In Depth Information on Common Aquatic Clawed Frogs
African Clawed Frog Disease and Injury
Introduction to African Clawed Frogs
African Clawed Frog Housing and Feeding
African Clawed Frog sizes and lifespan
African Clawed Frog Sexing and Breeding
Raising ACF Tadpoles
My Tadpole Journal
ACF Color Variations
African Clawed Frog Disease and Injury
Species of Xenopus
Can I keep other aquatic life with my ACF?
African Clawed Frogs Today
Where To Buy ACF
African Clawed Frog Links
Introduction to African Dwarf Frogs
African Dwarf Frog Housing and Feeding
African Dwarf Frog size and lifespan
African Dwarf Frog Sexing and Breeding
Raising Dwarf Frog Tadpoles
Dwarf Frog Color Variations
African Dwarf Frog Disease and Injury
Species of the African Dwarf Frog
Can I keep other aquatic life with my ADF?
African Dwarf Frogs and Bettas
Where To Buy ADF
African Dwarf Frog Links
Setting up a Natural tank for your aquatic frog
My Personal Page
For Sale

Common diseases and injuries that an ACF hobbiest may face

  • Dropsey/Bloat - serious swelling of the body and legs. Most often fatal unless caught and treated quickly.
  • Red Leg - number one killer of xenopus frogs. it is a bacterial infection that causes the upper thighs of the frog to turn red and swollen looking in the beginning stage. It wil eventually spread to the lower abdomen causing the flesh to rot and fall off. Very grotesque and painful.This is highly contagious to other ACF. BUT can be EASILY PREVENTED with regular, weekly water changes, gravel vaccuming, temps. kept no higher then 75 F and Koizyme.*
  • Fungual Infections - appears to be cottony or thready like substances on the frog. Discoloration of the eyes is also a sign of a fungual or bacterial infection. Caused by dirty water or brought in from something contaminated.
  • Bacterial Infections - frog appears sick, lethargic, refusing to eat, looks like it is having trouble swimming. Caused by dirty water or some type of contaminate.
  • Loss of weight - if your frog is rapidly loosing weight this is a sign that something is wrong. If he is eating then he may have an internal parasite. If not it may be a bacterial infection.

Treatment Options

  • Maroxy - Dropsy, Bloat, Fungal, Bacterial
  • Aquarium Salt - kills most types of fungus and bacteria. Some people would say that salt is bad for frogs. I have used it with treating sick frogs and never saw any problem with my frogs.
  • Koizyme - this is a preventative measure against Red Leg. Prevention is the best cure.*
  • Antibiotic or antiparasitic fish food

There is no for sure cure for Red Leg. It is fatal. If your frog has redleg I suggest you euthanize imedieatly to ease future pain and suffering. There is NO cure for this and your frog will die a slow and painful death while its leg and lower abdomen rots away. Saddly this bacterial infection is very preventable and the frogs contract this when YOU, the provider, fails to do your job of properly maintaing a clean and healthy environment.

Also, CLEAN WATER, is the key to treating sick frogs. Many bacterial and fungal infections can be cured just by doing a large water change and gravel vac.! Add stress coat and aquarium salt (one tablespoon per 5 gallons) and your frog should be feeling better in a few days. REMEMBER these frogs are hardy and usually get sick because the owner fails to properly maintain them. Regular matience of the aquarium will keep bacteria blooms from overpopulating and infecting your frog. If your frog is sick you must evaluate your schedule of maintaining them as well, so it does not get ill again.

Albino Xenopus Froglets
Normal froglet comared to a Bloated froglet

Xenopus Laevis Female
This female has infected eyes which can be a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection

Xenopus Laevis
This frog is exteremly thin and hanging at the top of the water, a sure sign of illness

Sores on Legs
These are ammonia burns caused by (ammonia) and stress from shipping.

Xenopus laevis male
He has a cyst on his left ankle

Xenopus borealis
Massive bacterial infection due to being exposed to cool temps.

African Clawed Frogs tend to injure themselves easily in the tank. But for the most part they will heal on their own. The mucas in their skin contains Magainins, a family of antibiotics found in xenopus. It heals wounded skin rapidly and is an antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral. This is very useful to the frogs due to the stagnet water conditions of their native environment. Magainins has also been tested as an antibiotic cream for human use. It works just as well as oral antibiotics with no side effects. So most often your frog will heal itself and even you! (if you want to go rubbing their slime on your skin aliments)
  • Wounds/Sores - can be caused from being scrached on aquarium decorations. Make sure it isn't a disease.
  • Broken Bones - nothing you can do for them. This happens if they are roughly handled or droped. They will heal on their own.
  • Impacted Frogs - this happens from eating aquarium gravel. This can cause internal bleeding and death.
  • Missing toe nails - This could be a sign of a calcium defienciey. But most often this is very common. They will grow back on their own. My frogs will loose a toe nail every once in a while.
  • Torn webbing - Their webbing will tear on plastic plants and tough edges of aquarium decorations and stone. It will grow back on its own.


Most African Clawed Frog injuries will heal on their own. They have even been known to regenerate toes and fingers. These frogs have amazing capabilities to heal themselves.

If you suspect your frog may have swallowed gravel feed it some soft food such as frozen beefheart, bloodworms, glassworms or krill. This will help to push the gravel through so the frog can pass it.

Xenopus Laevis
Toe regenerating

Early stages of Red Leg
Swelling starts in lower leg and moves upwards

Early stages of Bloat
swelling in legs and abdomen

Swollen area beneath eye
Some type of an infection, probably bacterial

Xenopus laevis
Tumor on leg, most likely cancerous

Helpful Links

Read An Article on Koizyme

Read an Article on Bloat

*If you live in the UK you do not have access to a product called Koizyme, which added daily prevents the fatal Red Leg. But there is a product available to UK residents called Genesyz, which works in the same way. For more information on this product click on the link below.

Genesyz - A product to help prevent Red Leg for frog owners living in the UK.

Koizyme - Purchase this product to prevent Red Leg for frog owners in the United States. (scroll to the bottom of the page)

IDICACF (C) 2006