Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Need some help - Sick Western Toads

  1. #1

    Default Need some help - Sick Western Toads

    Hello everyone! I have two California toads that I raised from tadpoles last spring and I've been noticing some pretty serious problems that have ramped up in the past week. First of all, I want to put it out there that this is entirely my fault and I was misinformed, I had not been taking the proper care I should have.

    Symptoms:
    The toads are unable to grab food when striking, and show inaccuracy at times. Sometimes after striking at a food item, they will sort of "freeze-up" with their back legs stuck out (they sometimes do this in other situations as well). After and during this they breathe heavily and sometimes even make a clicking noise. Occasionally they will show some difficulty in movement, but other times they will appear to walk around normally. They are becoming increasingly less active and staying within their hides as of late. After attempting to capture prey a few times, they will completely give up. Look a bit bloated at times. Haven't seen them visit their water bowl lately. Haven't seen a shed recently, but rarely do. On two circumstances in the past 2 days I have seen a small white thing floating on top of their water, I'm unsure as to what it could be (maybe just some multivitamin dust?).

    What I've been doing:
    I noticed that one of the toads was experiencing some difficulty in eating earlier on but thought nothing of it at the time, I just assumed he was missing his attempts. I recently cleaned out their entire tank after noticing the issue in both toads. Both then seemed to get worse more quickly as the week progressed (the other toad was completely fine before this past week and a half or so). I was feeding them primarily meal worms without supplements (I didn't even think about it, and I have a feeling that this is what caused it). The mealworms were getting expensive and hard to find in small enough sizes so I decided to begin keeping a small colony. The colony ended up getting an infestation of some sort of mites and I am currently not feeding with them. Before they were large enough for meal worms, I fed them a diet of fruit flies, which they showed no issues with. Last weekend (Feb. 9th) I went and picked up crickets, fruit flies, Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamin, and Rep-Cal Calcium w/ D3. I attempted to feed the toads crickets with multivitamin, but they could not catch them (I found another thread describing toads with similar symptoms that recommended feeding with vitamins for 7 days, then switching off from calcium and no calcium afterwards. That thread lead me to believe that this could be a case of Short Tongue Syndrome). The other day , before I stopped feeding the meal worms, I was able to get them both to eat a meal worm coated in multivitamin and they seemed a bit more lively the day after. In between those two days I put some dusted fruit flies in with them so that they could snack on them if they wanted to. Today I took both of them out of their hides and placed them into their water bowl for a bath, which one stayed in for a bit, then they both went back into hiding. Additionally today, I tried to feed them crickets once again coated in multivitamin. They both wanted to eat, but only tried to catch them a few times then gave up. They are housed in a 20 gal high with eco earth/coconut fiber as the substrate.

    What might be happening:
    I believe that it may be a case of Short Tongue syndrome (vitamin A deficiency), but they are showing other symptoms that might not be associated with the condition. The weather has been fluctuating a lot here in SoCal, so it could be something to do with the weather, but I find that unlikely.

    Thank you for any help in advance, and if you have any other questions about something that I may have left out don't hesitate to ask. I tried to get some videos and photos of how they moved, hunted and froze up at times but they didn't turn out too great, if anyone would like me to provide those as well I can.

    -Caden F.

  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Posts
    Many
     

  3. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Age
    50
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Need some help - Sick Western Toads

    Hi Caden! I have had the same issues with my American Toads and it is Short Tongue Syndrome/Vitamin A deficiency. What I have done, which has seemed to help, is added liquid bird vitamins, ie... Vita-Sol to their soaking/bathing water. My dish holds about 2 cups of water, so I add 3-4 drops with every water change, and I change the water every day as the vitamins will lose their potency. Although I have not received the advice from a trained professional, I did read an article online by a herpetologist who recommended adding the liquid vitamins to the water as they will be absorbed through the toad's skin. I did post this info in another thread, so if you search... you should be able to find it. I cannot think of the author's name, off the top of my head, but he said that many practices, herpetologists & zoos would use this method as common practice for this issue. I would also recommend the use of a UVB light, if you already do not have one. There are a lot of members on this forum with great advice and I'm sure some of them will give you some additional input but I can only tell you from my experience. For instance... I have two toads that were the same size when I caught them, one named Shima tends to soak more often than the other, named Speckles. Over the last two months, Shima has doubled in size and has a great appetite, looks very healthy, sheds regularly. Speckles, while he has grown, he does not soak as often and is considerably smaller and was having difficulty catching his prey until I started adding the liquid vitamins. It took a couple weeks, but I noticed that his strikes are much more successful. He also now sheds on a regular basis and appears very healthy. I also provided a small dish to hold waxworms, mealworms & other insects that cannot crawl out. It will take some time but the toads will learn that a meal can be found there. Also, make sure that you are gutloading all your feeder insects with foods or supplements that are high in vitamin A and calcium. If you haven't been using isopods, aka... Roly Polys or Pill bugs, I would recommend obtaining and using them more as a staple food, along with your dusted crickets. Isopods also help to keep the tank clean as they roam around but they cannot be kept in the feeding dish or they will die quickly as they need to absorb moisture from the substrate to live. They are high in calcium, as are roaches. So, in summary...

    1. Try adding a few drops of liquid vitamins to their soaking dish. (Vita-Sol Liquid Bird Supplement - 2 drops for each cup of water, changed daily)
    2. Use feeders that are higher in vitamin A & calcium. (Roly Polys/Isopos, roaches)
    3. Increase the variety of feeders that you are using. (As with humans, variety provides balance & absolutely GUTLOAD! If you are feeding malnourished insects to your toads, then they are not being provided good nourishment!)
    4. Continue dusting your feeder insects but start using a UVB light, if you haven't already. (It's hard to guarantee/control how much of the supplements are actually being ingested because some of the supplement gets rubbed off, & the light helps with the regulation of calcium & D3)
    5. Mites, unfortunately, are going to appear and re-appear but it shouldn't be an issue, as long as you do not allow the tank to become infested. If the numbers begin to get out of control, then change the substrate and keep it a little drier. Not entirely sure about California Toads, but American toads prefer a bit drier conditions, as long as they have water to soak in.

    Hope this helps! Good Luck & let us know what happens!

    ~Cathy

  4. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Age
    50
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Need some help - Sick Western Toads

    Caden...

    These are some good threads to read.

    Best treatment plans for MBD in Western Toads ..

    Lighting questions - This one has the info regarding the Vitamin A issue and the source article for utilizing liquid bird vitamins

    A lot of threads start off addressing one issue but lead into many other issues & topics, which is helpful but can get confusing! LOL!
    ~Cathy

    I have learned... still learning... ALWAYS LEARNING!
    Every moment is a teachable moment!
    Mistakes are not always a terrible thing, especially when you learn from them!

  5. #4

    Default Re: Need some help - Sick Western Toads

    Quote Originally Posted by ToadilyNuts4Nature View Post
    Hi Caden! I have had the same issues with my American Toads and it is Short Tongue Syndrome/Vitamin A deficiency. What I have done, which has seemed to help, is added liquid bird vitamins, ie... Vita-Sol to their soaking/bathing water. My dish holds about 2 cups of water, so I add 3-4 drops with every water change, and I change the water every day as the vitamins will lose their potency. Although I have not received the advice from a trained professional, I did read an article online by a herpetologist who recommended adding the liquid vitamins to the water as they will be absorbed through the toad's skin. I did post this info in another thread, so if you search... you should be able to find it. I cannot think of the author's name, off the top of my head, but he said that many practices, herpetologists & zoos would use this method as common practice for this issue. I would also recommend the use of a UVB light, if you already do not have one. There are a lot of members on this forum with great advice and I'm sure some of them will give you some additional input but I can only tell you from my experience. For instance... I have two toads that were the same size when I caught them, one named Shima tends to soak more often than the other, named Speckles. Over the last two months, Shima has doubled in size and has a great appetite, looks very healthy, sheds regularly. Speckles, while he has grown, he does not soak as often and is considerably smaller and was having difficulty catching his prey until I started adding the liquid vitamins. It took a couple weeks, but I noticed that his strikes are much more successful. He also now sheds on a regular basis and appears very healthy. I also provided a small dish to hold waxworms, mealworms & other insects that cannot crawl out. It will take some time but the toads will learn that a meal can be found there. Also, make sure that you are gutloading all your feeder insects with foods or supplements that are high in vitamin A and calcium. If you haven't been using isopods, aka... Roly Polys or Pill bugs, I would recommend obtaining and using them more as a staple food, along with your dusted crickets. Isopods also help to keep the tank clean as they roam around but they cannot be kept in the feeding dish or they will die quickly as they need to absorb moisture from the substrate to live. They are high in calcium, as are roaches. So, in summary...

    1. Try adding a few drops of liquid vitamins to their soaking dish. (Vita-Sol Liquid Bird Supplement - 2 drops for each cup of water, changed daily)
    2. Use feeders that are higher in vitamin A & calcium. (Roly Polys/Isopos, roaches)
    3. Increase the variety of feeders that you are using. (As with humans, variety provides balance & absolutely GUTLOAD! If you are feeding malnourished insects to your toads, then they are not being provided good nourishment!)
    4. Continue dusting your feeder insects but start using a UVB light, if you haven't already. (It's hard to guarantee/control how much of the supplements are actually being ingested because some of the supplement gets rubbed off, & the light helps with the regulation of calcium & D3)
    5. Mites, unfortunately, are going to appear and re-appear but it shouldn't be an issue, as long as you do not allow the tank to become infested. If the numbers begin to get out of control, then change the substrate and keep it a little drier. Not entirely sure about California Toads, but American toads prefer a bit drier conditions, as long as they have water to soak in.

    Hope this helps! Good Luck & let us know what happens!

    ~Cathy
    Thanks for the quick answer Cathy!
    I'll go to the store today and get some of the Vita-Sol to put into their water. I skimmed through the links you provided, thank you . Do you have a schedule for how often you supplement calcium vs multivitamins vs nothing? I'll be going on a trip this weekend so I'm going to have my mom take care of them and put the vitamins in their water. Just as an update, they do seem to be doing a bit better today.

    Thank you!

    Caden

  6. #5

    Default Re: Need some help - Sick Western Toads

    Quote Originally Posted by ToadilyNuts4Nature View Post
    Hi Caden! I have had the same issues with my American Toads and it is Short Tongue Syndrome/Vitamin A deficiency. What I have done, which has seemed to help, is added liquid bird vitamins, ie... Vita-Sol to their soaking/bathing water. My dish holds about 2 cups of water, so I add 3-4 drops with every water change, and I change the water every day as the vitamins will lose their potency. Although I have not received the advice from a trained professional, I did read an article online by a herpetologist who recommended adding the liquid vitamins to the water as they will be absorbed through the toad's skin. I did post this info in another thread, so if you search... you should be able to find it. I cannot think of the author's name, off the top of my head, but he said that many practices, herpetologists & zoos would use this method as common practice for this issue. I would also recommend the use of a UVB light, if you already do not have one. There are a lot of members on this forum with great advice and I'm sure some of them will give you some additional input but I can only tell you from my experience. For instance... I have two toads that were the same size when I caught them, one named Shima tends to soak more often than the other, named Speckles. Over the last two months, Shima has doubled in size and has a great appetite, looks very healthy, sheds regularly. Speckles, while he has grown, he does not soak as often and is considerably smaller and was having difficulty catching his prey until I started adding the liquid vitamins. It took a couple weeks, but I noticed that his strikes are much more successful. He also now sheds on a regular basis and appears very healthy. I also provided a small dish to hold waxworms, mealworms & other insects that cannot crawl out. It will take some time but the toads will learn that a meal can be found there. Also, make sure that you are gutloading all your feeder insects with foods or supplements that are high in vitamin A and calcium. If you haven't been using isopods, aka... Roly Polys or Pill bugs, I would recommend obtaining and using them more as a staple food, along with your dusted crickets. Isopods also help to keep the tank clean as they roam around but they cannot be kept in the feeding dish or they will die quickly as they need to absorb moisture from the substrate to live. They are high in calcium, as are roaches. So, in summary...

    1. Try adding a few drops of liquid vitamins to their soaking dish. (Vita-Sol Liquid Bird Supplement - 2 drops for each cup of water, changed daily)
    2. Use feeders that are higher in vitamin A & calcium. (Roly Polys/Isopos, roaches)
    3. Increase the variety of feeders that you are using. (As with humans, variety provides balance & absolutely GUTLOAD! If you are feeding malnourished insects to your toads, then they are not being provided good nourishment!)
    4. Continue dusting your feeder insects but start using a UVB light, if you haven't already. (It's hard to guarantee/control how much of the supplements are actually being ingested because some of the supplement gets rubbed off, & the light helps with the regulation of calcium & D3)
    5. Mites, unfortunately, are going to appear and re-appear but it shouldn't be an issue, as long as you do not allow the tank to become infested. If the numbers begin to get out of control, then change the substrate and keep it a little drier. Not entirely sure about California Toads, but American toads prefer a bit drier conditions, as long as they have water to soak in.

    Hope this helps! Good Luck & let us know what happens!

    ~Cathy
    Thanks Cathy!
    (second time typing this, hopefully I don't leave anything out)
    I gonna go down to the store in a little bit to get some Vita-Sol and give it a try. I'll try to mix in some isopods as well in their feeding schedules. Do you have a schedule for how often you feed with calcium/multivitamin/nothing? I'm heading out of town this weekend and someone else is going to be taking care of them while I'm gone, but I'll tell them the situation with the water. Once I get the Vita-Sol I'm going to make sure that they both end up getting a soak daily as well. Just as an update - they seem to be doing better today.

    Thanks!
    Caden

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Age
    50
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Need some help - Sick Western Toads

    Quote Originally Posted by FLUGATRON View Post
    Thanks Cathy!
    (second time typing this, hopefully I don't leave anything out)
    I gonna go down to the store in a little bit to get some Vita-Sol and give it a try. I'll try to mix in some isopods as well in their feeding schedules. Do you have a schedule for how often you feed with calcium/multivitamin/nothing? I'm heading out of town this weekend and someone else is going to be taking care of them while I'm gone, but I'll tell them the situation with the water. Once I get the Vita-Sol I'm going to make sure that they both end up getting a soak daily as well. Just as an update - they seem to be doing better today.

    Thanks!
    Caden
    Your welcome! I dust 6-8 crickets with Reptivite w/D3 and feed my toads every 2-3 days. Since we're in winter season and it's still pretty cold here in Eastern Pennsylvania, my toads aren't very active. Plus, I always have waxworms & mealworms in their feeding dish, which I also dust them but as they crawl around in the dish, some dust comes off. Each toad has its own food preference... yeah, they can be picky! It's hard to tell which toad is eating how many insects from the dish(especially when they are hopping around and eating at night, and I'm in bed and can't see them) but I usually put 4-5 waxworms and 3-4 mealies in the dish every night, then check in the morning to see how many are missing. It gets to be time consuming if you stand there and watch/wait for them to eat. As for the Rolys... Speckles likes the Rolys and since his condition has improved, he can catch them but I toss them right in front of him. Shima doesn't go for them as much but because of his size, I think he's eating his share from the dish and I'm not overly concerned, plus I often see him soaking more often than Speckles so I know he's getting the nutrients he needs and I feel better knowing that they are getting benefits from the UVB light (which is on for 12 hours). I tend to take more time with Speckles and I will offer & watch him eat. I make sure to see him eat at least 1 waxworm, 1 mealy & 1 roly each day but there are some days that he won't eat for me, which could be because he has eaten from the dish. If you're toads are healthy... they can easily go a day or even two between feedings. When I give them crickets, I always find a couple running around the following day. I feel toads are like people... some will overeat if given the chance, others like privacy, some are lazy and won't chase their food. The best you can do is dust what you are feeding, offer each day and if crickets or rolys are still running around the following day, then either offer less or skip a day. I just did a complete cleaning of the enclosure/replaced substrate and I easily found 20 Rolys that had dug themselves under moss and fixtures. I really do think the liquid vitamins will help but just be careful not to add too much because it could be too toxic for them. Most importantly would be the gutloading, especially with carrots as they are rich in vitamin A. All my crickets, rolys, mealies & roaches are in separate bins/containers but I feed them all the same foods (carrots, celery, squash). However, I feed the crickets an additional supplemental food called Zoo Med Cricket Care and fish food flakes, which are high in calcium. Flukers makes a good supplemental cricket food and in one of the threads I listed there are a few more mentioned that I haven't tried yet but will be soon. Larry Wardog recommends some excellent products!
    ~Cathy

    I have learned... still learning... ALWAYS LEARNING!
    Every moment is a teachable moment!
    Mistakes are not always a terrible thing, especially when you learn from them!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. New to Western Toads. Please Help!
    By Toadowner in forum Toads
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: March 30th, 2018, 10:01 AM
  2. Bufo boreas AKA Western Toad Sick
    By popshot in forum Toads
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 10th, 2014, 12:35 AM
  3. Western toads?
    By killercrow in forum Toads
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: February 14th, 2014, 10:02 PM
  4. Wanted: Western Toads
    By TANK in forum Wanted
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: February 2nd, 2011, 01:29 AM
  5. Hi. Western toads anyone?
    By Bow in forum Introductions Area
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 7th, 2010, 11:01 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •