Effective Treatment for Your Sick Frogs and Amphibians

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You have decided to keep a frog or other amphibians as a pet. At first, you find them really enjoyable to watch. You have started observing their attitude and behavior and established a bond with your pet. Then you notice something wrong. Your pet is no longer active and seems in pain. What will you do?

This is the dilemma of most amphibian keepers. Seasoned keepers may already have the know-how in treating sick frogs and amphibians, but newbies may find it challenging to decide on the best treatment possible.

We have compiled a list of the most common amphibian diseases and ideas on how to treat them.

Mechanical Wounds

Mechanical wounds are often caused by mishandling, clumsiness of the frog, such as a result of a panic attack and falling into or falling into sharp objects, and fighting with each other. These cut skin and open-wound injuries are more prone among new specimens, or during a change of environment. The wounds can turn into fungal and bacterial infections, which can possibly be fatal to your frog. Avoiding these possible situations is best, if possible.

Animals that are badly wounded need to be isolated and treated using anti-fungal infections. These days, a number of antibiotics are available. Some keepers report that iodine solutions such as Betadine works, or a commercial solution (3%) solution of Hydrogen Peroxide, can also be applied to the wound using a fine paintbrush. Before administering a treatment for your pet, it is recommended to consult a vet first.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are especially troublesome among aquatic amphibians, as well as tadpoles. Fungal infections usually show as red inflammation in areas of soft white tissue. It can easily be mistaken as a noticeable abnormal change in skin color, which is often a symptom of a more serious fungal infection.

When caught during the earlier stages, a fungal infection may be treated by a number of methods. One of the most commonly used method is immersing your pet in a 2% malachite green (mercurochrome) solution for 5 minutes. This process should be repeated after 24 hours if you notice that the symptoms do not improve.

If there are no improvements after 3 successive treatments, it is best to seek the assistance of a veterinarian that specializes in amphibian care. Another treatment suggested by some pet keepers is coating their pet with 8-hydroxyquinoline (1/5000) every other day until the improvement of the condition is observed.


Red-leg is often considered as the most infamous disease among frogs, especially captive frogs. It is usually caused by a certain parasite, Aeromonas Hydrophyla. It shows as a reddening of the frog’s skin, especially on the belly, as well as the underside of their thighs. This should never be confused with the natural color of the certain frog species.

Frogs that suffer from red-leg illness tend to act lazy and apathetic. This disease is oftentimes tagged as really lethal, which is why it is recommended to isolate the affected frog right away. At times, among newly imported animals, red-leg is more likely caused by abrasions that are caused by dry packings, such as cardboard.

For those that suffer red-leg because of poor packing, the only treatment that is needed is correcting it, keeping the affected animal in a clean cage for some days. Red-leg that is identified in the early stages can, at times, be treated by simply bathing the frog with Sulfamethiazine (15 ml: 10L water) every day for two weeks. Another option is bathing the frog with a 2% copper sulfate or potassium permanganate solution for the same period of time.

If you notice any signs of improvement right after the first week, at times, you can still treat them using antibiotics such as tetracycline. However, before administering this treatment, it is best to consult your vet first.

If you keep frogs and other amphibians as pets, one way that can help you is communication together with other seasoned amphibian keepers. Sharing in a discussion or a forum online will help you find information on deciding the best treatment for amphibian illnesses.

When seeking treatment, reptile veterinarians have the general background and information to effectively treat amphibians, given that they have handy, relevant references.


Dropsy is a condition that is potentially caused by certain bacteria. However, it is also likely associated with a metabolism disorder that comes as a result of an improper diet or poor climactic maintenance. Dropsy shows up as bloating, along with soft dermal abnormalities surrounding the abdominal area. The treatments may sound quite risky, which often involves puncturing the wounds, given that they are not close to the eye area. For the treatment of Dropsy, it is recommended to see a specialist.

Spring Disease

Spring Disease is caused by Bacterium Ranicida. This disease is lethal, to say the least. It occurs among temperate species, especially during the breeding season. Among the symptom includes lethargy, continuous yawning and skin discoloration. A problem with this disease, however, is that there is no reliable treatment for it yet. Experimentation with antibiotics, however, may be of help. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations.

Nutritional Deficiencies

A nutritional deficiency among frogs is often caused by a lack of specific vitamins or minerals. This shows up in various ways, such as being bony and being skinny. It may also appear as deformation diseases such as Rickets, causing poor growth and development.

If you notice a nutritional deficiency in your pet, it is essential to feed your frogs as much variety of food as possible, since this can mostly occur by feeding your frogs with only a single type of food. For instance, feeding your frog with a routine batch of powdered vitamins and mineral supplements will help a lot in the prevention of such deficiencies.

You may also feed your crickets with special additives or powders before feeding them to your frogs in order to maintain more balance in their food. One of the most common types of nutritional deficiency is calcium deficiency. At times, frogs can be somewhat picky about the type of food that they will eat. You may even try coaxing frogs into eating by placing food on the edges of forceps. Be careful in selecting the forceps, though, and make sure that you are using those that are not sharp. Doing so will help to avoid open wound illnesses.

The Best Cure – Prevention

Even though you may not think of your pets as clean creatures, most of the illnesses that they acquire are caused by the environment in which they live. Frogs have the tendency to be hardy, but once they fall sick, their prognosis is rarely good. With this in mind, making sure that your pet has good hygiene is important.

Choosing Your Frog

When selecting your pet, make sure that you check their health first. If you are keen on looking at their vitals, some that are available in stores are already showing some signs of illness. Once your frog gets sick, it may be very difficult to cure it, which means that it is very important to choose a strong and healthy frog to start with.

Looking at a frog, jumpy ones are usually the healthier picks. If they do not attempt to escape when you grab them, they may not be in their best condition. Being skinny, abnormal bone structure, as well as deformation, are signs of malnutrition.

Transportation and Packaging

Frogs have the tendency to get stressed when transported, which is why it is often best to transport them as quickly as possible, with minimum handling as possible. This is also a time wherein panicking frogs have the tendency to hurt themselves, usually by smashing into walls. As a recommendation, leave them alone during the first day and allow them to adjust to their new surroundings.

A period of quarantine is also recommended. This only applies if you are getting a new frog as an addition to the ones you already have. This will make you be sure that your frog does not cause illness to other frogs. A good way to do this is by quarantining them in a smaller and separate tank for around a week before introducing them to other frogs.

Quality Water

Frogs love spending a lot of time in the water, which is why clean water is a must. Before adding water to the tank of your frog, make sure that it has already been de-chlorinated. This can be done by adding some dechlorinating drops to the water before adding in the frogs.

Clean the water regularly, and make sure that you wash your hands well before touching items inside the tank. Do not forget the other items, such as the gravel. Avoid going to the extreme and end up cleaning too often. It may also be best to have some pH testing kits handy. If you have too much food debris or flakes or too many dead bugs in the water, it can easily lead to infection.

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