New ADFs with shedding issues

Anchorite
  • #1
Hey there, I'm sorry to bring bad news on my first post but I'd really appreciate any help! I've been keeping myself busy over the past few months prepping for a community tank. On Wednesday, the fateful day arrived when I decided to purchase what was to be its first inhabitants: 3 African dwarf frogs and a mystery snail. Under the very poor lighting of my local pet store, the three frogs appeared healthy and lively and so I brought them home ...and that's where my troubles began. As I floated the bag during acclimation, I noticed something odd on the smallest ADF: tatters of translucent skin on its belly (see photo). At this point, I was at a conundrum, I didn't think it was wise to throw a frog in this condition into the 25 gallon ...but my 10 gallon I intend to use for quarantine/treatment is currently out of commission, so I set the frog aside in a makeshift 1.5 gallon container and put the two remaining frogs (and snail) into the 25 gallon. Not surprisingly, I woke up the next day to one of the previously asymptomatic frogs now having tattered skin around her head. I had to do something but even after research couldn't determine if this was a run-of-the-mill infection or the dreaded chytrid fungus. I picked up some Pimafix and stared treatment on all the frogs. A day into treatment, the third frog also started showing the same symptom. Their condition doesn't seem to be responding to the Pimafix and its been three days. Tonight I witnessed one of them thrashing at the side of the tank. At this point I'm not sure if I should consider another form of treatment or wait until the full week has passed. From what I've seen, chytrid treatments seem intense and I don't want to put these guys under any more stress unless I have no other option. So what do you think: should I treat this as chytrid? What should I do from here?

Here's the Emergency Survey:

Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 25 gallons
How long has the tank been running? 2 months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 78 degrees F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? 2 ADFs and 1 Mystery Snail

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? 1-2 times per week
How much of the water do you change? 10% weekly, 25% or more monthly
What do you use to treat your water? API tap water conditioner, API stress coat, API stress zyme
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Gravel - on rotation

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API Master Test Kit, + water hardness kit

Ammonia: 0.00 ppm
Nitrite: 0.00 ppm
Nitrate: 5.00 ppm
pH: 7.6 - 7.8

Feeding
How often do you feed? Daily
How much do you feed your frog? several worms daily
What brand of food do you feed your fish? n/a
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? live blackworms

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this frog? 3 days
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 3 days
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? flaking skin on ADFs, slight white/grayish haze on skin, occasional thrashing
Have you started any treatment for the illness? yes, Pimafix
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? Yes
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Yes, condition appears to be progressing and has spread to all 3 individuals
IMG_5189.jpg
 
Lucy
  • #2
Hi welcome to FishLore!

I'm sorry you are so concerned about your frog. I'd advise to stop pimafix.
The thrashing could be the frogs just trying to shake loose the left over shed or even reacting to pimafix. They don't always shed in one full piece.

It's not unusual for them to al shed at once if your water differs from the water at the store.

My advise is to either so the chytrid treatments or just wait it out. (big help, I know)
Other than the shed do the frogs look good?
No extended floating?
 
Anchorite
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thank you so much! (And no worries, you've been very helpful!)

Other than the constant shedding, I haven't observed any huge issues. I've kept the little one in observation since he seems underweight and want to make sure he's getting fed. All three readily devour live blackworms (but completely ignore the Invert Aquatic's "Frog Bites" soft pellets).

Thrashing is only occasional - they sometimes will swim up and down the sides of the tank but I haven't witnessed them "stuck" at the top or trying to escape. They seem to be be getting oxygen just fine.

So the plan for today is to start removing the Pimafix. Do you think a 25% water change + putting back the carbon filters would be a good start?

As for Chyrtid treatment, I'm not sure if I'll be able to pick up anything today due to a family obligation but I want to keep some on hand. Lamisil baths are the most commonly recommend treatment, right?
And is this spray the one I need?
 
Kjeldsen
  • #4
They sound healthy to me. Eating and swimming up and down are all good signs. Must love the live blackworms. They tend to swim up and down when they're excited and feeling good because they're so silly. Agree about removing the Pimafix, and maybe just keep an eye out for now.
 
Anchorite
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Sorry for the lack of updates, recent developments have me working around the clock. Sadly, things took a downhill turn for the little guy. On Sunday night he had stopped eating and had noticeably less energy. Stores were closed, so I had to wait until the following morning to pick up a can of Lamisal AT. He was still clinging on to life (and floating at the top of the tank) before I left but was deceased when I returned. It breaks my heart knowing he must have been suffering from this illness for a long time and if I had figured out even a few days earlier things might have been different.

So with that in mind, it's now a race to save the remaining two. I transferred them from the main tank into quarantine and began treatment Monday night. I'm not sure if it's stress due to the treatment process or other factors but they've been more symptomatic since the transfer. I've witnessed more frantic shimming at the water surface and occasional floating. Shedding is near constant and the amount of discarded skin removed daily is eye-opening (the lamisil is a factor here, I suspect). That said, it's not all bad news. Their appetite remains consistent (though feeding is kept to a minimum to reduce the risks of ammonia spikes) and now after three days of lamisil dips they appear to be slowly heading in the right direction.

One of my bigger concerns now is the risk of secondary infection. I want to be fully prepared for anything that pops up, so what medications should I have on hand just in case? I'm having difficulty finding definitive information on what aquatic meds are best for frogs and what would be best avoided.

All of this has me a bit down to be honest, but I want to keep fighting for these little guys (and I've barely known them for a week).
 
Anchorite
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Another update because yesterday's post was a bit of a bummer: Both frogs appear to be on the road to recovery. I've noticed less sheds in the past few days and they seem to be acclimating well to the new routine. No floating or scrambling observed today, just placid swimming.

On a more sour note, I revisited the local pet store where I bought the frogs from to pick up a few supplies. (It's the first time I've been back since the purchase.) I reluctantly decided to speak to the supervisor of the fish department, not because I wanted a refund but because I thought giving them a heads up was the responsible thing to do. To say it went down poorly would be an understatement. As soon as I had said the word "shed" he angrily butted in that ADFs do not shed and I had no idea what I was talking about. He said that he had never heard of chythid and that my frog must of died because of something I did. I was pretty shaken at ths point but I went on to mention that the disease can linger in tanks, so any remaining frogs should be treated and equipment sterilized. He said it didn't matter because all their ADFs were gone and I was "the only one to complain". I have terrible social anxiety and had to do my best to hold back tears by the time I left.

Oh, and as a bonus, the blackworms I bought today appear to be full of leaches. Yikes. I'm reluctant to even try feeding the worms to my frogs, so it looks like they're getting frozen bloodworms for now.
 
Kjeldsen
  • #7
What a jerk! Is there any other fish place around?

Anyway, thanks for the update and glad to hear that the two are doing well.
 
Lucy
  • #8
I'm so sorry . Sometimes they look fine with a possible mild symptom, then they are not. Just that quick.

Kudos to you for working through your anxiety to speak to the supervisor.
How dare they treat you that way.
That store has no business selling amphibians until they are educated about how contagious this is.

If you can find it, watch The Thin Green Line. It's an older pbs documentary about the devastating effects of chytrid on amphibians through out the world.
This isn't just an aquarium trade issue. It's a world wide issue said to be the cause of several species becoming extinct.
 
Shrimp42
  • #10
That's crazy that most frogs in stores have the fungus, and it has killed 90 species. It must be serious, I don't know as I've never kept or read up on African Dwarf Frogs.
 
Kjeldsen
  • #11
That's crazy that most frogs in stores have the fungus, and it has killed 90 species. It must be serious, I don't know as I've never kept or read up on African Dwarf Frogs.
About 20 years ago there was outbreak at a Hymenochirus Curtipes frog farm here in California, where 100% of their stock - 10,000 frogs - died. Since then I've heard of anecdotal cases here and there, but nothing on that scale. I've bought many frogs over the years and never had one with the fungus that I'm aware of, so I'm not sure what kind of frog she means with that statement.
 
Anchorite
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Today marks the seventh day of treatment, and I'm so glad they've made it over the hump. Overall, behavior and appetite are trending towards the positive and I barely notice any skin sheds anymore.

I am a little concerned about the coloration of one of these girls. She has less pigmentation in her skin, in comparison to her tankmate, almost translucent in some areas. (pics below for comparison - please excuse my ugly basement floor- these were taken in the recovery container after their daily treatment). Hopefully this will improve over time but I decided to add pedialyte to their post-lamisil recovery bath in case she's low in electrolytes.


IMG_5378.jpg
IMG_5380.jpg


(If you're particularly squeamish about parasites you might want to skip this part):
Two nights ago, I observed the same frog moving frantically and rubbing her posterior on an airstone. As I watched her I noticed what appeared to be a very thin "thread" sticking out of the backside. I was eventually able to remove it with tweezers and she immediately calmed down. For a moment I wondered if somehow a blackworm had made it through her track but it was clear this was not a food worm. The parasite was roughly the same length of her body (way longer than any bloodworms I've given) was thinner ,flatter and briefly wriggling. So now on top of everything else, it looks like I'm now dealing with intestinal worms. I'm at a loss of what to do here, I've seen Praziquantel and fenbendazole mentioned as possible treatment in publications but not the dosage. Are there any fish meds I could use that are considered safe?

Kjeldsen
This one is the only locally-owned pet store in my town but I do have a few other options within a 20 minute drive (including a few aquatic specialists). I'm down to checking them out, even if my bad experience mostly boils down to one individual. Although I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt (bad days happen); there's no excuse for that level of arrogance.

What still blows my mind is the guy claimed to have owned ADFs before and that's how he "knows they don't shed". He than "kindly" reminded me they're not reptiles. I had half the mind to retort that, I too, have the amazing ability to shed despite (probably) not being a reptile. Of course the real issue at hand is this store is profiting off the sale of amphibians while claiming ignorance of the biggest biological threat facing them. It's very possible they received sick animals from their supplier but until the issue is addressed virtually every amphibian that enters that store is now at risk. It's just a sad situation.

Lucy
Thanks for the recommendations! (I was able to find the PBS special online). At one point, a researcher compared chytrid treatment to chemotherapy, and it struck me how accurate that is. I really hate putting them through this treatment and yet it's their best hope.
I've been aware of the devastating effects chytrid has had on wild populations for years (mostly through conservation groups) but still mostly in abstract. This whole experience has really brought home just how awful the condition is. But I also feel more emboldened to do more to help in the fight against Bd.
 
Shrimp42
  • #13
Today marks the seventh day of treatment, and I'm so glad they've made it over the hump. Overall, behavior and appetite are trending towards the positive and I barely notice any skin sheds anymore.

I am a little concerned about the coloration of one of these girls. She has less pigmentation in her skin, in comparison to her tankmate, almost translucent in some areas. (pics below for comparison - please excuse my ugly basement floor- these were taken in the recovery container after their daily treatment). Hopefully this will improve over time but I decided to add pedialyte to their post-lamisil recovery bath in case she's low in electrolytes.

View attachment 723570View attachment 723572


(If you're particularly squeamish about parasites you might want to skip this part):
Two nights ago, I observed the same frog moving frantically and rubbing her posterior on an airstone. As I watched her I noticed what appeared to be a very thin "thread" sticking out of the backside. I was eventually able to remove it with tweezers and she immediately calmed down. For a moment I wondered if somehow a blackworm had made it through her track but it was clear this was not a food worm. The parasite was roughly the same length of her body (way longer than any bloodworms I've given) was thinner ,flatter and briefly wriggling. So now on top of everything else, it looks like I'm now dealing with intestinal worms. I'm at a loss of what to do here, I've seen Praziquantel and fenbendazole mentioned as possible treatment in publications but not the dosage. Are there any fish meds I could use that are considered safe?

Kjeldsen
This one is the only locally-owned pet store in my town but I do have a few other options within a 20 minute drive (including a few aquatic specialists). I'm down to checking them out, even if my bad experience mostly boils down to one individual. Although I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt (bad days happen); there's no excuse for that level of arrogance.

What still blows my mind is the guy claimed to have owned ADFs before and that's how he "knows they don't shed". He than "kindly" reminded me they're not reptiles. I had half the mind to retort that, I too, have the amazing ability to shed despite (probably) not being a reptile. Of course the real issue at hand is this store is profiting off the sale of amphibians while claiming ignorance of the biggest biological threat facing them. It's very possible they received sick animals from their supplier but until the issue is addressed virtually every amphibian that enters that store is now at risk. It's just a sad situation.

Lucy
Thanks for the recommendations! (I was able to find the PBS special online). At one point, a researcher compared chytrid treatment to chemotherapy, and it struck me how accurate that is. I really hate putting them through this treatment and yet it's their best hope.
I've been aware of the devastating effects chytrid has had on wild populations for years (mostly through conservation groups) but still mostly in abstract. This whole experience has really brought home just how awful the condition is. But I also feel more emboldened to do more to help in the fight against Bd.
I know prazipro is really good and general cure. If it's Camallanus worms you'll have to use fenbendazole.
 
Anchorite
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
RomanNoodles96
Thank you! I know I've seen API's general cure around, so I'll pick up a box the next time I'm out. (Not sure if anyone around here carries prazipro but I can make a few calls and find out.)
 
Shrimp42
  • #15
RomanNoodles96
Thank you! I know I've seen API's general cure around, so I'll pick up box the next time I'm out. (Not sure if anyone around here carries prazipro but I can make a few calls and find out.)
Its best to mix it with the food buts its worked for me by just being in the water. Im no expert but that's just my experience
 
Anchorite
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Sorry for the lack of updates, I had to manage a few non-ADF related emergencies this week. The frogs had their final Lamisil bath treatment last Wednesday, so they've been catching up on some much deserved R&R in the 10 gallon hospital tank.

They won't be returning to the main (25 gallon) tank anytime soon since it's very likely the fungus is still present. I've read conflicting information regarding the lifespan of the fungus without a host (anywhere from 1 to 3 months). So to play it safe I'm giving it a three month minimum (and may even do a teardown at some point, too).

They seem happy to be out of their treatment tanks but I can't help but be a worry wart. One of them has noticeably paler skin and slightly pinkish legs compared to her tankmate. Since it's been consistent, I'm hoping it's just natural color variation and not a secondary bacterial infection. I added 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt and a catappa leaf and will closely keep an eye on things. Here's a pic from today, (overall their skin is showing noticeable improvement since last week!):
IMG_5501.jpg

I want to keep some antibiotics on hand just in case something pops up but I want to make sure whatever used is amphibian safe. I've seen tetracycline drugs recommended for frogs but it seems the old standbys like API's "T.C. Tetracycline" are being phased out (possible due to resistance?). Its successor "Fin and Body Cure" is Doxycycline Hyclate which is in the same drug class. Would this be a good choice?

No sightings of the parasitic worms since last week's incident but eradicating them is now a priority. The fish meds available locally seem to be designed to treat external parasites so I'm looking at online options. Fritz's "Expel-P" active ingredient is Levamisole HCl, so fingers crossed it will do the trick. I'm a bit hesitant since I haven't stumbled upon any discussion regarding this product's compatibility with frogs (or much about the product in general, curiously) but it appears to just be Levamisole.

Thanks for the info RomanNoodles96! I think I'm going to try using it in the water as well, since I need to ensure both of them get the correct dosage.
 
Anchorite
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
EDIT: Found her passed away when I got up. I'll leave this up for posterity. Hopefully others can learn from my mistakes.


Checking in after six months since there's been some new developments and unfortunately they are dire. (Apologies for the long post)

Side note regarding Chytrid: The chytrid fungus plaguing my adfs when I bought them was successfully eradicated. I highly recommend anyone purchasing new frogs to follow the lamisil method for their first days in quarantine. It may just will save you from potential heartbreak later.

The original plan was to keep the two surviving frogs in the 10 gallon hospital tank for at least 3 months (Mid November) until all danger of reinfection had passed. At which point they would be reintroduced to the main tank. Unfortunately, that still hasn't happened.

Things were going well until the end of October when one of the frogs was found trapped behind a soap dish I was using to "break" the outflow of my power filter. She appeared unharmed when I discovered her but was found less than two days later floating at the top of the tank with what appeared to be internal hemorrhaging. The tank was treated with API's "Fin and Body Cure" (a tetracycline antibiotic) but she passed within hours. I was frustrated with myself for unwittingly installing a death trap when the intention was to create a less stressful environment. (It has since been removed). Now down to one frog, the plans to transfer in November to the main tank were halted until at least January due to external factors.

Fast forward to last week (1-6), and I noticed a change in the behavior of the frog. She spent almost all her time resting on a silk leaf and little time exploring the tank/foraging. This continued for days and I considered using an antibiotic as a precautionary measure but resisted since I didn't see anything physically wrong with her. Finally, four days later I spotted a small red area on her left knee. It appeared to be internal (like a bruise) with no sign of fungal growth or open wounds. Since "Fin and Body Cure" (Doxycycline Hyclate) was already handy, the treatment began. Lots of developments since than so I will summarize:

January 10th: initial symptoms appear as a red lump on knee, antibiotic treatment (Doxycycline Hyclate) started
January 12th: day two of antibiotic therapy, noticed inflamed veins under flashlight (not normally visible) - possible septicemia
January 13th: behavior is more erratic, and infection appears to be spreading through leg and causing swelling, also noticed two damaged toes - possibly the actual site of infection that went previously unnoticed. Treated with a 10 second bath of Methylene Blue (following the directions on bottle) before returning to hospital tank - 25% water change
January 14th: final (fourth) dose of Doxycycline Hyclate - she floats most of the time due to abdominal swelling. Legs are swollen and red, with open sores. 50% water change. Amazingly still takes food - with assistance.

Her condition is deteriorating quickly despite using a broad-spectrum antibiotic. I'm not even sure if it is bacterial in nature. If she survives the night, what should I do next? In addition to the previously mentioned meds I also have malachite green. Could I add that to the tank (either after a partial or full water change)? Or is it too late and would just prolong her suffering? Having to resort to euthanasia would suck but I don't want to see her in distress if there is no chance of recovery.

Filled out the survey again since so much has changed:

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 10 gallons (hospital/quarantine tank)
How long has the tank been running? 6 months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 80 degrees F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? 1 ADF

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? every 4-5 days
How much of the water do you change? 25%
What do you use to treat your water? API tap water conditioner, API stress coat, API stress zyme
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? just water - it's a bare bottom tank

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No
What do you use to test the water? API Master Test Kit, + water hardness kit

Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0.0 ppm
Nitrate: 5.00 ppm
pH: 7.8

Feeding
How often do you feed? 5-6 days per week
How much do you feed your frog? 2-4 pellets or mini bloodworms
What brand of food do you feed your fish? San Fransico Bay frozen mini bloodworms, Invert Aquatics frog bites
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? frozen, plus soft pellets

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this frog? 6 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? lethargy - 8 days ago, red spot - 5 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? redness, swelling, open sores, bloat, foot deterioration
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? Yes (previously treated for chytrid )
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Redness is progressing from joint on rear left leg to other areas, plus body swelling


Finally, photos:
ADF on Monday/Tuesday, spot is more noticeable in the 2nd pic's reflection:

IMG_6915.jpg
IMG_6919(1).jpg

ADF on Thursday the 14th: (note the deterioration of the left foot compared to previous pics)


IMG_6976.jpg
 
Lucy
  • #18
I'm so sorry. When these little buggers get sick they can go down pretty quickly
 

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