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Not So Sudden Avic Death Syndrome- any ideas on how this happened?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Burnt Toast, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Burnt Toast

    Burnt Toast Arachnopeon

    I recently bought an A. avicularia sling along with a B. vagans sling and an H. gigas juvenile. Yesterday morning I woke up and found as I was anticipating, the Avic sling had died. This specimen never ate nor webbed in my care, and was always clumsy and sluggish. Its condition worsened in the last few days, and with slipping being a sign of premolt (as the foot pads are becoming less sticky on the old cuticle) I dubiously told myself it was in premolt (despite it not being fat at all), but to my un-surprise, it died. Most would bring up the ventilation issue, but I doubt the conditions were stagnant because I did not have the enclosure half-submerged like many worrying newbies do. However, I did earlier have a piece of bark in the vial back when it was seeming okay. That bark had been sitting on my desk and drying for months so I figured it was good and dead and had nothing in it. Nonetheless, though, it grew a bit of mold (if not poop, which I doubt because the sling had not eaten for a while) and I took it out right away. A few days after this was when it started to die.
    My question is, do any of you think that the wood might have triggered some sensitivity? It was not softwood because I think the tree was a maple, but it still could have had something in it that the sling died from. Have any of you guys had a bad experience with bark you collected? Let me know if you have. I hope it's something easily preventable like that and not the Avic mortality rate- because now I'm scared to get any more Avics! :unhappy:
  2. DannyH

    DannyH Arachnobaron

    Could be the mold. Before you put anything you get from outside, like bark, its a good idea to microwave it to kill anything that might be living on it. The mold can get into the tarantulas book lungs and kill it. But don't feel to bad about it, tarantulas, and especially slings, sometimes die for unknown reasons. It could have been something that had nothing too do with you.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Burnt Toast

    Burnt Toast Arachnopeon

    Yeah I woke up about microwaving bark after this, and I know about the mold thing too, but I do remember hearing things about invertebrate repelling chemicals it trees, and just wondering if we had any botanists around here. ;)
  4. z32upgrader

    z32upgrader Arachnobaron

    Moore, OK
    As far as I know, cedar is the only common species of tree that is a no-no; the bark and sap are natural insecticides. Google "Cedar Oil".
  5. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I'd stay away from pine and anything with a lot of sap.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. MarkmD

    MarkmD Arachnoprince

    Sorry to hear about your avic, you should buy corkbark from your LPS.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Some cities aerial-spray for mosquitoes in the middle of the night, plus you don't know what your neighbors are using chemical-wise in their yards. I wouldn't trust any wood I found outdoors unless it's from a remote, uninhabited area. It's a lot easier to use cork bark.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. freedumbdclxvi

    freedumbdclxvi Arachnoprince

    So Fla
    Aside from what has been said regarding the wood, I would confirm your ventilation. Even if the enclosure wasn't "half-submerged" the airflow could have been poor.
  9. Shrike

    Shrike Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Can you post a pictures of the enclosure?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. 845BigRed

    845BigRed Arachnosquire

    this sounds similar to how mine died. Mine webbed and ate and then got sluggish and couldn't climb too well, assumed pre molt and it died. YET my A Versi sling is in the exact same set up and thriving (and my Regalis had a similar til it got too big).

    I wouldn't be too scared about avic's, think in the wild tons of the T's we all have as pets would not have made it, you at least gave him a chance
  11. Burnt Toast

    Burnt Toast Arachnopeon

    I'll just tell you that the vial was around 2 1/2 inches tall with a 1 1/2 inch mouth, and the lid had many many pinholes in it. Next time I'll just use an enclosure I have that has a vent on it.

    ---------- Post added 08-12-2013 at 09:46 PM ----------

    I am using a branch from a small willow in my yard, so stuff that is on your property and has been baked left to set should be fine.

    ---------- Post added 08-12-2013 at 09:48 PM ----------

    I am using a branch from a small willow in my yard and have had the branch unused for months now, so anything on you property that has been baked and let set should be fine.
  12. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Vials can be tricky with Avic slings, between them having enough moisture to drink and getting enough ventilation.

    Baking branches doesn't necessarily eliminate chemical exposure. Cork is much better, and doesn't break down like most other woods will.
  13. rob0t

    rob0t Arachnoknight

    Who knows what it died from. Probably had absolutely nothing to do with the way you kept it. Slings die off from all genus no matter how hard we try to keep them alive. Better luck next time.