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Help!! T. blondi with fungus amongus!!!

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by JayzunBoget, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. JayzunBoget

    JayzunBoget Arachnobaron Old Timer

    About two months ago, I got a female, six inch, wild caught, T. blondi into my pet store. I was not the one who ordered it and didn't see wether or not it came in with the damage to the cuticle on the abdomen that I discovered about a week later. I showed the damage to our vet and he instructed us to begin a treatment of one Pipericilin (sp?) injection to the abdomen per day for 10 days.
    The injections seemed to stop the spread of the damaged areas, but did not seem to reverse or even lessen any of the damage.
    This is what it looked like after treatment, minus the white cottony fungus;


    Several days ago, I noticed that little bit of white on the abdomen above the spinnerets. I had heard from a friend that I could use betadine and had planned to get some tonight when I saw her leaning over in a kind of bazaar way in her hide. On closer inspection, the fungus had spread rampantly.

    Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone know what to do?
  2. Iv never seen anything like this before. And the colors on teh tbonldis hole body are really weird. Idk man. hope someone here knows what 2 do
  3. JayzunBoget

    JayzunBoget Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Yeah, most of her is pretty normal colored for a recently wild caught blondi, but her abdomen is as pink as a testicle! Not a single urticating hair left on the poor thing. Then the "discoloration" on the abdomen almost looks like the darkening you would expect premolt except it is swelling the "skin" (cuticle I think) so it is thickened as well as darkened.
    Our vet said he feared it (the original problem) was systemic, that was why he chose an injectable antibiotic.
  4. have you tried maybe really watering down some soap and applying it to the mould with a cotton bud? i dont know how safe this would be for the T though but i did this with some Jungle Nymph stickinsects a few years ago and it seemed to work.
  5. Taceas

    Taceas Arachnodemon

    If it is indeed a fungus, could one not apply anti-fungal cream to the body? Of course taking great care to avoid the book lungs on the underside of the abdomen. Antibiotics aren't going to cure a fungus.

    If it were my tarantula, I would be applying Lotrimin AF or a vaginal yeast infection cream (same active ingredient, but higher percentage of active) with a Q-tip to the affected areas and seeing if that didn't help.

    Also, most fungus thrives in a moist environment, could one not keep her in a bone dry enclosure with a water bowl to see if that also helped to remedy the situation?

    Maybe someone with more experience will chime in with some advice soon.
  6. omni

    omni Arachnoknight

    Really sorry to hear about your T. I've seen fungus something like that on a stickbug I had once, D. femorata, but it was yellowish. Fungi grow in moist, still air, so a bone dry habitat can help. Also ventilate well. This'll slow the spread... Just like treating substrate that had a fungus growth or bolus left in a habitat. Remove, and dry up.
    I took cotton swabs and a fine paintbrush, gently brushed off as much as I could off the critter. You're brushing off the spores and stalks of the fungus.

    If the T is eating ok, maybe you can feed very well and speed up the next molt. My bug didn't live but 2 more months, but the fungus didn't spread back as much. I couldn't get all of it from in the leg joints.

    Hope your T's makes it all right. It could take a lot of patience.
  7. Remigius

    Remigius Arachnobaron

    I wouldn't risk cleaning it. If someone experienced with this problems won't tell you to do it - don't.

    I heard that the fungus will come off with molting skin, and I would stick to that.


    If you skratch the fungus off the exoskeleton - You're gonna damage the exoskeleton. Can't imagine it in a different way.


    You can't brush away the spores. You're just speeding up their transportation. Also - antibiotics are fungus themsleves... I don't acctualy undertand the whole thing, but they definetely can't heal fungus.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2008
  8. treeweta

    treeweta Arachnobaron Old Timer

    poor creature.

    just take care that that doesnt spread to any other tarantulas you have. one of the problems with WC is that they invariably have a parasite load from viruses/fungi/bacteria/nematodes etc the stress of captivity reduces their ability to keep them at bay.
  9. JayzunBoget

    JayzunBoget Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Thank you all for your advice. Here are a couple of points to clarify.
    The antibiotic was not for the fungus, it did not exist at the time of the original treatment. The antibiotic does seem to have stopped the spread of the original symptoms. But who knows if that is actually the case. We never identified what the actual cause of the original discoloration/skin damage.
    She is still strong but not fast and so far has no interest in crickets, earthworms or pinkies. However her abdomen, though freakish looking, is still plump. She is not starving, yet.
    You are exactly right. This period of acclimation to captivity is so dangerous for any wild caught animal. That is why the pet store I work for practices quarantine procedures and tends to the stress and deparasitation before making animals available for sale.:clap:
    Well, I hate the idea of drying out a freshly WC blondi, but that makes too much sense not to. I want to treat the fungus, but I'm not sure what is effective and safe for her. Now that it is daytime, I am going to ask my vet. He (they actually, Drs. Beasley and Nolan) is a very accomplished and recognized exotic pet vet, but there is so little that is known about tarantula medicine. Dr. Nolan is helpful, but he always breaks tarantula problems down to, "well, either it's going to molt or it's going to die.":(
    I will let you guys know if the vet recommends a treatment that no one here has thought of yet.
    Wish her luck...
  10. C_Strike

    C_Strike Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I dont know if this would be a good idea.
    I know the exo-skeleton consists of chitin, and sclerotin. If i remember correctly, this is the same structural compound that makes mushrooms a nd fungus. If thats true, i dont think you should use anti-fungal cream. Might do more damage than good.
    Shame when any spider gets taht problem ESPECIALLY a Theraphosa!:(
  11. Rochelle

    Rochelle Arachnoprince

    OMG JZ...that spread was FAST. DO NOT attempt to brush it off of her! It will only make the spores airborn! Please put all of the other spidey kids upstairs; away from any spores. I could keep them in my T. room for you if you'd like; until Lady Gaia is better. I think the idea of using a vaginal yeast infection treatment makes good sense. This is a radical problem that calls for radical treatment. Trust your wife's instincts. Ask her about her impressions.... mine say go !!
    I also am worried about wether or not this "mold" could be spread into other wet tanks in the vincinity. Maybe we should set up a quarantine area in the room I pointed out to you earlier? We could have it done in one afternoon and Wadedablade is willing to help. We have everything that would be needed. No cost to any of us.
    Let me know what I can do to help.
    I think she should be transferred to a dry tank with a large shallow water dish for humidity. Before you leave for work, if possible. Put plastic wrap or wax paper over the half of the tank with the water dish. Use mild bleach/water solution to wash the tank you put her into.
    My prayers are with Gaia...candle burning brightly.
  12. JayzunBoget

    JayzunBoget Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I didn't think to connect the two, but I found this unusual mold pop up in my A. genic deli container.
    I haven't had a mold problem down there (in the reptile room/basement) previous to this, wich is surprising as all of my rainforest damp vivariums for my poison frogs are down there. Humidity in the vivarium:80% plus, the blondi cage 72% (tho' I'm gonna drop that like a rock), and surprisingly enough the overall humidity in the room is like 16%
  13. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

    there are spider "eating" fungi and/or molds out there in the wild places

    i can't see pics but i definitely agree with seperating that spider from you collection

    if yo uhave a buddy that doesn't keep spiders/bugs i woould keep it at his house

    some of the bad fungi have exoskeleton destroying elements to burrow through the spider's armor to get to the good stuff inside
  14. I've got some of that same mold as in Post #12 in my A. seemanni's tank. I have her on peat moss (Schultz bag from Wal-Mart) and I already changed it out once because of it. A couple of days later, it came back. My other tanks using the same peat from the same bag don't have this problem. They're all Kritter Keeper type tanks, but different sizes (1 mini, 3 small, 1 large). The large one is the one with the problem.
  15. Rochelle

    Rochelle Arachnoprince

    We have a secure quarantine area of the house away from all other critters if you need to use it.....closed ventilation.
    Let me know.
    Please change out that A.genic with substrate NOT located in your T. room. I would discard all substrate and change ALL tanks; with deep sanitation.
    Happy to help with the chore....just give us the word. :)
  16. Rochelle

    Rochelle Arachnoprince

    Just curious...are you keeping your seemani moist?
  17. A More Natural Approach...

    What about tea tree oil and/or grapefruit seed extract? Both have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties? Are they dangerous to Ts?
  18. jmb

    jmb Arachnosquire Old Timer

    This currently happens to be a topic of much study...

    ...Thankfully for you (possibly). I'm currently getting projects into motion and am currently in the midst of preparing cultures of fungal pathogens found on other arthropods we currently have, per the instructions of one of the insect mycologists at ARSEF (and which I'll be sending them once cultured, speaking of which, I need to get on the phone again w/them ASAP).

    Instead of repeating what I already have said numerous times (including in posts/PMs/emails, I'll just include a link to my post at the ATSHQ:


    Piperacillin is not an unreasonable treatment, being pretty broad spectrum against gram positives & negatives, and even some fungal-like things, IIRC; naturally, there's a catch: without knowing *PRECISELY* what it is one is treating, giving the wrong treatment can be (literally) fatal. A story from Dr. Shem's (MD) House of God comes to mind: a man in a coma in their ICU came in with a pimple on his knee; it was a mild staph (gram positive) infection, and the MOD or whoever prescribed him the wrong antibiotic, which wiped out a *different* form of staph (all of us have it, mostly on the skin, among other places), which was keeping the nastier kind in check, and with that precarious biosystem radically destabilised, the bad stuff took over and went systemic, much to the disadvantage of the patient :(

    And as for reversing the "damage", most mycosis cause the host itself to produce melanin, as that helps THEM be secure from harmful (to fungi) UVA/B rays ;\ Even if you were able to magically wave a wand and have no more fungus, that discoloration (presume I mean only the darkening, on average) would be there for good (or possibly until the next molt, provided the invert in question makes it).

    OK, stop right there: if you're witnessing behaviours indicating neurological involvement, odds are it has gone systemic, and topical applications are NOT going to be of any good, odds are. That said, I'm currently working with several different compounds (both for topical and internal use, with the focus on the latter) in the hopes of finding something which is an adequately potent fungicide and not, at the same time, insecticidal (e.g., imidazole-derivatives such as tio- and miconazole nitrate are not sufficiently far enough apart, dose-wise, and any of the fungicides which are chitin/chitosan inhibitors are obviously going to be lethal to inverts, as well).

    I'm going to PM you w/my contact information, and the sooner we can communicate about this more in-depth, the better; I'll respond more to this post further later, as the clock is ticking, so the sooner I PM you, the better; also, as many mentioned below QUARANTINE THE HELL out of this specimen, *AND* practice proper laboratory/medical hygiene procedures, with the note that, if this is NOT merely an opportunistic-type, but a truly entomogenous and/or entomopathogenic fungi, conidae production is optimized for infecting other inverts (and how), and the ability of many to move via air and "sloppy" lab techniques is indescribably good (IOW, highly contagious, e.g., Beauveria spp. are a prime example, although I'm not saying that is what it is).

    I've got a lot in my current and growing pharmacopoeia of fungicidal compounds, and am happy to share anything with you which you might need (dunno where you're located, but I can even try & overnight if necessary).

    I'll (attempt) to be in touch.


  19. Kris-wIth-a-K

    Kris-wIth-a-K Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter


    that looks pretty serious. Dont you think if it was a bad bad problem the T would force a moult???? I would secure her and clean her off over a since with a cotton ball or a Q-tip. The longer the mold stays the long the T has to suffer and the mroe the mold will grow. Mold is a bacteria and when you do nothing to it the mold just grows. If the T blondis tank is pretty damp and wet then the mold will keep growing untol it is all gone. I would peronally change the substrate and clean the T off very carefully over a sink where you can just rince the rest.

    You also said "injection" as in a needle sticking in the abdomen? or just a topical creme? If it is an injection then the needles could have cause the bruising looking things as it does with us humans. These are just my views.
  20. spydrhunter1

    spydrhunter1 Arachnolord Old Timer