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Hi all, I just received 6 ranitomeya variabilis southern frogs via fedex. There were two containers inside the box. The first container had three frogs and they were in great condition. The second container had three frogs and every frog is paralyzed from the waist down. They were in the bottom of the box (furthest from the heat source). Initially they looked dead, but I put them inside the tank anyways. They are breathing and I have been keeping them moist and warm, but none of them can move their back legs. Is there anything that I can do for them? I feel horrible that they are stuck there unable to move and hate that they could be suffering. Should I put them down?
Any help or input would be greatly appreciated.
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Just my intuition here: I'd leave them until morning and then decide what to do based on how they look. If they were still in the same condition, I'd euthanize them (Anbesol Maximum Strength, generously applied to the belly). Tough call, since they might be suffering, but my thought is to give them a chance. There is no straightforward choice here, and if you think they're suffering unnecessarily, no one would blame you for euthanizing them immediately.

I'm sorry this happened to you. The seller should be notified, of course, and should be held financially responsible. Currently, the responsible practice is to ship overnight to the FedEx Ship Center for pickup -- it sounds as if these came to your door.
 

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Just my intuition here: I'd leave them until morning and then decide what to do based on how they look. If they were still in the same condition, I'd euthanize them (Anbesol Maximum Strength, generously applied to the belly). Tough call, since they might be suffering, but my thought is to give them a chance. There is no straightforward choice here, and if you think they're suffering unnecessarily, no one would blame you for euthanizing them immediately.

I'm sorry this happened to you. The seller should be notified, of course, and should be held financially responsible. Currently, the responsible practice is to ship overnight to the FedEx Ship Center for pickup -- it sounds as if these came to your door.
They did arrive at my door (late I might add). I notified the seller and they refunded the money already. I would just hate to euthanize them if they have a chance at survival. It’s been 48 hours and no progress. :-/
 

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Oh, if they have been in that state for 48 hours, I personally would euthanize them now. I'm sorry.
 

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How were they cupped during shipping? Was there lots of open space in the container for them to bounce around? Was one side of the box noticeably cooler? Did the shipper use phase packs, or was there a heat pack inside the insulated container with the frogs? These questions may not bring the frogs back, but it could help to identify the cause.
 

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How were they cupped during shipping? Was there lots of open space in the container for them to bounce around? Was one side of the box noticeably cooler? Did the shipper use phase packs, or was there a heat pack inside the insulated container with the frogs? These questions may not bring the frogs back, but it could help to identify the cause.
They were 3 per container that is shown above. There was not room for them to bounce around. The containers were tight in the box, paper kept them in place, the box was insulated with phase packs and covered with paper shipping materials and one heat pack on the top of the container. The bottom of the box was colder than the top of the box and the frogs on the colder side are the ones that can not move their legs.

One of the frogs has gained some movement in its back legs, but it's happening very slowly.
 

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One of the frogs has gained some movement in its back legs, but it's happening very slowly.
That's slightly encouraging, but jeez, 48 hours is a long time to be stunned. I really hope they're not in pain. Shipping the frogs three to each container doesn't strike me as a good idea at all.

I'm still not clear on how the frogs were packed in the containers. It sounds like the containers were packed into the box in a way that kept the containers from bouncing around, but what about inside each container? Was there sphagnum or other material inside the containers besides just the leaf as shown above?
 

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That's slightly encouraging, but jeez, 48 hours is a long time to be stunned. I really hope they're not in pain. Shipping the frogs three to each container doesn't strike me as a good idea at all.

I'm still not clear on how the frogs were packed in the containers. It sounds like the containers were packed into the box in a way that kept the containers from bouncing around, but what about inside each container? Was there sphagnum or other material inside the containers besides just the leaf as shown above?
i hope they are not in pain too! There was not much inside the containers of frogs, just some leaves and a little bit of moss.
 

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There was not much inside the containers of frogs, just some leaves and a little bit of moss.
To me, that sounds like there's the potential for them having been smacking around against the insides of their container during transit.

I feel really badly that this is happening to you and your frogs.
 

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To me, that sounds like there's the potential for them having been smacking around against the insides of their container during transit.

I feel really badly that this is happening to you and your frogs.
If they were smacked around, would they be able to come back from it?

Thanks, it’s such a bummer.
 

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That all depends on how severe the injuries were. If there was enough open space in the shipping cup, the frogs could have been subject to significant blunt force trauma if the package was handled roughly.
Thanks for the reply. Haven’t euthanized them yet, hoping for a miracle.
 

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Yeah, likely too much open space inside the container. Even though those of us who ship frogs put labels all over to handle carefully, too often people working for the shipping companies don't care. I once dropped off a package and the lady at the counter literally tossed the box up in the air in front of me...so disappointing.
 

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Wow, what a terrible situation. I'm surprised that the other culture was fine though, if it was mechanical trauma that caused the paralysis I'd have expected it to be more uniform throughout the container. Bad luck I suppose.
 

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I'm surprised that the other culture was fine though, if it was mechanical trauma that caused the paralysis I'd have expected it to be more uniform throughout the container. Bad luck I suppose.
The bottom cup was resting on the rigid styrofoam box liner, and so when the box was dropped, the deceleration was severe. The top cup was resting on the bottom cup's lid, so those frogs decelerated more slowly due to the 'give' of thin PETE plastic. Possibly some other explanation that would be provided by looking at exactly how the box was packed, but it was packed non-symmetrically (of necessity, usually) and poorly (no movement-restricting material in the cups, which is simple negligence), so basic physics would likely explain things.
 

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I am also curious if there was a combined effect with the temperature. It sounds like a temp gradient was present. The physical damage problem could have been made worse by the frogs being cold. I always bring a temp gun to the pickup and test the temp in the box as soon as I get it to the car. I usually take a picture of the temp gun doing its thing and send it to the seller so they can see how their shipping is doing under those specific conditions. I also never ship frogs communally. I use much smaller containers and only put 1 frog in each. Sphagnum should never be used in shipping either (not that this was done in the OP's case) but that can really cause some serious limb damage. And while I am at it, folks, poke the holes in the container from the inside toward the outside so the little jagged pieces of plastic left around the hole don't scrape the frogs up. Finally, just wait to ship until it isn't down close to freezing. It's possible to do it right, but it's safer to wait. Anyway, just thought I would take an opportunity to let people know how not to make the mistakes I used to make.

So sorry this happened, OP.

Mark
 

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Are the lower legs of the paralyzed frogs tremulous, flaccid or rigid?
 

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I’m sorry this happened to your frogs.
After reading the posts I have to say that physical damage is unlikely. For it to happen to three frogs in the same manner at the same time. The same goes for a large temperature gradient inside the same box.
To me it sounds more like a central nervous system issue. Oxygen deprevation inside the box or exposure to some sort of chemical in/or before going in the box.
Just speculation, I hope you receive some new ones to enjoy soon.
 
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