Why Is My African Dwarf Frog Bloated And Floating?

Every pet has its peculiarity, from perching of birds and purring of cats to tail-waggling in dogs.

Pet owners worldwide have always made inquiries to comfort their pets better and understand the “red flags” in maintaining a companion animal.

African Dwarf frog bloated and floating

You’re most likely here because of your pet, too. Maybe you got out of bed one night to notice a big “ball” in the pet’s tank you kept your favorite African Dwarf frog.

Bloating is common in African dwarf frogs. Perhaps you had a hard time understanding the “puff”  and wondered, “Why is my African Dwarf frog bloated and floating?”

Understanding The Confusing Phenomenon Of Floating

The African Dwarf Frog is a very social animal that enjoys the company of its mates. It spends most of its time underwater only to come upon the surface when it seeks for air to breathe in since these amphibians intriguingly have lungs and not gills though they are aquatic.

So, when they stay on the surface, they float for like five minutes before sinking underwater once again. Therefore, it is customary to see a Dwarf Frog floating on the water’s surface for a few minutes.

This behavior is called ‘burbling,’ and it is a relaxation method for them when they are in a sluggish mood. But when bloat is accompanied with the floating, this calls for attention.

Why Is My African Dwarf Frog Bloated And Floating?

Nature Of The Food Ingested

There can be various reasons for your African Dwarf Frog to be bloated; one is the nature of the food eaten.

Sometimes the frog might be fed foods that aren’t conducive to eating, like bloodworms and some types of shrimp.

African Dwarf Frogs love bloodworms, but these bloodworms are carriers of parasites that can kill these Frogs.

Also, the digestive system of most aquatic critters doesn’t do well with bloodworms. Therefore, they aren’t the best for your frog.

Just any type of shrimps and frozen foods also don’t do well since African Dwarf frogs are very fragile creatures and prone to bloating. Pellets and thawed Brine shrimps can be good food to feed it through.

Ingestion Of Foreign Objects

Another cause of bloating in your cute little aquatic critter is as a result of ingesting foreign objects.

These amphibians are pretty much blind, and they can eat anything and everything that comes their way.

So your frog might have eaten probably sand or stones present in its surroundings without knowing. Also, they don’t have hands, so they ingest their foods with their hind feet.

Through this, your frog might eat along with its foods, foreign objects in its surroundings when eating with its feet.

These foreign objects might accumulate in its digestive system and can be hard for your frog to digest, resulting in bloating.

Some eventually get digested and are later filtered out of the body, where the body becomes deflated once again, while some block the digestive tracts causing serious inflation.

It calls for the use of medical help from veterinarians or through prescribed drugs.

Why is My African Dwarf frog bloated and floating

The Volume Of Air Taken In

Sometimes too much intake of air causes bloating also, but this isn’t a cause for alarm. The bloating only takes a while before your frog returns to its normal position.


A common severe cause of bloating is Dropsy. Dropsy is referred to as Edema, Bloat, or Ascites. It is severe bloating that inflates the inside of your frog and makes it look like a giant balloon filled to the brim.

It starts from the abdomen, where it swells and becomes thick overnight. Dropsy results from the lymphatic fluid (lymph) filling the lymphatic nodes in the frog’s circulatory system without properly draining the fluid from the nodes.

These lymph nodes are small oval bodies distributed along the lymph vessels and are located in the armpits, groin, neck, chest, and abdomen.

They act as filters and are made up of connective tissues filled with Lymphocytes and macrophages that collect and destroy bacteria, viruses, and foreign matter from the lymphatic fluid.

When the lymphatic fluid carries bacteria and viruses to the lymph nodes where the lymphocytes and macrophages fight them off, the circulatory system is designed to drain the lymphatic fluid away from the lymph nodes properly.

Still, when this mechanism fails or is disturbed, the lymphatic fluid accumulates in the nodes and fills it.

The nodes then become swollen until the fluid builds outside the normal tissues. It stays in and fills the abdominal cavity, making the abdomen inflated.

The other body parts later get swollen, leaving your frog uncomfortable. Due to the swelling, extreme pressure is put on the internal body organs of the frog, like the kidney and the heart, and might end up causing organ failure.

Your frog won’t be able to swim or eat, which is deadly for the frog. The cause of Dropsy is mainly ascribed to poor water conditions and bacterial infections.

How To Treat Bloating In African Dwarf Frog?

Extreme care of the water habitat of your Dwarf frog should be taken, and the nitrate and ammonia levels along with the water temperature should be checked at all times.

It is advised that the water in the tank should be renewed a week thrice since any slight effective change in the water can be detrimental to your frog.

Also, when your frog is noticed of being afflicted with bloating, it should be made to go on a fasting period of two to three days firstly, and the water should be renewed instantly.

That’s a good first aid curative measure.

Then, an exotic veterinarian doctor should be sought for the draining of the excessive fluid from your frog’s abdomen.

It will alleviate the pressure straining the organs and will make your frog instantaneously feel better.

The idea of putting salt into the water when your Dwarf frog is afflicted with Dropsy is not advisable.

It is meant to draw the excess fluid from your frog’s body but might kill it at the end of the day since the African Dwarf Frog is not a saltwater amphibian.

Is Bloating Seen In Only The African Dwarf Frog?

These various causes of bloating and many others can be why your African Dwarf Frog can be noticed bloated and floating.

However, bloating isn’t only found in African Dwarf Frogs but its other counterparts, such as the African Clawed Frog, although it might be easier to treat in the African Clawed Frog.

The Clawed Frog is of the Genus Xenopus.

Bacterial Infections

The Dwarf Frog is also prone to bacterial infections, which unlike fungal infections they are not easy to spot.

Your dwarf frog will only likely stop eating regularly, and as time goes on, it will stop eating altogether. It will seem lethargic and sometimes have slightly reddened skin.

There are prescribed medicines that are used to curb bacterial infections too.

In all, the reasons for bloats accompanied with floating in your frog are due to all the causes mentioned above and many more.

With this enlightening piece, you sure should have gained a lot and probably enough to know the reason why your African Dwarf Frog is probably bloated and floating or why it’s filled with white spots or red marks.

I hope this helps and you can cure your frog of its bloat or other diseases.