What is this pink clear sac thing hanging from my tree frog’s rear end?

“We have a Red Eye that has been with us for about 3 months. He lives with 2 other White’s Dumpy’s. They have been what seems to be healthy up until the other day. The Red Eye has some pinkish clear sac like thing hanging from his rear end. Now this can’t be good right? We can’t think of anything that happened to him. He gets fed healthy 3/8 inch crickets. Not sure if this condition can be fixed or not. Please advise. Thanks…”

Cloacal Prolapse

This sounds like a cloacal prolapse. This happens when tissues or organs that should be inside the frog slip or are pushed out.

A prolapse may appear as a small swollen pink ball protruding out of the frog, but more severe ones can look like an inflated pink or red balloon hanging out.

Prolapse Causes

There are a number of causes and often they are related to diet. Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to causing cloacal prolapses. Ensure the vitamin and mineral supplements being used are not too old and that they are of a good quality. Nutritional deficiencies can also be avoided by feed a varied diet. Don’t rely heavily on just a single food item, even with proper supplementation feeding only one type of food is bound to lead to problems down the line.

But nutritional deficiencies are not the only cause of prolapses. They can also be caused by impactions or obstructions of the digestive system, so for instance if your frog swallows a large amount of substrate while feeding and has difficulty passing it.

There are also internal parasites that can cause or contribute to causing cloacal prolapses. Poor water quality or contaminants in the water can also play a role. Physical trauma can also cause prolapses. I used to use net flower pots with small frogs until one got stick in the hole while trying to climb through. This resulted in a prolapse simply from the frog getting squeezed too tight while being dislodged.

It is important to think back over what may have caused the prolapse because they are not always fatal and many frogs will recover from them.

Treatment

Sometimes the tissue or organ will correct itself and slip back inside the frog. In fact, if you have just noticed the tissue now, wait half a day and see how it looks again. If it appears noticeably smaller it is likely already healing.

A trick of the trade is to dab sugar water on the prolapsed tissue. You can use a cotton swab to dab a little on the pink part, or even soak the frog in a sugar-water solution for a few minutes. The sugar water will affect osmotic regulation and can help reduce swelling, helping the frog to reabsorb the tissue.

However, if nothing changes after several days there is not much that can be done without a vet, and even the vet may simply try to carefully push the tissue back in (and in that case it often just falls back out again anyways) so there will be little you can do.

One Last Thought

I would recommend keeping the red-eyed tree frog and White’s tree frogs separate. They have different captive husbandry requirements, come from different parts of the world, and probably will not coexist together well in the long-term. At least for the time being, while the red-eyed tree frog is sick, try separating the two.

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