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Reptiles/Fire bellied toad injury


QUESTION: My FBT has had some trouble the past few days with his left front limb. It started out becoming very swollen and he would not use it. Yesterday the skin split and I can see bone but the swelling is minimal.

The main tank is a 20 gallon long half water half land via tetrafauna viquarium. Which he shares with 4 other FBTs. Land side substrate is sphagnum and frog moss. Temps are 77-82 day/ 73-75 night.

His quarantine tank is a standard 10gal with frog moss for substrate and a water dish. Temps are the same as above at night and 3-5 degrees hotter during day.

When his arm was just really swollen I would soak him in his water dish with warm water with 3 drops of melafix. The water bowl is not very big. But now that his skin split down to bone I have been using zoo meds repti wound healing aid. One drop on his arm twice a day since yesterday, and still soak him twice a day 4 hours after using the zoo med drops. The bleeding has stopped. No other part of him seems to be wrong still brightly colored and very active and eyes seem fine. The only other thing is he hasnít eaten in 3 days but Iím not too worried about that yet.

What else can I do to help heal his arm up?! I am aware they may self-amputate am am prepared to give him the special ccare heíll need but I want to save his arm if I can.

Thanks for the help

ANSWER: Hello Jason,

Wow, that is too bad about his arm.  Do you happen to have any pictures of that I could see by any chance, along with his tank setup?
The tank setup sounds fine.  How often do you clean out the water in the tank?  
Have you left any insects/feeders in with him that could have bitten him possibly?
He seems active & is still eating on his own?

Do you give him any vitamins or calcium for supplementation on a regular basis?
If his bone is showing that makes it difficult.  You could try wrapping it up with gauge to try & keep bacteria out of it.  This is the only area of his body that has this type of swelling?

We will try to save his arm, it depends on the severity of what is going on.
Let me know how he is doing.


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main tank
main tank  

quarantine tank
quarantine tank  
QUESTION: I couldn't get a pic of him because he is so active and will not stay still when I get close. I do water changes bi-weekly. All crickets have been eaten by all 5 of the toads within 10 minutes when I feed. In his quarantine tank there is a small bowl I am putting mealworms and wax worms because they do not run away and its easier for him to eat, but he hasn't eaten in 3 days. I dust the crickets with calcium plus vitam D3 every 3 feedings. And there is no more swelling on his hurt arm and the rest of his body looks fine and normal. I have not noticed any abnormal feces either.

Hello Jason,

Is it possible that another one in the tank could have bitten him, or no?
I am glad that there isn't any other swellings on other parts of his body then, hopefully it is isolated just to that one area.
You will need to keep him separated though as long as he has an open wound.  
Using the mealies & waxies are a great idea since you can keep them in a food bowl.  I worry that the crickets would try to bite the injured area causing more trouble, if he didn't get them eaten immediately.
Keep treating the area daily & let me know how he is doing.
You can try getting some bee pollen to dust the feeders with as well, to help with his immune system.  Is the area discolored or appear to be traveling up the arm area like an infection would be?



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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