We know frogs to be small and cute things. But you take your eyes of them for a while and all of a sudden, one of your pet African Dwarf Frogs starts looking like a balloon that is just about to explode. You’re scared and worried about your frog. Right? You might be wondering, what has caused this?

The answer would be- various reasons. The most obvious reason might be a disease called dropsy. Also, these frogs have lungs, and they might have taken in too much air. Or they might be carrying eggs. You should not be alarmed by this unless they remain bloated for a couple of days.

Is your beloved pet African Dwarf Frog suffering from bloating? Or do you want to know more about this and take precautions before it happens? Here, I will discuss what actually causes bloating, along with ways to treat it.

What does it mean when a frog gets bloated?

What does it mean when a frog gets bloated

Image Credit: Youtube, Chris’s Fishes and Frogs

Despite being low-maintenance pets, African Dwarf Frogs can contract illnesses just like any other living thing. Bloating, also known as dropsy, is a common disease for this species of frog. This is an extremely dangerous disease that, if not taken care of, can become lethal.

If your frog appears bloated, it usually means it is sick with dropsy. Luckily, it’s easy to tell when your African dwarf frog is bloated.

It looks as if it were filled with air and had expanded like a balloon. However, your pet amphibian is actually bloated because its tiny body has accumulated too much fluid inside. This can also happen overnight, and your frog will be in extreme discomfort.

Another reason behind this could be that the female frog is physically ready to lay eggs. If this is the case, you will spot tiny marble-like eggs inside the frog’s belly.

The African Dwarf Frog might also become fat because of consuming too much food. Their metabolism rate is slow, so the food might not have been digested completely just yet.

Also, the food might carry bacteria which might cause infections, allowing the frog to suffer bloating. If you provide them with raw frozen food, it can harm the frog’s stomach.

The least likely cause behind this might be just that it has taken in too much air. This aquatic species of frog doesn’t have gills. Instead, it has lungs that it uses to breathe in air. The Dwarf Frog is known to hold its breath for quite some time, and it might just be preparing itself for a deep dive underwater.

How do you treat a bloated African Dwarf Frog?

How do you treat a bloated African Dwarf Frog

Image Credit: Youtube, Jeremiah Paguiligan

Do not immediately assume that your frog has dropsy. Before you take your frog to a professional vet for treatment, you must identify the cause.

If your bloated frog is male, then being pregnant cannot be the issue. Infection can be the most complicated reason since there are numerous bacterial infections and their symptoms can differ.

Keep in mind that a frog with dropsy can not survive longer than 10 days. So, be mindful not to spend too much time dragging your feet and start taking actions as soon as possible.

Generally speaking, you can look for symptoms of illness by looking at the skin. When the skin looks paler, lacks moisture, or otherwise differs from usual, there may be a health problem. You should act after figuring out what is most likely to be the reason for your frog’s bloating.

Maintaining a clean environment for your frog is essential, particularly if you notice alarming symptoms like bloating. Spend some time refreshing the substrate, water, and overall enclosure of your frog. This advice applies to many different issues.

Provide your frogs with a salt bath, or even add some salt to the aquarium. The additional salt can accelerate the drawing out of excessive fluid from your frog’s belly. But be careful while doing this. The African Dwarf Frog is an amphibian that lives in freshwater, and saltwater can actually fatally harm the poor sick frog.

If your frog is not getting better after a couple of days have passed, you need to seek out professional medical care. An expert can give you a better insight into your frog’s sickness and can prescribe essential medicine to make your frog feel better.

How can you prevent the African Dwarf Frog from becoming bloated?

How can you prevent the African Dwarf Frog from becoming bloated

Image Credit: Youtube, SerpaDesign

The exact reason behind Dropsy has not been identified yet. However, what we surely know is that this is not a contagious disease. It is thought that an imbalance of the electrolyte present in the water might be a potential cause. Therefore, try to keep the water clean and maintain a pH level of between 7.0 and 7.2.


Now that we have a better insight into the potential reasons why your frog is bloated, you can actually be prepared so that this does not occur to your favorite pet amphibian. In the case that your frog does become bloated, you can act properly now that (I hope) you’ve learned something about it.

Feature Image Credits: Youtube, SerpaDesign

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