American Toad #19-3281 update

On December 19, Dr. Karra noted that Toad #19-3281 has been eating well, and had some edema, a build-up of internal fluid that causes a swollen appearance.  To assist the release of this fluid, the toad was given gentle body massages which proved effective and resolved the toad’s edema.

Amphibians are able to regulate their internal fluid levels through absorption of water through their skin, and sometimes they can take on extra water while in captivity.  Captive husbandry can’t perfectly mimic the conditions of a wild habitat – in the wild, toads move from place to place to regulate their fluid levels.  When toads are stressed or scared, sometimes they will eliminate liquid waste, which is likely a flight response making them lighter.  Massaging engages that response to minimize the edema. 

Edema is something that can arise at any time for a toad in captivity, so the patient will continue to be monitored for this condition.