How To Treat A Sick Tree Frog? [Symptoms, Prevention, Tips]

How To Treat A Sick Tree Frog

As a frog owner, you should remain prepared beforehand if your pet tree frogs ever fall sick. It is not an easy task to recognize the symptoms and start early treatment of your frog. Also, it will be wise if you know prior the prevention and necessary tips to treat a sick tree frog.

However, if you have already fallen into such a situation, you may become worried thinking about how to treat a sick tree frog!

To treat a sick tree frog, you need to identify the disease first. Hence, you have to recognize the symptoms and take the sick tree frog to the veterinarian as early as possible. It will be better not to give any medicines without a vet’s prescription.

Thus, I’ve researched a while to find out the noticeable symptoms, preventions, and fruitful tips to treat a sick tree frog. In this article, I’ll try to enlighten you about all these topics. Hence, do not miss this article to know more about treating your sick tree frogs.

Some Common Tree Frog Diseases And Their Symptoms

Diseases Symptoms  
Oedema/EdemaAbdominal swelling, sloughing skin, cloudy eye, listlessness, etc.  
Metabolic Bone DiseaseDeformed lower jaw, weight loss, bone fractures, curved spine, etc.  
DropsySevere bloating, soft dermal abnormalities in the abdomen area, lethargy, loss of appetite, etc.  
Spring DiseaseSkin discoloration, lethargy, continuous yawning, etc.  
Toxic Out SyndromeCloudy eyes, lack of energy, erratic jumping, spastic extensions of hind legs, etc.  
ImpactionLoss of appetite, tend to spend more time in the water bowl, lethargy, bowel obstruction, etc.  
RedlegExtreme weight-loss, reddish skin of the belly and underside of thighs, sores, lack of energy, etc.  
Fungal InfectionsSloughing skin, discoloration, no interest in food, rough skin, etc.  
Bacterial InfectionWeight loss, grey lumps, discharge of mucus, etc.  
Nutritional DeficienciesWeight loss, bone deformation, lack of energy, etc.  
tree frog chilling
Owner: Ravy Tails

How Do I Know If My Tree Frogs Are Dying?

When your tree frogs get sick, there must be some symptoms or signs. So, you need to recognize those symptoms to identify their sickness. Let’s check out the 8 following signs to know whether your tree frogs are dying or not. These will help you fasten your process of treating your sick frog.

1. Discoloration

The most common symptom of recognizing a sick tree frog is discoloration of its skin. It will be a matter of worry if you notice any place of the frog body becoming reddish, brown, greyish, or black, etc. This discoloration may seem blotchy as well.

Also, some frog owners described these symptoms or signs as spreading spots or marks. Such blotches are the result of fungi. Besides, some owners do not find any difference in the texture between discolored skin and normal skin.

Thus, you should keep a record of color changes to notice if it is spreading or changing over other parts of the skin.

But, you should also know that tree frogs can change their skin coloration naturally. It happens due to changes in temperature, humidity, etc. Moreover, the surroundings and level of excitement affect the skin discoloration of tree frogs.

So, check out first if your tree frogs are active, eating and pooping normally, showing no signs of wounds, etc. Then, the discoloration of their skin is normal.

Otherwise, if you mark any unusual behavior along with the marks or discoloration, you should rush to a veterinarian to treat your sick frog.

2. Noticing Unusual Marks Of Injury

Along with discoloration, you can confirm the illness by noticing the symptoms of unusual spots of injuries in tree frogs. So, check out carefully if your pet frogs have any sores, bruises, or wounds on the skin.

As tree frogs are arboreal, they tend to climb and jump over a lot. During doing daily activities, these frogs can get hurt. As a result, their injuries can lead to bacterial infection. Thus, tree frogs get sick.

So, if your tree frogs are injured, you should clean the wound first. Moreover, it will be better to move the wounded frog in quarantine. Hence, it is crucial to notice their injury or bruises to treat them as early as possible.

5 tree frogs resting and chilling
Owner: Ravy Tails

3. Cloudy Eyes: Why Are My Tree Frogs Eyes Cloudy?

If you notice your tree frog’s eyes are cloudy, you can be sure of something wrong. Such is because cloudy eyes are one of the most common symptoms of the sickness of frogs.

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Your tree frogs’ eyes can get cloudy when their immune system is depressed. Besides, the lens of the frogs easily gets affected due to bacterial infection. Moreover, the presence of toxins and chemicals in the water makes cloudy eyes of tree frogs.

Hence, you can consider the cloudy eyes of tree frogs are a significant symptom of sick tree frogs.

4. Loss Of Appetite: Why Is My Tree Frog Not Eating?

Loss of appetite or trouble with eating is an acute symptom of a sick tree frog.

Loss of appetite happens due to metabolic bone disorder, weak digestive system, parasite-causing diseases, etc.

But, sometimes, tree frogs get slow on eating during the winter season. Besides, the frogs might want to eat the bigger prey. Hence, tree frogs show a lack of interest in eating sometimes.

So, you can increase the temperature of the room or terrarium to see if the extra heat perks the frog up. Also, you can extend the gap between two feeding times. Make sure that the size of the insects is not bigger than the gap between the two eyes of your tree frog.

Firstly, you need to check carefully, by following the mentioned tips, whether your tree frogs continue eating like before or not. If yes, then the tree frogs are healthy.

Otherwise, check out if the tree frog is losing weight or showing lethargy too. Then, you can confirm that the lack of appetite is the symbol of the illness of your tree frogs.

5. Abdominal Bloating: Why Is My Tree Frog Bloated?

Abdominal bloating is another sign of knowing if your tree frogs are dying. You’ll notice your pet tree frogs bloated like a balloon overnight. There are usually two types of bloating- soft and hard.

Your tree frogs can get bloated for several reasons. Such as poor digestion, intestinal infection, bacterial infection, intestinal parasites, respiratory infection, etc. Also, bloating can be a symptom or sign of kidney or liver failure of tree frogs.

Sometimes, this abdominal bloating can be temporary and subside over time. Along with abdominal bloating, you should observe if your pet frog is lethargic, has a loss of appetite, etc. If you see no improvement in the bloating symptom, you can seek proper treatment from a veterinarian.

tree frog relaxing on a leaf
Owner: Hendrik Jiu

6. Edema

Edema is also some sort of swelling. Sometimes, you may notice any limbs or legs, head, any parts of the frog body get swollen suddenly. This condition is known as edema. You can call it dropsy too.

Moreover, edema affects several organs of tree frogs like the liver, kidney, etc. These frogs’ eyeballs get affected with glaucoma due to edema.

But, there are some conflicting opinions to treat a sick tree frog with edema.

Although some experts suggest keeping frogs with edema in saltwater, it is too risky in the cases of tree frogs. As tree frogs are not saltwater amphibians, these frogs will simply die in addition to salt.

So, you can not fix edema with any home remedies. Hence, you need to seek professional help if you notice such symptoms.

7. Lack of Energy: Why Is My Tree Frog Lethargic?

Lethargy is a key symptom of a sick tree frog. If your tree frog is sick, it will remain inactive all day long. The frog will tend to spend most of the time in the water dish idly. However, you must take its lethargy or inactivity seriously.

Tree frogs can show lackings of energy for their illness, such as metabolic bone disorder, nutritional deficiencies, edema, red leg, etc. Also, this can be caused by parasites or worms. Besides, bacterial or fungal infections can make your tree frogs lethargic.

So, this is a common sign of tree frog illness. If you catch this unusual behavior of your pet tree frogs, you must not delay in identifying the actual reason and its treatment.

tree frog resting on a tattooed hand
Owner: Jeremy And Stacy Foresee

8. Unexplained Weight-loss or Weight-gain

If you notice that your tree frogs lose or gain weight suddenly, you should not take this matter lightly at all. Sometimes, your pet frogs can gain weight due to overfeeding. Also, the frogs can lose weight naturally when they do not get the proper amount of food.

On the other hand, tree frogs can become obese if they are affected by edema. Besides, when your tree frogs suffer from metabolic bone disease or parasites attack, the frogs lose weight gradually.

Hence, you need to keep a record of their weights regularly. If you see any sudden change in weight and other mentioned symptoms altogether, you should go to a veterinarian immediately.

Why Did My Tree Frog Turn Brown?

Tree frogs usually change their skin color with the changes of season. During the winter season, you may notice that your tree frog is turning brown slowly.

Tree frogs develop darker shades of skin color to absorb heat in chilly seasons. Gradually, the tree frogs seem to turn brown. Moreover, these frogs turn green when you take them under sunlight. So, light and heat affect tree frogs to turn brown.

On the other hand, tree frogs achieve lighter skin color during the warmer season to reflect the heat. So, you need not worry about seeing your tree frogs turning brown.

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How Can You Protect Tree Frogs From Diseases? Prevention Tips

You’ve got to know about the symptoms of several diseases of tree frogs till now. Do you remember the saying- prevention is better than cure?

To pet tree frogs safely, a good frog owner needs to know all the required preventions. Thus, I’ve summed up some essential tips of prevention to protect your pet tree frogs. Let’s take a quick look at the following tips.

1. Choosing Healthy Tree Frogs

When you go to buy a tree frog, you should select a healthy frog. Check out thoroughly if the frog has any bruises, wounds, or sores, etc. Also, you can check the eyes and limbs of the frog to mark unusual signs.

If you get a healthy tree frog for yourself, there will be fewer chances of them being sick.

2. Keeping Tree Frogs In Quarantine

It’s essential to keep your newly arrived tree frogs in quarantine. If you house multiple tree frogs together, keeping all incoming tree frogs in quarantine is a must.

The experts suggested keeping tree frogs 45-90 days in quarantine.

During the quarantine period, you can observe and find out if your frog has any health issues.

Thus, this prevention tip will aid effectively not to spread diseases from the newly arrived tree frog.

big tree frog chilling on a leaf
Owner: Amanda Zonker

3. Changing Substrate: How Often Should You Change Tree Frog Substrate?

You might have known that the root cause of bacterial infection of tree frogs produces from the dirty substrate.

Hence, you need to deep clean the substrate once a week. The better way to prevent bacterial infection is to spot clean the substrate daily and change it after two years of use.

4. Misting The Terrarium Regularly

If you want your tree frogs to thrive the best in the terrarium, you should keep the humidity range between 50%-80%. Hence, you should mist the tree frog terrarium regularly.

But, do not mist the terrarium with tap water. You can use distilled water for misting the tree frog tank.

If the humidity gets too low, viruses and germs will tend to attack your pet frog readily. Moreover, they’re susceptible to respiratory illness too. Thus, you can prevent these illnesses by misting the tank regularly.

5. Providing Clean Water

You must be aware that tree frogs absorb water through their skin. Hence, providing clean, dechlorinated water is a big step in preventing several diseases of tree frogs.

If any pollutants go into the body through water, this can lead to the death of your tree frogs. Also, chytrid fungus causes lethal infection of tree frogs that spread through water.

So, the only prevention of these life-taking diseases is to provide fresh, clean, and safe water to tree frogs.

tree frog eye closeup
Owner: Dee Ponita

6. Fulfill The Needs Of Nutrition

Another basic prevention way of diseases is fulfilling the needs of nutrition. Most importantly, you need to ensure that your tree frogs receive enough amount of calcium and supplementation.

The metabolic bone disorder (MBD), spinal and skeletal deformity, etc are the results of nutritional deficiency. However, these diseases occur due to the lacking or imbalance of vitamin D, calcium, different growth hormone, etc.

Hence, you must not forget to add varieties of insects to the tree frog diet. Besides, you have to gut-load the insects prior 24-48 hours before feeding your pet frogs. Only proper feeding can prevent sickness of your tree frog by fulfilling the needs of all nutrition.

7. Ventilation

Tree frogs need ventilation to thrive in the terrarium properly. As a result, the air of the tank will not become stagnant. As a result, ventilation can prevent many unwanted attacks of viruses and bacteria. 

8. Proper Handling: Do Tree Frogs Like To Be Held?

Another leading prevention from tree frog diseases is proper handling.

Do not forget that the tree frogs have sensitive and absorbing skin. Hence, tree frogs do not like to be held at all. If you need to touch your tree frog for any emergency, you can hold the frog wearing clean latex gloves.

Also, do not forget to rinse the gloves with clean water to make them wet.

A little amount of oil, soap, or chemical can go through the frog’s body from the owner’s hand. Not to mention, this may lead to the death of your pet tree frog.

Thus, you must take essential precautions.

9. Overcrowding

Sometimes, tree frogs get sick from the infection of unhealed sores or wounds. If you keep multiple frogs together, there will be risks of their getting wounded. Further, these wounds can cause an infection that may lead to death. 

Besides, male tree frogs are pretty territorial. So, it will be better not to overcrowd the terrarium of tree frogs.

tree frog chilling on a branch
Owner: Jasmine Soucy

10. Well Maintenance of The Terrarium

One of the most significant ways for prevention is well-maintenance of the terrarium. If you do not clean the terrarium regularly, there will be an affluence of parasites, worms, etc.

Moreover, the damp substrate can cause fungal disease of tree frogs. To pet your tree frogs safely, you must focus on the cleanliness of each component of the terrarium well.

11. Keeping The Temperature And Humidity Right

Tree frogs can do pretty well in 60%-80% humidity. Besides, the best temperature for tree frogs is between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

If one of these significant environmental conditions is not appropriate, your tree frogs will be stressed out. Moreover, you will notice a lack of energy, loss of appetite, etc in your tree frogs.

So, you should keep the temperature and humidity right to prevent unwanted illness from your frog.

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What To Do If My Tree Frog Falls Sick?

After taking all precautions and preventions, there are still risks of falling sick of your tree frog. Also, the symptoms can be confusing to determine the cause of illness. So, here are some tips to do when your tree frogs fall sick.

  • Without any delay, you should go to a veterinarian who works with amphibians to treat your sick frogs. The veterinarians can suggest to you what to do after diagnosing the disease of your sick frog.
  • It will be wise if you collect the list of veterinarians, their office, contact number, etc from beforehand.
  • Sometimes, the condition of a sick frog gets too poor to bring it for the examination to vet. On the contrary, you may be unsure about bringing your frog to the vet, considering the symptoms are not too serious. In such cases, you can at least contact the vet through the internet or call. Then, you can take further suggestions to treat the sick frog, by describing the symptoms.
  • If the symptoms are of bacterial infection, you should clean the infection to treat the sick tree frog. Hence, you can soak your sick frog in spring water for few hours.
  • Although the researchers prescribe giving a salt bath in such cases of fungal infections, you should not try this with tree frogs. Instead of home remedies, you should seek help from a vet.
  • If your tree frogs get impacted, you should soak them in a warm bath with a few drops of honey. After that, you can give them another warm bath without honey. Then, massage the sides of their belly gently to clear up the blockages. In this way, you can treat your impacted tree frog.

How Do You Treat White Tree Frog Bacterial Infection?

If the immune system of white tree frogs is poor, these pet frogs can easily get attacked by bacteria.  Also, incoordination of humidity, temperature, cleanliness, etc causes bacterial infection of tree frogs. Thus, these frogs get sick due to bacterial infections.

To treat white tree frog bacterial infection, you should clean the sore or the place of infection with a spring water well first. If the vet prescribes, you can give an antibiotic named Enrofloxacin at 5 mg per kg for seven days. Also, the doctors suggest tetracyclin at 50 mg per kg twice a day. Check out if the substrate needs to be changed.

Besides, you need to ensure providing safe and clean water. The most important thing is to take suggestions from a veterinarian. Then, you can follow the prescribed instructions to treat white tree frog bacterial infection.

tree frog habitat setup with trees and branches
Owner: Dee Ponita

Frequently Asked Questions

How to tell if a green tree frog is dying?

Signs that a tree frog may be sick and dying, in general, include lethargy, loss of appetite, sudden and extreme color change, abscesses and lesions, lumps, holes, or cuts in the skin, swollen body, reddened belly and legs, and blisters or sores.

What are some of the tree frog skin problems?

Some common skin problems in tree frogs include fungal infections, such as red leg, which causes redness in the legs, and chytridiomycosis, which can cause thickening and shedding of the skin.

Other skin problems can be caused by poor water quality, such as bacterial infections and skin shedding problems. Additionally, tree frogs can have skin discoloration due to a lack of humidity, stress, or a poor diet.

Signs of skin problems in tree frogs can include discoloration, inflammation, and lesions on the skin.

Why is my green tree frog turning black?

Black skin in green tree frogs can be a sign of a skin infection, such as chytridiomycosis or bacterial dermatosepticemia.

However, it is important to note that some tree frog species, like the red-eyed tree frog, can naturally have black or dark skin pigmentation. If the frog is showing other signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or skin lesions, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

How do you make a tree frog less stressed?

There are several ways to make a tree frog less stressed, including providing a comfortable and spacious habitat with plenty of hiding places, maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels, providing a varied and nutritious diet, and minimizing disturbances and handling.

It is also important to avoid overcrowding and to provide appropriate socialization for social species.

Additionally, providing a consistent day and night cycle can help to regulate the frog’s natural behavior and reduce stress.

What are some of the common white tree frog illnesses?

Some common illnesses that can affect white tree frogs include intestinal impaction, bacterial infections, obesity, and respiratory infections.

Skin problems, such as fungal infections and skin shedding problems, can also occur.

Signs of illness in white tree frogs can include lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, skin discoloration, and abnormal behavior.

How to cure edema in tree frogs?

While some experts may recommend treating frogs with edema using saltwater, it is not suitable for tree frogs. Tree frogs are not accustomed to saltwater environments, and subjecting them to such conditions can be fatal.

As a result, attempting to address edema with home remedies is not advised for tree frogs. Instead, seeking professional assistance becomes essential if you observe symptoms of edema in these frogs.

How to treat Oodinium in tree frogs?

Tree frogs infected with Oodinium will have light grayish dots all over the body. However, it is very easy to confuse Oodinium with natural white spots on a tree frog’s body. So, don’t rush to any conclusion.

Getting rid of Oodinium is a relatively straightforward process. First, place the tree frog into a container filled with distilled water, and ensure that the cage is thoroughly cleaned.

If this initial step doesn’t solve the issue, try submerging the frog in water infused with a small amount of chamomile. Gently rinse the frog with this tea-like mixture and allow it to stay in the container for about an hour. This should help address the problem effectively.

It is recommended to consult with a veterinarian before beginning any treatment.

Final Words

Despite being a low-maintenance frog, tree frogs can also fall sick. Identifying the symptoms of diseases is the best way to start treatment of your pet frog. However, the sign of a good frog-owner is to take preventions to keep the tree frog healthy.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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