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Thread: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

  1. #1
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    Default Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    Hi all,

    New to the forum; here for advice on a sick pet.

    I have three Oriental fire-bellied toads and one is very sick. In fact I'm worried about two of them, one a lot more so. Both of these are compulsively swimming in circles and making unusual head movements - occasionally twisting just like a human with a sore neck.

    The one of most concern also does not float straight in the water and lists heavily on its side, with one eye below the surface.

    Worst of all, it's swollen up like a table tennis ball, but with very skinny limbs. Also, one eye is cloudy white with a small patch of brown discoloration just above the arch of that eye. Out of water it sits very flat and won't move unless furiously spinning around. The spinning looks very stressful and the swelling very distended and sore.

    I have fed the toad recently and have isolated it in a small tank; I don't know yet if it is defecating normally. After two nights in isolation, no defecation!

    All three toads have been living without any problems in the same environment for well over ten years. They eat young locusts pre-treated with supplements. As far as I can tell, one toad of the three shows no sign of illness, and only one has the compulsive twirling, swelling, and damaged eye at once. The eye has been cloudy for a few months and is not an urgent concern unless related to the terrible swelling and frantic tail-chasing which are both very painful looking and very hard to watch.

    The pictures show the poor thing in its isolation aquarium with regularly renewed shallow water and a rock to sit on. (It prefers to sit in the water.)

    NB: these three frogs have been with me since my teens (I'm nearing 30) and have never suffered any difficulty before; they have done just fine without special heating or lighting and, since moss and gravel have both caused problems before, I'll point out that the gravel in the aquarium is more pebble-like and cannot have been swallowed; while some ordinary living moss thrives in the tank, all toads have been individually hand fed with tweezers. I am worried its digestion is somehow blocked. The question is - what do I do about it? Is anything recommended before a visit to a vet?
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    No idea what is going on but my recommendation is taking them to a vet immediately. That sounds miserable Especially since you have always taken good care of them.



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    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    Quote Originally Posted by BossFrog View Post
    ... my recommendation is taking them to a vet immediately. That sounds miserable Especially since you have always taken good care of them.
    Thanks, I was leaning that way anyway. It certainly is miserable. I have rung round a couple of local vets trying to find one competent with amphibians and managed to get an email address for one to send off symptoms and pictures for advice - he's fully booked for the rest of today's hours. If/when he gets back to me I'll update this thread with the results. Most probably they'll want to see the patient tomorrow in any case - if I can get an appointment New Year's Eve ...

    On the plus side I've added a little honey to the water (something I read on this forum or one quite like it) and a basic desk lamp above, with the tank a mite closer the radiator for helping it to metabolize in the meantime. I will hold off on feeding it until I see something come out the other end ... I just hope it's not an impacted digestive tract! Patient's condition seems stable for now.

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    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    So after a (£60) trip to the vet the toad concerned is now on a regimen of diuretics and antibiotics. I'm to give it, orally, 0.5ml daily of both: frusol solution (50mg/5ml per ml) and metronidazole suspension (200mg/5ml per ml).

    The vet reckoned there was no hard mass inside the abdomen so it's more likely an infection and/or kidney/liver trouble. He said if the diuretic doesn't stimulate it's kidney and get the swelling down in a week or so it's probably renal failure. He also said he'd rarely seen a toad so long-lived, so its habitat and diet are probably just fine. He gave the toad the diuretic; told me to do the antibiotics myself.

    On the way home from the vet, having had its frusol diuretic, it managed its first bowel movement since being quarantined. In all likelihood, it's not the impacted colon I'd feared! I'll update this thread if the patient makes progress (or regress).

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    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    I thought I had already updated this thread; I certainly wrote out a long response before now and it seems to have vanished into the aether. Here it is again, approximately.

    After a conversation with and then appointment at the the vet on New Year's Eve, the patient is now on a daily oral dose of ½ml each of both:
    a diuretic (frusol solution - 50mg/5ml per ml), and
    antibiotics (metronidazole suspension 200mg/5ml per ml)

    The vet couldn't feel any solid masses indicative of digestive impaction, but said the swelling could be an infection or a trouble with the kidneys/liver. The diuretic should stimulate the kidneys to sort out the balance of internal fluids; no improvement after a few days might mean a more serious renal failure. The eye he reckoned is infected, so antibiotics are in order.

    On the way home from the veterinary surgery, having had the first dose of diuretic, the little thing managed its first bowel movement for some time. I will start feeding again after a couple of rounds of doses. The bad eye is already looking clearer, though the swelling has not much reduced.

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    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    Awesome to see some improvement!! Going to the vet was the right decision. Fingers are crossed that this toad will make a full recovery.



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    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    Quote Originally Posted by BossFrog View Post
    Awesome to see some improvement!! Going to the vet was the right decision. Fingers are crossed that this toad will make a full recovery.
    Thanks for your concern, and yes, I hope there is good improvement. Alas I think a full recovery is a little unlikely. I've had these three toads since 2005 and I think they'll never be their younger selves again, but I just hope they can live out their days pain free and able to swim.

    Hopefully, the struggle to force open the creature's mouth to syringe these two drugs down the frog's throat every day for a week will be less stressful overall than the swelling and blindness it's been living with, but I'm not sure yet.

    Unfortunately, while the eye is looking better after three days, (a little less cloudy, but still non-functional AFAIK) the swelling hasn't yet gone down at all, and the toad took some persuading to eat the small, recently moulted locust offered. It still turns in circles when it gets the chance.

    I'm leaving as much detail on this thread as possible so anyone with a similar predicament can make their own choices, if for whatever reason a veterinary surgeon's advice is out of reach.

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    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    Update: after seven days' treatment with metronidazole and frusol daily, there's no improvement. Eye is still cloudy, frog still swollen up, still swimming in circles (maybe a little less). There's still three more days of frusol treatment to go, but my hope for a recovery is fading. The one mercy is that toad's condition has not worsened significantly, but I wonder whether all that stress has been for naught. I will return to the vet soon but I doubt much good news will come of it. I suppose we can now rule out certain bacteria and protozoa as culprits, since they should have been cleared out by the metronidazole, but other infections might be to blame.

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    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    Poor thing, I’m so sorry... you’ve been doing all you can.



  12. #10

    Default Re: Sick and swollen Oriental fire bellied toad

    I’m sorry, I hope they make a recovery!

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