This topic contains 23 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Zoodulcis 13 hours, 44 minutes 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.