Someone in a herp discord server I’m in recently received a cane toad and it arrived in rough shape. They’re getting a refund from the seller, and were wondering how to help the toad as they are unable to get it to an exotics vet at this time. The toad isn’t eating and has a bunch of small wounds and one of it toes appears to have been bitten off.
I’ve stressed a vet visit for the toad, but unfortunately they won’t be able to get it in soon.
So far we’ve suggested neosporin without pain relief, which I know works with reptiles and another person has stated that it’s safe to use with cane toads
We’ve also suggested the smallest dose of panacur due to it coming in a powder form so it can be dusted on feeders to kill any internal parasites the toad might have due to cane toads being wild caught (the seller is also one of the known skeevy ones however they weren’t aware of this when they purchased the animal). I’ve heard of it being used to treat wild caught American Toads with success and it’s hard to overdose.
They’re setting up a quarantine tank with a worm dish incase the toad starts eating again (so far we’re assuming shipping stress is the cause of not eating).
Does anyone have any other suggestions for helping the toad?
They’ve given me permission to share pictures they’ve taken of the toad if anyone would like to see the injuries.
Anuran medicine is something I know little about, but here are my two cents: You can’t treat amphibian wounds the same as reptile wounds because they absorb stuff through their skin. So definitely avoid any ointments that contain lidocaine, benzocaine, or anything like that. They could try spraying with “triple sulfa,” an OTC fish med. Baytril otic is supposed to be awesome for abrasions in amphibians, but that’s a prescription medication. If it has an issue on its face, they can use hypertonic ophthalmic drops (hypertonic salt solutiond) or silver sulfadiazime cream.
Husbandry is super important in situations like this, so that needs to be on point. Might not be a bad idea to supplement the food heavily for a week or two- my fave calcium & multivitamin powder is Repashy’s Calcium Plus. Vitamin A is particularly important. Also make sure they are gutloading the prey. If they decide to try tube feeding, (I strongly recommend a professional train them first), they could use Oxbow’s Carnivore Care.
I don’t know if it’s safe to give dog/cat strength doses of panacur to an anuran, I would have guessed that you’d have to use a diluted liquid form, but I could be wrong. If you’re trying to be really effective with deworming, it needs to be given on a target-species-appropriate schedule & the enclosure needs to be kept spotless of poo until treatment is complete. Panacur doesn’t treat for all parasites.
In general, I know Amphibian Ringer’s Solution baths can help restore electrolytes. (6.6g NaCl + 0.15g KCl + 0.15g CaCl2 + 0.2g NaHCO3, dissolved in 1 liter distilled water.) You could try 5-6g NaCl + 1g KCl into 1 liter of water temporarily, until proper ARS can be made.
Honestly, you’re totally right- the toad needs a vet. It might need systemic antibiotics, anthelminthics, nutritional therapy, etc. Amphibian medicine is not the same as reptiles, so treatment needs to be from someone with experience. I’ve heard that they often go septic when ill. I imagine the most important thing would be to leave the toad alone, with lots of places to hide, but pics might help.
Thank you! I’ve forwarded this to the discord