1. #1

    So I came into care for my brother's pac man frog

    Need a little advice. My brother was basically mistreating and mishandling his pets, including a Pac-Man frog and a puppy. I forced him to hand the animals over to me or I was going to turn him in.

    Problem I have now is while the puppy I know how to treat and tend back to normal, I'm kind of clueless on the frog to an extent. I went out and got the proper stuff for it such as the tropical substrate, water dish, heat mat, and some live crickets. However, I can't get the little guy to eat. My brother stated he hasn't fed him in like two months but no matter much I try to feed him, he just won't eat. He just digs down deeper into his substrate and lays there. He won't go to his water bowl. He won't eat, move, anything. He just lays there blinking.

    I've read that they can into a period called estivation due to climate changes or lack of food which can last awhile, but that's supposed to be similar to hibernation while this frog can be seen wide awake and chirping from time to time.

    I really don't want him to die but I don't know where he got him from to ask any questions.

    Any tips on how I'm supposed to get him to eat? Or is he just in his estivation period even though he's chirping every so often and I just have to wait?

  2. #2
    High Overlord Iapetus's Avatar
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    It is a male frog, correct? (I can't tell if you're using 'he' as a neutral or masculine sense). It is 'that time of year' so he might have something else on his mind right now. I'm not too versed in frogs, how are you trying to feed him though?

    If he's been mistreated for a while, and you recently stepped in and got him the proper things he needed (sounds like his environment changed, correct me if I'm wrong) then he very well may be stressed/nervous about it all, give it some time and he'll come around. I know when I moved my beardie into his new tank he wanted nothing to do with his food for a little while afterwards and just sulked all day.

    Wish I could be more helpful, like I said, I don't really know too much about frogs. Hope everything works out!
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    The fact that he's chirping means he's a male, and he's chirping because he wants sexy times, which he's obviously not going to get.

  3. #3
    Moderator Shamanic's Avatar
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    He's not going to move, he's a pacman frog, they are so lazy. I sell maybe 2-3 of these a month from my store. He's stressed and in a new environment. He's not going to eat until he feels secure, and probably at night. Once he does start eating again he should eat everything you dangle in front of him. I said that to a customer once and they dangled their car keys (idiot). Yes, the frog grabbed them (luckily couldn't swallow).

    The most important thing to get right is your temperatures, so do you know what temps it is in your enclosure?

    Leave one cricket in there (how big is this frog? how big is the cricket?) and leave him in peace. Leave something in there for the cricket to eat too, it's less likely to both the frog then and it'll be more nutritious to eat. Just a slice of potato or any other veg/fruit that won't go mouldy quickly. He's not likely to move much, they're ambush predators. I've seen one dig a hole and sit there without moving for months. You can try different livefood and see if that stimulates him, like a locust or a mealworm. I actually feed mine a lot of mice (defrosted from frozen, not live) as they're growing as this contains the most nutrition.

    The fact that he's chirping means he's a male, and he's chirping because he wants sexy times, which he's obviously not going to get.

    They can go a while without food. Adults can go months but will lose weight. Babies I don't know for sure but I wouldn't like to wait that long. In an emergency situation you can force feed but it's very hard with frogs and stressful to the point it can do more harm than good.
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  4. #4
    I have a heat mat under half of his cage that keeps that part around ~77-78 while the other side stays about 70-72 and has his water bowl.

    Average sized crickets I suppose and he's about 4 inches long. He's just been mounded down in his tropical stuff for a couple weeks now since I've had him, aside from when I clean his cage a bit but I make sure to use wet latex gloves as to not damage his skin. I've even sat for 3 hours today dangling food near him hoping he eats something.

    I guess the good thing overall is that he's not sickly thin. Fat wise, he looks normal if comparing him to pictures of others. At least from what I noticed when I go to pick him up to move him for cage cleaning time.

    And yeah he just spends all night chirping the last few nights which made me think he wasn't in his estivation phase. Why it was a bit concerning. He'll just be going on 3 months soon without eating and minimal movement.

    I know I probably shouldn't have taken it without doing a ton of research first but figured he would at least have better odds with me than him.
    Last edited by Bullettime; 2014-05-31 at 07:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Shamanic's Avatar
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    Ah, if it's coming up to 3 months you may want to kick start his digestion system and give him some energy yourself with assist feeding.

    I'd follow what this guy does in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99yJcO_WVBM whilst the title of the video says force feeding, we call it assist feeding - you're not forcing the frog to swallow or eat, you're just placing it inside the mouth in the hopes that they eat themselves and is a lot less stressful and easier than actually getting it down the throat. I'd use a plastic utensil (much less chance of hurting, especially if the frog bites down on it by mistake) and like the video, I'd use a mouse (obviously not a live one). You just need to gently wedge open the mouth slightly and then pop the head of the mouse in the mouth. Reflexes should then kick in - he may hold it for a few hours, but should eventually swallow.

    It's not an ideal situation but 3 months is going on to the point where he may not have the energy to eat, and his digestive system may have shut down and need a reboot before his hunger instincts kick back in.

    Don't worry about not doing research before taking him, it sounds like you've done everything right. They are not at all hard to look after, it's fairly unusual for one to go off their food for this long but it sounds like you're doing everything right so far. Also, one of the staples of an exotic pet shop is giving advice - it *shouldn't* matter that you didn't buy the frog from them, if they are a decent shop (if your area has a specialist, that only deals in exotics - not a big pet store that just has a small exotics section) then you should be able to call them or go in and get advice. A decent store will never turn someone away just because they bought it elsewhere.
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  6. #6
    That looks simple enough. He's about 4 inches or so a mouse would be ok to feed him? I imagine one of the pet shops around here sell pinkies.

    Going to the pet store in a few hours when they start to open. Hopefully he'll start eating
    Last edited by Bullettime; 2014-05-31 at 07:45 AM.

  7. #7
    Moderator Shamanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullettime View Post
    That looks simple enough. He's about 4 inches or so a mouse would be ok to feed him? I imagine one of the pet shops around here sell pinkies.

    Going to the pet store in a few hours when they start to open. Hopefully he'll start eating
    I feed pinkies to a pacman this size



    If he's 4 inches, but you don't want to start too big, probably ask for a small mouse or if you're worried about that being too big, a fuzzy. Pinkies have the least nutrition. They're basically just mouths with legs so they can cram a lot in there.
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  8. #8
    Will do. Thanks for the help. Hopefully this works and he goes back to normal. I hate to see anything starve to death. Already found his scorpion dead before I could take that in too.

    Odd to say about an amphibian but he's actually really cute.

    edit: One thing I will note though as a non food related concern. His skin feels kinda dry, even though I've been misting the cage, and has a hard rough strip right down the middle of his back. Is this natural? Most I see look kinda sleek.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So update I suppose. Store didn't have any mice until tomorrow but was able to get him some non chemically treated worms. He still wouldn't eat on his own but was able to force feed him two of the worms. Took him awhile to eat but he did manage to eat something.

    Guess that's progress. I still have 3 worms though so would it be worth feeding him again tomorrow to build him back up a bit? Or was the two worms enough for now? He hadn't eaten in almost 3 months prior to those worms.
    Last edited by Bullettime; 2014-06-01 at 02:30 AM.

  9. #9
    Moderator Shamanic's Avatar
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    Are they mealworms or earthworms? Earthworms are pretty good nutrition (great protein), mealworms are pretty terrible (chitin and fat, almost no protein). If he hasn't lost weight and still looks fairly healthy then I'd give it a few days for him to digest and then see if he'll take one by himself, if not then you might as well assist the other worms. If they're mealworms feed them in the meantime to give them a bit more nutrition but don't need to do that with earthworms.
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  10. #10
    The Lightbringer JfmC's Avatar
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    Wait? There is such a thing as a pacman-frog?

    Applause to you caring for mistreated animals!
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  11. #11
    Moderator Shamanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JfmC View Post
    Wait? There is such a thing as a pacman-frog?

    Applause to you caring for mistreated animals!
    In the UK we call them Horned Frogs, the latin is Ceratophrys ornata, I'm not sure about the rest of the EU. In the USA they're called Pacman Frogs, because they literally look like pacman, big round frogs that are just massive mouths. They bury themselves in soil with just their heads sticking out, sit in that spot most of their life and then just wait - if something moves in front of them, they grab it, even if it's not technically edible.

    Omnomnom delicious fingers

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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Iapetus View Post
    It is a male frog, correct? (I can't tell if you're using 'he' as a neutral or masculine sense). It is 'that time of year' so he might have something else on his mind right now. I'm not too versed in frogs, how are you trying to feed him though?

    If he's been mistreated for a while, and you recently stepped in and got him the proper things he needed (sounds like his environment changed, correct me if I'm wrong) then he very well may be stressed/nervous about it all, give it some time and he'll come around. I know when I moved my beardie into his new tank he wanted nothing to do with his food for a little while afterwards and just sulked all day.

    Wish I could be more helpful, like I said, I don't really know too much about frogs. Hope everything works out!
    My first thought was two frogs looking at a female and going ."What should we do?" Other one says. "F***ck it. F****uck it."

  13. #13
    Old God Frozenbeef's Avatar
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    Oh never heard of a pacman frog before, they look adorable :P Had a leopard gecko but he died a couple of years ago :*(

  14. #14
    The Lightbringer Gobra's Avatar
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    Great job OP at rescuing the animals, That's really great, and it's lucky you ran into Shamanic here I hope your frog turns out all good!
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  15. #15
    The Patient
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    I guess people have already answered your question, so I will just say; good for you saving those animals, most people tend not to do anything about it if they know it's going on, and also those are weird frogs! Not sure I like them very much, bit scary looking. I prefer the look of tree frogs or dart frogs myself. I also don't like any pets you'd have to feed live food, that's the only thing that puts me off ever getting a much wanted corn snake :/

    But anyways, good for you! And I hope the little guy feels comfortable enough to eat,

  16. #16
    Moderator Shamanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Lemur View Post
    I guess people have already answered your question, so I will just say; good for you saving those animals, most people tend not to do anything about it if they know it's going on, and also those are weird frogs! Not sure I like them very much, bit scary looking. I prefer the look of tree frogs or dart frogs myself. I also don't like any pets you'd have to feed live food, that's the only thing that puts me off ever getting a much wanted corn snake :/

    But anyways, good for you! And I hope the little guy feels comfortable enough to eat,
    You don't have to feed your corn snake live food! I've been breeding corn snakes for 15 years and have never used live mice. Every single corn snake I hatch out (and we're talking 300-400+ a year) eats defrost mice from birth. In the UK it is not legal (under animal cruelty laws) to feed live mice - so all our pet snakes here feed defrost mice and it's really not a problem at all.
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  17. #17
    Brewmaster Ysilla's Avatar
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    Worms ? Mice ? How can you feed that to a pacman frog ?

    Of course you can't see the frog eat, it's a pacman frog, it eats ghosts.

    (And fruits sometimes)
    Oh, hi.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Shamanic View Post
    Are they mealworms or earthworms? Earthworms are pretty good nutrition (great protein), mealworms are pretty terrible (chitin and fat, almost no protein). If he hasn't lost weight and still looks fairly healthy then I'd give it a few days for him to digest and then see if he'll take one by himself, if not then you might as well assist the other worms. If they're mealworms feed them in the meantime to give them a bit more nutrition but don't need to do that with earthworms.
    Fed him earthworms from the store that I snagged while I was there. Supposed to be non chemically treated.

    I also live in a rural area so earthworms are extremely abundant and basically under every rock.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamanic View Post
    You don't have to feed your corn snake live food! I've been breeding corn snakes for 15 years and have never used live mice. Every single corn snake I hatch out (and we're talking 300-400+ a year) eats defrost mice from birth. In the UK it is not legal (under animal cruelty laws) to feed live mice - so all our pet snakes here feed defrost mice and it's really not a problem at all.
    It's the same case in my state. We're not allowed to feed our pets live animals. We have to feed snakes and such defrosted mice. Worms and crickets are the obvious exceptions.

    And thanks. I'll feed him in another day or two then and see how he does. I also planned on going back to the pet shop and getting a small mouse if they have any in stock so may see if he'll eat that first. Tons of earthworms here I can dig up if not.
    Last edited by Bullettime; 2014-06-01 at 06:56 PM.
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  19. #19
    So since it's been a week now since the last post.

    Froakie is eating but still won't eat on his own. Took him to an exotic animal vet to check him and to check for parasites and such. Came up clear on everything, just malnutritioned. Have to give him some calcium supplements and feed him regularly (3-4 days to a week depending on his meal type) until he gets his strength back, but otherwise he's a healthy frog. Vet thinks he'll be back to eating on his own in a month or two of regular feeding and getting used to his new environment.
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