Understanding Pacman frog impaction can help you identify the right substrate to use and preventative measures to take to reduce the risk of your frog becoming impacted in the future.
As an amphibian owner, you want what is best for your pet. Knowing the different risks can help you make informed decisions to provide your frog with a comfortable and safe enclosure.
What Is Pacman Frog Impaction?
Pacman frog impaction is a form of constipation, often caused when a frog eats the substrate when catching their prey.
Small gravel can be passed in feces, but larger gravel or stones remain in the intestine causing an unwelcome blockage.
Signs and Symptoms of Impaction
- Lack of interest in food. Your frog may refuse to eat for more than a week.
- Your frog climbs into the water dish often, which is uncommon for burrowing frogs such as Pacman frogs
- Frog straining to poop in the water dish. The Pacman frog will move to the water dish, as the water helps to unclog the bowels.
- Handling your frog, taking the proper precautions, you can gently feel the belly one side at a time. The poop will be floating around, while the internal organs remain in the center of the body. If you feel something hard that is moving around, this could be a sign of impaction.
Causes of Impaction
There are a number of reasons why your Pacman frog may be impacted, starting with the substrate you are using.
Some substrates, such as clay and soil are not suitable for these frogs. These substrates can be eaten accidentally while feeding and result in impaction.
Learn the best safe substrates for Pacman frog here.
Another cause could be diet related. When feeding larger insects to your frog, you need to ensure that they have molted.
Large insects with hard exoskeletons can be hard to digest and as a result they can cause impaction in your frog.
You've identified the signs of impaction and the causes. You think your Pacman frog may be impacted. What do you do?
The first thing is not to panic, there are a number of things to try to help your frog pass the stool and feel happy and comfortable again.
- Fasting can help to reduce adding to the blockage. Use soft worms to provide nutrients until your frog is going normally again.
- Provide your frog with warm baths. Warm baths help to break up the blockage. Water is excellent for the frog’s bowels. Temperature should be lukewarm
- Belly massages are a great way to break up any blockages and help your frog pass the stool with confidence. While your frog soaks in the lukewarm bath, gently massage each side of the belly. Slide your finger over the sides of the belly a few times and then place the frog back in the warm bath.
- If none of the above suggestions work, then it's time to visit your vet.
Prevention is always better than cure and as a Pacman frog owner, you want to ensure the best for your amphibian pet.
- Change your substrate to coconut fiber that is compressed and expands once soaked. You can also use moist moss.
- Be wary of the diet you feed staying away from super worms, as they have hard exoskeletons which can be hard to digest. Waxworms and hornworms are a safer option.
- Select smaller crickets and feed more of them.
Even when you carry out every preventative measure your Pacman frog may become slightly impacted from time to time. Warm baths and gentle massages may be all that is needed to help break down the blockage.
If you are worried or your frog isn't making any progress after a day or two, then it's time to visit the vet.