Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems - Dendroboard
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:09 AM
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Has anyone raised tadpoles with bent tails? Were they deformed after morphing? All info and recommendations welcome. TIA. Pictures here:

http://imgur.com/gallery/v6yaxS8

Louisville, Kentucky, US
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:28 AM
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I’ve heard of this when they develop too fast in too warm of water. I’ve also seen this with snakes and turtles incubated at too high of temperatures where the whole spine is kinked. Frogs will likely have a kinked spine but may not if the bend is only in the tail as the tail is absorbed.
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Old 08-27-2020, 04:32 PM
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I'll report back how the tadpoles end up developing. They'll morph in the next several days. Really surprised no one seems to have any first hand experience with this.
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Old 08-27-2020, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

The only time I ever see kinks in the tails is as they are being absorbed. My experience, however, (probably similar to most people's on this board) is with dart frogs. That may be limiting the number of people chiming in on your gray tree frog tadpole question. Or it may be a rare thing that folks haven't seen before. I don't even know enough to know whether the legs (and arms?) look normal. If those were dart frog limbs, it would look unusual to me. Keep us posted, regardless!

Mark
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Old 08-29-2020, 12:40 AM
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Thanks, Mark. All of them had that weird bubble for the left elbow but the ones that have completely morphed so far ended up with normal limbs. The legs on these look ok but the one with the more severe kink does look like its likely going to have a twist to its spine. I wonder if I should give it its best life or if it will suffer alot and should be culled. This is depressing
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Old 08-29-2020, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

This is never easy. I am always optimistic that things might turn out better than we think. Since the tail is eventually absorbed, I don't think you should read too much into it. Let's just hope that the little fella shakes it off :-)

Mark
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Old 08-29-2020, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

I agree with Mark that this probably will be a temporary condition.

There are many captive herps born with kinks and bends. Sometimes they end up straightening out, sometimes it is a permanent but merely visual condition, and sometimes -- rarely -- it is debilitating. Culling is a normal but very rare aspect of animal breeding. Most times, IME, the animal is simply going to be just a little funny-looking.

The causes of these conditions could be a range of things, including nutrition, inbreeding, incubation, injury. Unless a person sees a pattern of deformity among their offspring, I wouldn't worry too much.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:34 PM
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Thanks, that's encouraging. I'm just worried about them being in pain. It would be amazing if they both ended up straightening out. I'm pretty sure the cause was that they got too hot. I'll keep and take care of these bendy tailed ones and hope for the best. I'm not planning to breed them, necessarily. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:37 PM
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Unfortunately the poor baby with the badly kinked tail seems to have a lame right leg. It seems like it just hangs there lifeless and the foot is always curled. I'm going to wait another day to see if there's any improvement. Any recommendations on most humane way to cull? I'd rather not wait until it's a froglet if I must do that. Photo from this morning: http://imgur.com/gallery/5UOPPGm
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

That does look like a deformity. I think you are starting to get into quality of life issues here, especially if the front legs are also deformed. Are these tads that you pulled from a local stream/pond? If so, you might be right about heat being a problem. Ordinarily in situations like this, we would probably ask you a bunch of questions about the husbandry of the parents, but that is a non-issue if you pulled these out of a local stream or pond. Temp is something to look at and maybe what you are feeding the little guys, but that is much less likely. If this is happening to more than one tad, though, it is likely environmental somehow.

Here is an article by Ed that I think could be relevant for you. Sorry you are having to deal with this.


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Old 08-30-2020, 04:22 PM
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They were pulled from a local kiddie pool and it was very hot outside. They get good tadpole food from xenopus. The front limbs aren't out yet but I think it's just a day or two from that happening. If this doesn't look better by tomorrow I'll do the thing. It's hard to be sure but it looks like the leg is smaller in addition to being twisted all wrong. Thank you for your input. The other one seems like it's going to be mostly ok.
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Old 08-31-2020, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

Just as an informational, veterinary considerations for limb loss of reptiles and amphibians, whether functional loss, amputation injury, or a therapeutic amputation - regard rear limb loss as the lesser catastrophic.

If there is front limb involvement euthanasia is the compassionate decision for most guys other than crocs or muscular varanids.

The lack of anterior control and maintaining proprioception is highly stressful - even if an animal can be coddled along with assisted feeding.
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:21 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to share that. That's good info. <3
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Old 08-31-2020, 02:54 PM
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Here's an update from this morning:

http://imgur.com/gallery/MTaohSf

I'm going to give the little one more time to possibly straighten out and see how the front limbs come in. The other is going to be out of the water in the next 24 hours I think. Thank you all <3

P.S. I haven't gotten a good look at the tiny right arm that came in today. I am not sure I got a real good look at the left one that was out yesterday. They're simply too tiny to see well. From what I can see looks ok. Wish us luck

Last edited by makesha; 08-31-2020 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

I do. All the best.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:04 PM
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Limbs all look good on the first one, who I thought I'd find as a froglet this morning. Seems it wanted to wait for the full moon tonight. Photos of that one from last night:
http://imgur.com/gallery/0u63v2Q

He was looking a little more full bodied on one side than the other in the torso yesterday but appears to be evening out today. The bend in what's left of the tail looks a little more severe today so praying that doesn't cause any issues. Latest photos from a few minutes ago:

http://imgur.com/gallery/xRLYRb9

The other one is still pretty pitiful but it is possible its hips are straightening out. Doesn't look to be getting worse in any case. Looks like the front limbs should be coming in in the next couple of days. I'm really hoping it'll be ok enough and I'll be able to keep it. If not, I've got some high quality clove oil to anesthetize and a 20% benzocaine paste to euthanize. Here are the latest photos of that baby:
http://imgur.com/gallery/uMfB723

BTW I've named the first one Bubbles because it floated a lot compared to the other tadpoles.
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:38 PM
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Baby Bubbles came out of the water today around noon. Having a soak in the shadows right now. Photos from earlier:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CEo6XRyl...=101nhojxkz6vr

The other one's left front limb is out today and it looks good. Still watching and waiting, hoping its hips will straighten out as the tail absorbs.
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

That's a trippy picture Hope he does well!

Mark
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

Bubbles seems to be doing great. Waiting for the right front limb to emerge on the more severely twisted baby. If that looks ok I'm going to keep it and name it Noodle <3

Here's a photo of Bubbles from just a couple hours ago: https://www.instagram.com/p/CEsDTIZFUw1/
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Old 09-04-2020, 06:56 PM
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Hi Mark, Kmc, Socratic Monologue and any one else who's interested, could I please get you to go look at bent tail number two? That's the one with the more severe twist. I'm mostly concerned about that back right hip which is clearly rotated wrong. It looks like it's rotated forward so the knee points down more than it should making it hard for the lower leg to fold under as it should. All limbs are out today and the front limbs look good. I've posted three short videos and a photo, all from today, here:
http://imgur.com/gallery/4dOHj1w

It's time to make difficult decisions. I don't care if the frog looks funny but I don't want it suffering from bad stress, possible dislocations or severe disability.

The first one with less severe bend looks great, is getting around great. Could be it's too small to tell, but it looks completely normal.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CEuRi2UFD0t

Thanks!!

Last edited by makesha; 09-04-2020 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 09-04-2020, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

If it was me, I would give it more time before making a decision. I have seen that level of kink in the tail before. Gotta wait till the tail disappears to see what's up, maybe longer. If it makes you feel any better, he is in no distress due to difficulty in feeding because the majority of this energy is coming from the tail at this point, I believe.

On a different front, I again confess my ignorance of tree frogs, but when front legs pop in my dart frogs, I get them out of deep water. The only times I have seen kinked tails like in your pics are when I was late in getting the frogs out of the water (maybe he is absorbing the tail too fast due to energy consumed by having to tread water all the time? no idea). In darts, when the front legs pop, the gills are about gone and replaced with lungs. Darts will drown if left in deep water too long. I always move my guys to a tilted grow-out when the front legs emerge. Please check that with a different source to make sure that's true of your little guys, too, though.

Mark
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Old 09-04-2020, 07:21 PM
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Thanks, Mark, I'll follow your recommendation, including double checking with the research

Last edited by makesha; 09-04-2020 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:27 PM
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I made the water very shallow and tilted the container up on one side, in addition to having sticks in there and some stones to climb up on to get out. Normally the frog would be out of the water at this stage. I think the back right leg is so bad the baby can't get out. It's able to get its head out of the water to breathe at least.

http://imgur.com/gallery/zIXJLjN
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:05 PM
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Poor baby Noodle didn't seem to have any fight left and as the tail was nearly absorbed things didn't seem to be getting better with the right leg. Worse, I noticed the right arm seemed always turned under in the past day, when he's seemed to just have lost all strength. I took the baby out and had a look and the right arm didn't seem good. The baby has been a very dark color all this time which I've read might mean stress. It didn't seem likely the little one was going to improve but it certainly seemed to be suffering. I've just put it out of its misery. Thanks to everybody for the support and I hope this thread is helpful to somebody else in the future if nothing else.
Good news is bendy tail number one is doing well https://www.instagram.com/p/CEzV_VKp...d=nvx6ub1ca4wd
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Gray treefrog tadpole tail problems

I've raised thousands of eggs through metamorphosis in research contexts and see kinked tails fairly regularly. I most commonly see this associated with water quality problems, especially salinity and acidity (hot water with a bunch of respiring tadpoles can turn water acidic pretty quickly). It would be hard to know what the water was like in the kiddy pool you pulled your tads from, but that would be my first thought.

As you found with your little friend, tail morphology in itself has almost no correlation with eventual skeletal morphology. That's because there is no skeletal structure associated with the larval tail. The straight structure of the tail is a result of the notochord development and lateral muscles which develops long before the skeleton ossifies. Of all the curvy tadpoles I've seen in my lab, pretty much all of them metamorph with no persistent problems.
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