Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Sinopa 04-12-2010 07:38 PM

Dropsy or obese?
Hello everyone
I have a little african dwarf frog with a big round belly, and I'm not sure if its dropsy or if he's just fat. I keep him with danios, tetras, and bumblebee gobys, they all get a diet of live blood worms, I feed them a little twice a day and they don't get fed on weekends, since I'm off campus.

Sorry for the poor pictures, he won't hold still

bettababy 04-13-2010 01:39 AM

It could be overeating or it could be an internal parasite issue, internal bacterial infection... very hard to say based on the info provided and the blurry photos.
Can you please post your tank stats, including water params for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and temp? The more info you provide about the tank, the water chemistry, and the animals in the tank, the faster we can help sort this out.

When you go back after the weekend, is the belly still this large? Or is this something that comes and goes or varies in size?

Sinopa 04-13-2010 02:39 PM

Nitrate - 20
Nitrite - 0
Hardness - 150
Chlorine - 0
Alkalinity - 180
pH -7.2
Temperature - 78

The belly has been large for about two weeks, I'll keep a closer eye on him though to see if it changes in size. I caught a good look at him today before he darted away, the light was behind him and it appeared that his belly was full of either liquid or air, like I could see through the bulge of his belly, if that makes any sense

There are also a few shrimp in the tank, one hillstream loach, an otto, live anarchis, riccia, and Limnophila aromatica ‘hippuroides'

I give liquid co2 from flourish once every night, and a "comprehensive supplement for the planted aquarium" once every 3 nights as directed

Mister Sparkle 04-13-2010 08:01 PM

Could be dropsy. Have you considered he might have eaten a rock? Frogs do that sometimes, usually with sad results.

Herbicide 04-13-2010 09:07 PM


Originally Posted by Mister Sparkle (Post 362602)
Could be dropsy. Have you considered he might have eaten a rock? Frogs do that sometimes, usually with sad results.

Oh my gosh, mine did that when I was little. I thought it was hilarious until he died.

Sinopa 04-14-2010 06:33 PM

If he did eat a rock, is there anything I could do for him?
Or if it is dropsy, is it contagious? Can my other fish catch it?

bettababy 04-14-2010 11:16 PM

It sounds like a bacterial infection. Do you have a quarantine tank? I'll have to sit and go through me meds options here and find something safe for a frog. They can't tolerate all the same meds that fish can. I may also have to consult a friend of mine who specializes in amphibians. If you have a QT available, I'd get him moved into it as soon as possible. I would also slow his feedings down to once/day and see if that makes any difference.

Sinopa 04-15-2010 02:17 AM

I do not have a quarantine tank, but I will decrease the feedings to once a day and keep an eye on his belly.
I'll keep checking back at this board to see if you have found any medication that could help him, I really do appreciate the advice!

bettababy 04-15-2010 05:10 PM

So sorry it took me so long to get back to you about this... I hope the frog is still doing ok.
I made a few calls today, the last one being to a vet clinic I am fond of for their expertise in reptiles and amphibians. It was a very in depth and lengthy conversation about your frog.

If its any reassurance to you, I was told that I appear to have the best grip on the situation that they could imagine, as well as the right ideas for treatment... but I really need to explain to you what you and your frog are up against here.

This type of bloating in the dwarf frogs is common, but because of their size, their vulnerability to diseases, and fragility in body structure, this is a very difficult problem to treat. This is not an animal we can do a biopsy on to be sure of what we're dealing with, and there are a great many things that can cause the bloating, bacteria infection is one of those things... but there is also kidney and liver shut down, heart disease or shut down, etc. There has not been a lot of scientific research done because of the fragility of this species of frog... most attempts at lab work are lethal, leaving us only with necropsy to use for true diagnosis... and by then its obviously too late.

To be completely honest with you, your frog doesn't have a lot of chance of surviving this, and should be quarantined, especially if there are other frogs in the tank. IF this is indeed bacterial based (bacteria can cause organ damage and malfunction, also) it would be highly contagious, and my past experiences with these problems (also the vet's experience) shows us that whatever this is, is contagious to other dwarf frogs.

Frogs are more challenging to medicate because of the absorbtion rate through their skin, and the vet agreed that one of the key factors in treating this, if treatment is possible, would be by medicating the food and being very careful not to get the medications into the tank water.

To do this, I would strongly suggest a quarantine tank with a good filter, filter media including either carbon or, if possible, PuraPad should be used at all times, to help absorb any medication that may get into the water, and frequent small water changes.
The medication the vet and I decided would be the safest and most likely to work would be amoxicillin treated food. Because your frog is still eating, and accepting live food, this should be relatively easy to get into him. 1 dose of the med into a 1/8 - 1/4 cup of tank water, be sure it dissolves completely... then add the live worms and let sit for 15 minutes so the worms have a chance to absorb and consume the medicated water, then feed the medicated worms to the frog. I would not do this in a tank with other animals, or a main tank where you have less control over cleaning and removing any traces of meds from the water.

Keep his temp warm, 78F - 80F, water as clean as possible, and some kind of shelter for him to hide in.

1 of 2 things will then happen. The frog will either begin to show signs of improvement, in which case I would continue the medicated food for 10 days, or the frog will die, which will happen anyways if we do nothing. The survivability rate for this type of problem is very low, I'm sorry to have to tell you that... even with the meds. The above treatment is his best chance if you can accommodate it.

Best of luck to you and your frog. If there is anything more I can do to help please let me know. Please keep me posted on his condition.

Sinopa 04-15-2010 08:23 PM

I don't have the money or the space to set up a quarantine tank, I used to have a 10 gallon but it got cracked in storage.

I'll make him as comfortable as possible and add a clay pot so he can hide in, keep an eye on the temperature, do regular water changes and make sure that he's still eating

If his eating habits change, or his belly changes, I'll let you know

Thank you SO much for all the time you took to find me a solution! I really do appreciate it bettababy, and it makes me glad that I have a place to go to if i have any questions or concerns about my aquarium.

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