Amphibian Diseases: Fungal Infections



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If your amphibian has white, fuzzy patches on its skin, it probably has a fungal infection. Fungi are an important and ubiquitous component of nature. When healthy and kept in the proper environmental conditions, most amphibians at all life stages (egg, larva, adult) effectively fight off fungal infections. However, amphibians can fall victim to pathogenic fungi if stressed, kept at the wrong temperatures, kept in filthy or poor-quality water, subjected to skin abrasion or trauma, or weakened by disease.

The most frequently encountered fungal disease in aquatic amphibians is saprolegniasis, an infection of the skin caused by fungi of the genus Saprolegnia and characterized by white, fuzzy skin patches. Treatment for this fungal infection consists of rectifying stressful conditions and placing the infected amphibians in a salt bath (50 to 100 grams of sea salt per gallon) for fifteen to thirty minutes daily until the fungal infection clears. Other fungal infections can be difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. The key to preventing fungal infections in your amphibian is prevention by providing the proper living conditions.

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