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Important Chytrid Fungus Information


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#1 RandomWiktor

RandomWiktor

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:13 PM

!!Attention Frog Keepers!!


Recent & emerging research has shown that Chytrid fungus, a devastating fungal infection that most frog species are susceptible to, is much more widespread in the captive population than previously thought. New revelations involving PCR testing for the presence of Chytrid suggest that a significant percentage of frogs, including CB animals, may be asymptomatically carrying the fungus. It may later become symptomatic and overwhelm the animal if it is exposed to stressors - particularly cool temperatures. Some of the most common species in the hobby are the ones in which highest incidence of cases are being recorded in, including African Clawed Frogs, Horned Frogs, and Dumpy Tree Frogs.

Chytrid fungal infections are characterized by excessive shedding, dehydration, dry/discolored skin, lethargy, and sometimes constipation. However, chytrid is thought to be linked to many of the "unknown cause" deaths we see in captive frogs, as it has the potential to kill rapidly. It may rear its head after months (and some say even years) of owning a frog, meaning that established frogs could be asymptomatically harboring the fungus and new frogs may pass the QT period despite being infected. It may be worth while to have your frogs tested and consider treatment before the symptoms start, as symptomatic animals have a low recovery rate.

Disclaimer: The staff at UB are NOT veterinarians and it is best to deal with this issue through a qualified exotics vet. However, the following information is being shared with the understanding that it can be difficult to find a local vet in some areas with the equipment and expertise needed to expediently test for and treat chytrid, and that changes in circumstance can make the cost of testing and treatment by a veterinarian prohibitive.

If you can not or will not vet a frog suspected of having chytrid, there may be help yet. Successful home Chytrid treatment was once a rarity, but experimental research by Jay Bowerman suggests that Lamasil AT Spray can be safely and effectively used to combat chytrid in a wide range of species and even in tadpoles. The treatment dosage is 1mL (about 10 sprays/squirts) of Lamasil AT per 200mL water. The frog should be kept in an easily cleaned QT container during treatment so that bedding can be removed and the enclosure walls cleaned after each soak, which should last five minutes. Treatment duration is ten days. The frog's original enclosure should be sterilized and the substrate changed before it is returned. This method has been tested on a large number of frogs and tadpoles of many species by researchers & laypersons alike and shows great promise; it is likely that the active ingredient will eventually be formally used in veterinary applications.

You can read more about this treatment and current research on Chytrid fungus here.
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