out old tree and backdrop, replaced with behind-tank graphic and new fake tree, no signs of stress when that happened), and before that 5 years ago I replaced his electric waterfall with a standard bowl.

    Alright, the info you've all been waiting for (wall of text incoming):

    -He was bought from a pet store (yes, I know, the folly of a new frog owner), and so was his tank and decor
    -Tank size ~1ft(W) x 1ft (L) x 1.75ft (H), rough estimates and I don't remember gallon size, Exo Terra make with Exo Terra top-mounted box light and bottom heat pad. No thermometer or humidity measure (yes, I know now)
    -Store-bought generic decor, Eco Earth brand coconut false dirt hydratable brick-type, covering the entire floor of the tank about 1/2inch thick. Have tried false moss, large coconut shavings in the past, but have been using straight eco earth for several years
    -Repti-Safe water treatment, in correct doses with sink water. Fill water bowl completely every night, dump residual Eco Earth from him bathing
    -Fed crickets (undusted, PetSmart large size) his entire life. Feeding regimen has changed over the years, started with 2 per night when he was tiny, went down to 1 every other night when he grew fat, and down to 1 per night now, has shown no signs of bloating, and I usually see him get them. There have been times in the past that he has gone 1-2 days without feeding, which is rectified by 2 crickets, but this has happened multiple times in the past and hasn't happened in nearly a month
    -Handling has been non-existent in 4 years, but I used to get him out weekly for 5-10 minutes, until he started spraying me and trying to escape.
    -Sometimes he croaks at night, at random intervals, several times a night. The croak is the same type he uses when he is scared when handling, but I have documented and monitored every single time in the past few years, will provide full list if necessary
    -Has never had any signs of illnesses in the past, but he has had 1-2 fungal growths in his tank before that were quickly disposed of.
    -Recent behavior has not changed, other than the occasional activity during the day.
    -Has been around other pets (1 bird for his entire life, with another in the past 3 years, with 1 new dog in the last 2 months), has been in the same room with them before including the louder bird for several months, but has since been in my room upstairs for the past 5 years. He used to sleep a lot during the day and curled up into a ball with his eyes all the way inside his head when the bird screamed, but I haven't seen him do this since moving him to another room.
    -Average temperature upstairs is between 70 and 80, some natural light but mostly the same tank-mounted light for his entire life, which has only burned out 3 bulbs and has never been replaced.
    -Light source is mainly the tank-mounted light, which has never been replaced, and has had the bulb replaced (no bulb brand/model changes) 3 times. Some natural light through blinds. Light turned off at night and on in the morning, depending when I wake up.
    -Tank cleaned every 2-3 months.
    -Since supposed death I have moved him from his corner to inside his water bowl, with his face rested above water. I washed my hands with 20 applications of anti-bac soap after touching and didn't touch anything else before washing. I hope this is adequate.
    -Since supposed death his skin color has varied on its own, with brown and green temperatures and a purplish hue, with no change in ambient temperatures. I have literally watched the colors change in minutes, and it doesn't follow the usual color patterns. Normal color patterns include dark brown and light green, warm = green, cool = brown, with fading starting at the hind legs and forelegs, moving towards the center of his body. After death, they are patches of different colors, with the legs being green the entire time.
    -When I moved him his limbs resisted movement, and after movement they snapped back into place. Only difference in feel is cold temperature and slightly dry skin.
    -Initially after finding him in his current state, I poured water on him several times to be met with fluid head and forearm movements and partial opening of his transparent eyelid, which has ceased since moving him. However does not seem to be breathing.
    -I can provide before and after pictures once I figure out how to use this forum, but for now anyone is welcome to message me on Reddit (/u/sir_froggy) or email me ( that I know how to send pictures on.

    I have heard stories of people resuscitating dehydrated or deficient frogs that looked dead before, which is why I'm insistent on not pulling the plug. That, and this little guy has been through some important moments in my life, which is why I'm hesitant to let go yet. I've also read that they live between 10 and 21 years, and I don't know if that means I got lucky with a store-bought or got unlucky with one in general. I likely won't sleep tonight so I can monitor him. Let me know if you have more questions or suggestions.

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