About animals

Metabolic bone disease, or spindle-shaped leg syndrome in amphibians


In general, horned frogs usually have good health, but like any other animal, they sometimes get sick. If you wisely approach the choice of a frog, you will monitor its nutrition and living conditions, most likely your pet will be healthy.

Most often, amphibian ailments develop due to improper conditions of maintenance: inappropriate temperature conditions, poor water quality, dirty substrate or lack of vitamins and minerals.

The diseases listed below are found not only in slingshots, but also in other amphibians.

Metabolic bone disease
A very common disease among captive reptiles and amphibians, leading to softening of bones and deformation of the skeleton. This disease arises from a lack of calcium or vitamin D3. Symptoms of the disease are as follows: the frog’s lower jaw droops, the animal cannot catch prey, the limbs twitch, the amphibian behaves uneasily, the bones of the ridge and pelvis are deformed. Treatment: it is necessary to sprinkle fodder objects with special powder containing calcium and vitamin D3. If the frog’s bones have softened so much that it cannot capture the prey, calcium and D3 must be given to her with a syringe, pouring liquid into the frog’s mouth every day or every other day until the bones begin to harden.

Frogs absorb liquid through the skin, so you need to carefully monitor the purity of the water in their home. Otherwise, toxins are absorbed into the body of amphibians, which leads to the development of sepsis. Symptoms of sepsis include restlessness, spastic contractions of the limbs, erratic jumping and coordination disorder, and blurred eyes. Treatment of sepsis: it is necessary to place amphibian in a shallow container with clean water and leave it there. Water should be changed every 5 hours until symptoms disappear. If in the terrarium where your pet lives, the water is always clean and fresh, the frog is unlikely to get sepsis.

If the frog becomes infected with dropsy, it begins to swell due to the fact that no liquid is removed from its body. In extreme cases, a dropsy frog looks like a bag filled with water. Dropsy usually causes kidney or heart disease. Prevention, unfortunately, does not exist. If the swelling is not too large, the veterinarian pricks it with a sterile needle and pumps out the accumulated fluid. However, this disease is very dangerous and often fatal.

Bacterial infections
In nature, frogs constantly encounter various bacteria, but their immune system fights them. If amphibian is stressed and its immunity is suppressed, a bacterial infection may develop in the body. Improper conditions of detention: dirty water, inappropriate temperature conditions, crowded terrarium - all these factors can adversely affect the immunity of amphibians. Signs of a bacterial infection: anxiety, loss of appetite, blurred eyes, redness of the abdomen and inner thighs, increased molting. If treatment is not started at this stage, serious neurological symptoms may be added. The veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics for your pet, in particular baths in tetracycline solution. One of the most common and dangerous bacterial infections in amphibians is the red leg.

Fungal infections
Fungal infections can occur in wounds or scratches, more often they appear in tadpoles. They can be treated with the help of external means, treating skin lesions with a cotton pad with hydrogen peroxide, brilliant green or fucorcin.

Helminthic infestations
In the body of amphibians, internal parasites, such as pinworms, helminths and round worms, are often found. If there are few of them in the body, they will not do much harm. However, if you suspect that your amphibian is infected with parasites, be sure to consult your veterinarian. Parasites are transmitted from one animal to another, which is why new amphibians need to be quarantined for some time.

In frogs, blindness occurs as a result of the accumulation of lipids (fat deposits) on the cornea. The reason for this may be a high fat content in the frog's diet (for example, the regular presence of newborn mice on the menu). There is no cure for blindness, but as a preventative measure, it is necessary to control the fat content in your pet's food.

Bowel obstruction
Sometimes in the process of hunting game frogs can swallow a little substrate. Fine gravel usually comes out with feces, but larger stones can remain in the gastrointestinal tract and lead to obstruction. The best prevention is to use moist moss, polystyrene or wet coconut fiber as a substrate (it is sold in the form of compressed blocks, it must first be soaked in water). If you think your pet is obstructed, feel the frog’s stomach: if you feel a hard bump, it’s most likely part of the substrate. Most often, over time, the substrate still comes out with feces, but if this did not happen in 1-2 weeks, you need to contact the veterinarian to remove it.

Adult horned frogs can reach quite large sizes. However, they do not need much food. Many owners make the mistake of giving the adult frog as much food as the young growing individual, or feeding it large prey. Slingshots reach their "adult size" at the age of 2-3 years. After that, any excess food is stored as fat. The frog will be larger, but its lifespan will be significantly reduced. To prevent obesity, follow the following feeding schedule:

  • Frogs up to 5 cm: Three-week crickets every day or every other day with calcium supplements.
  • Frogs up to 8 cm: three-week crickets every day or every other day with calcium supplements or bestiality every 2-3 days.
  • Adult frogs up to 10-12 cm in size: crickets, zoophobas, earthworms with mineral additives once a week.

Ewing's Sarcoma

Ewing's sarcoma. Ewing's sarcoma was first described in 1866. In 1921, Ewing again drew attention to this tumor, calling it diffuse endothelioma or endothelial myeloma. This relatively rare disease is usually found in young people under the age of 30 years.

The disease equally affects men and women, often located in the area of ​​long bones of the lower extremities and pelvic bones.

Patients with Ewing sarcoma usually have fever, leukocytosis, and an increase in ESR, which often leads the doctor to suspect an infection. In the affected area, pain and swelling can be observed, which can also be mistaken for signs of osteomyelitis.

X-ray most often detected diaphyseal defect with a very aggressive invasive contour and poorly differentiated edges. In this case, a pronounced periosteal reaction is often observed in the form of a parallel multilayer contour, the so-called “onion peel symptom”.

A sign of invasive growth may be the destruction of the cortical plate. Often around the bone defect, a shadow from the tumor invading the soft tissue can be observed.

The disease is differentiated with osteomyelitis, osteosarcoma, malignant lymphoma, characteristic of this age group. The prognosis of the disease, despite treatment, poor five-year survival is from 4.8 to 12.6%.

Multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma This disease is observed in more than half of all patients with malignant bone tumors. Multiple myeloma is most often observed in adults among all bone tumors. The incidence is 3 per 100 thousand populations in the United States of America.

More often, the disease is observed in men, the average age of patients is 60 years. Myeloma can affect any bone containing hematopoietic cells, but more often, very interestingly, the lower and upper jaws are affected (more than 30% of cases). Large bones are affected along with them.

Clinically, the disease usually manifests itself in pains resembling neuralgia or arthralgia. In some patients, swelling of the soft tissues is observed and a volumetric formation in the affected area is palpated. In advanced cases, significant bone deformation and hypercalcemia caused by bone decay are noted. Sometimes the leading symptom may be azotemia.

A characteristic radiological sign of myeloma is diffuse corroded areas of osteolysis that do not contain a substrate. The shape of these areas is often irregular; they do not have sclerotic edges. The type of defects is very “aggressive”, their edges are often smeared, the contents are not determined.

The disease is differentiated with osteolytic metastases, although some authors indicate that extensive germination in soft tissues and generalized osteoporosis can immediately indicate a diagnosis of myeloma. Previously, the prognosis was unfavorable, in recent years it has improved due to the use of a number of chemotherapeutic drugs, cases of remission lasting up to 2 years have been described.

Metastatic cancer

Bone metastasis due to invasion of tumor cells through the lymphatic tract or blood flow can be observed in any bone formations.

Most often, osteolysis sites form primary tumors of the mammary gland, lung, thyroid gland, kidney, and less commonly, the prostate and gastrointestinal tract. Of course, any of these tumors can also cause a bone reaction or sclerosis, causing osteoblastic metastases. Usually there is a mixed picture of bone damage.

Radiological symptoms with metastases are very variable. Usually, an indeterminate nature of bone destruction is found, with defects having an “aggressive” appearance with poorly differentiated edges. Defects are usually multiple, which helps to exclude the diagnosis of a primary malignant bone tumor.

A flat roentgenogram does not always reflect the full extent of bone damage by metastases, therefore, at present, bone scans with various radioactive isotopes are used to more adequately assess the degree of bone damage, the progression or regression of the disease.

Nevertheless, it is often necessary to compare the X-ray data with the scan data, especially if degenerative arthritis is found in patients, which is often found in this age group.


Hyperparathyroidism Hyperparathyroidism can be divided into primary and secondary forms. Primary hyperparathyroidism is usually caused by adenomas or hyperplasia of the parathyroid glands, and secondary hyperparathyroidism as compensation for rickets, osteomalacia, pregnancy, renal failure, calcium deficiency or maternal hypoparathyroidism.

The disease most often occurs between the ages of 30-50, in women 3 times more often than in men. An examination of blood plasma usually reveals elevated levels of calcium and decreased levels of phosphorus, although in patients with reduced plasma protein levels, calcium levels may be normal.

Bone defects in primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism are identical, and in about half of all patients, characteristic radiological symptoms of hyperparathyroidism can be detected. These include subperiosteal, cortical erosion of the bone, especially on the radial side of the middle phalanges of the fingers, generalized deossification, calcification of joints, tendons and ligaments, localized areas of osteolysis, the so-called brown tumors.

Bone lysis sites are common and can affect any bone. They are characterized by large sizes, an eccentric arrangement, the spread of destruction into the region of metaphyses of long bones. Their edges can be distinct or smeared, the visible substrate in defects is not determined.

Histologically, bone defects in hyperparathyroidism are filled with giant cells (osteoclasts) and it is difficult to radiographically differentiate them from true giant-cell bone tumors. However, other radiological symptoms of hyperparathyroidism are usually present.

The treatment of the disease is aimed at eliminating the primary cause of hyperparathyroidism. With the start of treatment, as a rule, rapid regression of bone defects is noted.