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DKS (Dyskinetic Syndrome)

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

  1. Ziolizard

    Ziolizard Arachnosquire

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    Juvenile OBT (gender unknown but referred to as "she") just passed away today.

    1) Temperature range.

    Temperature has been kept at around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in our room using space heater. It's been pretty cold lately ( < 40 degrees outside during the night ) and temperatures dropped near the time that our T first started showing symptoms.

    2) Humidity range.

    About 88% but usually is around 80% for most of the year.

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

    Yes, but during her final days she webbed incessantly, covering every surface including her water bowl with webs.

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

    We always fed her medium-sized crickets bought from a local vivarium. She has had no problems with these crickets in the past, she has been eating them consistently since June of this year.

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

    At first she would put her legs in awkward positions like straight up in the air. Then she began to jitter around and move around in random directions, sometimes moving backwards. Eventually she had terrible spasms and would flail around uncontrollably with even the slightest disturbance. Finally her movements became slow and she had trouble responding to anything except by tiny jitters.

    6) How long after purchase did the symptoms arise?

    We bought her 6/25/13, and her symptoms began to appear 12/5/13.

    7) Did the specimen ever recover?

    No.

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

    Did not recover.

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

    About one week.

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

    We don't have the siblings/parents.

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

    Because of the humidity level here, mold tends to grow easily on any surface in our room. However, we never noticed any fungus or mold growing in her enclosure. That being said, we have seen mold in our other two adult tarauntula's enclosures, although they have never displayed any symptoms and we've always made sure to remove the mold as soon as we find it.

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

    Starting about a week ago, there has been a widespread ant infestation in our apartment building, and people have been spraying pesticides. We've never sprayed in our room at all. However, we have seen ants in here, so it's possible they may have brought some in with them. This is my best guess for the cause, however our two adult T's do not seem to have been affected.

    13) Do you own any cats or dogs?

    No, but several people in the building do, including someone who owns a dog right across the hall from us.

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

    She did not recover.
     
  2. josh_r

    josh_r Arachnoprince

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    This is not a disease unique to theraphidae. This disease can affect many other families of Mygalomorphae and if I remember correctly, I have seen something very similar in a wolf spider. I just recently had 2 unique Nemesiidae die from this. I found the first one freshly dead from this desease and the second one was not far from death. I decided to preserve them in 96% alcohol immediately due to the fact that they may be new species and the plans to send to be "identified". One of the strange things I noticed from these two animals... Not long after putting them in the alcohol, some very strange white clumps had exited their "mouths". I am not sure what it is, but it is not too different from yeast produced by yeast infections in humans. Whether it is a fungus or bacteria or something else, who knows.. They are all possibilities. I have had other spiders recover from this before, but it is rare. One thing I have noticed is this tends to happen when a species is kept in conditions they are not found in. I have seen it in Aphonopelma kept too humid or moist. I have seen it in a desert species here in Peru from being kept too moist and warm. It wouldn't surprise me if it is a fungus that attacks the animals when they are kept in conditions that stress the animals to a point to lower their immunities. dunno... recently had a dwarf species here recover from it, but I did not keep track of anything. All I did was ignore it and let it dry out. I had another with it that died and I hadn't dried it out. I have another that has just started showing signs of this. I am going to try letting its deli cup dry out and see what happens... after all, it is a species of the most barren dry desert I have seen yet.

    ---------- Post added 03-01-2014 at 10:08 PM ----------

    I think this is a very plausible theory and likely the case. What is strange is I have never seen this in the wild with a single tarantula (doesn't mean it can't happen), but I have seen it develope very rapidly after a tarantula has been introduced into captivity. I think the conditions in nature (temps, humidity AIR FLOW, etc) probably are what allows the disease to take hold. I am especially curious about improper temps causing stress on the spiders and/or lack of air flow being a trigger for the disease.

    ---------- Post added 03-01-2014 at 10:11 PM ----------

    But this does not explain how I have had 3 tarantulas, that I caught here in Peru develope this "syndrome" shortly after being introduced into captivity and being fed clean insect prey. There isn't any pesticide spraying going on here and NONE of my other species have developed this, only this one species. I wouldn't doubt if there could be more than one cause. Pesticides are definitely a very likely possibility, but I honestly feel that some sort of fungus or something similar is causing this as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  3. Lost my 6" female regalis to DKS last night ='(

    1) Temperature range.

    Around 26-28 Celcius

    2) Humidity range.

    Average of 60% but can reach anywhere up to 80%

    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 and the occasional super worm, all purchased from the bird market (Chinese pet market) However she had been eating these things from the same place for over a year with no issues

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

    Massive loss of motor control, flailing legs and eventual fall to the floor

    6) How long after purchase did the symptoms arise?

    Over a year after purchase, the specimen had moulted about three weeks prior but had shown no signs up until the night before she died

    7) Did the specimen ever recover?

    No

    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?

    Within 24 hours

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

    No and the siblings/parents are unknown, however none of the rest of my collection shows any signs

    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?

    About 2 months ago someone used pesticide to spray some ants by the door in the same room (I was unimpressed) I quickly covered my collection with towels. However none of my collection showed any signs of sickness and still do not, and my regalis moulted just a few weeks ago

    13) Do you own any cats or dogs?

    None

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

    -

    All in all she lost control of motor function and went into a death curl all within just a few hours, it was very sudden. Due to her position in the enclosure I couldn't get to her to put her in an ICU, not without injuring her moving things. I over flowed the water bowl and sprayed the entire enclosure to raise humidity then covered the air vents with towels to help humidity levels but in the morning she was already dead
     
  4. Mariner1

    Mariner1 Arachnosquire

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    Concerning Phlogius sp"stents" and G. pulchripes


    1) Temperature range.
    72-78F
    2) Humidity range.
    55-65%
    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).
    Brown crickets from petsmart, fed Flukes orange cricket cubes while waiting to be eaten.
    5) What where the first symptoms that made you suspect your spider had DKS?
    Leg spasms when trying to walk, unable to catch prey, not drinking.
    6) How long after purchase did the symptoms arise?
    stents-6mo. pulchripes-1 yr.
    7) Did the specimen ever recover?
    NO
    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?
    30 days for stents. pulchripes was euthanized.
    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.
    12) Where there any pesticides spray in or around your home?
    No.
    13) Do you own any cats or dogs?
    Yes.
    14) If the specimen recovered, please provide info on how the care regimen was changed or what was done to aid recovery.
    N/a.
     
  5. jkelly

    jkelly Arachnopeon

  6. biohazard1309

    biohazard1309 Arachnopeon

    My first and only T., a Chilean rose hair died today, here is all the info. I really hope it help. Goodbye Rosey :.(

    1) 72° F

    2) Not monitored

    3) yes

    4) Mostly LPS crickets but sometimes black crickets from outside, she ate a cicada once and a super worm,
    when she got sick and weak I managed to hand feed her a wax worm, it was her last meal.
    A couple days before she got sick she may have eaten a black cricket with pesticide on it.

    5) she started walking funny and could not easily move, also she would not eat.

    6) 6 weeks

    7) no

    8) na

    9) 15 days after I first noticed the weird stepping

    10) na this was my first and only spider

    11) no

    12) no, but she may have eaten a black cricket with pesticide on it.

    13) A chihuahua, her tank never came near to him

    14) did not recover but started to improve. After a week of noticing symptoms I put her in an ICU,
    then a weak later, when she seemed to weak to move well on her own I dripped water in her mouth she seemed to drink it.
    then the weather changed and it got really cold in the house so we put her container in a shoe-box and heated up a shirt
    and put it beneath her container to warm her up and increase humidity. a day or two after that we got a wax worm to hand feed her, she ate it all. the next day i woke up tried to feed her water, she would not drink or eat, so I put her back. A fer hours later i went to feed her again but she was dead.

    as a side note, if some one can tell me where and how I can donate her, I would be really greatfull.
     
  7. Casey K

    Casey K Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    Ok so I don't have much information on this particular specimen with dks. It was an AF P. metallica. He received her from a friend and she was showing signs & symptoms of DKS. As soon as he transferred her from the terrariums she was in and into one that he had set up, she had molted after a while. When she molted she was like a normal T again. Everything changed. She went from criple walking to a normal, lively P. metallica. I'm just putting this little pinch of info in there for people that have T's with this issue. Perhaps if you can get the T to molt then the DKS will go away. I'm unsure and it isn't a guarantee. I'm just saying its possible and given all the "bad" outcomes with this disease, I would say that pushing them to molt for the best is better than losing hope. Don't give up on your T. Try not to "put it down". Just give it a chance. If you have to crush a cricket or dubia up and hold it directly in your T's mouth (as i know most with dks can't or refuse to eat) its worth a try. I will contact him and have him add his story if he hasn't already. Perhaps it will be more informative to those with this issue.
     
  8. Austin S.

    Austin S. Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    You're right Casey, however it was an Avicularia metallica mature female.
    I received her from a friend several months ago. The moment I got it, she showed signs, twitchy and uncontrollable signs.
    When she would try to eat, she would have no control in catching the prey. I would have to hold the roach in tongs until she got a fang through it. Several times, she would twitch so bad when trying to catch prey, she would fall from her hide, which was a cork tube at a 40 degree angle at the time. I didn't want to place a vertical hide in there because of the fact, yet, she would still roll all the way down the hide trying to catch it.

    When I received her, she was 2 months post molt. She molted 3 weeks into my care.
    To this day, she doesn't have a single problem. Catches prey on her own, has a nice silk retreat, and walks around the tank with no problems.

    I'm not sure what you would consider this, or what happened. But, from my observation, she triggered herself to molt, to fix the problem, and it worked.

    Few weeks after she molted:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Frisk the female juvenile euathlus sp red, died a day after starting to exhibit dks symptoms last week (05/05/16). Devastated :(

    1) Temperature range.

    18-24 degrees celsius

    2) Humidity range.
    not measured, however the substrate was dry.

    3) Was a clean water bowl available at all times?(Yes/No)
    yes, she had constant access to fresh water.

    4) Feeder item background information(Species and what the food items ate/drank).
    Crickets, fed using normal bug gel and bug grub. They also had a carrot that week. The tarantula was last fed 9 days before she exhibited symptoms.

    5) What where the first symptoms that made you suspect your spider had DKS?
    She was walking strangely and kept twitching in an unnatural manner.

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

    7) Did the specimen ever recover?
    no

    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?
    It died the next day

    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 fungus was present in the enclosure as it was well ventilated with dry substrate

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

    13) Do you own any cats or dogs?
    I own two cats, however they have not been deflead since september last year.

    14) If the specimen recovered, please provide info on how the care regimen was changed or what was done to aid recovery.
    N/A
    (If you have a video footage of the spider suffering from DKS, please post it as well.)
     
  10. peterUK

    peterUK Arachnoknight Old Timer


    I'm guessing that you didnt bother finding out the temperatures in the G rosea's natural habitat ?

    A temperature of 72F is a VERY HOT DAY with temps in the low to mid 60's being the average temperature.
    The unnaturally high temperatures of 80-90F is probably what killed it (along with the constant misting)


    Average temperatures of G rosea habitat

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Rak3

    Rak3 Arachnopeon

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    This might seem odd, and I know people have had very different experiences, but could we add what type of water was used to soak substrate/water the tarantula?
    I have had 6 slings/juvies (different species and ages) die while displaying DKS symptoms at different times under very similar conditions. Since I moved to using bottled water to soak the substrate and water the tarantulas, I have had zero deaths (nothing else has changed!). I know others have been using tap water for years but I do think it would be interesting if there is a correlation.