I have read some on this group that it is a good idea to inspect my Cuban Tree Frog daily or often for changes, condition, critters etc. (and common sense that I follow with my other non-herp pets too).

I know I'm not supposed to touch him (hand oils/slime coat), and when there's light in the room he hides in the plant branches. When it's dark I can't see anything, and when I flip on the dimmest of lights he heads straight for the plant again. Maybe it's because he's from "nature", not bred in captivity?
My question is, how do you inspect something you can't touch and barely ever see? How "close" should this inspection be? I rarely see his belly side - only occasionally when he's clinging to the glass. Of course I change his water daily and I sure know he's pooping ok, but I'd appreciate suggestions on how to check out his body.
Thanks! Meghan
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First and foremost, you effing ROCK! I can honestly say you are the most worthy new poster we've had in a long time, I tremendously respect what you've done for this froggie, and it does my heart good to see so caring individuals discussing the intricacies of frog care online! I'm all mushy after reading each of your posts. Emotion: smile
I have read some on this group that it is a good idea to inspect myCuban Tree Frog daily or often for changes, condition, critters etc. (andcommon sense that I follow with my other non-herp pets too).

Visual inspection, no handling should be performed daily, or whenever possible for very shy frogs.
I know I'm not supposed to touch him (hand oils/slime coat),

Very wise, grasshopper!
there's light in the room he hides in the plant branches. When it'sdark I can't see anything, and when I flip on the dimmest of lights heheads straight for the plant again.

Make a low-wattage nightlight in the room a regular nighttime fixture. Set it several feet above his cage, or far enough away that he'll still feel shadowed. Basic visual inspection of skin and eyes can be done in very low lighting.
Maybe it's because he's from "nature", not bred in captivity?

We use the term "wild caught". I think herps never forget being captured and losing freedom. I respect the decision you made and the actions you've taken for this frog, but it doesn't change that he's wild caught.
How "close" should this inspection be? I rarely see his bellyside - only occasionally when he's clinging to the glass.

For the visual eyes-only inspection... eyes should be bright, clear, shiny, and free of debris or accumulation. Sometimes he'll have eye boogers on his eyeball, like the weird things we get on our eyeballs occasionally that look as if there's an elusive amoeba on the edge of your vision that moves when you blink or try to look directly at it. Those can be gently misted away. He should have small pupils in the daytime and big pupils at night, and the pupils should be of pretty equal size. They don't dilate as fast as human pupils, so don't worry about that.
The frog's skin may appear shiny and slimy, or it may appear dull. It all depends on the frog's current humidity and of course health (and honestly I've never seen a Cuban tree frog in person, I don't know how their normal skin looks). Change is really the big deal, his skin should be relatively consistent. If I see a bunch of debris stuck on my frogs, I gently mist them and rinse it off.
It is necessary to handle frogs from time to time, such as cage cleaning and regular health inspections. In my case "regular" means about monthly or less, as long as behavior is consistent. I have two techniques. In the safer of my two techniques, I have latex gloves on. The frog is thoroughly saturated with dechlorinated water before the pickup, as are my gloves. I use this "safer" technique primarily if I'm inspecting the amphibian because it's had a behavioral change and I'm worried about it.However, being the big frog fanatic that I am, I prefer to make the most of my handling time by getting rid of the pesky latex between my skin and his. I love feeling froggy toes wrapped around my fingertips!!! I remove all my hand jewelry and wash my hands very, very thoroughly with a non-perfumed non-antibacterial soap, first. Then after rinsing and rinsing and rinsing and rinsing with warm water, I shake off the excess tap water and thoroughly mist my hands with dechlorinated water.

I soak a paper towel with dechlorinated water and keep it nearby, should I need to wipe anything off the frog or wipe clean his vent. After having thoroughly misted my dear frog, I whisper to him and pick him up gently, supporting all 4 legs and belly. I use my other hand to cup over his eyes, not closing my hand, just blocking his view and urge to jump. I pretty much talk softly and smoothly to the animal the entire time I'd handling him... old habits from bathing mammals for years.Keeping his eyes covered, I lift him up (NOT right over my head*) and to the side so I can spread my fingers and look at his belly skin. The belly skin should be absolutely lovely, slimy and smooth. My White's tree frog, Slimy, has the most beautiful alabaster belly. I love to see it. I slowly peer at the rear legs, moving my fingers so he has to rearrange his legs and I get to see in the inner folds. If they look anything less than absolutely lovely, I change my grip on the frog to hold the pelvis area firmly with rear legs extended straight down for closer leg/rear foot examination.

Using this grip, it is important to not stretch the skin over the frog's back, as this is the broadest stretch of the fragile "slime layer" and thereby the weakest. Once torn, it may incite the frog to prematurely molt it's skin, revealing unripe baby skin beneath. On many frogs, the baby skin is SO fragile it can tear open to flesh beneath! When the oils from human hands are absorbed into a frog's external skin, it burns that top layer of flesh so it is then prematurely molted and they become excruciatingly fragile and tender.

Frogs can die from that tender skin time, if they molt when they're not ready! Especially if they're handled further beyond the slime injury! I saw you already read on this subject, so I'll move on... Emotion: smile
I look quickly at each toe, just to make sure none appear red or irritated, none have injuries on them, none are falling off, none are swollen, none have any white fuzzy stuff growing on them, no misplaced discoloration... etc. They should be perfect and absolutely adorable. If there is any question to the adorability of froggie toes, well then look closer, you will see it.
I usually re-mist my hands and the frog once or twice by this point in the inspection.Last but not least! I palm the frog with his eyes under my cupped index and middle fingers and head gently pinned between my thumb and ring finger, and with my left hand spread the rear legs and look in his vent. I carefully spread the vent slightly to make sure things look good. There shouldn't be any fecal matter or debris stuck in there, although you might get a fresh fecal sample delivered into your hand/wrist during this part of the inspection.

It shouldn't be red or irritated or swollen or discharge-y. Nothing should be protruding from the frog's cloaca, aside from the possibility of a turd. If the frog is struggling I make this part VERY quick. Prolapse of the anus is a possibility if I freak the poor thing out too badly, and that sort of behavior makes me feel VERY guilty for being such a jerk!

I usually take a quick glance at my male frog's nuptual pads just for fun, I love that some frogs have the equivalent of velcro gloves on their hands, and they're named with romantic intent! I wish I got to see amplexus more often. I should get some firebellied toads! Emotion: smile

So that's how I inspect my frogs. It's fun! It's an excuse to occasionally safely handle the amphibious ones! I get to look closely at my favorite parts of the poor things (frog eyes, toes, and bellies)! Some of my frogs will sit on my hand for a while afterwards as if they're waiting for further indecencies to be performed! Emotion: big smile

HTH!
fr0glet
*I've had numerous frogs pee when being handled, and thereby never want to be beneath one in my grip!
I have read some on this group that it is a good idea to inspect my Cuban Tree Frog daily ... and I sure know he's pooping ok, but I'd appreciate suggestions on how to check out his body. Thanks! Meghan

I think Fr0glet has the market cornered in techniques for "feeling up" your frog.I wont go into that any further.
First,How many sides of the tank are covered?
It is said that most nocturnal reptiles dont see light in the red spectrum.I doubt this.I think they see it,they just dont think "sun". Try a red light bulb over the enclosure see if he still runs for cover. Some animals arent bothered,some hate it.
Also,try nighttime hand feeding.
After the animal has sufficient time to get used to his new home I try and equate human proximity to food.It never fully works but can produce a feeding response over time.
Heres how I do it...
(Use the red light for awhile before trying,it is a "change" and he needs to become used to it.)Shortly before lights out and froggie is still hiding I crack open the lid and set a chair near the enclosure.(noise happens b4 he's out). When I turn out the lights I turn on the red light and sit in the chair and wait...wait...wait...Eventually Mr.Nighttime will come out to play. The internal light seems to mask the slow movements outside the tank and he isn't startled as fast.Wait for both of you to get settled. Get some forcepts or tweezers or something and grab a lively cricket.

Open the lid which is now not so traumatic and slowly present the wiggling cricket.Froggie knows you are there,the flight response is not as strong with these precautions.They usually take the food first or second try.Do this maybe every 3-4 feedings.On regular feedings,do the same procedure except dump a few crickets in instead of the tweezer feeding.Do a few cricket dumps b4 trying the tweezers.
My FBT will take crickets from my fingers during the day. They are active during the day and not as flighty though. Helps that they are voracious eaters too.
My Asian tree frogs(Polypedates leucomystax) are still jumpy(hehe..punny) but are getting better.I see them eat now and they dont startle with a flashlight.
Good luck...
AD
I think Fr0glet has the market cornered in techniques for "feelingup" your frog.

I'm so stealing that. Hahahahahaha.
fr0glet

"I think Fr0glet has the market cornered in techniques for "feeling up" your frog." -AD
Fr0glet, in humans, those "eye boogers" can also be internal and, at times, can be indicative of retinal damage or other internal eye problems. They are called "floaters", and are usually random blood cells loose in the aqueous and vitrious humors. They are mostly normal, but if seen in proliferation and/or over a short period of time, an eye exam is in order. It's one of the main things that I, as a diabetic, have to watch closely.
I'm so stealing that. Hahahahahaha. fr0glet "I think Fr0glet has the market cornered in techniques for "feeling up" your frog." -AD

I thought you might like that...
-)
AD
Also,try nighttime hand feeding. After the animal has sufficient time to get used to his new home I try and equate human proximity to food.It never fully works but can produce a feeding response over time.

Upon rereading this I want to say,try this with nocturnal amphibs. DONT try with snakes,monitors,etc.
You DONT want your hand associated with food for these animals. 'Nuff said!
AD
Wow, thank you everyone for the replies. This group rocks. And thanks fr0glet for the compliment! I will print out the suggestions (and long description of froggie inspection) and keep them in my frog fact file. I also wanted to say that I was happy to hear that Roswell's eyes are supposed to look small in the day and big at night. I thought I was imagining it. What interesting little creatures...
Meghan
Fr0glet, in humans, those "eye boogers" can also be internal and, at times, can be indicative of retinal damage or ... an eyeexam is in order. It's one of the main things that I, as a diabetic, have to watch closely.

I had no idea! I get boogery eyes sometimes, I find "chasing the amoeba" attempting to get a good look at it rather amusing, for a moment. Emotion: smile
fr0glet
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