Information to the "balloon disease"
(Hydrops) of african dwarf frogs
The empiric reports are not fully available in english yet. The report about hydrops is translated here:
First: I am not a veterinarian, biologist or zoologist. I collected this information from different sources and hope it is useful for the ADF keeper in case of an ill african dwarf frog. It ist written as objective as possible so that anybody can bild an own opinion. The intention to create this page was that I didn`t found any vetenarian who could help me with this subject so I was forced to help the frog by myself. After I tried to heal the froggy I met Prof. Dr. Grunz at the zoophysiological institution in Essen. He told me that the method I used seemed to be OK since he didn`t know any other way. But he pointed out, that Hymenochirus or Xenopus kinds have got a very sensitive skin which can be hurt easily. He recommendet to use handgloves for this reason. Moreover handgloves would protect the human from possible allergy against the mucous membrane of the frog.
In  it is mentioned that it concerns of Hydrops, whose symptoms consits of the fact that the animal looks like a ballon filled with water, and whose cause is a malfunction of the lymphatic hearts which normally pump the lymph from the lymphatic vascular system.
What is lymph? The lymph is a lymphocytes containing liquid. (Lymphocytes are certain white blood corpuscles, that form a part of the immune system.) This clear, easily yellowish liquid reaches the cell gaps by filtrtation thru the blood capillaries. It is derived from there by the lymphatic system. Lymph serves on the one hand the transport of nutrients into the tissue and on the other hand the evacuation of waste materials or also bacteria and damaged or died cells from the tissue.
What is the lymphatic vascular system? The lymphatic vascular system is a system of channels, coming out from the cell gaps, which collects the lymph withdrawing from the blood capillaries into the tissue and which supplies the blood circuit again with lymph if necassary. Surplus liquids, salts etc. in the blood circuit are secreted, over the kidneys and the urinary bladder as urine. With some kinds of birds, reptiles and amphibians (to those also the african dwarf frog counts) the liquid is pumped out of the lymphatic vascular system by contractive lymphatic vasculars, the lymph hearts. To the lymphatic system there is a very interesting site (german): link.There one finds also that a blockage of the lymphatic vascular system leads to Elephantiasis (lymphedema) (about this later).
If the lymph hearts fail, then the lymph remains in the lymphatic vascular system and the lymph accumulates increasingly in the lymph pockets. Thus the liquid presses on the organs and the lung, whereby the suffering animal finally dies.
In  it is described that directly under the skin are expanded lymph pockets, and that the lymph (propelled over lymph hearts) flows into the veins of the neck and haunch region.
The accumulation of lymph, caused by a handicap of the lymphdrain is also called dropsy (English designation of the Greek term Oedema), Lymphedema and Elephantiasis (Lymphatic Filariasis). With this base you can finds further information:
it ist written that edemas are observed at tadpoles and adult animals,
and this usually with individual animals. Edemas are differentiated
in three forms:
In the Roche medicine encyclopedia (4th edition) one finds about Hydrops (English dropsy): "diseased accumulation of liquid (trans or exudate) in body cavities (= H. verus) or in the interstitial area (increase of the extracellular fluid), more rarely also in the intracellular area, as an expression of a metabolic disturbance with false regularization of the water electrolyte household or a local disturbance of the hydrodynamic, osmotic and nervous regularizations at the blood tissue barrier (e.g. with inflammations, allergy); see. Edema. "
you can read about Aszites and Hydrops: A clearly visuable extension of the body
cavity (the Zoeloms) refers to these diseases and it is recommended
an injection of Furosemid (5mg/kg daily, distributes on two doses).
it is described that edemas can be oftenly observed as side effects
at different diseases e.g. with "Red Leg".Ther would be
references on the fact that edemas are caused by a too low NaCl content of the water. This would fit then the statement that you
could treat the disease with an addition of 1 teaspoon common salt on 5 litres water.
Elephantiasis (Filariose, Lymphedema) is transferred by mosquitoes in the Tropics and caused by small worms (Filarien). Therefore I exclude this form here.
Because humans with lymphedemas are punctured, and a punction of the lymph pockets comes this nearby, it is probably the most attached form of treatment. In the following a few points to the punction:
Concerning the punction you should consider the following things:
In the generally part (above) it is additionally reported of the possibility that you can affect the process of the disease by addition of NaCl (common salt) in the positive sense (dosage look above.). Finally, a picture of the frog immediately after the punction: