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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 Health ,
FAQs on Xenopus Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic, Treatments,

Related Articles: Keeping African Clawed Frogs and African Dwarf Frogs by Neale Monks, Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs:  Xenopus in General, Xenopus Identification, Xenopus Behavior, Xenopus Compatibility, Xenopus Selection, Xenopus Feeding, Xenopus Disease, Xenopus Reproduction, & Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2, Frogs Other Than African and Clawed, African Dwarf Frogs, TurtlesAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

 Do have a read here:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
This is a very useful and succinct review of Xenopus health.

African clawed frog bloat    4/13/17
Hi,
Your site is without a doubt the most informative on various issues/topics.
<Thank you.>
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 him.
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?
<Yes.>
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 economise too
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.>
Thank you
Shelley
<Welcome. Neale.>
Re: African clawed frog bloat (RMF, feel free to edit out the drugs ref.)<Mmm; I'd leave. B>    4/13/17

Hi Neale,
<Shelley,>
Thanks again for your quick response.
<Welcome.>
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 gallons.
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 be.>
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,
Shelley
<Welcome. Neale.>

Seeking ACF Medical Advice       4/11/17
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 ate two 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.
--AR
<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! Regards, Neale.>
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
normal fare.>
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 suggestions.
<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, optimize/increase
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 at/almost zero.>
We also have a second full course of tetracycline on hand if you think it may help.
Thank you,--AR
<Good luck! Neale.>

African clawed frog       4/11/17
Hello,
<Hello Shelley,>
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 responsible.>
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.
Shelley
<Hope this helps. Let me direct you to some reading, too...
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/xenopusdis.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Clawed Frog, Some Kind of Infection?       9/4/16
Hello,
<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?
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/faculty/kelley/webessay/frog_disease_site.html
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 carbon).>
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?   8/7/16
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, Neale.>

Re: Clawed Frog, Some Kind of Infection?     9/10/16
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 be concerning?
<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?        9/29/16
I think the tetracycline treatment has been successful. The redness around the snout has gone away for the most part and the nostril appears normal 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
hello,
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 appreciated!!!
<Do have a read here:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
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.
http://www.rspca.org.uk/ImageLocator/LocateAsset?asset=document&assetId=1232712646624&mode=prd
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.
Cheers, Neale.>

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 sick?

I couldn't find any info about this online anywhere!
-Heather
<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 here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
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:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Skinny Xenopus   9/21/11
Hello,
<Hello,>
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 gallons).
<Indeed, but shouldn't be an immediate cause of problems.>
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 problems.>
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 abdomen.>
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.
<Good.>
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:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
>
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 bones more).
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 appreciated.
Thanks,
Rachel
<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, Neale.>
Re: Skinny Xenopus 9/22/11

Neale,
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.
Rachel
<Best wishes, Neale.>
Re: Skinny Xenopus
Hi Neale,
<Rachel,>
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 now).
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 or alkalinity.>
I have even tried pH 7.5 (API) to raise the pH level, but it never holds.
<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 stabilize pH.
<Start reading here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
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 unstable.
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.
Thanks,
Rachel
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Skinny Xenopus   10/21/11
Hi Neale,
<Rachel,>
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 to euthanise.
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.
http://www.rspca.org.uk/ImageLocator/LocateAsset?asset=document&assetId=1232712646624&mode=prd
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.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755021
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2919187/
Benzocaine has also been used to kill frogs humanely, and may be worth considering. Benzocaine can be purchased from drugstores.
http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/wildlife_info/frogstoads/osteopilus_septentrionalis.php
>
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 one.
Thanks,
Rachel
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Sick African Clawed, please help   5/6/11
Hi there,
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.
Ally
<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 here: http://www.xlaevis.com/diseases.html
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick African Clawed, please help   5/6/11
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
Hi there,
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 thanks!
<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, Neale.>

African Clawed Frog Help, beh., dis. 3/10/11
Hi,
<LeAnna,>
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 Chytridiomycosis.>
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.
<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 name.>
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.
Thank you!
LeAnna
<Do hope this is nothing serious! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: re: African Clawed Frog Help 3/11/11

Hi,
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.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
Mixing with fish and other animals is generally a bad idea, too. Cheers, Neale.>

URGENT: African Clawed Frog Sickness 10/4/10
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 improve.
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,
Kira
<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.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
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:
http://www.xenopus.com/disease.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: URGENT: African Clawed Frog Sickness 10/5/10
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!
Kira
<Glad to help, but sorry things didn't work out. Cheers, Neale.>

African clawed frog swimming strangely and discolored 11/20/09
My son has a ACF that seems to be taking a turn.
<Oh dear.>
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:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
>
We have floating plants for the bowl. The frog is swimming in a twisting motion, and then stops and just floats.
<Sounds bad.>
Sometimes it seems to stay slight twisted almost upside down. This appears to be different behavior than we have seen to this point (one month).
<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 see what!
Is it dying or is there something I can do for it to try to save it?
<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 temperature
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 11/20/09

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 admit.>
Susan
<Cheers, Neale.>

Possible sick albino African claw frog- 10/25/09
Hello,
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.
Thanks,
Theresa
<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:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
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 10/25/09

hello,
<Hello,>
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.
<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 work.
<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?
<See above.>
Sarah
<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:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Latest%20Articles.htm
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 further/secondary infection, rather than fixing whatever is immediately and obviously wrong.>
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 be.>
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 and Trimethoprim).>
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 water.>
Thank you very much.
<Do have a read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_2/mycobactera.htm
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 useful.>
Here is a video of her swimming, maybe it will help.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-zd8PzlYmk
<She looks quite strong and still a good weight; I'd expect good results, once you've used the right drug. Cheers, Neale.>

Albino Clawed Frog 5/4/09
Hi there,
<Hello Helen,>
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.
<Sounds fun!>
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 sore.
<Likely some sort of physical damage, and for whatever reason, it's become infected with an opportunistic bacterial infection.>
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 it?
<I'd treat as you would Red Leg, as described here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FrogsArtNeale.htm
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, Neale.>

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, Neale>

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 antibiotics.-Chuck>

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 the 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>

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