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Health

The below information is for use as a guide only, please always consult a veterinarian before any treatment is attempted.

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Nose rubbing is a common occurrence in amphibians - especially in freshly imported wild caught animals. Even bad cases can be treated easily by frequent washing with cool clear water and allowed to heal on its own.

Fluid accumulation in the hind limbs of a freshly imported wild caught Tree Frog. This is most probably due to the unsanitary conditions faced by wild caught animals during the collection and shipping process. If caught in the early stages a small amount of fluid like this can be drained by a veterinarian and good hygiene should prevent it from returning.

Juvenile caudates kept in large groups will often nip each others limbs at feeding time causing the loss of fingers or even a leg, if kept clean these limbs will often slowly regenerate.

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) with multiple pathologic fractures, possibly due to Metabolic Bone Disease. Bad cases may be treated with the use of calcium injections but it is unlikely that a case as bad as in this wild specimen will be reversible.

White's Tree Frog with fluid accumulation caused by oxalate toxicosis. This was caused by crickets eating the oxalate producing plants in the terrarium and passing the oxalates on to the frog. Sadly after several attempts at draining the area and a surgical procedure the affected area ruptured and proved fatal to the frog.

Ticks can be removed quickly and easily. Using a pair of blunt ended tweezers grasp the tick as close to the head as possible, turn the tick over onto its back to unhook the jaws and pull firmly. Be careful not to leave the head behind as this can cause the wound to become infected.

Symptoms

Ailment / Cause

Treatment

Loss of appetite, emaciation, lethargy, poor colour, dull skin, sunken eyes, surface wounds, sores, extreme nervousness.

Incorrect husbandry (Temperature, humidity, spatial requirements).

Adjust conditions until a more favourable environment is created.

Fine muscle tremors. Soft bones, deformities, poorly developed limbs. Dragging of hind limbs, paralysis of the hind limbs, weak jaw. Inactivity, lethargy, difficulty in stalking, grabbing and swallowing food.

Metabolic Bone Disease.

Calcium : Phosphorus Imbalance. Avitaminosis D³ (cholecalciferol).

Improve diet: use crickets in place of mealworms, etc. Add calcium to the food in the form of a vitamin and mineral supplement. Use a fluorescent reptile lamp that produces UVB at the optimum level of 5%. In severe cases the animal may need calcium injections from a vet.

Swollen eyelids, loss of appetite, anorexia, lighter or darker in colour than usual, absence of defecation, inactivity, lethargy, unusual skin secretions. Poor growth.

Avitaminosis A (retinol).

Improve diet. Add a vitamin and mineral supplement to the food. Badly affected animals may require a vitamin A injection from a vet.

Convulsions, muscle tremors, coma (in aquatic amphibians fed exclusively on fish).

Avitaminosis B¹ (thiamine). Caused by the enzyme Thiaminase that destroys any available thiamine in the fish.

Warm the dead fish to 80°C for five minutes in water, immediately before feeding. Add a vitamin and mineral supplement to the food.

Paralysis of the legs.

Avitaminosis B² (riboflavin, nicotinamide).

Add a vitamin and mineral supplement to the food.

Muscular dystrophy, muscle degeneration, weakness, tremors, cardiac problems.

Selenium deficiency. Πwhite muscle disease.

Add a vitamin and mineral supplement to the food high in vitamin E (tocopherol).

Bleeding from the gums.

Avitaminosis K (phylloquinone).

Feed whole pinkies (with liver and stomach contents). Add a vitamin and mineral supplement to the food.

Water oedema of the limbs and body, lethargy.

Kidney disease.

Either due to unsanitary conditions and cold temperatures or Hypervitaminosis caused by over supplementing.

Irreversible. Can be controlled by keeping the animals enclosure clean and warm.

Dry, flaky skin, sudden skin loss exposing the underlying muscle.

Hypervitaminosis A. Caused by too much vitamin A in the diet.

Lower the amount of vitamin A in the diet. Replace with beta-carotene. Cleanse the area with sulphonamide or antibiotic powder such as 'Cicatrin'.

Diarrhoea, greenish fluid faeces. Nausea, sudden weight loss.

Salmonellosis (infection with salmonella bacteria).

An antibiotic treatment administered by a vet.

Loss of appetite, refusal to feed, unpleasant odour from the mouth. A yellowish area inside the mouth, a build up of 'cheesy' matter.

Mouth-rot, Mouth Canker, Necrotic Stomatitis. Wounds inside the mouth of stressed / poorly maintained animals.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) may be given daily, and the infected area irrigated with 25% Aqueous Sulphadimidine, or Hydrogen Peroxide.

Gaping, wheezing and bubbling from the mouth. Discharge from the nose and eyes. Blocked nostrils, laboured and audible breathing. Swimming at an abnormal angle with the body tilted.

Respiratory Infection.

Move the animal to a warm, dry and well-ventilated accommodation. Serious cases can be treated using an antibiotic such as Tylosin.

Red areas or inflammation on the thighs and stomach of amphibians. Lethargic, apathetic, listlessness, bloating, lack of appetite.

Red-leg (Aeromonas hydrophila or Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Caused by unsanitary conditions, prolonged exposure to cold conditions, overcrowding and stress.

Immersing the infected animal in Chlorinated water or a 1.2% copper sulphate solution or a 2% solution of potassium permanganate for 1-2 hours may be effective. Antibiotics such as Terramycin and Tetracycline hydrochloride given at 50mg per kg of body weight twice a day for 5-7 days may be useful.

Enteritis, Heavy liquid intake, fluid and slimy faeces, blood in the faeces, regurgitated food.

Amoebiasis (Entamoebiasis).

A drug called Flagyl is effective if given in time.

Fluid faeces, weight loss.

Gastrointestinal Disorder.

Use of Sulfamethazine and Metronidazole may help.

Blisters. Small, white, threadlike objects in the faeces. Listlessness.

Roundworms (Nematodes).

Piperazine Citrate should be given at a rate of 50mg per kg body weight. Dissolved in a small quantity of water and squirted down the animal's throat with a syringe. This dose should be repeated after 2-3 weeks.

Emaciation in spite of a good appetite. Small, opaque squarish segments in the faeces. Listlessness.

Tapeworms.

An anti-helminth drug such as Diphenethane may be given at the scaled down dose rate for dogs.

Visible small brown or black creatures moving over the animal's skin.

Mites (Ophionyssus natricis).

The animal's accommodation and all furnishings will need to be cleaned thoroughly.

Visible infection / attack by maggots.

Myasis.

The maggots can be removed using tweezers, and then immediately cleanse the wound with sulphonamide or antibiotic powder such as 'Cicatrin'.

Pearly, creamy or yellow growth with a furry appearance in water and slimy, velvety to the touch. Sited around wounds and abrasions.

Fungal Infection. Saprolegnia, Oodinium.

Bath the area with 2% malachite green, or 2% mercurochrome for 5 minutes. Or apply a 50% hydrogen peroxide solution with a cotton bud. Aquatic species such as Axolotls may be immersed in a strong solution of malachite green (1g in 15litres) for 10-30 seconds, then returned to their aquarium, or held in a 0.1% solution for up to 30 minutes.

Skin blisters.

Incorrect husbandry (too humid).

Move the animal to warm, dry quarters. An antiseptic solution such as 'Betadine' can be applied to accelerate healing. If the blister is hard and does not disappear after sloughing it may be treated by incising and cleaning out the pus, followed by application of a sulphonamide or antibiotic powder such as 'Cicatrin'.

Hard lump. Located around the face or vent.

Skin tumours. Often caused by a viral infection

A tumour will require surgical removal.

Wounds.

Fighting, nose rubbing, attempted escape.

Will usually heal without treatment if the cause is eliminated, isolate animals that are fighting, replace metal mesh with plastic. Application of solutions such as 'Betadine' or 'Pevidine', or of antibiotic powder such as 'Cicatrin' may speed recovery. 'Cicatrin' may be helpful in the prevention of a secondary bacterial infection.

Open, bleeding skin lesions on the face and back.

Skin lesion syndrome. Tuberculosis. Caused by cold temperatures and unsanitary conditions.

Increase temperature slightly. Application of solutions such as 'Betadine' or 'Pevidine', or of antibiotic powder such as 'Cicatrin' may speed recovery. 'Cicatrin' may be helpful in the prevention of a secondary bacterial infection.

Inability to Slough completely, sunken eyes.

Dysedysis. Stress, under nourishment, dehydration.

Mist spray the vivarium and ensure that the animal baths. Place the animal in a container or cotton bag filled with moist sphagnum moss. The skin should come away within 12 hours.

Burns.

Unguarded heating apparatus.

The burnt area should be washed and application of solutions such as 'Betadine' or 'Pevidine' may speed recovery.

Weight loss, regurgitation of food.

Intestinal impaction. Caused by the ingestion of substrate whilst feeding.

Large implications will need surgical removal.

Discoloration of skin, lethargy and a continuous 'yawning'.

Spring disease (Bacterium ranicida).

There is at current no known cure for this disease however experimentation with antibiotics may prove useful.

A build up of 'cheesy' matter on the feet.

Necrotic toes.

An antibiotic powder such as 'Cicatrin' may be applied to the area.

Blindness.

Lipid build-up on the corneas. Caused by an excess of fatty food items such as pinkies and goldfish.

There is no known remedy. However a suitable diet would seem to be the solution. Washing the animals eye under clean dechlorinated water may help.

Obesity.

Overfeeding.

Make the animal forage and stalk its food.


Please remember I am not a trained veterinarian, I do not and will not accept responsibility for the health and well being of your animals. The above information is for use as a guide only. A qualified veterinarian should always be consulted before attempting any type of treatment. Also please note that in certain areas it is an offense to practice medicine on an animal without first consulting a veterinarian.