FAQs About Xenopus laevis,
African Clawed Frog Infectious Diseases
FAQs on Xenopus Disease:
Xenopus Disease 1,
Xenopus Health 2,
Xenopus Health 3,
Xenopus Health 4, Xenopus
FAQs on Xenopus Disease by Category:
Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal),
Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf
Xenopus in General,
Xenopus Reproduction, &
Frogs Other Than African and Clawed,
African Dwarf Frogs,
have a read here:
This is a very useful and succinct review of Xenopus health.
African clawed frog bloat 4/13/17
Your site is without a doubt the most informative on various
Neale emailed me the other day but I have another question. We have an
African clawed frog with soft bloat and am working hard to save/help
We have been doing the Epsom salt soaks. I just received the product
Maracyn II today and need to find the right dose. I'm going to treat him
in hospital tank. Can the dose be adjusted with the same effectiveness
in 1 gallon of water?
If so what would the dose be? The Maracyn II is in powder form.
Recommended dose is 2 packets in 10 gallons of water.
<2/10 = 0.2; i.e., one-fifth of a packet per 1 US gallon.>
If effectiveness will be compromised I will use 10 gallons of water.
<Realistically, once you open the packet of medicine, oxygen gets in,
and the antibiotic won't stay "good" for long. So unless you plan on
using up the rest of the Maracyn within the next few weeks, I wouldn't
much. If I recall, you dose once, then a couple days later, dose a
second time. That being the case, I'd save one packet of Maracyn II
somewhere cool and dry, and only open one. Put half of that into 5
gallons of water, stir
well, remove the old water from the aquarium, and put this new,
medicated (and dechlorinated) water for the tank. Roll up the packet
tightly, store inside an airtight bag or container, and store carefully
away from moisture
and bright light. Then when the second dose comes around, I'd use the
other half of the packet in a new 5 gallon container of water,
dechlorinate, and then use as before. Make sense?>
As well, do I still soak Michael in the Epsom salt the same day as I do
the Maracyn II treatment? (of course in 2 separate treatments)
<Yes, you can use Maracyn II alongside Epsom salt.>
Re: African clawed frog bloat (RMF, feel free to edit out the drugs
ref.)<Mmm; I'd leave. B> 4/13/17
Thanks again for your quick response.
I'm a bit dumb with math.
Do I split the powder dose (one packet) into 5 doses, then add one of
those doses to a 1 gallon tub of dechlorinated water, in which I would
put Michael in?
<It's 2 packets in 10 gallons, correct? If so, then 1 packet in 5
Or one-fifth of a packet in 1 gallon. The problem is really dividing a
small packet of white powder into 5 equal portions -- perhaps find your
friendly neighbourhood coke dealer to help with this bit!>
I am trying to treat him out of the tank in a separate bucket. As well,
how long would I soak Michael?
<Follow the instructions on the packaging, but normally Maracyn 2 is
added to an aquarium and left like that for at least 24 hours.
Antibiotics are very poorly absorbed through the skin and mouth this
way, so it takes a long time for the fish or amphibian to get enough
antibiotic inside them to get better. So if your vivarium contains 1
gallon of water, then just add the Maracyn 2 to that water and leave it
P.S. We got him to eat fresh chunks of salmon! I have read salmon is
good for them. Do you know if salmon can be a regular diet?
<Certainly once a week should be no problem at all; indeed, being oily
it contains a lot of fat-soluble vitamins absent from other foods.
HOWEVER, oily fish is messy, so I tend to use it just before doing a
water change. I
would not use oily fish as a staple though. It isn't really an
appropriate food for frogs, especially when there are other, more
balanced food items out there, such as earthworms.>
Many thanks again,
Seeking ACF Medical Advice
Hello, one of our ACFs died yesterday (only 5 years old), presumably due
to an ammonia spike or bacteria due to a weakened immune system. The
tank has had issues with ammonia over the past two
months and the frogs we
excessively shedding. We became concerned about his health two weeks ago
when he refused to eat. Typically, we feed the frogs ReptoMin pellets
but decided to try red wrigglers last week to see if he would eat. He
decently size worms and satisfied us that his appetite had returned
(he's always been a light eater). five days later we found him floating
around the top of the tank, we were unable to see bloating and when
approached, he swam back to the bottom of the tank before swimming back
to the top to float about fifteen seconds later. The next morning we
found him floating dead in the tank. Ammonia was a little over 2 ppm.
Immediately I removed the deceased frog and took several pictures (Link:
http://imgur.com/a/rTL8b) and proceeded to clean out the entire tank
along with all decor. The other three frogs were returned to the tank,
all gravel at the bottom was removed to prevent future trapping of waste
and I started them on a round of tetracycline to be safe. Wanted to get
a second opinion and ask how long to wait to place the biological media
back into the filter after the carbon has been reintroduced to clear out
the remaining tetracycline four days from now.
<I agree that this does look like a systemic bacterial infection
following exposure to some environmental stress, but without doing
detailed microscopy, it's hard to be sure. I think your approach of
cleaning out the tank, doing water changes, and treating with an
antibiotic is a good one.
Antibiotics generally lose their effectiveness within 24 hours in the
warm, oxygenated environmental of an aquarium, so I wouldn't worry about
waiting too long between the last dosage and removing the carbon. It's
not as if residual tetracycline will cause any problems. Let me also
stress the importance of doing the complete course of tetracycline as
recommended by the manufacturer or your vet. Incomplete courses of
antibiotic are the major factor behind antibiotic resistance, and we all
have to play a part in staving off this particular doomsday scenario!
Re: Seeking ACF Medical Advice 4/19/17
Hello Neale, finished the full course of tetracycline and two of the
frogs are back to eating.
<A very good sign.>
The female, age five, however, has been shedding profusely and refuses
to eat regardless of the food since the other frog died.
<Less good, but probably not a huge amount you can do at this point.
Give it a week, keep up with water changes, and see what happens. If her
condition worsens, for example she is obviously losing weight, then a
second full course of antibiotics might be helpful. But do also try
offering a range of foods, for example earthworms, even if she's off her
Water conditions: Nitrates 20 ppm, Nitrites 0 ppm, ammonia 1 ppm.
Current course of action we're thinking is to continue water changes
every 1-2 days (dependent upon water conditions) to control ammonia
levels between weekly feedings, though we're certainly open to
<What you're doing seems fine. The ammonia is a problem though, and may
well be causing the shedding -- so using an ammonia remover, such as
Zeolite, in the filter could be very helpful. Certainly,
filtration (e.g., by adding an extra filter, or simply increasing
flow-rate through the existing filter) ensuring biological media is of
the best possible quality/type. Xenopus aren't especially ammonia
sensitive in the
short term, but 1 ppm is quite a high amount by any standards; I would
not be feeding at all like this, and probably wouldn't feed until
We also have a second full course of tetracycline on hand if you think
it may help.
<Good luck! Neale.>
African clawed frog 4/11/17
I have been trying to find the topic on soft bloat in an African clawed frog but
cannot seem to find it. My 12 year old ACF whom we have has since baby has
developed soft bloat in the last month. My questions are:
Can he possibly get better on his own?
<In all honesty, it's unlikely.>
Is soaking in Epsom salt bath safe and does it help?
<Use of Epsom salt alongside antibiotics can help reduce swelling, yes, but
Epsom salt draws out the fluid a bit -- it doesn't kill the bacteria
Will the product Maracyn help?
<Yes, or something like this. Tetracycline or some antibiotic, especially
against gram-negative bacteria, which is usually what you're dealing with here
(Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, etc.). A reptile shop catering to amphibians
like these should be able to help, but failing that, an aquarium shop with
antibiotics for use treating Dropsy should work too.>
As well, we just fed him his first night crawler today. He went crazy for it,
swallowed it then regurgitated the whole worm after few minutes. The worm was
still alive so we took it out of the tank so Michael doesn't get stressed. Do
you think he spit it out because it was moving around in his belly? And/or could
it be because he's not used to eating worms yet?
<Hard to know unless you speak fluent frog! But seriously, if he's snapping at
food, that's a good sign. Just try something smaller tomorrow.>
We're trying to do all the right things to help our buddy. Any feedback would be
so much appreciated.
<Hope this helps. Let me direct you to some reading, too...
Clawed Frog, Some Kind of Infection?
<Hello, and thanks for making an effort to provide a useful image!>
I’ve been having an issue with one of my female clawed frogs for about a
month now. I noticed some kind of bruises on my frog’s mouth, I
contacted a vet that has some experience with amphibians but he was
unable to help since he was not familiar with this species.
<Xenopus is very widely kept my scientists, and only occasionally as a
pet. Can I direct you to some reading directed at scientists?
You're almost certainly dealing with some sort of opportunistic
bacterial infection, perhaps Aeromonas but hard to say without a
microscope and doing Petri dish cultures. But the advice given
on those websites is what I'd be following. Tetracycline in particular
seems to be a good first choice antibiotic. Do remember to use as
indicated, and do remember to remove carbon from the filter (if you use
I decided to treat this frog with Maracyn 2 per the directions on the
package in a hospital tank and he redness was appearing to subside but
now it appears to be back again. There is redness around the nostril now
too. I’ve tried applying Bacticine with a q-tip to the affected area and
Epsom salt baths feeling maybe this was not a bacterial infection and
perhaps some kind of physical injury. It looks *slightly* better right
now than the picture I’ve attached but I’m not convinced it’s really
healing and going away.. there also appears to be a lump on the other
side of the mouth you can see from the attached picture too.
Is there anything else I could try? The frogs weight is normal and is
still the most eager eater I have out of my four clawed frogs, so
whatever this is, she is still acting like her usual self. This frog is
kept in a 40 gallon breeder with three other frogs, which are not
experiencing any issues.
I’d appreciate any advice I could get, thank you.
<The fact he's still eating is promising. Go with Tetracycline and you
should get a result. Cheers, Neale>
Re: Clawed Frog, Some Kind of Infection?
I’ve placed an order for tetracycline, it was not easy to find any online
though. Hopefully the product API sells is sufficient?
<Should be. Be sure to use as indicated. Remove carbon from the filter if
used. Antibiotics work better if given orally; baths (i.e., adding to the
water) can work but aren't as reliable, may need to be repeated. Good luck,
Re: Clawed Frog, Some Kind of Infection?
I started tetracycline treatment in a spare 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter.
I went to go change out 25% of the water and add another packet of antibiotics
and my frog apparently my frog spawned a clutch of eggs? Pretty weird, I’ve had
this frog for over four years and never had this happen before. I even have a
oft frisky male with three females and never seen eggs happen, ever. Should this
<Nope. Exposure to unusual chemicals has been known to trigger spawning in a
variety of amphibians and fishes. Indeed, the whole point of domesticating
Xenopus in the 1930s was using them as pregnancy tests -- when drops of urine
from pregnant women were added to their aquarium, they'd spawn! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Clawed Frog, Some Kind of Infection?
I think the tetracycline treatment has been successful. The
redness around the snout has gone away for the most part and the nostril
now. The swelling appears to be gone too.
<Great! Lovely to hear some good news from our correspondents... it's
usually "oh noes, my fish is sick!" Hope the froggy gets completely better
before too long. Cheers, Neale.>
Xenopus; health 6/10/12
i have a problem with my male African clawed frog. he is about 10 months
old. i was keeping him with my female acf in a 20 gallon tank, with a
small mechanical under water filter, doing full water changes once a
week, every week. about a month ago i noticed that my male was lethargic
and only ate quite little. he seemed to have an appetite, would start
eating but then stop very quickly, like he was full. then i noticed some
red 'veins' on his belly. he also would stay on top of the water a lot
and breathe, keeping his head out, instead of just touching the surface
with his nose. i isolated him in a small tank with no filtration and
treated him with tetracycline foe 5 days. then i gave him 12 minute long
Baytril baths (2,5 mg in 0,5 liters) for 10 days. no medicine was added
to the water where he was living and i was doing half water changes
every day. he didn't get better, nor worse. after that i treated him
with Chloramphenicol - 130,8 mg/g in 30 liters for 3 days. then i left
him without treatment for a few days, keeping up with daily water
changes. during all treatments he was shedding quite often. as he still
didn't get better i treated the water he was in with octozin for 3 days
and since then i have left him without any treatment. what should i do?
he hasn't been eating much. after a while he almost stopped. since 3
days ago he's been eating a little more, but not enough or the way he
used to and should. just a little more. he sings a lot and since
yesterday swims around a lot. but he doesn't look well. red "veins" are
more visible on his body - belly and legs. should i start the
tetracycline again? is Chloramphenicol more effective? any help is much
<Do have a read here:
This is a very useful and succinct review of Xenopus health. The likely
problem is what we call "Red Leg" which is really any opportunistic
bacterial infection, similar to Finrot on fish. For a bit more depth,
see the RSPCA (the main UK animal charity) document on Xenopus. While
aimed at professionals like scientists who work with these animals,
there's much of use for pet owners too.
Section 4.10.4 on Common Diseases discusses Red Leg as well as Nematode
infections, the two commonest problems. Diagnosis and treatment are
outlined. Pet shops may not be able to provide the necessary antibiotics
(specifically, Oxytetracycline) but your vet will surely be able to.
Aquatic frog question. 2/20/12
I have an albino African clawed frog, and just lately she has this
slime/mucousy stuff coming from her mouth. Is this normal or is she
I couldn't find any info about this online anywhere!
<Shedding skin as transparent sheets happens from time to time and
isn't something to worry about. But white slime or fluff isn't
normal, and can be a sign of bacterial infection. Start by reading
What aren't you doing that Xenopus needs to stay healthy? Go
through that article, and make changes as needs be. There's also a
good visual summary of diseases here:
I have 4 ACF's (2 male and 2 female) that are all 4 - 4 1/2
years old, housed in a 30 gallon tank. (I realize this may be a
bit small for them, that they should be in at least 40
<Indeed, but shouldn't be an immediate cause of
They have been housed the same for at least 3 1/2 years, with 2
filtration systems and a water heater that is set to 75º.
<Sounds good, but do let them cool down in the winter a bit.
72 F/22 C is about right for the winter months. This replicates
the subtropical seasons a bit better, and ensures overall better
health. But again, unlikely to be a serious cause of
They are fed both ReptoMin pellets and freeze-dried blood worms
about 2 - 3 times a week (read other places that we are not
supposed to feed every day/every other day?).
<I'm not too stringent on this aspect. Yes, daily feeding
is unnecessary, but at the same time, daily feeding won't
cause problems if the water quality is good. The main thing is
you have clean water (0 nitrite and 0 ammonia) and frogs that are
neither skinny nor fat, but gently rounded about the
We recently started feeding, as a treat, frozen cubes of shrimp.
(Not sure what brand...bought at Petco. Tiny shrimp frozen into
cubes). We have also fed earthworms as a treat once every few
months or so. Their tank is also bedded with small gravel rocks
(the colored type). I know from reading about these frogs that
these types of rocks are not recommended, but we had never had
any problems with them before, so we never removed them.
<Again, rocks are unlikely to cause problems if they're
smooth. Jagged rocks are a serious risk, as is sharp gravel.
Rounded gravel might annoy the frogs because they can't dig,
but shouldn't cause problems. Occasionally frogs swallow
gravel, and that is serious, but it's a rare problem. Smooth
silica sand is the ideal.>
We also treat the water with Amquel Plus.
A few weeks ago, we noticed that one of our males was getting
unusually skinny. He had lost all of the black coloring on his
arms/fingers, and looked to be very emaciated. His veins also
appeared to be a much brighter red and more visible than the
veins on the other 3. We observed all 4 ACF's when we fed
them, and this particular frog seemed to be so lethargic that he
either refused to or could not swim to the top to feed.
<This sounds like a bacterial infection. "Red Leg"
is particularly common. See here for ideas on treatment:
We tried doing a water change and tried to feed more of the
frozen shrimp cubes (once thawed, they would sink to the bottom)
in order to give him a fair chance to eat. It seemed like he was
hungry and searching for the food, but most of the time he
appeared to be lost. He would just keep swimming side to side,
but never up. (He would go up for air every once in a while, but
would never stay to eat). We decided to remove him from the
larger tank and quarantine him. The others are eating just fine
and do not appear to be acting strangely. They also appear normal
physically, except for our biggest female (please see last
picture attached - skin discoloration: might be hard to see. Her
skin has always been somewhat yellow compared to the others.
Picture is trying to show lighter/whiter spots on her skin. Look
between eyes and on her back, closer to the left arm.)
Thinking our quarantined frog had some sort of bacterial
infection, we began treating the water with Pimafix (made by API,
described as an Antifungal Fish Remedy...bottle indicates it also
treats internal and external bacterial infections.) I bought this
to try only after speaking to somebody at Petco. This did not
seem to help any.
<Pimafix won't help here. At best, this medication is a
preventative, like the sort of thing you'd add to a cut or
graze to prevent infection. It's a fairly mild medication and
doesn't do anything to treat bacterial infections once
established in the fish or frog.>
In the quarantine tank, he seems to be eating okay. He is now
going to the top to eat. In addition to pellets and blood worms,
we have also been feeding earth worms more often (not in the same
feeding), trying to bulk up his diet in order to put some more
weight back on him? He now has the black marks on his
fingers/arms again, but is still extremely thin. He has been in
this quarantine tank for approximately 2 weeks, and we do not
notice any poop in his tank. With the amount that we have been
feeding and watching him consume, if he was not pooping, I would
assume that he would be bloated, as if he were blocked. When he
has not eaten, he appears really thin around the waist/stomach
area. His legs also still look very thin (like you can see his
I cannot seem to find any useful information on ACF's getting
thin while still eating plenty. I have attached several pictures
(best I could take at the moment). The lone frog is the skinny
one that I am emailing about. I have also included several
pictures of the other 3, to give you an idea of how big the
others are. The pictures of the lone frog are about 15-20 minutes
after a feeding of blood worms. I would assume that if he had
swallowed a gravel rock and was impacted, that he would be
getting bloated more and more after each meal? If you think this
is because of a swallowed rock, are there any ways that I can
help him pass it? If you think this is more of an internal
infection, can you recommend any treatments? Any advice or
suggestions that you could give would be more than
<Do note that Red Leg is easier to prevent than cure. Xenopus
are hardy, and can live 20 years. But they have their limits, any
a combination of stress factors including physical damage can
make them vulnerable to Red Leg. Hope this helps. Cheers,
Re: Skinny Xenopus 9/22/11
Thank you for the quick reply.
<You're most welcome.>
I plan on picking up some Maroxy 2 this evening/tomorrow.
Just a couple of side notes: I emailed you guys a couple of years
ago with a picture of my from with ammonia burns/septicemia. (The
homepage picture for Xenopus Disease). After a dose of Maroxy 2,
an added filtration system, and proper water changes, he healed
up just fine and is doing well!
<Always good to hear a positive outcome.>
Also, I was reading your Xenopus Reproduction section and noticed
that you didn't have any pictures up. It also sounds like
most people don't have any idea what the frogs will look like
when mating. I just wanted to send you a couple of pictures that
you could add to your site if you wish. Like I said, we have 2
males and 2 females. All 4 were going at it in these pics.
<Please do send those along! Would be happy to add them to
whichever article they'd fit best it!>
Again, thanks for your help.
<Best wishes, Neale.>
Re: Skinny Xenopus
I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I
believe we have jacked up our tank cycle. I have two tanks setup.
The first is the 30 gallon that all 4 ACF's reside in. The
other is a 5 gallon quarantine tank.
(This tank was never properly cycled...trying to do that
The 30 gallon tank is showing 0 Ammonia and Nitrites, somewhere
between 30-40 Nitrates, and the pH level, no matter what I do,
continues to plummet to 6.0 (possibly lower).
<Does sound as if the aquarium lacks carbonate hardness. Use a
carbonate hardness test kit (sometimes called a KH test kit and
more or less equivalent to an alkalinity test kit). Carbonate
hardness measures the amount of carbonate and bicarbonate in the
water, and it's these that prevent pH drops. Alkalinity
isn't quite the same thing -- water can be alkaline because
of things other than carbonate or bicarbonate -- but again, the
higher the alkalinity, the more the water resists pH drops. In
your case, you're after a moderately high carbonate hardness
I have even tried pH 7.5 (API) to raise the pH level, but it
<Often don't. These buffers tend to assume you already
have reasonably high levels of carbonate hardness. E.g., in a
Rift Valley aquarium, you've got a coral sand substrate and
Rift Valley salt mix in the water.>
I used the recommended dose for the 30 gallon and it raised the
pH from 6.0 (or whatever is was at prior, possibly in the
5's) to approximately 7.0.
Now, 3 days later, I am closer to 6.4 and dropping. From what I
have read, and from the local pet store owners I have spoken
with, Nitrates and pH go hand in hand.
<No, they don't. Nitrate can form nitric acid in water,
and yes, this lowers pH. But in most aquaria this effect is
trivial. The major sources of pH drop are accumulation of organic
acids from the biological filter and general decay of organic
material including plants within the tank. CO2 from livestock
will also lower pH.>
The higher Nitrates rise, the more unstable and acidic your pH
can be. I know that when a tank is properly cycled, Ammonia and
Nitrites will drop to 0 while Nitrates will start to rise. With
weekly and routine water changes, you should be able to keep
Nitrates in check.
The 5 gallon tank had housed the sickly frog, with a carbon
filter. When we began treating with Maracyn 2, we removed the
filter and did not replace.
The only filter cartridge in the filter system now is the black
filter that came with the system. I do not have any rocks or
livestock in this tank at this time. I assumed (and probably
incorrectly), that the bacteria that had grown on the black
filter would be sufficient to cycle this tank. We removed about
75-80% of the water that was treated with Maracyn 2 and replaced
with Amquel Plus conditioned water. After this, Ammonia and
Nitrites were reading 0.25, Nitrates were 5ppm, and pH was
approximately 7.4. Now, 3 days later, Ammonia and Nitrites are
closer to 0.50, Nitrates have remained constant at 5ppm, but pH
has plummeted to 6.0 (possibly lower).
pH straight out of our tap is above 8.0. From what I have heard,
from online and from pet store owners, Amquel Plus can lower pH
SOME, but not by this much. Do you have any ideas? Are you guys
available to speak with over the phone? I am getting mixed
messages from the local pet stores. Some say to add Nitrate
reducing chemicals and pH stabilizers while others say to do a
10% water change once a day for a week to lower Nitrates and
<Start reading here:
Have a look at the Rift Valley salt mix, and make up new water
using that, but to begin with, only use HALF the dosage
recommended, since you don't need water as hard as Rift
Valley cichlids. Another thing is to draw the water from the tap
and let it sit overnight, and ideally 24 hours, so that any
dissolved gases can evaporate. Some tap water is chemically
In the morning add 50% the recommended dose of Epsom salt, baking
soda and marine aquarium salt mix, stir well, and then do your
water change. (As you'll notice, you're using fractions
of teaspoons of each chemical, so this is a really cheap way to
buffer water.) Do this for the next week, changing 20% of the
water in the aquarium each day. By the end of the week you should
find the aquarium is very much more stable, and you should have
water chemistry around about 10 degrees dH, 5-10 degrees KH, and
about pH 7.5. Perfect for your frogs!>
At this point in time, I do not have a "safe" place for
my frogs to live in if I have to cycle their tanks from scratch.
I cannot seem to find any consistent information for cycling with
livestock, or if this is even possible. Any suggestions or ideas
you have would be appreciated.
Skinny Xenopus 10/21/11
Just wanted to follow-up with you guys. I have attached a series
of pictures. The first 4 are from when I first emailed you guys
about my frog looking emaciated, refusing to eat, and while he
was behaving as if he was lethargic (around Sept. 20, 2011). You
had responded that this sounded like red leg. I began treating
with Maracyn Two. (Treated for the full week and had removed the
carbon filter during that period). After the full week of
treatment, we replaced the carbon filter to end treatment. At
that time, he was only willing to eat night crawlers.
A few days after the first round of Maracyn Two treatment, he
took a turn for the worst. His toes/feet were tightly clamped. He
started getting open sores on his "knees" and the
webbing between his toes became infected and began to rot off. I
read a little more into red leg and found that in the later
stages, these frogs can start to develop open sores and their
limbs will rot off. I also read that once it gets to this point,
there is almost nothing you can do for the frog, that it is
already terminal. Sure enough, his toes started to slowly rot
away, down to the bone until the bones snapped off. Not willing
to accept the fact that our frog was probably past the point of
saving, we tried a full week of very aggressive antibiotic
treatment. Once again, we removed the carbon filter and we began
dosing with Maracyn Two AND Maracyn TC (Packages said both treat
the same things expect that TC also treats septicemia). The
packages for these medications say to dose once daily for a full
week. We were dosing every twelve hours with each. (Basically
quadrupling the recommended dosage - pet store owner suggested
that he doses his fish/frogs with medicine every twelve hours
when they are sick - he mentioned that after 12 hours, the
frog/fish has absorbed everything they can from that dose). The
next 4 pictures show his condition while treating with these two
medications. (Maracyn Two causes the water to turn cloudy while
the Maracyn TC turns the water orange).
While treating, the fuzziness on his toes went away (webbing
completely disappeared), his toes were less red, and his sores
actually started to heal. During this time, he also started to
eat frozen blood worms in addition to night crawlers. And then we
made a terrible decision....
We stopped treatment after a week. We were concerned with the
cloudy/orange state of the water for longer than a week,
especially since we were dosing him 4x the recommended dose. We
replaced the carbon filter to stop the treatment. He was still
eating at this point. We were (and still are) feeding him once a
day with the frozen blood worms. He was willing and able to eat a
whole cube. We figured as long as he was now eating and pooping
regularly, that maybe we were headed in a good direction. But
then his sores started to get worse, and he developed more. (One
behind each arm and one on his back side). His toes also began to
rot away more rapidly. During this period is when we noticed bare
bone exposed/snapped off on his toes.
The next 2 pictures show this condition.
Kicking ourselves in the rear for stopping the double treatment
with the Maracyn medications, we went back to the pet store to
get more of each.
While there, they recommended we try KanaPlex (made by Seachem -
active ingredient is Kanamycin). This medication says to dose
once every 2 days, for a maximum of 3 doses. Again, we went with
the more aggressive route.
Instead of every other day, we are treating with this medication
once a day. We are also not going to stop treatment until his
wounds are healed and he looks to be back to normal. We are on
day 5 of this treatment and everything seems to be getting MUCH
better. He has developed new webbing between his toes and it
looks like he might be regenerating skin/meat on his toes with
exposed bones. His sores also seem to be healing. During this
entire period, he had also became so skinny that he lost his
"fat packs", the large humps that these frogs use as
energy storage around each kidney.
With daily feeding and a daily dose of this medication, he has
"refilled" one pack and is working on the other.
With all of that being said, I do have a question or two.
1) Do you know at what point overdosing with any of these
medications might become an issue? They seem to be working and
not harming at this point, but is there a time limit that these
doses might be good for? Will they eventually begin to do more
harm than good? Also, have you had any experience with successful
treatment of red leg once it gets to the point of rotting limbs
off? From what I have read, a lot of websites recommend to
euthanize once it gets to this stage.
<It's crucial to finish off all courses of antibiotics.
Not only for your own use in a given situation, but because
incomplete usage of antibiotics is one of the major reasons why
so many dangerous bacteria have become antibiotic-resistant. Now,
in general, they rarely cause harm to animals, so you can use
them as often as you want. The only likely danger is to filter
bacteria, but if the filter bacteria are okay, or you're able
to keep the water clean in other ways (e.g., through use of
Zeolite or very regular water changes) then this won't be a
major worry. And yes, I agree:
once the bones are visible in the thigh or shins, it's time
The odd lost toe isn't a big deal if the frog isn't
otherwise in trouble; amphibians may even regrow lost toes. But
if Red Leg is happening, and the main part of the leg is
infected, so much so the leg is clearly gangrenous, it's time
to painlessly destroy the frog. I'm not an expert on
euthanising frogs though. However, the RSPCA (the British
equivalent of the ASPCA in the US, publish a document on Xenopus
welfare that includes information on euthanasia.
In a nutshell, they recommend MS-222, which may involve talking
to a vet or animal rescue. A fish anesthetic like Clove Oil might
work, but because frogs breathe air, and can hold their breath
quite a long time, this isn't something I'd recommend
unless you understand what you're aiming to do and how
you'd prevent the frog from breathing.
Benzocaine has also been used to kill frogs humanely, and may be
worth considering. Benzocaine can be purchased from
2) This frog is still quarantined from my other 3 ACF's. I
know that this disease is HIGHLY contagious. Our sick frog was
housed in the main tank with the other three for a long time
while he was emaciated and lethargic, before quarantined and
started treatment. The others have not shown any signs, except
for two days ago. I noticed that while they were stationed at the
bottom of their tank, (presumably sleeping/resting), all three
had clamped toes/feet. None of them are looking red, I cannot see
their veins as I could with the sickly one, and they are all
still very well rounded and eating normal. As soon as I turn
their light on, or disturb their tank in some other way, they
"awaken" and they spread their toes like normal. I
don't think I ever would have noticed their feet had I not
been caring for this sick one. Should I start treating their tank
with the normal recommended dosage incase they have the early
stages of red leg? Or is it normal for these frogs to have
clamped toes while they are sleeping?
<I would assume all frogs are infected and treat with
antibiotics. If nothing else, you'll prevent any spread of
infection, even if the frogs are healthy now.>
P.S. I have also attached a couple of pictures of the other 3
frogs. You can see that they look MUCH healthier than this sick
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Sick African Clawed, please help
I have had my ACF Gus, for almost 10 years now. He has never been
ill in his life with me, until I noticed some worrying things
over the last few days. Gus has always been on a diet of
ReptoMin, and maybe once a week frozen bloodworms. Gus lives in a
55 Gallon tank, with no fish of any kind. He lives alone, with
lots of fake plants and hiding places. He is a very spoiled frog!
He has a waterfall filter that I run a few times a week. I do
regular water changes as well. I decided to do a full tank
draining last weekend to redecorate his space. I put him in his
bucket until cleaning was done, and returned him to his home. Oh,
and just to add, it is tap water, and I always put tap water
conditioner in with every water change. Later that night I
noticed he was curled up in a ball sort of , legs tucked in. I
didn't think much of it because sometimes he sleeps this way,
but he did not do his usual night singing, and did not eat his
bloodworms that night.
The next day I noticed he was shedding excessively, and has not
stopped since. The webbing in between both back feet is also
torn, and red around the tears. He also has some small white
spots that appear cottony, and a few small red spots as well. For
the last 4 days I have kept him in a 5 Gallon sort of hospital
tank, changing the water every day, and doing a diluted Pedialyte
bath once a day. He has been eating for the last 2 days, very
well actually. But he is still sluggish, and his still shedding
like crazy. Any ideas?? I love him very much and I want to get
him the proper treatment. People have told me everything from
Lamisil, to aquarium salts, to tetracycline and I am not sure
where to begin! Here are some pics of recent days.
<Hello Ally. Your Xenopus is a good age, so broadly, I'd
imagine you're providing good care and that this infection is
one of those things that happen even in the best run aquaria. But
with that said, do double check the filter is working properly,
and remember, it should be running 24/7, 365 days a week. Each
time you switch the filter off some of the bacteria die, and when
the filter is off, there's nothing removing ammonia. I
mention this because young Xenopus may well be hardier than older
specimens, and just like people, as Xenopus get older, they
become more sensitive to disease as their immune system starts to
weaken a bit. In any event, check the aquarium has good water
quality -- zero ammonia and zero nitrite -- and also check your
water chemistry is appropriate -- hard, neutral to basic water is
better than soft or acidic water. Medicate as per Finrot in fish.
Your local reptile/amphibian pet shop should be able to advise
here, but if all else fails, a broad spectrum antibiotic should
help. Injected antibiotics from your vet have the best chance of
helping, while antibiotics the frog can eat work almost as well.
Antibiotics added to water are the least reliable because of
issues to do with dosing. Remove carbon from the filter because
that will remove medication. Red Leg is a distinctive health
problem with these frogs for which treatment is difficult, and
unlikely without help from your vet. There are some useful photos
Re: Sick African Clawed, please help
Thanks so much for the advice, me and Gus really appreciate it!
His webbing appears less red today which I suppose is good! I
will try doing everything you suggested!
<Good luck to you both, and we're glad to help where we
can. Cheers, Neale.>
Sick frog part 2 5/8/11
I had written you about my frog Gus. Well I have confirmed now it
is indeed some sort of fungus. He has stopped shedding, but now
he has white little cotton ball things all over him. How do I fix
this?? Please help thanks! I bought aquarium salt and tetra
fungus guard..are these safe and please advise on the dosages
<Methylene Blue is available at aquarium shops and is
particularly safe and effective, which is why it is used for
treating baby fish and even fish eggs. It is known to be safe
with frogs. Look for medications that contain just this chemical,
such as Kordon Methylene Blue and Interpet Methylene Blue. Use as
directed, paying particular attention to concentration, water
changes, and the removal of carbon from the filter (if used).
Other antifungal medications may work, but I'm not familiar
with their safety or otherwise when used on frogs. Cheers,
African Clawed Frog Help, beh., dis.
I have had my clawed frog for a little over a year now and noticed
yesterday that there is some white tufty material stringing off of his
skin under his belly and on his sides and back of his head.
<Shedding skin in small sheets is not uncommon. This looks a bit
like cellophane. Normal. No need to treat. If the Xenopus is shedding
large amounts of skin, and in particular if it stops feeding and/or
loses weight, that's something much more serious, for example
It is very light and almost flows with the water when he moves. It is
not cottony patches on his actual skin. If you looked at him quickly
you wouldn't even notice it. It is only when you look up close in
detail that you notice it. I am concerned that it is some type of
<Fungus is very specifically white, cottony threads. Red-Leg
involves obvious milky white patches on the flesh itself, essentially
dead flesh, and ultimately the red sores that give this disease its
I read online that many frog owners use Maroxy to treat a fungus but I
am unable to find this in the pet shops. Most of the pet shops say it
is discontinued. Is there another product that is safe to use with this
type of frog? Do you think that it is a fungus from what I describe?
When I called Mardel Labs they said that Maroxy isn't safe for
amphibians. Please help, I am very concerned.
<Do hope this is nothing serious! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: re: African Clawed Frog Help 3/11/11
Thank you for responding. I do appreciate the help. So, last night I
was watching Frogee (his name) and I noticed that it seemed that some
of the white thin film had come off. Then, all of a sudden, a sheet of
it peeled off and floated around the tank. It looked like he was clean
of all of this skin/fungus or whatever it is. However, I noticed today
that it seems that there are small sections that are back again. Does
this seem normal for shedding skin and it is usually so constant?
<It varies. It shouldn't be constant, but if your frog seems to
be shedding a lot of skin, review conditions in the aquarium. Among
other things, be sure the water is clean (zero ammonia/nitrite), not
too warm (around 18 C/68 F is ideal for Xenopus laevis); that new water
has dechlorinator added, including ammonia and Chloramine removers);
and that the pH and hardness aren't too extreme.
Mixing with fish and other animals is generally a bad idea, too.
URGENT: African Clawed Frog Sickness
Hello! I have a 2 year old female African Clawed frog named Lucy
who's injured. She is kept in a 15 gallon tank with a ph of
7.3 and 76 degree water, she is housed with 2 adult feeder rosies
which I've had for months.
I thought she might eat them but she never did. There are also
several live plants and a fine crushed coral substrate (which
after looking on the site, I'm wondering if it's a bad
choice). She has a varied diet of
Repto-min pellets, Amphibian floating pellets, freeze-dried meal
worms, freeze dried shrimp, and her water is treated with
Repto-safe water treatment. I've had her for about a year now
and have never had problems
with her injuring herself, however, lately she's been
shedding her skin a lot and what I thought was a simple injury to
her foot changed in a matter of days. Her foot was cut a little
bit, so I took the rosies out so they wouldn't nibble on her
while she healed and I took anything that could possibly be the
slightest bit abrasive out of the tank. The following day her
foot was even worse, it looked like it was shredded nearly to the
bone by the front of her right two toes. I immediately cleaned
the tank and added about 80% new water with some extra stress
coat just in case it could help. Her condition didn't
It looked like the skin started to grow back on the shredded toes
but now it seems to have gotten twice as bad, I can see the bone
in the farthest toe, and the other is growing skin back but that
portion of her foot has lost a great deal of color and is almost
cream colored with the exception of the pink sinew around the
area. Now it seems like the injury is spreading up the back of
her foot (almost to the heel-like area, but her rear 2 toes are
still full of color and look fine). Also I've noticed a small
ulcer almost fungal looking spot on her back. I'm not sure
how to treat her because I've already done water changes and
the tank wasn't very dirty to begin with, and I don't
know if it's safe to treat it as a fungal infection.
There are no signs of redness anywhere on her legs other than
around her foot injury, her eyes are clear as ever, she's
eating, but she spends most of her time at the top waterline of
the tank, which is fairly normal for her. She's not as
animated as usual though. I'm very worried about her
condition worsening. I have empty spare tanks around the house,
would it be safest to move her to a clean ten gallon with no
decorations & gravel and medicate? If so what should I use?
I'm worried about her because this affliction has spread so
quick in the span of a week, and her tank water is clean so I
have no idea what's causing it.
Thank you very much for any help you can give. I appreciate your
taking the time to read my letter, I was in such a hurry to send
it that I didn't get a chance to add that.
Thank you so much for any advice you can offer,
<Hello Kira. I'm almost certain that this is Red Leg, an
opportunistic bacterial infection that's quite often seen
among captive amphibians.
Broadly, it's caused by poor environment. While Xenopus are
extremely durable animals, they aren't indestructible, and a
15 gallon tank stocked with an adult Xenopus plus two Rosy Red
Minnows is overstocked. You're also keeping both species much
too warm, and both would do better at room
temperature. Xenopus are best treated as subtropical animals, and
unless your house gets frosty-cold in winter, there's no need
for a heater; 18 C/64 F being about right all year around.
I can't be certain what caused the initial infection, but
prompt treatment is essential. Tetracycline is the recommended
medication, ideally by injection, which you vet will handle for
you. Once the "meat" starts coming off the bone,
chances of recovery are not that favourable; again, your vet
should be able to advise here.
There's a good summary here:
Re: URGENT: African Clawed Frog Sickness
Thank you Neale! I appreciate your quick response. I tried
tetracycline but she didn't survive unfortunately.
<Often the case once the infection becomes systemic.>
I do not plan to replace her, but if I do I will make sure to
keep an ample sized tank and not overstock any future tanks.
Thank you very much for your prompt response!
Thanks again Neale!
<Glad to help, but sorry things didn't work out. Cheers,
African clawed frog swimming strangely and discolored
My son has a ACF that seems to be taking a turn.
It has been healthy and fine, to this point, but I did notice it was
turning a darker green color in blotches, rather than staying it's
pretty light green color.
<This tends to be a reaction to poor environmental conditions.
Essentially a bacterial infection. Can be treated with antibiotics,
e.g., Maracyn II (Minocycline) and Maracyn Plus (Sulfadimidine and
Trimethoprin, but best avoided.>
It lives with two other fish and a snail, and we change out the water
by 2/3 weekly.
<Actually, these frogs should never be kept with fish. Whatever
habitat you keep them in should be adequately large, maintained at
around room temperature (rather than tropical temperatures) and ALWAYS
filtered. Changing water instead of filtering just doesn't work. Do
see here for the basics:
We have floating plants for the bowl. The frog is swimming in a
twisting motion, and then stops and just floats.
Sometimes it seems to stay slight twisted almost upside down. This
appears to be different behavior than we have seen to this point (one
<You see, it takes about a month for things to go wrong.>
I have removed it from the big tank and put it alone with a bit of
shrimp in water that has been dechlorinated to see ---I am not sure to
Is it dying or is there something I can do for it to try to save
<Maybe not at death's door, but certainly severely stressed.
Review the conditions in the tank. It needs a tank at least 10 gallons
in size (ideally twice that for an adult) at about 15-20 degrees C in
and filtered with a good, strong filter. A small internal canister
filter would be ideal.>
Thank you. Susan
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: African clawed frog swimming strangely and discolored
Thank you, Neale...
<Happy to help.>
I am not sure how the Pet Stores stay in biz. ugh
<I look at it this way: A sales clerk wouldn't stop himself
selling me a ghastly pair of yellow trousers with pink polka dots.
<<Hey! I bought those!! Heeee! RMF>>
It's up to me to make an appropriate choice. So with a pet shop:
They'll sell any animal to
anyone who pays the money, regardless of the ability of that person to
keep that animal. Yes, I agree, the *ethics* is totally different,
since it's an animal we're talking about, an animal that can
suffer in various ways. But so long as the law doesn't enforce some
sort of ethical dimension, it's up to us to make sure we research
the needs of those animals prior to purchasing them. I do my best to
help people *after the event*, but
often-times that isn't much good, perhaps because the animal is too
far gone, or else because my correspondent doesn't have the funds
or space to house the animal properly. It's a thorny problem, I
Possible sick albino African claw frog-
I have an albino ACF that as of yesterday has a red spot in between her
eyes, and her veins in her feet are red as well. For the last couple
months I have had her in a five gallon tank with a filter. Yesterday I
moved her into a 10 gallon tank with a filter with the same gravel and
plants from the previous tank. I change her water in it's entirety
every three weeks. i feed her bloodworms and shrimp pellets every other
day. she hasn't eaten in two days, but other than that her behavior
is normal. I was wondering if there is something i should do, or a way
i can test to see if she is alright. please help me.
<Hello Theresa. Generally, when aquatic frogs (whether Xenopus or
Hymenochirus) develop red patches on their bodies, it's a sign of
bacterial infection (often called "Red Leg"). You will need
to use an appropriate
antibiotic, either bought from a pet store specialising in reptiles and
amphibians (an option in the US) or from a vet (most of the rest of the
world). Do read here:
Since Red Leg is caused by environmental issues, do review how you are
keeping these frogs, particularly in terms of water quality and water
chemistry. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Possible sick albino African claw frog
Thanks for the quick response!
I woke up this morning and her spot is diminishing and she hasn't
stopped eating. Should I still pick up the antibiotics or did the
change of water and environment do the trick?
<If the wounds are healing, i.e., there's less blood and
inflammation visible, then sure, leave it for a couple days and see
what happens. But do daily water changes, maybe 10-20% for the next few
days, so you keep conditions tip-top. If this doesn't help, then
yep, antibiotics are probably best. Cheers, Neale.>
Two ACF's with red sores 4/28/09
Hello, my question is concerning my two African clawed frogs. One is a
male who is 4 or 5 years old, the other a female who is about 3 years
old. They live in a 20 gallon long tank. They have Whisper internal
filter 20 to 30 gallons, a heater and a cave. No bottom substrate at
<All sounds good.>
Apart from my male getting something that made him shed three times a
day last year, which was easily cleared up, neither has been sick until
know. About 4 weeks ago I noticed the female had a red eye and lip and
was swimming incredibly crooked. She still had quite an appetite. So I
treated the tank with salt and
Fungus Clear, which is what the guy at my local pet store said would
<Salt is sometimes used with Xenopus to reduce swelling, and
sometimes alongside the appropriate medications. But in this instance,
it doesn't sound as if your frogs have fungus. Fungal infections
are very distinctive: white, fluffy patches on the body. The standard
treatment is Mardel MarOxy.
For bacterial infections -- what I suspect your frogs are dealing with
-- either Maracyn II or Maracyn Plus are recommended.>
He also said to treat them both as the male would likely get it too.
After two weeks of treating, water changes and the female going crazy
and jumping out when I opened the lid, she seemed to be better. (I
learned to not open the lid unless she was in her cave). No more red
anywhere on her body, but she still wasn't swimming too great. So I
continued the treatment for 3 more days. her swimming wasn't
getting any better, nor was it getting any worse. She was still eating
fine. All levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH were good.
<Meaning 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and a steady pH between 7.5 and 8?
Xenopus do need hard, alkaline water to do well.>
None of them spiked during treatment. Everything was fine an dandy for
a few days when I noticed the male had a red sore about the size of my
pinky nail in the center of his belly. His front toes are reddish, but
not too bad and the tip of his snout is red. The rest of his belly is
perfectly creamy white, as are his legs. He is
swimming fine and eating fine
<It does sound like a bacterial infection, something like Red Leg.
This is an opportunistic bacterial infection caused by Aeromonas,
equivalent to Finrot in fish.>
I started the treatment again last night. 1 tablespoons of aquarium
salt per 3 gallons of water, 2 tablets Fungus Clear and a water change
every 3 days. No carbon in the filter so I'm not feeding them as
much because I don't want the ammonia to spike. There is no ammonia
as of midnight last night. PH, Nitrite, Nitrate and all that good stuff
is perfect. I have been treating them again for 3 days and the male
doesn't seem to be getting any better. Not worse and it isn't
spreading, but not better.
<Well, the fungus medication isn't helping and you should be
using an anti-bacterial treatment instead.>
Do you have any suggestions at all that could possibly help? The
treatment only seems to be keeping the infections at bay, not getting
rid of them.
Any other medications I could try?
<Weirdly, I'd just finished writing a whole piece about aquatic
frogs for WWM, so if you stop back in the next day or two, you should
see something come up on the New Articles page, here:
In the meantime, treat with antibacterial medications as explained, and
as with Finrot, review possible triggering factors: water quality,
physical damage, rough handling. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Two ACF's with red sores 06/03/09
Thank you for your quick reply. I don't know what was up with
the male, but before I got to treat him he shed his skin and the
sore was gone.
<It is often the case that healthy animals get better of their
own accord; at least some of the time, optimal water quality and
diet are the key things, and medication helps more in preventing
infection, rather than fixing whatever is immediately and
But darn it the female did not get better. Her eye cleared up and
the redness on her lip lessened, but her other eye went cloudy
and she developed a sore on the other side of her lip. She lost
her appetite and
hasn't eaten in three weeks. I treated her with Maracyn TC
everyday for two weeks, but she didn't get any better. I
isolated her this morning in her own ten gallon with a filter. I
noticed her legs were twitching. This only lasted a few seconds
immediately after I put her in the tank and then she stopped and
hasn't done it since. I noticed she has had a little trouble
reaching the surface.
<Do lower the water so she can "stand" up if needs
Her legs look fine. I have attached some pictures of her. She
doesn't appear to be in pain, but since she is a frog I guess
it is kind of hard to tell if she is or not.
<Doesn't look irredeemable at all... would switch to a
different antibiotic if Maracyn TC (which is a Tetracycline) to
perhaps Furanace (a Nitrofuran) or Maracyn Plus (Sulfadimidine
Are there any stronger antibiotics I can give her? I am willing
to try to get some antibiotics down her throat if it would help
her. What about medicated foods?
<If she'll eat them; it is certainly true that orally
administered drugs work much better than those added to
Thank you very much.
<Do have a read here:
It's a bit technical, but the table at the end will help you
shopping, and the sections of how to use antibiotics is very
Here is a video of her swimming, maybe it will help.
<She looks quite strong and still a good weight; I'd
expect good results, once you've used the right drug. Cheers,
Albino Clawed Frog 5/4/09
I have a single ACF in a large aquarium, which has a few live
plants, fine sand on the floor and plenty of fish (including
silver dollars, catfish, Pleco, Corys, mollies) and is generally
a healthy tank.
I've had the frog for nearly a year and have never had any
problems with him/her. The other day I noticed that she had what
appeared to be a small hole in her bottom lip and a few days
later it seemed to have got a little bigger.
<Yes, I see...>
On closer inspection it doesn't appear to be a hole but is
definitely a lesion of some kind and was looking rather red and
<Likely some sort of physical damage, and for whatever reason,
it's become infected with an opportunistic bacterial
Upon checking her this morning she now appears to have two lumps
further down her throat, about the size of a match head each,
that look like some kind of spot or wart. She also doesn't
seem to be as active and just sits in the corner of the tank.
<Often happens with bacterial infections.>
I fed her two days ago (before the lumps appeared but while she
had the sores) and she seemed to be eating fine - I don't
feed bloodworm but do feed frozen krill, octopus and Tubifex.
Have you any idea what this could be and how I could treat
<I'd treat as you would Red Leg, as described here:
See under the "Diseases and treatment" section. Do note
that a tropical aquarium is warmer than Xenopus laevis enjoys,
and that can complicate matters somewhat.>
Thanking you in advance.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
ACF with fungal/bacterial problem? 01/22/2008 Hello,
<Howdy> My name is Rachel. I have 4 Albino Clawed Frogs and
they are housed in a 30 gallon tank filtered with 2 Whisper 20-40
gal filtration systems. I know that this 30 gallon is going to be
too small for these guys but they are still relatively small. We
plan on upgrading to a larger tank as soon as we can. All of my
frogs are between 6 months and a year old I am assuming. We do
regular water changes <Every week I hope> and feed them
every day or two. Nothing has changed with their tank except that
we added the second filtration system about a month ago.
<Good> One night when feeding the frogs however, we noticed
our smallest one had some small black spots/rings on one of his
hind legs and his eyes were blackened. With the others, if you
look into their eyes its almost like you can see through to their
brains, but his looked black and mucky if you looked through
them. <Not to worry re... some degree of melanization is not a
problem... even with "albino" Xenopus> From the leg
alone and "cloudiness" of the eyes I assumed I was
dealing with some sort of fungal or bacterial infection. He was
eating and swimming just fine and he does not seem to be acting
any differently. After reading a little on your site and others,
I decided to add a little aquarium salt <Mmm, I
wouldn't> as well as Maracyn Two (pet store recommended).
I only used half the recommended dose for each. After three days
of the Maracyn Two, his eyes seem to be SLIGHTLY more clear but
his leg is looking the same. I have attached a picture for you.
Hopefully you can give me some more suggestions. I hope that I
caught this in time and that it will not be fatal. I would hate
to lose him. He is our baby of the bunch.?? Any help would be
greatly appreciated.? Thank you. <There does appear to be a
bit of reddening here... I would step up your water change-out
procedures, and add/soak a bit of liquid vitamins to their foods
ahead of offering (ones made/intended for baby humans are fine
here). Bob Fenner>
Re: ACF with fungal/bacterial problem?
1/31/08 Hi again! <Hello> It seems as though my problem
is getting a little worse. I stepped up the water change. I
actually did a full system clean because of the salt that I had
originally put in. With the clean water, I took your advice and
found some liquid vitamins that the pet store had. I believe its
called Vita-Chem. Anyway, I had mentioned previously that all
together we have 4 frogs. All of the others were fine but tonight
I noticed that 2 of them are starting to get the same dark spots
on their legs (not as extreme as the frog in the photo). The
redness that you noticed on the picture has diminished slightly,
and the spots on the toes were clearing up, but the spots on the
legs are very persistent. Now that the other frogs are developing
the same condition, Im wondering if there isn't something
else I should be doing on top of the water changes and vitamins.
<Perhaps adding some filtration, or a larger system...> (As
far as the vitamins, I add about a drop per 2 gallons in the
water when I do a water change, as well as soak their food in
it.) Do you have any more advice for me? <To read more widely
on the Net using the terms Xenopus and health, nutrition,
systems... and to report back to us re your findings... for
others edification. Bob Fenner>
ACF with fungal/bacterial
problem? 3/5/08 Hello again, I first sent you an email on
01/22 about a frog with a possible bacteria infection. It turns
out that the spots on his legs are actually ammonia burns.
<Hmm... not sure there's a difference, to be honest.> I
don't believe we cycled the tank properly from the beginning.
We have since cycled the tank completely. Ammonia, Nitrites, and
Nitrates are all at 0. I know that ammonia burns will take a very
long time to heal/go away. <Yes, and the main problem is
secondary infections, i.e., the infamous "Red Leg"
causes by Aeromonas bacteria.> Assuming that the reddening you
noticed in the picture was part of this ammonia burning issue, I
did not treat my frog with anything other than the first dose of
Maracyn Two. (I realized about a week ago that the treatment of
Maracyn Two was completely unsuccessful - I did not remove the
carbon filters). <Two lessons here: ALWAYS complete the course
of medication, and ALWAYS remove carbon when treating livestock.
In fact, carbon is practically useless in freshwater aquaria, and
is mostly sold to extract money from hobbyists. Water changes do
more good for less money.> After the tank was completely
cycled, I spoke to a pet store owner that has been helping me
test my water and cycle my tank properly. When I mentioned the
reddening of the legs, he raised his eyebrow and said that it was
a bacterial issue. <Likely, yes.> I have been reading about
bacterial infections and septicemia - which would be a cause for
his body's change in color. Septicemia is the same thing as
Red Leg from what I have seen. <Red Leg is a category of
septicaemia, yes; all a septicaemia is a bacterial infection of
the blood. In fish and frogs this often happens where the
integument has been breached (for example by a burn or scratch)
and the Aeromonas bacteria get in from the water and into the
tissues.> My frog has had this red color and the spots for
over a month and a half. Frogs with red leg usually don't
make it and probably don't live for a week after the symptoms
actually show. I bought another treatment of Maracyn Two and
removed the carbon filters. I haven't noticed too much of a
difference. <To be honest, recovery from Red Leg just
isn't that common. By all means try, and stick with the
medication you are using. Water quality and a healthy diet are
critical factors, and probably matter just as much as the
medications.> Even before treating with Maracyn Two properly,
one day his body would look normal with slight reddening on his
legs and the next day his whole body would look red and somewhat
inflamed then back to normal looking again the next day, almost
as if his immune system is trying to fight this off. With your
knowledge and experience, do you think that I am dealing with
septicemia or something else? He has been like this for about a
month and a half. Should I be treating him with something other
than Maracyn Two? I have read about Tetracycline - perhaps it
would work better. <Certainly worth a shot.> Any
information would be greatly appreciated. Rachel <Good luck,
Mangled African albino clawed frog 8/16/07 Hi. My
frog tore up its arms in what seems to me to be a bad idea
aquarium-wise. I hung a plastic large plant from the top of my tank,
trying to give it a more natural feel. Anyways, it appears my frog
tangled its arms up in it and cut its arms quite a bit. Never knew
plastic was so sharp until I actually felt it myself. Quarantined for a
week, but when I put back into tank, my Oscar and catfish seemed to
hunt the wounded frog. So I separated again, later more damage was done
to its hands. This has been going on for about 6 weeks now and
"Pac-Man" doesn't seem to be healing. Even more signs of
extremities are almost rotting off. He won't eat. which he always
did a lot of. The "bones" or whatever are still clearly
present, but no new tissue is growing. Is this terminal? What else can
I do to cure him? I've done complete water changes at least every
other day. TY <Greetings. As soon as your frog damaged itself you
should have treated for bacterial infections and fungus using an
amphibian-safe medication. You local reptile store should be able to
help there. After six weeks, the damage has been done, and the wounds
have obviously become septic and the frog is dying. Unless you really
kick into gear and treat right now, your lack of action has doomed your
pet to a miserable and very painful death. Even if you do treat the
frog, I wouldn't bet a lot of money on its recovery. It goes
without saying that you should never, ever put anything inside an
aquarium that feels spiky or rough. The idea is to create a safe and
healthy environment! Giving pets cute names doesn't help them any,
but common sense and proper care is what they want. Good luck,
SICK FROG I read some other
emails about their albino frog shredding its skin and that being
normal. However, I had an old catfish recently die and as it was dying,
the whiskers (not sure what they are called) began to shred away to
almost nothing and it had red sores in its mouth. It was an old fish so
I didn't think much of it, I just thought it was from age. After,
my albino frog began to shed about 4 layers of skin and now a few of
its front legs' claws have deteriorated and some claws are red on
the end. I don't think this is normal shredding, but I am not sure
because it is my first pet frog. Please help me. < You have a
bacterial infection that began with you catfish and is now affecting
your frog. Change 30 to 50% of the water and clean the filter. Vacuum
the gravel to remove and sediment that has occurred there. The clean
water should greatly help. Now if it gets worse then we need to try
some antibiotics and I am not real sure which one would be appropriate.
Look online at red legged frog diseases and see what others have been
using. To be safe you could always ask a vet but many are not to
familiar with frog diseases. If you need to try something ASAP to save
its life then I would try Nitrofuranace. It works well on fish but
frogs breath through their skin. If your frog starts to show any kind
of reaction then get him out of the water immediately. Then try another
medication like Maracyn but this is only a guess. I know these
medications will work on the bacteria, I am just not familiar enough
with frogs to know if they will have any adverse reactions to the
Amphibian Ailments (4/2/2004) Hi
your site was suggested to me by a rep a pet land. <A well informed
pet store employee> I have 2 African albino clawed frogs and one of
them seems to have some thing wrong with its foot. It looks like
skin is peeling off, or shedding. Its also blood shot. <Could be
bacterial or fungal...is there any "fuzziness" or anything
indicative of a fungal infection, or is it more red and swollen,
possibly indicative of a bacterial infection? As a side note, do check
your ammonia levels, and I assume you are not using chlorinated
water?> I at first thought that it might of hurt it self or the
other frog bit it. But today it looks a little better. But now if you
look at it, you can see the bones on the foot. <Not good. Does it
appear to be spreading? Any red\swollen skin or any red "blood
poisoning" obvious in the legs\blood vessels? Frogs of this
species are especially susceptible to "Septicemia"> Would
you guys have a idea as to what it could be? The guy at Petland thought
that it might be a fungal infection, but the other frogs seem ok.
<Probably bacterial (Septicemia), a nasty and all to common
infection of these animals.> If you can email me back at * I'd
be grateful. <Try treating the frog with 'Triple Sulfa' by
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals or Tetracycline (available from Kordon and
other vendors, shouldn't be hard to find at your local pet store).
Do this in a separate container of tank water or a quarantine tank.
Dose appropriately and make sure to keep the water heated. If you
don't notice any improvements in 4-5 days, do send me another
email, along with the aquarium size, tankmates, and a picture of the
frog if possible> Thanks <No problem, let me know if your frog
doesn't improve in health in a few days. M. Maddox>
Clawed Frog Disease - 09/08/2005
My Frog, Bugzie, has a large bulging, swollen area under her mouth that
extends from chin to throat. This occurred 3 days ago and seems to be
getting larger and lighter in color....PLEASE HELP! <I recommend you
try reading here: http://fluffyfrog.com/FrogPondVetF.html . Though this
may just be some result of physical trauma (injury, etc.), it could be
an infection of some sort.> Thanks. Carole <Wishing you and
Bugzie well, -Sabrina>