Twenty-six adult free-ranging Canadian toads (Bufo hemiophrys) were collected from northeastern North Dakota (USA) during the last week of August 1994 and placed in captivity. During late December and January 1995, 21 Canadian toads died. Clinical signs included increased time sitting in water bowls, darkened dorsal skin, constant arching of their backs, and hyperemia and sloughing of ventral epidermis. The condition progressively worsened until death occurred within 5 to 7 days after onset of clinical disease. Mycotic dermatitis due to Basidiobolus ranarum was diagnosed in all toads and the fungus was isolated from 11 (52%) of 21 toads. Histology of the ventral skin and digits revealed numerous fungal spherules and occasional hyphae without significant inflammatory reaction. This condition clinically resembled red leg associated with Aeromonas hydrophila and many other bacterial organisms, and the diseases could be confused without appropriate diagnostic tests. This also is the first report of B. ranarum causing clinical disease in a toad species.
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Vol. 35 • No. 1