CharmedTeri asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

I just noticed my new albino clawed frog is missing an "arm."?

So, I bought an albino clawed frog today. It is very small (like less than the size of a penny), and I have read that they grow to the size of your fist. So, I figure it is a juvenile. These are aquatic frogs, that live their entire life underwater (unlike common frogs).

I picked this one because it was so feisty - it was swimming around really fast. Funny thing - it was swimming so fast that I didn't notice it was missing half of one arm until I got half way home from the store. Now, I wonder - is this an injury, and is it part of this young frog's life cycle/development? I don't know a lot about these frogs, but if they start out like tadpoles, is it possible the this young frogs arm is still in the process of forming?


P.S. - the store won't take it back/exchange it unless it is dead. So, that's out! It seems healthy.

Update 2:

It wasn't with any tank mates when I bought it - it was isolated in a small cup (like they sell bettas). So, I do not think it had exposure to another animal that would cause injury.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    African clawed frogs (ACFs) are carnivorous, so if he was in a tank with several others (like pet stores tend to keep them), one of his tankmates probably caused the injury. It's not a regular part of the development. Although some amphibians can regenerate missing limbs, ACFs don't once they've metamorphosed from a tadpole. See rather technical article in link:

    How will this affect him? Well, it will probably be an inconvenience. You said it was an arm, so I'm assuming it was a front leg - this should be less of a problem than a hind leg, which is used for swimming. They don't get "out" of the water, just surface to breathe, so you don't have to worry about that. It will most likely cause some problems in manuvering, but if your frog is young, he'll learn to adjust.

    Just keep an eye on the leg to make sure it doesn't show red streaks (septicemia) or fungal growth. If this happens, you can treat the water with fish medication for those problems, although you should start treatment with a lesser (1/2) dose.

  • 1 decade ago

    Congratulations on your new purchase. I hope you don't keep your new little froggy with any fish b/c that kind of aquatic frog will eat em all up once it gets to a certain age.

    To answer your question, I have had a frog in my tank lose it's arm mysteriously. I was very worried for him, but could not figure out how it happened (he wasn't a clawed frog, but aquatic, so same difference). Anyways, he recovered, regenerated a tiny little nub and lived for a couple years after that, and one day I tragically discovered the reason for the arm loss. Apparently, he climbed up to the little slots in the filter and stuck his leg in there and couldn't get it out b/c I'm sure he was fanning out his toes. Well, he drowned, as he was an airbreathing frog and it broke my heart...I called him "nubs". I figure, his arm had a similar fate...however he was able to rip it off in time. My advice try to get some thin netting to put around your filter uptake...take it off regularly to clean it. Haven't had anymore froggy fatalities since. Good luck and enjoy your unique new pet!

  • 1 decade ago

    i would take it back to the store and ask themif it is normal and if not exchange it for a healthy frog

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.