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When to intervene in a molt

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by volcanopele, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. volcanopele

    volcanopele Arachnopeon

    My 2.5" G. pulchripes is currently in molt but it seems to be stuck. It was flipped over when I woke up about 7 hours ago and it started molting for real a little after 10am, so about 3.5 hours ago. As far as I can tell, the molt was proceeding just fine until around noon, when it stopped progress, which was about an hour and a half ago. It hasn't really moved at all in the last hour. Its old carapace is off and at least two legs and both chelicerae are out of the molt, but at least three legs on one side, an unknown number on the other and perhaps its pedipalps are still stuck. It also doesn't look white and freshly pliable like it did when it was in the middle of working on its molt. I'm also not sure how well the old exoskeleton has detached from the abdomen.

    I'm not sure if I should intervene or continue leaving it alone. I'm also not positive on what I need to do to help it out considering its small size. It is also possible that since this is my first molt to happen when I'm awake and where I can watch it that I'm overly fretful and I should stop worrying...

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  2. darkness975

    darkness975 a Dream Within a Dream Arachnosupporter

    @cold blood and @viper69 are much more qualified than me to answer this one, but I just wanted to say I hope it pulls through. It is not unheard of for molts to take a long time though.
  3. awiec

    awiec Arachnoprince

    Usually they will rest before resuming but based on the size and time I would say helping it out is not a bad idea. Most of the work is done for you so all you need to do now is get the rest of the legs and pedipalps off. I take a damp, small soft paint brush to wet the exo and gradually pull it off with tweezers, its a slow process or if you just encourage the animal to pop its limbs off by stroking at one of the leg joints then you just wait for the next molt for them to grow back.
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  4. ledzeppelin

    ledzeppelin Arachnobaron

    I would wait about 20 hours from the beginning of the molt and then try to help. Ive had my B.smithi molt for 20 hours in the past so that time I know is still normal. In the event of it not being able to get out, you can gently apply soapy water to the limbs that are still in the molt to soften them. Once softened, you can gently try to pull them out. But I would still wait a bit.
  5. boina

    boina Arachnolord Arachnosupporter

    Did your G. pulchripes get out?
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  6. volcanopele

    volcanopele Arachnopeon

    so an update: I really didn't want to intervene, so I followed ledzeppelin's advice and waited until yesterday morning. It had made no progress between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Using a soapy water mixture, I was able to help free its abdomen and two more legs, but the other legs and both pedipalps were much more stuck in. Unfortunately, it looks like my pulchripes has passed. I really should have done something sooner...

    Of course, my P. cambridgei just had a surprise molt this morning, so I was a little nervous, but of course, just like every other molt I've had here, his went off without a hitch.
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  7. Trenor

    Trenor Arachnoprince

    Even had you intervened earlier it's like not to have helped. The problem of going in early is the new exo is really soft and can be damaged easily. Like that you might end up causing more harm than good.

    Sorry to hear about your T.
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