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White liquid around mouth

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Draiman, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Draiman

    Draiman Arachnoking

    Just found my 2" P. regalis sling dead, with a strange white liquid around its mouth. This little guy molted only one and a half weeks ago.

    All this started with the death of my 2.5" Psalmopoeus irminia a couple of months ago, also with the same white liquid coming from its mouth.

    A few weeks ago, one of my subadult female Phlogiellus inermis died with the appearance of the same white liquid.

    I think whatever is in that liquid is spreading through my collection and slowly killing off my spiders, over a period of about a month each.

    Here is a picture:

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  2. JC

    JC Arachnoprince

    Perhaps it is something in the food/water? Please you provide information on this. What are you feeding the prey items? What type of water are they drinking? What is the prey item being provided? Does any other type of invert inhabit your home(roaches,other)?
  3. Draiman

    Draiman Arachnoking

    My other spiders eat exactly the same food as this regalis did, and - so far - appear to be fine.

    I use mealworms and I do not "gutload" them with anything. Therefore they eat nothing but the bran/cereal/whatever that comes with them from the pet store.

    Every single one of my pets (from my dog to my inverts) drinks tap water - and the potability of tap water here is probably the best in the world; it can be consumed directly from the tap. I do not think water has anything to do with this spider's death.

    There are probably a few pest roaches hanging around (Periplaneta americana), but they could not have come into contact with this particular spider in question. In fact, there is no way a roach could enter any of my spiders' tanks/containers.

  4. JC

    JC Arachnoprince

    Interesting. The only other possible suspects are the mealworm feed at the petstore(boy do I hate petstores), and the possible link between the substrate and water. Concerning the mealworms, I can easily see a poisoned roach dying in the mealworm bin and being consumed by the mealwroms and the mealworms being more resistant to the poison(at least long enough to be fed off). There is also the possibility of substrate mixing with in the water bowl and hatching out some type of bug/disease. Have you changed your substrate lately? Are their water bowls clean? Is their any type of fungus. Is the humidity in the enclosure super high? How long apart are the deaths and did you feed off from the same batch of mealworms? Is their a higher than usual rate of mealworm fatality?
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  5. Ricki123

    Ricki123 Arachnosquire

    Firstly, what is that "white liquid"?

    Is it concentrated hemolymph coming from within the digestive tract?

    Just need to find out the cause of it as well....

    Possibly an internal parasite?

  6. Pokie1

    Pokie1 Arachnosquire

    I second the parasite opinion.

    You can look in your keepers guide for more on this subject. Do the cages contain mites? Might be worth checking. They are common and can kill the Ts.

    Good luck

  7. Vidaro

    Vidaro Arachnobaron

  8. Nomadinexile

    Nomadinexile Arachnoking

    We need a pathologist

    We need a pathologist or lab we can send deaths to for virology and toxicology reports.
  9. Julia

    Julia Arachnobaron

    Gavin, I'm so sorry!!

    The white liquid almost looks like regurgitated....something. Is there *any* way your prey items are coming in contact with a pesticide? Maybe whatever they feed them at the petstore (the cereal you mentioned) has come in contact with a poison?

    At one point, you had said that you live in a high-rise building. I assume you have central heat/air that goes through the building. (Maybe?) Is one of your NEIGHBORS spraying a pesticide that is then coming through the air ducts and slowly affecting your tarantulas...one by one?

    Just throwing out ideas here. I really hope you find the cause of this!
  10. Looks like a possible nematode death imo. I have only seen a few in person but your photo looks like the confirmed nematode deaths I have seen.
  11. Nomadinexile

    Nomadinexile Arachnoking

    Tkg on nematodes

    Tkg-revised edition, barrons publishing copyright 2009, P. 221

    "Nematoda, The Roundworms. As this book goes to press, the tarantula keeping hobby is trying to come to terms with a "new, improved" infestation: nematode worms. Nematodes are primitive nonsegmented worms that are as prevalent as mites on planet Earth. Nearly all are microscopic, and some proportion of them are parasitic. They include such creatures as heartworms in dogs, pinworms in humans, and many noxious plant pest.
    For several decades one or more species of these worms that are predacious or parasitic on insects have been used for pest control in greenhouses and by the agricultural industry. These nematodes pose no threat to humans or other vertebrates, but theyy are extremely infectious among arthropods. Apparently either these or something like these have managed to infiltrate the tarantula keeping hobby, and an increasing number of enthusiast are reporting them in their tarantulas.
    Tarantulas that are infected stop eating, become lethargic, and eventually suffer a slow death. One charachteristic that nearly all display is a chalky or white exudate around thier mouths. This is a mass of living nematodes and their eggs being regurgitated by an extremely sick tarantula.
    As of this writing tarantula enthusiasts are struggling to find a method for dealing with the nematode infections, and the entire problem and it's remedies are far from being solved or even well defined. So far there are no reliable cures for nematode infections in tarantulas. The novice is warned to examine a potential pet tarantula carefully for the symptoms of a nematode infection before purchasing it. If a pet tarantula begins to exhibit these symptoms, the enthusiast is urged to contact one of the major tarantula enthusiast societies or post a query on one or more of the internet forums, asking for the latest information and help. See "resources" page 359 for more information about such organizations and forums."

    *will finish in one more post
  12. Nomadinexile

    Nomadinexile Arachnoking

    Tkg on nematodes

    P. 222 continued.

    "Under any circumstances, if a tarantula is suspected of carrying or being infected with nematodes, the following rules should be observed to prevent the cross contamination or spread of the infection to otherwise healthy tarantulas:

    * If a tarantula or a cage is handled that is suspected of being infected with nematodes, do not touch any other tarantulas or their cages until after you can bathe and change clothes.

    *Isolate the sick or suspect tarantula. Place it in a completely different part of the building from any other tarantulas you may have. Do not use the same utensils or equipment for your other tarantulas that you use for the suspect one.

    *Always inspect and care for the suspect tarrantula last, after dealing with the healthy ones, never before.

    Always wash your hands, even bathe and change clothes, after dealing with the the sick or suspect tarantula. This is generally most easily accomplished with a little forethought and scheduling. For instance, a good strategy might be to care for the sick or suspect tarantula just before an evening bath, or a morning shower before going to work or school.
    Doubtless, there are many other species of animals that parasitize tarantulas. Potential canidates may include protozoa, roundworms (nematodes), flatworms (platyhelminthes), and a host of less-well-known groups. The parasitology of tarantulas is very poorly known (is this beginning to sound repetitive?), and there is no exhaustive catalogue of the species of tarantula parasites, much less any knowledge of possible cures. For the most part, if a tarantula has a parasite, it has only two options. It must either outlive it, or die with it."
  13. Draiman

    Draiman Arachnoking

    The mealworms are in a container with a tight, secure lid, with holes for ventilation. No roach in my house could possibly have entered the container, due to the size of the holes.

    I haven't had any more mites since my last "panic attack".

    Poisoning at the pet store is a plausible cause, but I have a friend who feeds his tarantulas the same batch of worms from the same store and he has never had these problems.

    There is no central heating/air. ROOM temperature here averages 31 degrees Centigrade!

    (Un)fortunately, I have gotten tired of panicking and worrying, so I'll leave the animals alone and see what happens. I really can't be bothered anymore, because only three weeks ago I did a massive cleanup of the entire place, and I still keep the area clean on a regular basis. This death hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh well. I have had extremely bad luck with nematodes and all that crap (as some of you know :)). If this godforsaken organism kills off all my spiders, I guess all I can say is so be it.

    I thank all of you for replying. I will post updates on the rest of my collection, but I won't be taking any special action.
  14. Hmm, I was thinkng being a little worm, nematodes can't spread by themselves. Try to look to see if there are any small flies(phorid flies) around the cages at all, I've been told that they can spread nematodes.
  15. Draiman

    Draiman Arachnoking

    I have not had phorid flies, or any flies, for that matter, around my tarantulas for a long time. :)
  16. JC

    JC Arachnoprince

    Oops my mistake. I meant the roaches coming into contact with mealworms at the PETSHOP.
  17. jbm150

    jbm150 Arachnoprince

    Hey Gavin, that really sucks. Here's something, my H. mac just died from what I think was DKS. Whatever that is. But the night before she died, she was on her back vomiting a cloudy liquid. It wasn't very opaque, just kind of a somewhat cloudy liquid. The following morning, she was dead and she had the same liquid on her mouth as yours. I don't think mine had nematodes though. She had nothing on her mouth prior to her dying, it was more like vomit that dried and became white and somewhat crusty. But it looked a lot like what you have on yours. I think its some sort of poisoning, from a pesticide, mold, volatile cleaner or chemical, or something similar.