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talk to the frog / General / Chytrid...the fungus among us
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Carlton
Member
653 posts
653 posts

# Posted: 17 Mar 2008 21:36


Just a re-inforcement about the lag time for chytrid showing up. I bought 4 Megophrys last summer (about 8 months ago through Steve's sources) and just over the past week have had 2 pretty certain chytrid diagnoses. No new animals were added to the group since these arrived. All were healthy active, eating, and in great condition. 2 days ago 2 showed sudden health problems; one with eye and toe pad swelling and some very minor skin sloughing, but the other with severe neurological muscle twitching and leg stiffening (but no skin symptoms). All 4 frogs are being treated with Lamisil. After 2 treatments the frog with leg stiffeninig is now able to sit normally and ate last night (phew!!). I lost 3 frogs several months ago to unknown causes (nothing obvious on necropsy, but they don't typically test for chytrid). No obvious chytrid symptoms but we knew even less about just how chytrid shows in different species. One of these frogs was a 4 year LTC. I also know that some sampling of wild boreal toads has been done in my area over the past year. 2 out of 8 samples were positive for Chytrid. Don't assume you are safe. Be in denial if you choose, but you are not only risking YOUR amphibs but any that come in contact with bedding, water, terrarium contents, rinses you throw out too. I've seen no side effects to the Lamisil treatment so far, but will report any if I do. Steve had also suggested adding a small amount of Pedialyte to the Lamisil soak as chytrid supposedly interferes with electrolyte balance.

I have torn down and burned or bleached my large terrarium setup and everything in it. No more group setup after this. Live feeders roaming the setup were killed and burned (don't want to add my chytrid strains to whatever might be around locally).

Check the anti-fungal property of any disinfectant you use...MANY DO NOT KILL FUNGI, only bacteria or viruses and some molds. Virosan (chlorhexadrine similar to Nolvasan) does NOT contain an anti-fungal. If in doubt, use the bleach basic. I'm assuming everything I touch (terrarium contents, water dishes, solution containers, etc) while treating the frogs can be contaminated, so I rinse with diluted bleach solution and keep my hands scrubbed with either bleach or Purell hand sanitizer.


"True merit is like a river. The deeper it is the less noise it makes." Edward Frederick Halifax
Steven Busch
Member
1089 posts
1089 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 01:15


For those of you that do not know, the wild toads Carlton is speaking about are in Alaska.

Carlton..we are happy for the nasutas...sorry about the wonderful home they had. Once treated their set-up should be ok, except for the poor male that may disappear from time to time.

We are believing the nasuta are in harmony with chytrid until a time of stress. We had about 20 PCR tested in this last shipment so will know if any had chytrid later. They all just finished day 3 of treatment. Although treatment starts a giant amplexus ball.





Steve Busch
Yoncalla Frog
steve@yoncallafrog.com
www.buschcustomknives.blademakers.com
www.yoncallafrog.com .......soon I hope
Steven Busch
Member
1089 posts
1089 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 01:22


This is the forum that started the chytrid talk. The final outcome is worth reading. I am trying to link the two together.

http://talkto.thefrog.org/index.php?action=vthread &forum=4&topic=14799

Steve


Steve Busch
Yoncalla Frog
steve@yoncallafrog.com
www.buschcustomknives.blademakers.com
www.yoncallafrog.com .......soon I hope
Derek Benson
Member
3608 posts
3608 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 02:26


Very good information. I really like that she took pictures as well to show the improvement.

None of my frogs show any signs, but I have had imports in the same room that have succumbed to a "mystery death" that it seems to be chytrid.

Some questions of mine would be... when was chytrid discovered? Could this possibly explain frog deaths YEARS ago? I understand there are many bacterial/fungal diseases that can attack frogs with weak immune systems, but I remember being able to diagnose some stuff many years ago and others were just somewhat of a "what the...."

I took tomorrow off of work to go through my collection (as much as I can) and treat them. I will be treating frogs, cleaning cages, bleaching my racks, bleaching plants, bleaching tools, etc.

Alos am moving one of my racks to our storage room for the imports I am getting. I would be afraid if I didn't treat them before I brought them home ( there's an idea...?) then it may spread to my collection. Even if it's not there.... I feel like I have committed a crime and someone is out looking for me.....except it's a fungus and it wants my frogs, ha.


Derek Benson - Phyllomedusa/Hyperolius Enthusiast
daystorm
Member
412 posts
412 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 04:16


I was wondering, are there always signs of the fungus when it kicks into action or do some of the frogs just die?

I had a bunch of vitattus, and all but one (maybe, not even sure if it's in there, just keep giving flies) have died. They all looked skinny, like they weren't eating, yet I was giving them lots of flies. They also had they're back legs straight out. I thought that maybe it got too hot in there for too long a period of time, but now that I'm reading all of this I"m thinking that it could be chytrid. (not like I would have seen any signs in the vitattus, they never came out)


White's tree frog: 2:0:0
Budgie: 0:1:0
Parrotlet 2:0:0
Biewer yorkie 1:0:0
Crested gecko 2:1:0
Reed frog 1:1:0
spawn
Member
2553 posts
2553 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 05:51


Oh god it's started. Everyone's going to start blaming animal losses on Cychtrid.

Derek Benson
Member
3608 posts
3608 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 06:12


May as well treat them for it to rule it out right?


Derek Benson - Phyllomedusa/Hyperolius Enthusiast
porkchop48
Member
1136 posts
1136 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 12:55


Can I ask what some of the signs are?


I sometimes go to my own little world, but that's okay, they know me there
porkchop48
Member
1136 posts
1136 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 13:03


Oops forgot a questions
Is the lamasil AT an OTC med?


I sometimes go to my own little world, but that's okay, they know me there
Mac
Member
15 posts
15 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 14:04


It is indeed...that makes it much easier for the ordinary frog keepers

~Mac

http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/cvs/gateway/detail?prodi d=139073&previousURI=/CVSApp/cvs/gateway/search?Ac tiveCat=499^Query=lamisil

Stuart Halliday
Member
32 posts
32 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 16:26


I've got a CF page on my site - The Aquarium Wiki Encyclopaedia

See Chytrid Fungus

I've noticed it becoming a little more noticed on television. On UK TV last week the BBC programme Countryfile had a 5 min. snip about it.

They're wanting people all over the UK to get swabs and wipe the skin of any amphibian they come across.

Things are ramping up now its been detected in the South of England.


Personally I feel we need not to repeat the mistakes that USA made.

We should ban imports of unchecked or untreated shop amphibians right away.

CF carriers like ACF (African Clawed Frogs) are probably the worse culprits as their waste water is easily contaminated with CF and just thrown away.

Sadly CF remains active in water alone for up to 7 weeks according to studies.
So owners of ACFs may be infecting their local areas.

It's certainly killing hundreds of pet DAFs in America. My DwarfAfricanFrog Yahoo group has been full of dozens of reports of infected shops for the last 2 years. We even put together a chart showing the shops across North America and Canada.

American owners of DAFs in my group are currently trying out heat treatment. Basically heating a Q. tank to 35C for a week. Initial experiments show that this temperature doesn't kill them. (they do come from the Congo where the ground temp. goes up to 33C easy).
Studies show the CF dies if heated to over 35C.

I'm still stunned that so few shops know about this menace though.
I was less than amused that my local Scottish reptile/amphibian/aquarium shop knows nothing about chytrid fungus. Amazing isn't it?


Stuart Halliday
The Aquarium Wiki Encyclopaedia
Carlton
Member
653 posts
653 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 16:41


Oh of course chytrid isn't to blame for all unexplained frog deaths! Look at it this way...it is a lot more common than anyone thought. It is probably spreading in captive situations. Most hobbyists have no clue about it. It may lie undetected until the frog is stressed by something else. It is treatable.

Symptoms vary between species, so its going to take tome to sort out what it looks like in various types of amphibians. Hopefully testing will give us some patterns to look for. I do know that late-stage infection involves skin lesions, excessive skin sloughing, dull dark or dirty looking coloration, stiffened postures (as if the frog is trying not to let any part of its skin touch anything), neurological symptoms such as not being able to right itself.

I'm very glad to say that my female who was rigid looks completely normal today! Everyone will get the full 10 day treatment regardless.


"True merit is like a river. The deeper it is the less noise it makes." Edward Frederick Halifax
Steven Busch
Member
1089 posts
1089 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 16:45


We have heard of this temp being used on salamanders. Unfortunately most frogs will not tolerate that high of a temperature.

Clawed frogs have naturalized in many parts of the world which is not helping the spread. Several other species, the American bull frog for one, are also carrying it in the wild. They have also found ducks transferring the fungus from pond to pond. Chytrid was even found on a 70 year old preserved frog.


Steve Busch
Yoncalla Frog
steve@yoncallafrog.com
www.buschcustomknives.blademakers.com
www.yoncallafrog.com .......soon I hope
Stuart Halliday
Member
32 posts
32 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 17:02


We all play our part. Even the little kiddie that dips their net in an infected pond can easily transfer it to another pond via water droplets.

The Genie is out of the bottle...


Stuart Halliday
The Aquarium Wiki Encyclopaedia
Derek Benson
Member
3608 posts
3608 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 18:39


Atleast it is brought to our attention within the last year rather than it sneaking up and decimating collections.


Derek Benson - Phyllomedusa/Hyperolius Enthusiast
spawn
Member
2553 posts
2553 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 20:27


Chytrid was even found on a 70 year old preserved frog.


You have a source for that?

rct
Member
2235 posts
2235 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 20:52


I'm 63 and this is overwhelming to me.
I have 9 enclosures fully planted, with several wood pieces and a great deal of cork bark.
How would I even begin to do this? These tanks are in a room with a computer and other furniture. Do I have to be concerned about cleaning the room and its contents as well?
Can I clean one tank and soak one group of frogs at a time? In other words do ten days with my WTFs, then move on to the RETFs and so on?
What about vinegar as a disinfectant and fungus killer?

rosie


4 WTFs
1 Tiger-Legged Monkey TF
1 Ornate Pacman
3 Tomato Frogs
5 Leucs
2 Brazilian Yellowhead
2 Azureus
2 Orange Terribilis
2 Bicolor
Stuart Halliday
Member
32 posts
32 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 22:03 · Edited by: Stuart Halliday


Atleast it is brought to our attention within the last year rather than it sneaking up and decimating collections.


Huh? We've known about it for almost 2 years as pet owners.

I'm 63 and this is overwhelming to me.
I have 9 enclosures fully planted, with several wood pieces and a great deal of cork bark.
How would I even begin to do this?


You have 2 choices. Do lots of CF tests. But this is expensive. About 20quid a test or heat the enclosure to 37C for a few days after removing the frogs. You may lose a few plants. But that's all.

Then treat the frogs and return them.


Stuart Halliday
The Aquarium Wiki Encyclopaedia
Stuart Halliday
Member
32 posts
32 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 22:18


Chytrid was even found on a 70 year old preserved frog.

You have a source for that?


Sure.
This site from 1938 seemingly.

It's widely believed the problem started with the export of the ACF (African Clawed Frog - Xenopus laevis) across the world as a medical pregnancy test and schools dissection test subject.

In its own country the summer (30C+) high temperatures kept the fungi at bay.

Let loose at lower temperatures elsewhere it was like a 'gift from heaven' from the fungi's point of view.

Needless to say this frog got loose and it just spread like wildfire.

No one has a fix for releasing any rescued frogs back into the wild as you can't remove CF from the wild.

Doctor Phil Bishop from New Zealand may have a cure. Still early days
though. See this site and this one (a PDF file by the good doctor) has a procedure worth reading.


Stuart Halliday
The Aquarium Wiki Encyclopaedia
Derek Benson
Member
3608 posts
3608 posts

# Posted: 18 Mar 2008 23:10


Huh? We've known about it for almost 2 years as pet owners.


Thank you stuart halliday, I was referring to the threat in pet store frogs in America, as in pac man carriers, etc. wasn't saying it was a brand new disease. Way to be a dick about it though.....


Derek Benson - Phyllomedusa/Hyperolius Enthusiast
Steven Busch
Member
1089 posts
1089 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 00:11


"EU and US authorities are concerned the drug may cause aplastic anaemia in humans. "It is a banned substance; in particular, it is controlled where it comes into contact with food sources"



I looked into chloramphenicol and my Vet said he can not get it. I later learned a slight miscalculation in the dosage would be very harmful to the frogs.

Later that day found the Lamisil AT (terbinafine) treatment...bought it at Safeway at about 11:00 pm. Years ago DR. Nichols, at the National Zoo in Washington DC found that a treatment with iconazole, another fungicide, cured chytrid. The trouble is you need a Vet to prescribe it.

Stuart....thanks for the input. I am going to check on how long the temperature would have to be kept high in a tank to be sure the chytrid is dead....dead...dead


Steve Busch
Yoncalla Frog
steve@yoncallafrog.com
www.buschcustomknives.blademakers.com
www.yoncallafrog.com .......soon I hope
rct
Member
2235 posts
2235 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 02:20


Stuart..Thanks for your answer. I had to look up 37 and convert it to 98 degrees (if I did it right).

If heat kills the fungus, why wouldn't boiling all the cork bark and wood pieces work? I can surly get the water hotter than I can get the tanks.
Would this work along with adding vinegar?

rosie


4 WTFs
1 Tiger-Legged Monkey TF
1 Ornate Pacman
3 Tomato Frogs
5 Leucs
2 Brazilian Yellowhead
2 Azureus
2 Orange Terribilis
2 Bicolor
Steven Busch
Member
1089 posts
1089 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 02:57


I am not sure about vinegar. You can bake the cork bark at 125 in the oven.


Steve Busch
Yoncalla Frog
steve@yoncallafrog.com
www.buschcustomknives.blademakers.com
www.yoncallafrog.com .......soon I hope
porkchop48
Member
1136 posts
1136 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 13:24


Ok so let me see if I got this right.
I spray of the lamasil AT and 200 ml of water?
Soak the frog for 5 minutes for ten days?
I really want to do my tiger legs after their fecals just for pieces of mind.
after each treatment I need to sanitize their tank before putting back in? Or would I be better to use temp containers and just pitch daily ( wow that might get expensive) Or temp conatiners and sanitize in between instead of trying to bleach a 10 gal every day for 10 days.
And do I sanitize the container they are treated in?


I sometimes go to my own little world, but that's okay, they know me there
Derek Benson
Member
3608 posts
3608 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 16:07


I have another question as well. Since most of us have larger colelctions and may not get to all of the frogs in one day for treatment #1, would the chytrid be able to move from an older tank to the frogs that we are treating if it is present? Kinda of like hop and skip around to avoid the bleaching and lamisil?

porkchop, I would say you will be bleaching everything...


Derek Benson - Phyllomedusa/Hyperolius Enthusiast
porkchop48
Member
1136 posts
1136 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 16:30


I can bleach eveything not a problem, I just wanted to make sure.
Thank you


I sometimes go to my own little world, but that's okay, they know me there
Carlton
Member
653 posts
653 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 18:18


I know I don't have a large collection to treat, but here is what I'm doing. All frogs are in plastic storage boxes during treatment with paper towel, plastic deli container hide, and small water dish. They will be in them for at least 10 days which gives me time to break down the permanent setups for disinfecting. I don't think vinegar will kill fungi.

When I get ready to treat I also prepare a 1:10 bleach water rinse solution in the sink. Then I treat each frog with the Lamisil solution in a glass kitchen bowl or jar (reusable and non porus so easy to sterilize). While they are soaking I dip their temp setup items in the bleach solution and rinse, throw out the paper towel (burn it or bleach it before throwing it away), spray the setups and rinse, and put the frogs back into their setups.

Some cage sanitizers may kill fungi, but I don't know for sure. If the label doesn't list fungi as targetted, I don't use it. Nolvasan and Virosan will not kill chytrid. Bleach will. I can't really heat everything as I have a small propane stove that runs off a small propane tank that I have to haul to the dealer to refill. Cooking all that terrarium stuff for an hour at 400 F isn't very convenient, so I'm going the chemical route.


"True merit is like a river. The deeper it is the less noise it makes." Edward Frederick Halifax
kerokero
Member
619 posts
619 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 18:35


Chytrid can only be confirmed through the PCR testing since it's part of a very common fungi group, but basically this one species is causing the issue - thus having to test genetically. What I like so much about the treatment Steve is telling us about is that there is an easy way for us to treat for chytrid relatively cheaply and profilactically without having to worry about knowing one way or the other - we can just do it. It's exactly what we needed.

One of the theories for the distribution of this species of fungus into some areas? People. Most people do not know how to properly clean their boots after being in an area, and can be spreading it that way. Very scary.

I'm still setting up my treatment plan for my animals... luckily I'll be moving buildings soon and will be able to seperate animals out by who has been treated, moving the "clean" animals into my new place as they finish treatment. Basically when going thru the treatment, have two holding contianers for each group of frogs you treat... the used container can be bleached/sanitized for the next day, and after treatment they are put in the ready and waiting clean container. Just switch back and forth. Most of my frogs are going to be in shoe boxes for the duration, luckily most of my species are small. The bigger TFs will be in 19qt rubbermaids.

Derek - the chytrid could very well be transmitted from unsanitized stuff to the fresh and clean frogs if present. You just need to be aggressive in your quarentine practices and act like everything not treated has it. Toss away gloves, an interaction with the "infected" stuff comes after working with the "clean" stuff, anything tossed away after working with the infected stuff is bleached or burned. I have a small bucket of bleach water I toss my spent gloves in that they chill in for a few days before the bucket is drained and they are tossed.

One of the key things we need to think about too with Carlton's post isn't just that the frogs he had kept it long term - but also that chytrid showed up in the local habitat and may have been introduced to his frogs via some means. I worry about well water being able to infect my frogs. Spring water isn't any safer. Looks like my microbephobia will get me to invest in an R/O system.


Corey of the Little Brown Frogs
Stuart Halliday
Member
32 posts
32 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 19:39


Thank you stuart halliday, I was referring to the threat in pet store frogs in America, as in pac man carriers, etc.

So was I.


Stuart Halliday
The Aquarium Wiki Encyclopaedia
Stuart Halliday
Member
32 posts
32 posts

# Posted: 19 Mar 2008 19:45 · Edited by: Stuart Halliday


Stuart..Thanks for your answer. I had to look up 37 and convert it to 98 degrees (if I did it right).

If heat kills the fungus, why wouldn't boiling all the cork bark and wood pieces work? I can surly get the water hotter than I can get the tanks.
Would this work along with adding vinegar?


If you boil the wood it will break down the structure of the wood. Plus there is really no need for such drastic action.

Just stick it into an airing cupboard or make a 'bag' and put the enclosure inside and place a hair dryer or portable heating device in it so the air gets heated up to at least 37C (that's 98.6F in old units ) in the middle.

That way you don't destroy any beneficial bacteria or fungi in the enclosure by boiling parts of it.


Stuart Halliday
The Aquarium Wiki Encyclopaedia
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