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Old frog with eye problem

slowfoot

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Hi all,

I have an old chubby frog (Kaloula pulchra) that has had an eye problem for quite some time. She's at least 20 years old, and my parents have been keeping her for me for the last 10 or so years as I moved all over the country. They surprised me recently (the bad kind of surprise) by dropping her off during a recent visit. So she's my responsibility again :p

Anyway, on to the eye issue: For the last 5 or so years, she's had this whitish-grayish film around the edges of both eyes. She's also gotten a bit more pop-eyed over the years. The white areas have been very very slowly getting larger. I'll try to get some pictures of it later. Otherwise, she seems fine. She can definitely see movement and eats well.

Random info: She's in a 5 gallon tank with an organic topsoil/coco fiber/dead leaf substrate, which she spend most of her time buried in. There's a small water dish for soaking, filled with de-chlorinated water. She is fed mainly crickets, with the occasional mealworm or waxworm.

I'm just wondering if this is part of the natural frog aging process or if it's something I should look into getting fixed. There's a vet school here that welcomes exotic patients, but I'm just not sure it's worth the stress to Fatty if this isn't a real problem.
 

slowfoot

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Here are some pictures of the issue (sorry for the bad quality!)

fattyeye1.JPG

fattyeye2.JPG

Anyone have any ideas :eek:
 

katebutton

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my uncle works at a zoo where they have some mountain chicken frogs (Leptodactylus fallax) that are around 25 years old...all but one have the eye problem you're describing. they also just generally look not so good (waxier skin than normal, reduced appetite, etc.) so i think it's just part of the aging process. these frogs, however, have been this way for the last 10 years and show no sign of giving in just yet!
 

John

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Interesting case. I think this is one where I'd like to hear from the vets.
 

herpvet

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Hi,

From your description the first thing that sprung to mind was cholesterol deposits - quite common in captive amphibians, thought to be related to abnormal cholesterol/fat levels in captive diets.

However, looking at your pictures, it looks like more of the sclera (outside of the eyeball) is exposed as opposed to an actual lesion in the eye? Is that what you're referring to, or is there actually a film over the exposed surface of the eye? Sorry, I can't tell very well from the pics (maybe just as well I've got an optician's appointment later today : )).

If that is the case, there could be many possible causes/factors involved. A full diagnostic work-up would be very interesting...but I doubt it would tell anything that would help this individual frog to be honest. The time course and history makes any sort of infection very unlikely in my opinion. Age-related changes in muscle or connective tissue, possibly exacerbated by nutritional, hormonal or other factors, would be top of the list for me.

However, a vet that's actually seen the animal would be in a better position to comment, and you could discuss investigation options with them before deciding to put him through any tests etc. Tests could probably at least determine whether there is anything significantly actively pathological going on.

Supplementing the diet with (appropriate levels of) a fatty acid/antioxidant/vitamin A precursor source might be beneficial, but I would get her checked by a vet before doing anything like that.

If I've misinterpreted the pictures and there is a film over the eye itself, my apologies - if that is the case I would definitely get it checked over by a vet.

Hope this helps,

Bruce.
 

slowfoot

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Hi Bruce, and Kate, and John! Thanks for the comments and help.

Bruce, it's definitely a film (or extra layer) over the eye - sorry if I didn't make that clear. It really looks like a layer of very thin whitish skin.

She's a good frog so I'll probably take her to the vet, and she'll have to deal with being prodded by vet students ;). If it matters, she had an eye infection about 16 years ago that was treated successfully, and it really looked nothing like this. And this eye problem didn't start until years later.

If it's something like a cholesterol problem, that would come from her diet, right? She really eats only crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Lately, she's probably had more waxworms than are good for her because my mom was giving her excessive treats.

edit: Bellabello - your post showed up while I was writing! Weird :)
 

slowfoot

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Just a little update on this:

I took her to the vet school, but the visit wasn't particularly helpful. Poor Fatty got poked and prodded by vet students until she was puffed up into a ball. The vet said he wasn't sure what it was, but thought it was most likely cholesterol deposits. I can't really remember exactly what he said, but he suggested a change in diet to mostly crickets and no waxworms or mealworms. Apparently, the vet specializing in herp ophthalmology was out of town at the time. I may go back.

It's been a couple of months and I haven't really noticed a difference - her eyes certainly don't look any worse to me. And Fatty seems happy and active. She can see fine. Here are some better pictures if anyone else wants to take a guess:

july22_7.JPG

Looking adorable:

july22_8.JPG
 

John

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I love these frogs. Seems like she is going to be ok, which is good.
 

NewtZoo

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Does anyone else think this could be cataracts? Ive seen it a few times and heard it happens often to old frogs. I have a Old whites Dumpy and it looks a lot like this problem as well.
 

slowfoot

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She's doing really well still. Her eye problem looks about the same to me. She's just such an active, 'friendly' frog, I don't think it's really bothering her that much. I took this picture the other day and I think it really captures her character, especially her little alien hands. Her fingers aren't broken, they're just wiggly:

DSC01567.JPG

So many people find her disgusting, but I think she's beautiful :eek:
 

slowfoot

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I'm sorry to say that Fatty passed away a few days ago. She had been getting skinnier and skinnier, despite a healthy appetite, so I knew she was probably on the way out.

We've had her for 18 years, but I'm surprised how much we miss her :(
 

tmarmoratus

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Sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you can find comfort in the fact that Fattie was loved and well-care for; 18 years is a long time!
 
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