preparing in advance for when frogs become ill

For all those who care for our magnificent native frog fauna at home. Share information on enclosures, feeding, which frogs to select, and general care advice.

Moderators: Chris Key, Gerry Marantelli, Mod Squad

User avatar
FDR Project
Posts: 745
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 11:22 pm
Location: Cairns, FNQ

preparing in advance for when frogs become ill

Postby FDR Project » Wed May 09, 2007 1:01 pm

This topic was originally posted in the health and disease forum but its main benefit is for those who don't have a sick frog now and want to be prepared in case anything should happen to the frogs you keep.

If something does appear to be affecting your captives, please be sure to post something in the health and disease forum.


This topic is to help you prepare for any situations that may arise where your frog may have a problem and needs to be treated with something. There are some very specific medications and other chemicals that can be used to correct illnesses that are turning up in Australian frogs and not all of these are sitting on the shelf at your local shop waiting for you to come in and pick them up! In some cases, they are the only product that works on a particular problem and some effort may be needed to find them quickly.

If you plan in advance instead of waiting until illness strikes, recovering the frog would be made that much smoother and more successful.

These are some basic items we recommend that we use in FNQ which should be on hand at all times for Australian frogs. Other useful products may come along which will treat specific problems but, at this stage, there are far more new problems surfacing in frogs than have been investigated so much of the treatment is still trial and error and this takes time to work out for each new problem.

- betadine solution (10% povidone iodine)
- Aqua Master's Rapid White-spot remedy (formaldehyde and malachite green)
- Multicure aquarium antifungal (malachite green, acriflavine, and methelyne blue)
- Calcium sandoz syrup (keep in the fridge once open)
- aquarium charcoal which is pulverised using a mortar and pestle and stored in dry container
- a few panadeine tablets (8 or 10mg codeine - NOT forte) which are pulverised in a mortar and pestle and stored in a dry container with a dessicant pack (from one of your vitamin bottles) - do NOT attempt to use the panadeine on frogs until specific instructions have been provided to you
- 1ml syringes (no needles) still in their sealed wrappings
- a box of disposable gloves (vinyl or latex or netrille)
- sodium chloride 0.9% solution
- the laminated pouches used for curries (these are foil lined and can be washed and cut up into pieces and stored in a plastic container for use when having to force feed a frog)

bleach or F10 SC is needed for proper disinfection as is betadine
a portable fan forced heater and mercury thermometer should also be on hand in case you should encounter chytrid fungus

In addition, you should find a source now who can provide you with the following items quickly in case they are needed:

** Avitrol bird wormer (from a vet)
** Polyaid bird emergency supplement
Propantel (Praziquantal) 50mg tablets from a vet
Baytril antibiotic at the concentration of 25mg/mL
Chlorsig eye ointment (from a vet, for gram positive topical bacterial problems)
Optigen eye ointment (from a vet, for gram negative topical bacterial problems)
** Amphibian ringers (special electrolyte solution ordered from a vet)
** Benzalkonium chloride (in pure form, not from disinfectant)

The items that are marked with ** are those which could be acquired by a frog group's committee and made available to their members instead of every individual trying to get them themselves. Contact the committee of your group to see if they will assist with this for the benefit of all their members. The reasons why are:

-- Avitrol and polyaid will only occasionally be needed for specific cases in small amounts so, if individuals purchase these products, they will expire long before being used. If a group acquired them and sold them to members in smaller containers when needed, then there is far less waste and expense.

-- Amphibian ringers is ordered in advance through a vet and is a special item which is used in fluid retention cases to assist the kidneys and provide electrolytes. A small amount is used when needed but the bags are in 1 litre pouches and take a few weeks to come into the vet once ordered. If a group committee ordered a couple bags and sold to members as needed, this again avoids waste and means that the ringers is available when it is needed as it would be impossible to acquire on short notice.

-- Benzalkonium chloride is sourced from chemical companies and lab suppliers and is diluted down twice to obtain the concentration used on frogs. It is the only antifungal we've found up here so far that is effective on the some of the fungi that have turned up in frogs over the past year or more as a result of extreme environmental disturbance (the drought and cyclone Larry). If it is recommended to treat the problem you've posted on the forum, then you must get it to help your frog recover. This is an item that is best ordered by a frog group committee and then diluted down into ready to sell small containers for members. It has a long shelf life but is pointless for individuals to buy. One small bottle as provided by a chemical manufacturer is so concentrated that it would probably supply all the frog keepers in the country!

Taking the time to setup your emergency box now and finding your nearest sources for items not practical to get yourself will make the process easier should anything happen to your frog. Be very observant of any changes in colour, feeding or behaviour of your captive frogs and, as soon as you notice something, start keeping a notepad next to the tank to note down your observations so that you have a clear record to call on for diagnosis. Clear digital photos are essential too.

When acquiring new frogs, remember that it is a Buyer Beware situation. Ask lots of questions as to exactly where the frogs came from, can you see the export/import permits (if they were from interstate), what does the seller use for disinfection in between each lot of frogs that goes in the tank, etc. You want to buy a frog, not a nightmare disguised as a frog!

Cairns Frog Hospital

Return to “Keeping frogs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest