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Reptiles/Pacman Frog- Possible infection?


Information requested below. I received this pacman about 3 weeks ago from a local pet store. It is slightly smaller than the Palm of my hand. It has never eaten for me since I brought it home. I attempted every couple of days as to avoid stressing it out but it never seems interested despite the variety or circumstance. It deficated twice within the first few days, shed once. It spends most of its time under its hollow log. The substrate stays moist but not soaking. I have changed it once. I always treat all water entering tank with reptile water dechlorinizer. It's seemed healthy up until today when I decided to attempt force feeding. It has a slightly raised, round swelling on top left portion of its abdomen.when I wiped the substrate away I noticed a small opening. I used a moist cotten swab to probe the outside and a white discharge came out of the hole.I'm assuming this is an abscess. I'm wondering what may have caused this, what I should do differently, and what are the chances of survival? I am fully prepared to take it to the vet but may not be able to get an appointment until Wednesday. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you for your time and expertise.

habitat size; 10 gallon aquarium
substrate; Coconut fiber
humidity%; 75-80%
bask/ambient temps;75-85
lighting: wattage, brand, and type of UVB(tube, coil, spot/flood);indirect daylight, red heat lamp at night if cold
vet history; N/A
all food offered; crickets, wax worms, nightcrawlers
feeding schedule;Attempt once every 3 days
supplements and schedule;D3 calcium powder every other week
last time ate; Tonight - force fed 1 nightcrawler
when and how water is given;moist substrate, misting, shallow water dish for soaking
when last defecated;2 weeks ago
captive bred or wild caught;captive bred shed recently; 1.5 weeks ago
other animals living in same terrarium?No

This pretty much sounds like a vet trip is in order if you have an open wound in the abdomen, discharge of any kind, and loss of appetite for 3 weeks. I will need to see a photo of this wound. From a good camera with good lighting and focus.

Additionally, I see a few issues to bring up. Discontinue the D3 supplementation. Despite what you've heard it's dangerous. Use only a calcium only powder for calcium. D3 is a regulating hormone which the average person should not be using, and is also a substance found in rat poisons for it's efficiency in causing soft tissue calcification.  

Also, you should ditch the red night light. These are bad too. This is horribly agitating to herptiles, as they see very well in this spectrum, so it can keep them awake excessively. You should instead use a small ceramic heat emitter on one end, suitably positioned so it doesn't create excessive desiccation, OR an undertank heater separated from the frog by a sufficient amount of substrate.

Lastly, indirect sunlight is likely not going to be sufficient here, especially if you are using a window. In the wild these are generally diurnal frog, so you are going to need at least low intensity UVB lighting, such as a 2-3% UVB linear tube (NOT A COMPACT AND NOT A COIL).  


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YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research & easily find the answer yourself. My standards are that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me any question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer each of those questions to provide that background, will result in your question being rejected. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,, educational content contributor to, and a Dept of State Health Services accredited animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house, including minor surgery and necropsy. I am most experienced in Chelonia with box turtles and common smaller tortoises; and in Squamata with everything from Anoles, Geckos, Beardies, and Monitors, to venomous snakes. I am most known for my expertise with horned lizards (Phrynosoma). With snakes, my primary expertise is in Crotalids (rattlesnakes), but I can answer a broad range of questions about various species. I am not aware of any reptile related question that I would not be able to provide some reasonable answer for. I have a direct style and may tell you something you did not want to hear; but the welfare of the animal comes FIRST with me, and I will always reflect that position in my answer, despite how it might make you feel.


I am a non-academic herpetologist with 25+ years reptile experience, and I am an accredited Texas Dept of State Health Services Animal Control Instructor for Reptiles (CE). I am a reptile rescuer, reptile wildlife rehabilitator, and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service, wikivet, and article/journal content contributor to Lafebervet. I have medical and scientific resources available, and I perform in house reptile veterinary care for my rescues. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct quite a few in the past. The average vet is not well versed with reptile physiology and medical treatments.

Animals that I am currently caring for, or have significant rehabilitation and husbandry experience with: Horned Lizards (5 species); Eastern and Western Box Turtles; Painted, RES, YBS, Soft-Shell, and Cooter aquatic turtles; Russian Tortoises; Fire Bellied Toads; Fire Bellied Newts; Ornate Horned Frogs; Green Iguanas; Desert Iguanas; Spiny Lizards; Long Nosed Leopard Lizards; Anoles; Racerunners; Collared Lizards; Bullsnakes; Eastern Ratsnakes; Great Plains Ratsnakes; Kingsnakes; Gartersnakes; Cornsnakes; Boas; Pythons; Bearded Dragons; Water Dragons; Massasauga Rattlesnakes; Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes; Leopard, Mediterranean, Golden, Indo-Pacific, African White-Spotted Geckos; Savannah Monitors; Jeweled Curly-Tailed Lizards; Long-Tailed Grass Lizards; Fox Squirrels; Deer Mice; Hispid Cotton Rats; Merriam's Pocket Mice; Eastern Cotton-Tails; Blue Bar racing pigeon; Budgies; Asian Forest Scorpions.


Co-Founder & Director: Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Founder: The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation

Publications contributor. The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 75 pages of care information on genus Phrynosoma.

Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content., and various reptile related forums and email lists under the handles "fireside3" and PhrynosomaTexas".

My hands-on field, rehabilitation, and captive husbandry experience beats a PhD any day of the week. I am also a state accredited animal control instructor for reptile handling.

Past/Present Clients

I was requested to provide my care manual on the Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), for the Montreal zoo. My manual is also used by several other zoological institutions in N. America. I also teach reptile education to summer camps, and instruct wildlife rehabilitators on live saving and rehab techniques with reptiles.

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