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Thread: FBT (Bombina sp.) Spinning neurological illness (circling, turning, swimming in circles)

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    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    [United Kingdom]
    Great Britain

    Default FBT (Bombina sp.) Spinning neurological illness (circling, turning, swimming in circles)

    Compulsive spinning behaviour in fire bellied toads.

    Since two of my three fire bellied toads are suffering from peculiar circling behaviour, I have trawelled this section of Frog Forum for information on this condition. I have found that through the years a number of people have reported this condition in their own sick toads and with while one does contain some information, most went without a helpful response. To try and get a better hope of resolving this in my own and future cases, I will put links to all those threads that mentioned compulsive, apparently neurological spinning behaviour in their sick toads in a thread of its own, here.

    They are all grim tales and I can attest that watching your animals behave in this way, which is just like the obsessive tail-chasing of some dogs, is very troubling. For everyone's sake I'd welcome any information anyone might have on these symptoms, perhaps especially from people who have experience in the keeping of related amphibians (I've only every kept B. orientalis) or who might have had advice from specialist frog veterinarians or herpetologists. (My present veterinary surgery's exotics speciality is tortoises) Where do we get scientific information on frog diseases? Fire-bellied toads are common pets; where's the literature?

    Most importantly anyone reading seen this condition before? What happened?

    As far as I can see, the presentation is:
    Swimming/walking in rapid circles, sometimes losing balance.
    Occasional twisting and stretching of the neck.
    A crooked posture with the head and back held at an asymmetric angle. Some threads gave pictures that illustrate this well.
    Usually there are other conditions associated, sometimes not. (As apparent in one of mine.) Some similarities and associated conditions include, but only sometimes:
    An infected or cloudy eye, poor vision
    Imbalance when floating in the water
    Impaired ability to lunge at food accurately
    Reluctance to try to eat, but apparently unreduced appetite when hand fed.
    Bloat - soft swelling of the abdomen without apparent hardness.
    Some threads mention that their frogs are several years old, others make plain the animals are quite young or newly bought.

    Here are those threads, stretching back 10 years.




    [Treatment mentioned]

    [Excellent photos illustrating the crooked posture issue.]


    I will update this when I know more. I'm currently treating this and other conditions with a daily oral (force-fed) dose of diuretic frusol solution and metronidazole suspension, as prescribed by the vet. He says it might be a secondary symptom of the probable eye infection and/bloat presently afflicting my 15+ years-old FBT. That's on this thread:

    Thanks for reading.

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