Amphibians Physical examination

Physical Examination
Handling Concerns-Amphibian Skin
 Permeable
 Moistened, powder-free
gloves should be used to
protect the amphibian’s
skin from trauma and the
handler from secreted
-cleaning supplies
 Delicate
 Secretion
Nicotine Toxicity
Tadpole and hypercapnic challenge
-Brain stem: ventilation
-Surfacing frequency
Systemic vasodilation
Melanocyte Activation
Handler Concerns
Scratches and bites
Infectious disease
Toxic secretions:
Toxin Uses
For people:
-Weapon (poison dart frogs)
-Pharmacology (pain killers, psychoactive)
For the animal:
Aposematism and mimicry
Curious Dogs
-Symptoms: foaming mouths, shaking,
vomiting, diarrhea
Derived from:
-Alkaloid manufacture
 Before handling, observe the amphibian’s body condition and color,
posture, skin condition, movement and activity level, respiratory
effort, and response to stimuli.
 A brief but thorough examination of the eyes, nares, and conjunctiva
is easily made using an ophthalmoscope or slit lamp.
 The oral cavity, including the back of the soft palate where only a
thin layer of tissue separates the buccal cavity from the eye, can be
observed after opening the mouth with a thin piece of waterproof
paper or plastic card.
 An accurate weight can be determined with minimal handling. It is
essential for dosing but tends to be variable depending on hydration,
feeding, and urine volume
 These animals have
a very delicate and
sensitive epidermis
and mucous
covering skin.
 Handle only if
needed and use wet
 Picture to right is
how most toads are
 However, it’s not as
easy as it looks,
Frogs are extremely
 Larger frogs may be
held by the back legs
if the body is
Caudata Goals:
-Support and comfort
-Avoid tail and gills,%20Salamander.htm
Anura Goals:
-Support and comfort
-Avoid kicking out
African clawed toads
- sharp claws, be careful
Chemical Restraint of Amphibians
 General anesthesia may be required to obtain a blood
sample or for surgical procedures such as fracture repair
or laparoscopic or exploratory surgery.
 Anesthesia can be achieved by using a bath of tricaine
methanesulfonate (MS-222, Argent Chemical
Laboratories, Redmond, WA USA).
 2 g of MS-222, 40 mL of 0.5 mol/L Na2HPO4, and 2L of
well-oxygenated enclosure water. This produces a 1 g/L
(0.1%) solution, which is often suitable for adult aquatic
 Induction of adult terrestrial species may require up to 3
g/L.5 larvae and some small adult amphibians can often
be anesthetized with as little as 0.2 g/L
Page 232
 3.0 ml liquid Isoflurane
 1.5 ml water
 3.5 ml KY Jelly
Mix everything in a 10 ml
syringe and shaken
The resulting liquid is then
applied on the back of the
patient at a dose of 0.025
ml to 0.035 ml/g of body
Sleeping toad
Venipuncture on Frogs and Toads
 There is a sub-Q space for injections over entire
dorsal and ventral aspect.
 Unless animal is large enough to have visible
veins, blood is collected from the heart. The
sternum is pushed to one side and blood is
collected with a 22-26 g needle.
 Never use alcohol for disinfecting the site of the
venipuncture. Use diluted 2% chloroxylenol
 Location for venipuncture performance, read
page 234-235
Abdominal vein
Femoral vein
Sub-Lingual vein
Medication bath (TO)
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