When an Australian green tree frog presented at the Sugarland Animal Hospital on 10 August with a nasty cut on its leg, the team hopped into action.
Veterinary surgeon Dr Marianne Curran wasn’t about to let the frog croak on her and undertook surgery, saving leg and life.
“An Australian Green Tree Frog with a large laceration and protruding muscle on his thigh presented to our hospital on Monday after being found by a local paramedic,” she said.
“I performed an examination to determine if there was damage to the bone as well, but thankfully it was just a flesh wound and could be repaired.”
Treatment required steady hands as Dr Curran sutured the tiny frog's wound.
Being an amphibian, Dr Curran said their unique anatomy and physiology makes anaesthesia and surgery more challenging than other species.
“The frog is a very small patient with fragile, thin skin which does make it more difficult to operate on and requires a gentle, steady hand when suturing,” she said.
“First the frog was anaesthetised with a gas aesthetic called Isoflurane so that it didn’t feeling pain during the surgery.”
“I kept the frog on a moist towel throughout the procedure and regularly syringed saline onto his body to moisten the skin throughout the surgery.
“I then cleaned the wound to ensure no future infection and sutured the skin with absorbable suture material, so they do not have to be removed once healed.”
The team managed to save the amphibian’s leg with surgery only taking 25 minutes.
While the frog was an unusual patient, Dr Curran said Sugarland Animal Hospital was dedicated to treating all animals great and small.
“The frog was able to hop and had full functional use of his leg after the surgery and was sent to a wildlife carer where he will stay until he is fully recovered,” she said.
“Our hospital treats injured and ill wildlife brought into us by the Bundaberg community before sending them to local wildlife carers for recovery and release.
“We pride ourselves on caring for all the animals of Bundaberg, including the small and vulnerable such as the tree frog.
“Australian Green Tree Frogs can live for up to 16 years, so we were more than happy to fix this little fellow up.”
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