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Creating a Hospital Bin for Dart Frogs

hospital bins for your dart frogs When you're not feeling well, you go to the doctor. When you're really not feeling well, you go to the hospital. Same for your dart frogs -  when paying closer attention in in their vivarium just doesn't do the trick, it's time to consider creating a hospital enclosure.   Of course, whenever you find your frog acting abnormal it is best to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. A veterinarian can help you find the cause of your pet’s ailment and work with you to lay out a game plan to bring your frog's health back to normal. If you need help finding a vet that can work on frogs, check out the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians.  Hospital bins can make treatments easier and can allow you to keep better tabs on the progress of your frog’s recovery. First, let's talk about the hospital enclosure itself.  The size of the enclosure depends on the size of your dart frog.  Luckily, unlike some other frogs, dart frogs are relatively small.  Frogs up to an inch are typically good candidates for a 128 oz bin rearing container like we use for froglets here at our facility.  If your frog is 1 inch or larger, it is best to find an enclosure that is about the size of a ten gallon tank.  Many times you can find a ten gallon tank cheap and have a glass top cut,though it is often easier and better to find a plastic tote with a similar footprint as the ten gallon tank. Even better is one with a latching lid. What makes these better is that they are generally translucent which allows some light in without allowing the frog to see out. This helps keep unnecessary stress down. Once you have your enclosure chosen, you will want to prepare enough sphagnum moss to pack a good inch thick layer across the entire bottom. Remember to soak the moss in reverse osmosis or distilled water for at least two hours before you use it to make sure it's fully hydrated. Adding hiding places is essential to keeping your frog comfy while it's recovering.  We suggest at least one coco hut and some substantial plant clippings. The nice thing is that many plants we keep in our vivariums are easy to clip and move to the hospital bin. However, if you don't have extra plants to clip out of your vivarium, a great choice is a pothos or a philodendron vine.  They are easy to pop in; simply settle your clippings or plants into the moss and you're good to go. The last thing you will want is some leaf litter.  Big magnolia leaves are great to make your frog to feel at home.   When caring for a dart frog in your newly set up hospital bin, it is important to have a digital thermometer/hygrometer and check it often. Keep your temperature between 72 to 76 and your humidity above 80% at all times. It's also best to feed smaller increments more often.  Make sure not to over feed them as extra flies crawling around in the enclosure can cause your frog stress.Remember, the advice given above works for us, but it should never be used as a substitute for a vet visit when needed. Routinely monitoring your pet's environment and keeping an eye on them can prevent health issues the vast majority of the time, but occasionally, a hospital tote can help your frogs get back into tip top shape.

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