wikiHow to Diagnose Your Tree Frog's Illness

Tree frogs get many sicknesses, just like humans do, but it can be a bit of a challenge to find out what your frog has. This covers some of the most common tree frog illnesses. Other kinds of frog may have different symptoms than tree frogs.


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    Watch for lethargy. This can occur in various diseases such as Red-Leg, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), edema, and others. Red-Leg is often fatal because there is no known cure for it. Red-Leg has many other, more noticeable symptoms as well. Metabolic Bone Disease is usually curable. MBD usually makes the frog stop eating and jumping. This is due to lack of vitamin D and calcium. The frog's jaw may also hang open and his legs are usually sprawled out. Edema is when the frog swells up and becomes lethargic just because it is so bloated. If your frog is lethargic and not bloated, then he does not have edema.
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    Check for discoloration. Red-Leg causes the skin near the frog's legs to turn reddish. Some tree frogs naturally have a bit of red pigment on their legs, the Red-Eyed Tree Frog is a good example. Sometimes something as simple as lack of humidity can cause a frog to have darkened skin. A frog's skin may also be dark due to stress or a poor diet. If his skin is dry, this can also be from stress as well as dehydration. Sores and bruises, as well as cuts, can cause a frog's skin to look strange. If your frog's eyes are smoky, cloudy, foggy, or blueish, he most likely has a condition known as Cloudy Eye. This is from being bashed, poked, or scratched on the eye. This is also a symptom of immune system failure.
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    Consider sleeping habits. If your frog is awake during the day then he is probably just stressed out, although this is a symptom of various other diseases that will be discussed later in the article.
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    Look for sores, cuts, and bruises. These are probably due to being banged around while they were being shipped to the pet store or on the way to your home. This could also be the result of a bacterial infection, which needs to be taken care of by a vet. If not treated, these infections and wounds can let harmful bacteria into your frogs body. This can result in death.
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    Beware of bloating. If your frog has swelled up, it is almost definitely edema. There are actually two types of edema. One is the bacterial kind (which causes the bloating) and the other is from kidney failure due to vitamin toxicity. If it is the bacterial kind, you should soak your frog in clean spring water for a few hours. The frog should be alright after that. To prevent this, keep an extra clean cage and change water frequently. But unfortunately, kidney failure will most likely kill the frog.
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    Monitor weight. If your frog has gained or lost a significant amount of weight, then this can usually be fixed. If your frog has lost weight, he may have either an internal parasite or Metabolic Bone Disease(MBD). A vet can cure both MBD and a parasite. It could be that your frog is just naturally thin and needs to be fed more. If your frog has gained weight, this is probably due to overfeeding. Cut back on the amount of food he gets. However, if your frog is still fairly young, he may still be growing.
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    Consider trouble with eating. This is probably MBD because this disease weakens the bones of your frog and he will become lethargic. This could also be the result of a parasite. If you have more than one frog housed in the terrarium, some frogs (bigger ones especially) could be getting more food than others. You should also make sure you are feeding your frogs small crickets, because medium and large are too big for them to swallow.


  • Do a bit more research on whatever you think your frog has.
  • If nothing listed here fits the symptoms of your frog then you should visit a vet or experienced breeder for further evaluation.
  • To prevent MBD, supply your frog or toad's food with calcium supplements and vitamin supplements.


  • Many of these diseases are fatal.
  • Make sure the vet you see is an experienced breeder, herpetologist, or someone who specializes and has experience with tree frogs.
  • There are many other types of less common illnesses frogs can get.
  • See a vet right away if you think anything may be wrong with your frog.

Things You'll Need

  • A good vet

Article Info

Categories: Frogs