This topic contains 38 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Kate Turner 4 days, 8 hours ago.

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  • #8531
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    Kate Turner
    Participant
    New Pacman Frog

    This is Big Chonkers. I just recently got the little guy last Friday, and I’m a little worried about him because he won’t eat. I’ve tried crickets and right now I’m trying meal worms, but he’s yet to take any of them. Any advice?

  • #8534
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    Zoodulcis
    Moderator

    If you mean just this last Friday, don’t worry, he may just be a little stressed and still settling into his new home. The fact that he is in his water dish is a good sign. I presume that the water in his dish is dechlorinated and not just tap water.

    You can make him feel much more at home by adding another 3 inches of substrate to his tank. This species loves to burrow, and he doesn’t have anywhere to hide. Please read the care guide for this species on this site to get some additional tips.

    • #8535
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      Kate Turner
      Participant

      Thank you, this made me feel a lot better. Yes ma’am, I use the “Repti-Safe” water conditioner. I’ll give him a bit more substrate, because he really does love to burrow.

    • #8536
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      Kate Turner
      Participant

      I do have one more question though, if you could give me a little assistance. I was wondering how the best way to feed Big Chonkers is; with the mealworms, they burrow deep into the substrate and I’m not able to bring them back up and neither can he. The crickets tend to just go to the corners or climb up the little tree. Are Pacman frogs good with tong feeding?

      • #8537
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Many pacman frog owners do feed with tongs. If they have a very aggressive animal that lunges, or they just want to be absolutely sure of the quantity of food being consumed each feeding, they do use tongs. So do consider tongs, once he is more used to his surroundings. FYI, another forum member that got a pacman about a week ago, who wasn’t eating crickets, got him to eat earthworms, and no tongs required. Perhaps for a bit, you could keep the crickets and mealworms on hold and try some store-bought earthworms. Not wild-caught, because they are chock full of parasites. Once you know that he has eaten his first earthworm, you’re on your way. Then you can present other soft-sided wrigglies like hornworms to see if he likes them as well. If you get a bunch of worms from the store and intend to keep them alive for a couple of weeks and offer them to him periodically, but sure to gut load them. You can start training him to take a wriggly from tongs so in the future you will know that this is a viable option, especially if you decide to treat him to frozen, then warmed pinkies as an occasional treat. They really need to be fed with tongs to prevent you from getting bitten. Once he seems super excited about wrigglies of all kinds, the mealworms and crickets can again become a treat that may get him to move about a bit more.

        In a couple of days, if he still isn’t hungry, you may need to search for poop, to make sure he isn’t constipated and simply has no room for food until he eliminates. Stay in touch with his progress and I am happy to advise you through this transitional time.

        And good for you on the water treatment!!

      • #8538
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Thank you so much! I’ll try and find some earthworms at my local pet store and see if he likes those. I’ve found, I believe, two poops in his cage so far, so I took that as a good sign, even though he hasn’t eaten for me yet. I’ll keep you updated, thanks again 🙂

      • #8566
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        My pleasure.

      • #8723
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Update: he’s mostly just stayed in the same place the past few days. Each night, I try to feed him; for one night, I took him out and put him in another container, and attempted to tong-feed him, to no avail. He make little lunges at the mealworm, but nothing more. Last night we got better results when I tong fed him; he was engaged and excited with the worm but couldn’t quite seem to know how to eat him. I was wondering if you had anymore tips? Thank you

      • #8740
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        I’m glad that he is pooping! That is a very good sign. Are you tong feeding him mealworms or earthworms? Mealworms are so chitinous, with so little digestible matter that some reptiles like leopard geckos with short digestive systems shouldn’t have them at all. If you can get him to eat a large earthworm, I would put him in his water dish a couple times to make sure he stays hydrated and then leave him totally alone for 24 hours at least.

      • #8747
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        I will try that, I just was not able to find earthworms at the pet store so I went with mealworms. I’ll order some online or try another store! Thank you so much.

      • #8748
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        I don’t know if you are anywhere close to a bait and tackle shop, but that can be a good source of earthworms.

      • #8751
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Just went to another near by and they had some! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

      • #8752
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Yes, please do!

      • #8768
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        It isn’t going so well. I put him in his water bowl for a little to make sure that he was hydrated, then I put him in a smaller container with some substrate so I could feed him (I use gloves). I got earthworms, and I tried holding it with the tongs, with my fingers, and putting it on the substrate so he could “hunt” it, but he only just faces the wall and refuses to eat. I’m not sure what to do.

      • #8778
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        You’re right, this doesn’t sound good. My guess at this point is that he objects to being handled so much, that it is stressing him to the point of lack of appetite. But I might be wrong. What I would try now, if it was me, is placing the earthworms in a very shallow dish so they can’t burrow immediately. In fact, you should probably cut them in half so they will wriggle but not escape the dish. Gross, I know but it might work. Do not place him in a different habitat. Place the dish right in front of him and leave the area for a bit. Monitor any activity but do not handle him. Try this for a day and see what happens. If he still will not eat, you might consider contacting the former owner to get a sense of his eating habits previously. If no luck in another 48 hours, it may be time to consider the vet.

      • #8791
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Yes ma’am, I did just that, as I saw your comment earlier. I cut the worms in half and put them in a shallow bowl, and I left Big Chonkers alone for a few hours to see if he’d eat. He has yet to move from the same spot; I know he’s alive and breathing but he just doesn’t seem to want to eat. I got him from Petco, so I’m going to give him one more day and if he still won’t eat, Petco has a deal where we can “return” him and they’ll take him to the proper vet for me, and if all is well I’ll take him back home with me. I really love him and I’m very worried, I just want what’s best for him.

      • #8830
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Uh Oh, Petco. Not a place I generally recommend. It seems to me as if you have been pretty thorough and thoughtful with his care and it may indeed be time to take advantage of their policy. I hate to see you move him again, and I know you have become super fond of him, but at this point, unless he has eaten something since your last post, it is probably time to return him.

      • #8858
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Any updates on the status of Chonkers?

      • #8859
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Yes ma’am. I contacted Petco yesterday, and I talked on the phone with them about Big Chonkers lack of appetite. He told me to raise the temperature of his terrarium (it’s at about 82 right now) and give it a day to see if he’ll eat again, and if he still hasn’t by Saturday, to bring him in. They will “purchase” him to take him to the vet and get him the care he needs, then I can adopt him again if all is well.

      • #8880
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Raising the temperature sounds like a good idea. Have seen any change yet?

      • #8906
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Nothing changed. I just took him to Petco, and I know that he’s in very good hands, as I had a long talk with one of the workers there. They tried to feed him themselves and he wouldn’t react, and they also found a couple small hard spots on his back. They are going to take him to the proper vet on Monday, and will keep me updated. I’ll let you know how it all goes. I miss my buddy.

      • #8918
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        I’m relieved to hear that there is someone knowledgable at Petco to assist you with this. That isn’t always the case so I’m glad you are lucky in this regard. Any diagnosis yet?

      • #8988
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        They contacted me yesterday after they had gotten the diagnosis back from the vet. His bone marrow was undeveloped, and obviously, he was very malnourished. They’re going to keep him for a couple weeks and give him treatment, and they will have to force feed him supplements until he will willingly eat. I can call whenever to get updates, but they said he has a 50/50 chance of surviving.
        I feel like I failed the little guy, so I’m glad that he has the proper care now.

      • #8991
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Kate, I don’t think you had him long enough to fail him. No, sadly, this is a typical Petco/Petsmart thing. Their animals are often underfed and improperly nourished, because that costs money and cuts into the bottom line. They hope to sell the animal quickly enough that what you are now seeing with Big Chonkers doesn’t occur. Unfortunately, that is the real 50/50 deal. Sometimes their animals live and sometimes they don’t. Do not blame yourself.

        I believe he has less than a 50/50 chance. If it were me, now that you know that you like this sort of pet, I would start looking for a breeder that is reasonably close by and see what they have for sale. Good to have a backup plan. You have learned a ton from this experience, and if Chonkers doesn’t make it, you can put that knowledge to good use. If the worst happens, get your money back and DO NOT let them sell you a replacement pet.

      • #9011
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Yes ma’am, I will look for breeders near by if Big Chonkers does not make it. Thank you for reassuring me, I wish I would’ve done a bit more research on where to adopt frogs. Thank you for all of your help. I will keep you updated.

      • #9018
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Do you have any suggestions as to what may be a good breeder site/store other than Petco or Petsmart? I’ve been looking at reviews for Josh’s Frogs, and it could be a possibility. Otherwise, I’ll look for smaller businesses and breeders.

      • #9023
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        I think the best course of action is to identify three suppliers. Josh’s frogs could be one of those, and two maybe smaller and more local. Make a question list, and ask the same questions of each breeder. If you get a live person and they seem enthusiastic and helpful they should go to the top of the list. If they seem bored or hurried, or you leave a message they don’t get back to you within 24 hours, cross them off the list. I would provide a list of great questions for you, but I have already done that in a care guide on this site. Plus, my Covid is getting me a bit down today, but I wanted to get back to you. Look under bearded dragons for tips on identifying great breeders.

        I will be back in the saddle again tomorrow morning, but I will need to sign off for now.

      • #9052
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        OK, back online for the next few hours. Any progress with Big Chonkers or with finding a breeder in case he doesn’t pull through?

      • #9127
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Just contacted Petco to check up, and they say Big Chonkers’ progress is on an incline! I will however keep my options open, and I have been checking for local breeders. I haven’t called anyone yet, but I’ve assembled a list.
        Also I’m so sorry! Hope you get better soon.

      • #9285
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Checking on the Chonkers. Did his health continue to improve and is he now back with you?

      • #9341
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        I call every other evening to check in on him, and every time is about the same; he’s been moving around a lot more, but he’s still not particularly interested in eating. They have to keep him for the remainder of his treatment, so I’m not quite sure when I will be able to take him back home.

      • #9360
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Correcting metabolic bone disease can take months. He doesn’t need to eat a ton, but he will need to eat something in order to ingest enough calcium and D3 to begin to solidify those bones properly. Also, jaw soreness goes with MBD, so it may be that it hurts him to grab the prey item. What a mess, and I know you must be worried.

        I am completely on the other side of the COVID mess, and apparently good as new. I sure hope for the same outcome for Big Chonkers.

      • #12621
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Hello, ma’am! I know it’s been a while since I’ve given you a Chonkers update, but I have one for you. I brought him home a couple of weeks ago! They sent me home with instructions to get a special powder formula called “Carnivore Care”, and for the past weeks I’ve been mixing that with water and feeding it to him through a syringe. He’s been a stubborn little guy, but he’s been eating, even if it’s not willingly.
        The employee at Petco who had been taking care of him said that he had taken a couple of crickets and also pinky mice by tong-feeding, but I have yet to have any luck. I’ve sat there holding it in front of him for hours and even then he hasn’t been interested. Do you have any advice for tong-feeding? I know we’ve been over this I’m just a bit worried that he’s not going to know how to eat for himself without the syringe.
        I hope you’re doing well.

      • #12622
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Greetings!

        I am so glad that big Chonkers is still among the living. Now, onto the tricky part. Tong feeding is not just a matter of presenting a dead thing right in front of your pet’s face. It is an art form, one that can be a bit gross. Regarding pinkies, the trick is to make them ‘dance.’ Macabre I know. But the point of tong feeding is two-fold. One, is to keep your fingers safe, and two, is to fool your pet. To do this effectively, the dead prey must seem virtually alive. Review some Youtube videos of people tong feeding their pets, any pets. Focus on their technique for making the prey seem to be alive. It may be that this is what the pet shop people are good at, while you may need some more practice.

        I hope this was enlightening and my fingers are crossed for you and Chonkers. Don’t hesitate to check in again with questions and observations.

      • #12623
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        I may have some more questions along the way, but thank you so much for being there for me and Big Chonkers. I’ll let you know how it goes with tong-feeding in the next few days; as of right now, I’ve been waving it in front of his face, running it against his lips, etc. He tends to lunge at it every couple minutes, sometimes he opens his mouth a little, but he never really opens it all the way/truly wants to eat it. I’ll have to work with him with that.
        Have a good rest of your evening!

      • #12636
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Gosh it sounds like you have his attention. I wonder what is stopping him? I wonder if the size of pinkie is identical to the size they were using in the store?

        Always glad to help conscientious pet owners who are trying to do the right thing!

      • #12891
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Hello! Another little update. Chonk has been doing okay lately, I’m trying new things to see how he reacts. I purchased some new Pacman Food formula, and I’m currently trying to get him to learn how to eat it, as I’m worried the syringe won’t keep him satisfied. Later on in the week, I’m going to try crickets again, but I’m not getting my hopes up.
        Also, I’m still not sure why he really just won’t ever open his mouth! The only time he has is when I’ve forced him to eat with the syringe. I’m just not sure what to do …
        Hope you’re doing well.

      • #12979
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        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Greetings Kate,

        I was on vacation, but back now, hence the late response.

        MBD attacks the bone and tissues of the jaw. Because he very likely was suffering from that originally and is now on a course of correction, I think it also very likely that his jaws hurt. It can take weeks for this soreness to subside. I agree that the syringe is not the long term solution, but I think you should keep at it and not expect much for at least another 4 weeks, possibly longer.

      • #13284
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        Kate Turner
        Participant

        Okay ma’am, thank you. That makes a lot of sense. I’ve been mixing the Pacman food formula with the Critical Care formula and it’s made a thicker substance, so I’m hoping that will be a bit more substantial for him. I’ll keep up with the syringe for now.
        Thank you! Hope you have a good weekend.