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Amphibian Ringers- Made At Home!
#1
Here is my story:

I live in Northwest Ohio, and we recently had experienced a heatwave like the rest of the country (95F+). Unfortunately during this time, my air conditioning went down. I decided to move my frogs to a temp tank and take them to my work. Unfortunately during their "vacation", one managed to get out of his cage on a Sunday (when nobody was there) and had his way throughout the clinic. I noticed immediately on Monday and began to scavenge the building for him, with no avail. Later that morning, a little dust and furball was found in the middle of the hall. Yep, my frog. Poor little guy was barely able to move, dehydrated and in very poor shape. Now, I know better than to try and re-hydrate an amphibian with water (I am a vet tech and have some concept of fluid therapy, but not much experience with amphibians, still learning!).. but I had to get SOMETHING on him until I came up with something better. All of our fluids at work (Lactated Ringer's, 0.9% NaCl) were not suitable since a frog's osmolality is significantly less than the fluids we had on hand. Temporarily, I diluted the normal saline down to 0.65% with distilled H20, just to get some fluid into him. He did perk up a bit, and it may have saved his life initially. After plucking all the hair off the poor guy, I soaked him in the new 0.65% NaCl solution. Not really improving like I would like to see, I knew I needed to get his electrolytes balanced. I had the recipe for Amphibian Ringer's, but no clue where to get half the ingredients. After some doing and research, I was able to find all of them in my local Wal-Mart! So here it goes:

I used the following recipe:

Distilled Water – 1 Gallon
NaCl - 25 g
KCl – 0.57 g
CaCl2 – 0.57 g
NaHCO3 - 0.76 g

Now, you can measure these in grams if you have a gram scale (which I did happen to have). Another method would be to extrapolate the formula to maybe the 10th fold and then mix everything well.. and only use a tenth of that to make your ringer's solution. I recommend the gram scale, as it's more accurate, and you know exactly what is going into the fluids.

Where did I get the ingredients?

NaCl (Sodium Chloride) - Iodine-free Table Salt
KCl (Potassium Chloride) - Original NoSalt Sodium Free Salt. Yes, it has other ingredients, but in a pinch, it works!
NaHCO3 (Sodium Bicarbonate) - Baking Soda
CaCl2 (Calcium Chloride) - Sidewalk salt (Make sure it's pure calcium chloride, nothing extra) or what I used was a dehumidifying cup that you place in basements and boats. If you find the cup form, make sure it has JUST calcium chloride. I know some of the cups out there contain other ingredients. I found mine in the boating section of my Wal-Mart.

The first three ingredients were already pretty well powdered-down. The Calcium Chloride was not, it was in pelleted form. Use caution while handling this stuff, as it can be irritating the the mucus membranes, respiratory tract and skin. Please read the directions CAREFULLY. I used a generic form of the Magic Bullet to make the pellets into powder. It's important to keep this powder away from air as much as possible, and it will pick up moisture, thus will weigh heavier in your gram scale.

After gathering all the ingredients, I measured them out with a gram scale in a shot glass. You won't get exact numbers, but get as close as possible. I started with table salt to get the scale rolling, then added the smaller amounts to the glass thereafter. Then add to your gallon of distilled water, SHAKE VERY WELL. You want a nice, uniform mixture.

Place the frog in the soak. I used a small tupperware and filled the container up to the frog's chin. Now, if your frog is having problems rising, be very careful not to drown the poor guy. The more of him you have in the solution, the better, but a drowned frog is a dead frog.

Now, unfortunately I couldn't get my frog into the amphibious ringers until about 8 hours after I found him. He did have some fluid therapy before hand, but was not improving well with it. I soaked my frog in the solution for about an hour and a half, and he looked GREAT afterwards. He was even interested in eating, when before he was not interested at all! Today, he is doing great, back to his old self again!

That being said, this post is in no way a substitute for real amphibious ringers solution. I, unfortunately, was unprepared for the event of a sick frog, and had to make due in a pinch. I only hope that this post will make it easier for someone who was is in my shoes to find everything they need to while in a pinch. I've learned my lesson- Always double check your tanks and make sure they are properly sealed, and make sure you have some medical first aid supplies on hand!

Sorry for the long post, by the way!

Josh
0.0.3 D. tinctorius, "Brazillian Yellow Head" - 40 Breeder, normal
Working on a 40 Breeder Vert, unknown species to be housed.
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#2
Nice thorough explanation of the solution !

What's the 'shelf life" on a mixed solution and where should it be stored - refrig, room temp ?

About dust bunny frogs....I've carried em straight to the kitchen sink faucet. Not the best, but time is critical and it worked fine in both instances.
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#3
In regards to shelf life- Not a clue, to be honest. I would be more concerned with bacterial issues in the water than anything else. Unfortunately, this should be made up in gallon size amounts due to how little salts are added. Anything in a lesser volume would become extremely difficult to measure. I would imagine if you kept the dry component (the salt mixture, if you used an extrapolated method to measure) in an air-tight container, it would have a pretty long shelf life, considering all the salts are in a stable form.

As for the kitchen sink; If I were at home, that's exactly where I would have taken him! Being that I work in a vet clinic- I knew I had better options.. Plus, the chlorine levels in our drinking water have been HORRENDOUS because of this blue-green algae stuff in Lake Erie!
0.0.3 D. tinctorius, "Brazillian Yellow Head" - 40 Breeder, normal
Working on a 40 Breeder Vert, unknown species to be housed.
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#4
How could the typical Ringers be modified for amphibians???
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#5
Judy S Wrote:How could the typical Ringers be modified for amphibians???

When you say "Typical Ringers Solution", what do you mean ? Can you expound on that ?

The above post contains a recipe for "Amphibian Ringer Solution".
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#6
I guess I assumed (bad)...that there was such a thing as Ringers which was consistent...and was asking whether there was a way to add the ingredients that would be geared toward amphibians...(good?!) If someone could come up with a packet which would have all the dry ingredients together, and then it could just be mixed with a gallon of distilled water...voila--amphibian Ringers!!
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#7
It also has a shelf-life, so any 'Amphibian ringers solution' would almost have to be made by hand, I would imagine....
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#8
Well....I think that having a freeze dry product that would only go out of date after mixing might be something...someone, not me of course, might consider looking into....all the rest of the stuff are solids I think...hey, its enough that I remember the ingredients in a white sauce...
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