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Thread: My Pacman Frog just died, what did I do wrong?

  1. #1

    Default My Pacman Frog just died, what did I do wrong?

    Hey guys,

    Just spent the past 30 minutes crying about my pacman frog. I believe he past away this afternoon while I was at work.

    I took two pictures of him. As you can see I fed him well and always made sure he had food to eat.

    I did notice last night he was bleeding in his back right leg, he was also cocooning himself recently because I haven't changed and his substrate in a month. However, I did change it just this last Sunday.

    I noticed when I squirted some water in his water bowl he gave out a squeal last night and this morning.

    I feel absolutely distraught. I had him for about 9 months and got him when we was a baby. I was really attached him.

    I'm going to call the vet tomorrow to see if I can find out what happen but I know a lot of vets don't see frogs.

    Anyhow, attached should be a top and bottom picture of 'pacman'.

    Please let me know if you have any insights on what might have happened.

    I won't be getting another one anytime soon.

    Thank you,

    Attached Images Attached Images   

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    [United States]
    Orange county

    Default Re: My Pacman Frog just died, what did I do wrong?

    First few things I am noticing, and also fill out the information from the “trouble in the enclosure thread”:

    your frog looks very thin in the body for a Pacman.
    the substrate appears to be quite dry, it should be rehydrated regularly between changes
    There appear to be lumps in his sides, could just be noticeable because of thinness or could be impactions.
    i see stringy moss in there, high impaction risk.

    if he had gone into estevation because it was too dry, that could speak to a whole list of possible issues. Depending on food consumption at the time, he could have undigested food or poop still in his gi tract which could cause problems. Estevation in the wild occurs as a seasonal thing, if not brought out of it properly, it could be detrimental, it’s a taxing process on the frog, so if he didn’t have a lot of hydration and food for a significant portion of time afterwards, his reserves could have been depleted and just couldn’t handle any stress.

    and there is always the possibility that he caught an infection, had parasites, a neurological disorder or a host of other things.

  4. This member thanks Thevacantface for this post:

  5. #3

    Default Re: My Pacman Frog just died, what did I do wrong?

    Good Morning,

    Thank you for replying.

    Per trouble in enclosure thread:
    1. Size of Enclosure - 10 gallon tank
    2. # of inhabitants - 1 pacman
    3. Humidity - I didn't have a hygrometer.
    4. Temp - 75-83F during the day, 69-73F during the night.
    5. Water - Regular tap water with a spoon of reptisafe for dechlorination
    6. Material for substrate - Eco Earth coco-fiber
    7. Enclosure set up - 1 water bowl (you see from the pics), 1 log to hide under, and some sphagnum moss which is what you see as well.
    8. Main food source - live Crickets, occasionally live superworms.
    9. Vitamins - sprinkled reptisafe vitamin d3 on crickets every time he is fed.
    10. Lighting - 60 watt zoo med daylight blue bulb.
    11. Used to maintain temperature? - The the 60 watt bulb and there is a heat pad underneath the terrarium.
    12. Last time frog ate - Either a week or 2 weeks ago.
    13. Has the frog pooped lately - Unfortunately no
    14. pictures - pics are in the original thread. I can include the whole terrarium if need be.
    15. Recent changes were he was in estivation and cocooned himself. I sprayed water on him however he wasn't eating because he was in his cocooned shell even though I tried to put superworms in front of him and crickets in the tank.
    Pacman also looked like he had an open would on his back right leg. However the picture doesn't show it.
    16. How old is the frog? - I honestly don't know how old he was, I got him when he was around the size of a quarter. However I had him for 9 months.
    17. How long did you own him - 9 months.
    18. Wild or captive bread? - I got him at petsmart, I assume captive bread.
    19. Frog food - Food only consisted of vitamin live crickets and superworms.
    20. How often is the frog handled - Frog is only handled when changing terrarium out once a month.
    21. Enclosure kept in high or low traffic area - low traffic area.
    22. Enclosure maintenance - Once a month or sometimes every 4-5 weeks I completely change out eco earth substrate and put him fresh sphagnum moss.
    I fill the water bowl with tap water + spoon full of reptisafe dechlorinator.

    Note: he definitely used to be a lot bigger than he is shown in the pictures, I am also coming to the conclusion he may have not eaten in a week or two since he started cocooning himself two weeks ago.
    I hope this information helps. I guess maybe try to change out the substrate more often when he is cocooning and maybe force feed him if he isn't eating.

    I honestly think too he may have had some bacterial infection or red leg syndrome. I still haven't had time to call the vet today but I will do so around noon.
    However, I feel this site may provide more answers anyway,

    Thank you all for the help.


  6. #4

    Default Re: My Pacman Frog just died, what did I do wrong?

    I agree with the first post, it looks like he may have been impacted which could be why he lost so much weight and has not been eating or pooping. Superworms have a very hard exoskeleton that can cause impaction and shouldn't really be given to Pacman frogs. If you look at the second picture you can see on the frogs left side a large lump which is a classic sign of being impacted, if you feel the frog you can feel a hard lump there. If you do decide to get another frog I would definitely suggest NOT buying form a pet shop like Petsmart because often times the frogs are sick or have some sort of underlying condition. Go with a reputable breeder, there are all sorts of them out there and I would suggest doing some research before purchasing from one. Some tips on your enclosure would be first buy a hygrometer and make sure the humidity is between 70-85% at all times. Your frog probably went into estivation because the humidity was too low. If you're not able to mist the tank enough to keep the humidity up you can buy a fogger or mister and set that up to keep it humid. Your temps look okay, but I would suggest trying to keep them a little more stable, around 83 F would be perfect for during the day, and 75 is perfect for night. It is possible that the frog could have gotten an infection if the tank was not clean enough, honestly I have had several Pacman frogs die on me for totally unknown reasons. I spent so much money on my enclosure to make sure the temps and humidity were perfect, fed them dusted crickets, cleaned the tank religiously, and they still died. I love Pacman frogs but I really think they're very difficult pets to keep. I have had much more luck with my fire bellied toads, I've had them for 5 years and only just recently had one die for an unknown reason.

  7. #5

    Default Re: My Pacman Frog just died, what did I do wrong?

    Good evening Hill,

    Thank you very much for your response as well as thevacantface response.

    I very much appreciate the feedback and recommendations. Looking at both of your responses, I think pacman likely had either an impaction or some disease while he was in estivation and just didn't make it from that.

    Unfortunately, I should have been more pro-active in checking if he was impacted however times before he hasn't eating for a week and was fine. Especially since he was in estivation anyway in which amphibians don't eat that much.

    Speaking of estivation, do most pacman pet owners let their frogs go into estivation? And if so, how do you properly care for a pacman frog while he is in estivation? I never had any guidance on that. I was just continuing to spray him with water and hoping he would come out and eat but obviously I was wrong. (Due to being a first time frog owner).

    I've also been wondering if I should have had a separate container/tank for him to eat or either bathe in.

    Anyway, I think I'm going to take your suggestion hill and probably get a fire belly toad next. Even though I don't plan on getting one a year from now I'll keep you updated.

    Toads seems to be a little bit more durable than ceratophrys (pacmans, budgett frogs, etc...) just by going over other people's stories.

    Thank you again for the feedback, much appreciated.


  8. #6

    Default Re: My Pacman Frog just died, what did I do wrong?

    I don't really think many people allow their frogs to go into estivation unless they are trying to breed them. It's very difficult to care for them while they are in estivation, which is I think why most people don't do it. Some people feed their Pacman in a separate tank, others don't because it may be too stressful transferring them back and forth and they may not eat. I tried feeding my guy in a separate tank and he just got too scared and would not touch the insects.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    [United States]
    Port Saint Lucie, FL

    Default Re: My Pacman Frog just died, what did I do wrong?

    I would like to say your juvenile frog has no reason to go into aestivation.. it was the fact that your setup dried out extensively over a short period of time. Also the moss most likely was eaten while the frog ate. The carpet-like moss isn't loose. I would suggest that over sphagnum moss. I have purposely let one of my Cranwelli frogs go into the deep sleep with no problems. That frog was an adult not a baby.. moss made your frog impacted in my opinion.

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