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Thread: WTF won't eat

  1. #1
    Newbie awesomefilca's Avatar
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    Unhappy WTF won't eat

    I just got my White's tree frog Whitley about 3 weeks ago and he hasn't eaten. About 3-5 days later he shed, but that's about it. a few days later when we put Dubia Roaches and some worms (nightcrawlers) in his tank we observed him lunging at a worm, only to miss and give up. The same worm started crawling on him. while we can't say for certain if he's eaten the roaches, the worms have died since. we have tried hand feeding him every few days, but he shys away from the food. at this point we've also tried feeding him meal worms. our next try is to get more dubias and some wax worms. any advice before then? if he doesn't take the wax worms we'll be taking him to the vet.

    please help, he's my first frog ever and I'm terrified of losing him.

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    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    Hello! I'm sorry to hear Whitley is having some trouble. The fact that he tried to eat a worm is very good and it hopefully means he isn't ill, just clumsy. Is he a pretty young frog? Sometimes they have difficulty catching things and seemingly give up after a few unsuccessful tries. Before you take him to the vet, try some of these things:

    1. Feeding with bamboo tongs. I know you said you tried hand feeding already, so this might not be the best alternative option, but you can always give it a try. Some frogs happily eat off of tongs, others do not.
    2. Getting a shallow glass bowl to put dubia/wax worms in inside of the tank. It will help contain them and he should be able to find it by the movement.
    3. Remove him from the tank and try feeding him in a different container altogether. Sometimes getting rid of obstacles within the tank is all they need.

    If none of these work out, then maybe a vet visit would be a good idea. Do you have a picture of Whitley? If there are any physical signs of illness, some of us on the forum may be able to spot them for you. Also check under his belly to make sure his legs are good, pale color; septicemia may only show as redness on the legs and the frog otherwise looks okay, so it's good to check.

    If you like, you can also fill out the form here if you want to give us more thorough information.

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    Newbie awesomefilca's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    He is young, he is only 2.5-3 inches big. my girlfriend tried feeding him with tongs last night and he was more receptive but still didn't eat (she only has reptiles so she's a stickler on this). the last few times we have tried feeding him we took him out and but him on a towel, with mixed results because he wants to explore the apartment.

    trying to get a picture of him is difficult because he's always either hiding or moving around, and his favorite hiding spot is to dig into the ground. a lot of his picture are him covered in his substrate.
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  5. #4
    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    Hm, if you try to feed him outside his tank again, I would try maybe a bucket or a plastic storage container, like something made by Sterilite. From my experiences with my own frogs, they aren't fond of being on towels, especially dry ones, so it could be a distracting texture.

    Where did you buy your frog? Do you know the conditions he was in prior to this? Was he receiving calcium and multivitamin supplementation on his food?

    If you could, try to get a clear picture of his face. His jaw looks off to me...does it look like he has an underbite? Or compared to pictures of other frogs, does it look different from normal?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions, just trying to help you get to the bottom of this. From what I see, especially in the bottom right picture, it looks like there's something off with the lower jaw. I don't want to alarm you, but sometimes the inability to eat coupled with deformation indicates Metabolic Bone Disease.

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    Newbie awesomefilca's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    oh man is he drinking a lot of water, his water dish is empty almost everyday. just took him out to get these photos

    no that I look at him, his jaw does look different on one side

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    Newbie awesomefilca's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    I got him from a locally owned petstore. they have higher prices but don't treat their animals as badly as petco or petsmart. he was their last one from his batch too. they commented that he doesn't projectile pee like his siblings did.

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    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    Yeah, the left side of his face looks odd. It could be an old injury or, as I mentioned, sometimes MBD is responsible. He otherwise looks plump and healthy.

    If it were me, I would try to get him a vet appointment not only to address him not eating, but to get the side of his face looked at. They'll be able to check his bone density and look at his face/into his mouth to be sure it isn't what's affecting his ability to eat.

    Lol, projectile peeing is often a fear response or a general "I don't like what is happening right now". One of my WTFs would sometimes do it when applying medication she didn't like.

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    Newbie awesomefilca's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    yeah, he did it on the carride home and when he saw my dad. both are terrifying to a frog.

    I'll get an appointment set up tomorrow, since it's sunday. today I'm going to the petstore we got him from and asking for advice

  10. #9
    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    That's a great idea. I'd especially ask when he last ate with them and when he was last supplemented with calcium (and if it was with or without vitamin D3 and if he had UVB lighting).

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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    A vet would be the best option if he just won't eat over time. Not eating is one of the only symptoms of illness in these frogs. Also it's a good idea if you suspect MBD.

  12. #11
    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    You may want to consider a quarantine tank for a bit. A ten gallon tank with moist unbleached paper towel substrate,a few branches and a large water bowl. Drape a dark cloth over part of the enclosure. Offer crickets in a deli cup or black soldier fly larvae. This way you can easily monitor what was eaten. Dubia roaches often don’t move enough to provoke a feeding response. Feed at night with the lights off and check the next day to see if any were eaten. Try this for a few nights and monitor your frog. It has decent body mass so I wouldn’t panic. Good luck

  13. #12
    Newbie awesomefilca's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    He has eaten! I put 4 roaches and a wax worm in a small dish they can't get out of. he instantly went to it and in ten minutes ate some bugs! thank you guys

  14. #13
    100+ Post Member Bynny Ribbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: WTF won't eat

    That's fantastic! I'm glad you found a good eating method for Whitley.

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