Rectal prolapse and foreign body in a magnificent tree frog

Magnificent frogAmphibians are uncommon veterinary patients, partly thanks to restrictions on keeping them in certain areas, but also due to an overall decline in frog numbers worldwide.

Even so, Stephen Cutter, at the Ark Animal Hospital in Palmerston, treats a handful of frogs every year.

“Frogs are still common in NT as chytrid fungus doesn’t seem to have hit,” he said. “The fungus also prefers cooler temperatures which is why it hit worse in alpine areas of the tropics as well as more temperate regions.”

The most common frog species he sees is the green tree frog (Litoria caerulea).

“This frog has an almost commensal lifestyle with people – many have resident green tree frogs on their veranda or living in the outdoor toilet and are quite fond of them, treating them as pets. I think this is why they tend to bring them in when they are injured”.

Like their dog and cat counterparts, frogs present for a range of reasons – typically trauma, but also infectious disease, parasite infestations and gastrointestinal disease. They are also sensitive to metabolic bone disease, as reptiles are.

Cutter made world headlines when he performed reconstructive surgery on a female tree frog whose dorsal skin had been removed by a lawnmower. The frog, Victa, survived and was eventually released back into the wild.

So it was not at all unusual for Cutter to be presented with a pet frog that had suffered a rectal prolapse. Continue reading Rectal prolapse and foreign body in a magnificent tree frog