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DKS (Dyskinetic Syndrome)

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by JC, May 28, 2010.

  1. JC

    JC Arachnoprince

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    The purpose of this thread is to pinpoint the possible causes of "DKS" or Dyskinetic Syndrome, or at least narrow down the causes. Much like my 'SADS' thread, I seen various cases of this phenomenon, but still the mystery goes unsolved. Some say it may be inheritable trait and others say it may be caused by chemicals or micro-organisms growing inside the spider. Whatever the case me be, more information is still required to clarify the causes. The purpose of this thread is not to find a cure for DKS, although that is the ultimate goal, but to create a information page where DKS can be discussed and addressed most easily and directly.

    It would help if all users would post a complete report of the incidents on this thread from now on. The report would include the following information pertaining to the specimen's husbandry and history:


    1) Temperature range.

    2) Humidity range.

    3) Was a clean water bowl available at all times?(Yes/No)

    4) Feeder item background information(Species and what the food items ate/drank).

    5) What where the first symptoms that made you suspect your spider had DKS?

    6) How long after purchase did the symptoms arise?

    7) Did the specimen ever recover?

    8) If it recovered, did it ever show signs of DKS after the recovery?

    9) If the specimen died while still displaying signs of DKS, how long after it contracted DKS did it die?

    10) Where sibling/parents of the affected spider in you care? Did they show similar symptoms?

    11) Did you ever witness any fungus growing in the enclosure prior to the spider showing symptoms of DKS?

    12) Where there any pesticides spray in or around your home?

    13) Do you own any cats or dogs?

    14) If the specimen recovered, please provide info on how the care regimen was changed or what was done to aid recovery.


    (If you have a video footage of the spider suffering from DKS, please post it as well.)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
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  2. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince

    When i first got my G. rosea, she was already in the state that resembles symptoms of DKS. I posted videos and a thread on the specimen showing its actions. I will attempt to answer the Q's above as I like where this thread is headed.

    1) Temps I kept it was 80F-90F
    2) Humidity was 60% roughly since it was a small sling. I would mist every time I saw it dry.
    3) No water bowl since it was a tiny sling.
    4) I fed the specimen dubia nymphs and though difficult for it to consume, it did so successfully
    5)I saw that for no apparant reason it would fling all its legs all over the place and stumble while trying to move. Occasionally it would actually fall on it side.
    6)Immediately after taking out of the shipping container. I removed the paper towel and saw that it walked funny.
    7)A big YES!!!
    8)Nope. molted several time and still as healthy as can be.
    9) N/A
    10) N/A
    11) Nope
    12) No never. But this Q probably does not apply since it came to me in this state.
    13) No pets. Only tarantulas!
    14) As for info on how it recovered....
    I put this info (threads) on my little G. rosea on several forums. Oon the ATS forums, it was mentioned that DKS could be stress related. So I took this info and decided to give it a totally stress free environment.
    I decided to speed up its molt cycles so I raised the temps. Kept it in 80-90F temps wiich was strictly controlled. It was a little sling so I kept the humidity up by misting and always kept one side of the substrate wet. I wanted to make sure if it did not eat (because it was quite difficult due to its condition) at least it would be well hydrated. Than I isolated it from all other tarantulas; meaning it was on a different shelf all by itself in the garage!. Total silence. Then for its vial I encased it in a toilet paper roll so that it had zero light. i would check on it every 2 days by just raising the roll slowly. I kept a B. dubia nymph in with the G. rosea at all times and what I would do is rip all the legs off the roach and place it on its back.. The reason being that with the roach's legs moving around, I noticed that if the spider would get near it, the legs would make it flip out. I felt that was stress and wanted to eliminate that as well.
    It consumed the prey and had a stress free environment plus extra high heat and that made it molt one month later. Than it was cured.

    I'm not stating this is the way to cure the symptoms of DKS, but in my situation, I felt the G. rosea probably was stressed from the shipping because seller stated it was fine before it left her hands. Its what worked for my situation.

    Videos showing its progress.

    [YOUTUBE]T44BHixrEd0[/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]Xfte2RSlbb0[/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]AryNBK3XDHI[/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]ITguoZliIs8[/YOUTUBE]

    I will also post the most recent video of today.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  3. JC

    JC Arachnoprince

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  4. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince

    Heres the most recent update as promised. Growing quick.

    [YOUTUBE]Y4rbwkSlizE[/YOUTUBE]
     
  5. mickey66

    mickey66 Arachnoknight

    Dks

    Within the past month I have lost two Aphonopelma Sp to DKS and today my baby sling Aphonopelma Sp. Paysoni came down with it....herky jerky! Loss of motor control. I think my apartment was sprayed with chems just before I moved in. No contact with dogs or cats. I have moved them out of the T room and I have them all over my apartment now. I have a rosie in my dinning room and she is fine. We will see.
     
  6. hassman789

    hassman789 Arachnobaron

    I filled this out on my 2 inch G. pulchripes. And I started noticing symtoms somwhat right after a molt.

    1)it was summer so high temperatures probably 70s 80s AND 90s

    2)I think it was a little dryer then I don't usualy pay attention

    3)There was no water bowl all together it was about a 2 inch sling

    4)Was fed crickets from lps which wer in tubs with egg cartons and potatoes and was also fed crickets from "bug boxes" that ate "cheesless cheese doodle things" and that jelly water stuff.

    5)Sling always ran around when disturbed but then one day noticed it was flailing legs around and seemed like it was having trouble walking.

    6)got dks about 6-7 months after purchase

    7)did not survive:(

    9)after I noticed it's symptoms a week later it was in a death curl and another week later it was un responsive.

    10)no siblings/parents in my care.

    11)never saw fungus

    12)lysol was sprayed dangerously close every once in a while(never thought about it at the time). I think this was the cause.

    13)I do have 3 dogs that take all those medications.
     
  7. Chris_Skeleton

    Chris_Skeleton Arachnoprince

    Paraphysa sp. "Chilean Tiger"

    1) Temperature range.
    70s to 80s

    2) Humidity range.
    Dry.

    3) Was a clean water bowl available at all times?(Yes/No)
    Yes

    4) Feeder item background information(Species and what the food items ate/drank).
    Crickets from LPS. Same as with all my other Ts.

    5) What where the first symptoms that made you suspect your spider had DKS?
    Sluggishness and unresponsiveness.

    6) How long after purchase did the symptoms arise?
    5 months

    7) Did the specimen ever recover?
    No

    9) If the specimen died while still displaying signs of DKS, how long after it contracted DKS did it die?
    3 days

    10) Where sibling/parents of the affected spider in you care? Did they show similar symptoms?
    None in my care.

    11) Did you ever witness any fungus growing in the enclosure prior to the spider showing symptoms of DKS?
    No

    12) Where there any pesticides spray in or around your home?
    No

    13) Do you own any cats or dogs?
    Yes, 3 dogs, 1 cat. No flea medicine or treatments used.

    History:
    -Purchased 11/26/10 at Petco
    -Dwarf ~ 2.5"
    -WC, extremely large abdomen, assumed gravid.
    -Was an extremely active spider. Always wandered around the enclosure.
    -Very docile

    Enclosure:
    -Sterilite w/ coco/peat mix, flower pot hide, and water dish.

    Monday 4/18/11 upon watering:
    -Injured/twisted leg
    -No control over a pedipalp
    -Droopy spinneret with no control
    -Sluggish movements
    -Unresponsiveness

    Tuesday 4/19/11:
    -Extremely sluggish
    -Semi curling legs
    -Wobbly as it tried to walk
    -Placed into an ICU

    Wednesday 4/20/11
    -More extreme wobbling
    -Could barely move
    -Curling of more legs
    -More unresponsiveness

    Thursday 4/21/11
    -Unreaponsive
    -No movements
    -No curling
    -Upon touching it, the back leg twitched 6-7 times then it died.
     
  8. Tugbay Yagci

    Tugbay Yagci Arachnosquire

    Concerning 8 Cyclosternum fasciatum 4th molt spiderlings.

    1) Temperature range.
    Quite high, around 35Celsius daytime. Might be the reason but I believe they had the syndrome before shipment.

    2) Humidity range.
    %70-%80

    3) Was a clean water bowl available at all times?(Yes/No)
    No, they were 4th molt and hydrated by spraying.

    4) Feeder item background information(Species and what the food items ate/drank).
    Meal worms, cultured by myself. Usual food.

    5) What where the first symptoms that made you suspect your spider had DKS?
    Very short distance covered according to the movement of legs.

    6) How long after purchase did the symptoms arise?
    As soon as I took them out of the shipment box.

    7) Did the specimen ever recover?
    4 of 8 siblings had DKS. They did not survive. The other 4 are still alive.

    8) If it recovered, did it ever show signs of DKS after the recovery?
    -

    9) If the specimen died while still displaying signs of DKS, how long after it contracted DKS did it die?
    In a week after the shipment.

    10) Where sibling/parents of the affected spider in you care? Did they show similar symptoms?
    According to the seller parents were OK. 4 of 8 siblings I had purchased had DKS and died in a week. The other 4 are still alive.

    11) Did you ever witness any fungus growing in the enclosure prior to the spider showing symptoms of DKS?
    NO

    12) Where there any pesticides spray in or around your home?
    NO

    13) Do you own any cats or dogs?
    Not at that time, no. Only Red Eared Slider.

    14) If the specimen recovered, please provide info on how the care regimen was changed or what was done to aid recovery.
    Not recovered.

    This is a rather good example about the topic "Is it genetic?"

    The healthy 4 have never shown any symptoms. They are still healthy. DKS brothers died quickly. Might be a recessive gene.
     
  9. hassman789

    hassman789 Arachnobaron

    I am sad to say, I have to fill another one of these out. :( This is for my GBB sling, about 1.5+ in.

    1)70s-80s

    2)Around 60% (varied)

    3)Did not have a water bowl, due to size.

    4)Ate crickets for most the time I had it (from lps), fed either potatoes or the little food stuff from bug boxes and sometimes gel water. Recently switched to roaches fed dog food or turtle food and water crystals.

    5)I first noticed it was wabbling a lot while trying to run, I noticed this about a week after it molted for the second time in my care.

    6)8-9 months

    7) It is currently in a death curl, slightly responsive. I've been through this before, I think it will stay alive for about a week before it dies.

    9) I noticed it's dks about a week ago and now it is officially dying.

    11) A couple months ago (earlier this year) I overwatered and I did notice little white dots underneath the substrate, I rehoused him in a dryer enclosure when I saw this.

    12) Raid was sprayed across the house from the spider, It was not in the air, just applied to problem areas. I never came in contact with the Raid and it was not applied in places I come in contact with. Also I live inbetween 2 vinyards that spray pesticides, I had a sling die same time of year last year, I'm worried that may be it.

    13) I have dogs that use the medicine, I do not apply the medicine but I do come into contact with the dogs after, so that could possibly be it.
     
  10. Envyizm

    Envyizm Arachnoknight

    Two really plausible culprits for Dks:
    1. take a little google search for a certain chemical compound called fipronil and how it effects certain neurons in invertebrates.
    2. Anti mite sprays they put on pet store substrate to combat against unsightly grain mites that come from lab chow may also be a good culprit (for all the people feeding mice).
     
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  11. Reporting on 2 N. chromatus slings (1/4"-1/2")

    1) 70-80

    2) Not sure of the % guessing 80%+

    3) No (slings too small)

    4) Fed cut up bits of LPS crickets and meal worms (prekilled)

    5) A) I thought the first one was having some molting issues because it was spazzing out... It died around 3 days after I noticed this.

    B) Within one week the 2nd sling came down with it, same spaz twitching and I realize it could not control it's movement at all. Read up and found out it's DKS.

    6) Around 1 month after purchase

    7) A) The first one died...
    B)The 2nd one has been alive for around 10 days. I will update this on the remaining sling as it progresses. It appears to be less troubled than it was when I first noticed it... and it's in premolt.

    8) A) died
    B) Hopefully it will pull through

    9) A) it died around 3 days after I noticed symptoms

    10) I bought 3 of these slings together. 2 of them came down with it. The 3rd one is OK. I am unsure about the parents/other siblings--I will send a note to the seller.

    11) Nothing weird/unusual in their containers

    12) Outside the home--the Ts are on the 2nd floor

    13) Cats and Dogs--we have used Advantage flea/tick on them in the past. The flea/tick med would have been used several months before any Ts were here. None has been used since.

    14) A) the first one died
    B) I have it kept in it's usual deli cup which I placed inside an ICU--so I can keep humidity up a little higher without having to move the troubled little guy. I check on in every 2-3 days...

    (If you have a video footage of the spider suffering from DKS, please post it as well.)

    I don't think my camera is good enough but I will try to get a video of it.

    Extra note: The substrate used is Eco Earth and they have a small fake plant leaf for a hide.

    I will update this if anything changes with sling B.
     
  12. HairyCelt

    HairyCelt Arachnosquire

    Report on one of 5 P.regalis slings purchased at 2cm in September 2011

    Temp: 78 - 85F

    Relative Humidity: 75 - 85%

    Water Bowl: No (specimens too small)

    Food: 2nd instar black crickets. The prey animals were maintained on dried dog food and oats, supplimented with fresh lettuce and carrot strips.

    First Symptoms: Leg curling, "shivering" when exposed to any stimulus (torch light, enclosure movement, etc)

    Symptoms first displayed: Approximately 6 weeks after purchase (size in the 3-4cm region)

    Recovery: Unfortunately not. The symptoms worsened over the course of a week - 10 days. Trembling and twitching worsened until the creature had the appearance of stimulus-related epileptic fits and eventually died.

    Any further signs after recovery: N/A

    How long after first showing symptoms did it die: about 10 days

    Were siblings affected: No. (Though one specimen is currently exhibiting strange behaviour - lying on its back for 3 or 4 days at a time then climbing back onto the walls of its lair and displaying a permanent threat posture before lying on its back for an extended period of time again. This cycle has been ongoing for approximately 5 weeks. The specimen has refused food for at least 10 weeks. The symptoms are almost like a form of catatonic epilepsy rather than the agitated affect of DKS. )

    Evidence of Fungal Growth: No

    Use of Pesticides: No

    Cats or Dogs: Yes - 3 dogs, though they have no access to my spider room. I also maintain a strict handwashing regime before entering and after leaving the room.


    Might there be a neurotransmitter link between DKS in Ts and epilepsy in mammals? I ask due to the agitated tremors seen in my slings and the catatonic symptoms exhibited by one of my juvies from the same egg sack
     
  13. CandyFana

    CandyFana Arachnopeon

    if i can help.

    in my 23 years with spiders i noticed :
    At the begining, a little piece specimen, more adults.. now we have more and more slings.

    This desease is not so old in our "home spiders"

    For me, 2 signs that this desease like to be a genetic "ressessif" desease.
    We mate more and more, but the spiders are more and more "brothers and sisters mated or same family.
    That does not CREATE the desease, but expend a "recessif" desease.

    the chance to get 2 spiders with the same gena becomes bigger and bigger

    I had a few month ago a spider ST1 with the desease; that shows that temperature, food and so on are NOT the begining of the desease; that can not be./ perhaps they can help develop it, but not create it.


    For me, that is a problem in de neurotransmettor system; a problem that makes the "impuls" that goes to the legs thru the color points that we see in the moulds (sorry my english is too bad) for a reason, no transmission or bad transmission and sometimes too mush.

    ( I have already seen : 2 kinds of the syndroom)
     
  14. JC

    JC Arachnoprince

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  15. Slim

    Slim Arachnopeon

    I am a relative newb to T care, and my first spider was a Grammostola Pulchripes that perished from DKS. He/she lived happily for 3-4 years, raised from a tiny sling from SwiftInverts. Out of the blue she developed motor control issues and appeared to stagger around when she moved. She went downhill fast, and was dead in three days :-(


    1) Temperature range. 70-80 degrees F

    2) Humidity range. Percentage ? I used dry peat and very occasionally spritzed. Humidity low.

    3) Was a clean water bowl available at all times?(Yes/No) Yes

    4) Feeder item background information(Species and what the food items ate/drank). 90% store bought crickets, with the occasional Anole lizard, and a baby mouse once (I know better now thanks to this board)

    5) What where the first symptoms that made you suspect your spider had DKS? Loss of motor control, staggering

    6) How long after purchase did the symptoms arise? Approximately 3 years

    7) Did the specimen ever recover?No. Death.

    8) If it recovered, did it ever show signs of DKS after the recovery?

    9) If the specimen died while still displaying signs of DKS, how long after it contracted DKS did it die? About 3 days

    10) Where sibling/parents of the affected spider in you care? Did they show similar symptoms?Unknown

    11) Did you ever witness any fungus growing in the enclosure prior to the spider showing symptoms of DKS? No, enclosure was generally dry, with a little bit of leakage from the water dish as only humidity source

    12) Where there any pesticides spray in or around your home? No. Although our AC was out when it happened, and our windows were open. It's possible that a neighbor sprayed their house and particles entered our home, but I think this is unlikely at best.

    13) Do you own any cats or dogs? Yes, I own three dogs and two small finches (not in same room).

    14) If the specimen recovered, please provide info on how the care regimen was changed or what was done to aid recovery.
     
  16. MrJohn

    MrJohn Arachnopeon

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    I have a G. rosea that I suspected of being a DKS victim. She had very uncoordinated gross motor function for over a month, and I found her on her back more then once. I stuck it out for as long as I could, but I ended up ICUing her for a week while I stripped her enclosure bare and started fresh. After a week in an ICU unit and being dropper fed water, there was a noticeable improvement in her coordination so I reintroduced her to the enclosure. That was a year and successful molt ago, so I think we beat the devil. You can see her for yourself by clicking the link to my page and then click the link for the tarantula cam.
     
  17. msaerfen

    msaerfen Arachnopeon

    Up until about 6 months ago every spider I bought died within months from what I thought was DKS. Same symptoms as everyone here describes and I couldn't work out what the problem was. We live in a small flat and our T's are kept in our living room along with the feeders all along one wall. I was down to 3 T's from 9 and was really at a loss as to the cause. We smoke but I have read threads from people who have kept T's in the same room where they smoke for years to no detrimental effect. Eventually I got my husband to put shelves up quite high on the walls. We have 6 cats, who we treat regularly for fleas with frontline. Since moving both T's and feeders to the shelves we have had no more problems. One of our cats used to sit on the critter keeper that the crickets were kept in and watch them through the lid. We used to be highly amused by this but I believe that the cat shed fur into the container, which contaminated the crickets who never seemed to last long and in turn poisoned my spiders. Now I think about it, its so obvious to me that that is what caused the deaths of my spiders but at the time I just didn't see it. I feel so stupid and guilty now and I hope that this may help someone else.
     
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  18. OxDionysus

    OxDionysus Arachnobaron

    My sister gave me her Rosia and it had DKS..here is a video

    [video=youtube;FO6KumnjJ6E]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO6KumnjJ6E&feature=autoplay&list=HL1332798068&lf=mh_lolz&playnext=6[/video]She moved around a lot and I suspect she may have forgot the lil girl in her car on a really cold night. She says she didn't but I have a hard time believing her. She fed it crickets and only gave it distilled water. Its cage is one I made from Styrofoam and siliconed peat moss after I molded the shape I wanted. The T actually pulled the foam apart in a few spots and you can see in the video. I had her about 4 months now and she wont eat and I haven't seen her drink anything. Anytime a cricket or roach comes near her, her legs flurry about and scare them away. I tried pre-killed too but no luck. I read a lot about DKS and it seems there are about 1000 different things people use that name for. I feel bad for the little girl and hope she recovers. I have a geniculata with some similiar behavior I got from a show a few years back...but she eats and has nearly doubled in size but stumbles everywhere. They have never been in the same house so I don't think they are related. She says the Rosia just started doing that one day out of the blue.

    Feel free if you have any questions.

    Andrew
     
  19. angrychair

    angrychair Arachnosquire

    My P lugardi is showing symptoms of DKS, I tried to take a video but it stopped. I'm not sure if it's dks, but it's really scary to even have to worry about it, from what I've read(and it's been awhile since I've read about DKS) is that it can spread to other T's, depending on the cause, so I'm in panic mode. The thing that has me worried the most is that this P lugardi has acted odd since I've bought it, it's very docile, not that I've even attempted to handle it, but I thought they were suppose to be more aggressive and mean. Mine is totally not.

    Hopefully I'm overreacting and just caught my T doing some weird stuff.


    1) Temperature range.

    70-85F

    2) Humidity range.

    20-50

    3) Was a clean water bowl available at all times?(Yes/No)

    no water bowl

    4) Feeder item background information(Species and what the food items ate/drank).

    crickets store bought, fed flukers and fruit, dubias i breed, fed all sorts of stuff

    5) What where the first symptoms that made you suspect your spider had DKS?

    I fed it a cricket yesterday, it was all fine, it just molted 9 days ago
    Today I noticed it had 4 its 4 right legs curled under its body and was sort of laying on its left side. Then those 4 legs on the right started twitching

    6) How long after purchase did the symptoms arise?

    2 months

    7) Did the specimen ever recover?

    TBD

    8) If it recovered, did it ever show signs of DKS after the recovery?

    N/A

    9) If the specimen died while still displaying signs of DKS, how long after it contracted DKS did it die?

    10) Where sibling/parents of the affected spider in you care? Did they show similar symptoms?

    N/A

    11) Did you ever witness any fungus growing in the enclosure prior to the spider showing symptoms of DKS?

    NO, very dry enclosure

    12) Where there any pesticides spray in or around your home?

    no

    13) Do you own any cats or dogs?

    no

    14) If the specimen recovered, please provide info on how the care regimen was changed or what was done to aid recovery.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012