A. Avic twitching and spasming

Tim the Whale

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Apr 18, 2016
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I've had my A. avic for a bit longer than a year now and I believe its an adult female. She just molted about a month and a half ago, she's about 6 inches DLS. The molt was kinda odd, she didn't really lay down enough webbing and started the molt sideways and fell off the web halfway through. Ever since she molted she's had problems with movement, like she'll twitch at random times. She also gets spasms while shes grooming and walking around. This is really concerning to me because she often falls when she has these spasms. Should I put her in a shorter enclosure so she doesn't hurt herself? Has anyone seen anything like this before?
 

Trenor

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Post a photo or video of her. It's likely she was injured during the molt when she fell. Their exos are very soft during this time. If a few of her legs got damaged she might move badly till she has molted again.
 

darkness975

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I've had my A. avic for a bit longer than a year now and I believe its an adult female. She just molted about a month and a half ago, she's about 6 inches DLS. The molt was kinda odd, she didn't really lay down enough webbing and started the molt sideways and fell off the web halfway through. Ever since she molted she's had problems with movement, like she'll twitch at random times. She also gets spasms while shes grooming and walking around. This is really concerning to me because she often falls when she has these spasms. Should I put her in a shorter enclosure so she doesn't hurt herself? Has anyone seen anything like this before?
My initial thought on this unfortunate situation is that there has been internal damage caused by falling out of the web tube mid molt. A fall is harmful at any time, but it is especially so when they are molting or immediately post molt when soft.
I hope this is not the case, but sadly it make sense given the situation you described.

Can you post some images and/or a video of the Spider, the Enclosure, and the Movement(s) you are experiencing?
 

Tim the Whale

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Apr 18, 2016
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I was worried that it was something internally wrong, but she's still alive and eating? Heres a couple of recent pictures https://imgur.com/a/Bapl2
I don't have any videos of the spasms as of right now but I'll see if I can catch a video of it tonight.
 

mconnachan

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The fact that she's eating makes me think she's okay.
This is a good sign that the T is eating but as @Venom1080 said a video is really the only way we'll be able to witness what you're saying, your pictures of the T look fine but clarification is needed so if you can, post a video of the spasming your referring to...
 

Nightstalker47

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It could of just been injured from the fall, but kinda sounds like your describing DKS symptoms, look up DKS on YouTube and let us know if your spider is moving around in a similar fashion.
 

johnny quango

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May 17, 2013
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@Tim the Whale I had an Avic metallica do this 2 moults ago and it's now fine. Mine Avic actually fell mid moult.

As for Dks if the answer to these questions is no then its not the dreaded disease that doesn't exist.
1 As your tarantula been exposed to chemicals for example pesticides,bug sprays etc.

2 have you recently added any furniture in its enclosure that could've been exposed to chemicals

3 Have you fed it wild caught prey that may have been exposed to chemicals

If tge answer is No then its unlikely it dks or symptoms related to dks. Which means it must be a result of the fall so keep a close eye on it
 

boina

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@Tim the Whale I had an Avic metallica do this 2 moults ago and it's now fine. Mine Avic actually fell mid moult.

As for Dks if the answer to these questions is no then its not the dreaded disease that doesn't exist.
1 As your tarantula been exposed to chemicals for example pesticides,bug sprays etc.

2 have you recently added any furniture in its enclosure that could've been exposed to chemicals

3 Have you fed it wild caught prey that may have been exposed to chemicals

If tge answer is No then its unlikely it dks or symptoms related to dks. Which means it must be a result of the fall so keep a close eye on it
That's actually not true. DKS is just a name for neurological symptoms in a T and not a disease in itself and can have many reasons - like a stomach ache can have many reasons in a human. Poisoning is just one possible reason. Dehydration is another I know of. There may be plenty of other tarantula illnesses we no nothing about that may cause those symptoms. A fall may very well cause those symptoms, too.

The question: 'does the T have DKS?' doesn't make sense. If it shows the symptoms than it shows the symptoms. The reason for the symptoms is a whole other question.
 

johnny quango

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That's actually not true. DKS is just a name for neurological symptoms in a T and not a disease in itself and can have many reasons - like a stomach ache can have many reasons in a human. Poisoning is just one possible reason. Dehydration is another I know of. There may be plenty of other tarantula illnesses we no nothing about that may cause those symptoms. A fall may very well cause those symptoms, too.

The question: 'does the T have DKS?' doesn't make sense. If it shows the symptoms than it shows the symptoms. The reason for the symptoms is a whole other question.
I understand where you are coming from and I did state dks wasn't a disease.
There may also be thousands of reasons why a tarantula suffers from uncontrollabe movement and we probably won't know a tenth of them in 100 years or it maybe that it's a few things.
What drives me a little crazy is that everything we don't truly understand about unexpected deaths of tarantulas is sometimes thrown under the banner DKS when It could well be a parasitic worm that lays dormant and causes the symptoms some people see.
It as been said in the past that flea treatments such as spot on or frontline cause this due to some of the ingredients used which equates to a form of poisoning some people think it's in the genes of a tarantula past from generation to generation but I'll leave that upto people with more scientific experience and time on their hands than myself
 
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Tim the Whale

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Sorry it took so long to get a video,
To answer some questions, I have another tarantula that lives in an enclosure right next to the avics. Its an A geniculata sling and its not experiencing any symptoms. I feed them crickets from a local pet store and I do not spray pesticides or bug sprays near the T's. She is able to move normally about 80% of the time which was partially why getting a video was so difficult. I'm not too worried about what exactly is wrong with her (unless you believe there is a cure or fix to it), I just want to know if you guys think its a good idea to move her to a shorter enclosure so she doesn't fall and hurt herself.
 

mconnachan

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The continued debate over the symantecs of the term DKS facsinates me.
DKS is so severe, I'm surprised more hasn't been done in search of how, why, when. To see a tarantula with DKS is too upsetting for me to even watch, I've seen it once first hand and never want to see it again. I hope this isn't the case and wish the spider a speedy recovery
 

mconnachan

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Sorry it took so long to get a video,
To answer some questions, I have another tarantula that lives in an enclosure right next to the avics. Its an A geniculata sling and its not experiencing any symptoms. I feed them crickets from a local pet store and I do not spray pesticides or bug sprays near the T's. She is able to move normally about 80% of the time which was partially why getting a video was so difficult. I'm not too worried about what exactly is wrong with her (unless you believe there is a cure or fix to it), I just want to know if you guys think its a good idea to move her to a shorter enclosure so she doesn't fall and hurt herself.
It would be a good idea to move her to a shallower enclosure but you don't want to stress it out any more than you have to, it really depends on how often she's falling, and what she's falling onto, if there's hard surfaces or sharp objects then remove them, I wold leave her where she is, it really doesn't look too bad ATM, keep a close eye on her, hopefully the spasms will stop, hope she makes a speedy recovery.
 

Trenor

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DKS is so severe, I'm surprised more hasn't been done in search of how, why, when. To see a tarantula with DKS is too upsetting for me to even watch, I've seen it once first hand and never want to see it again. I hope this isn't the case and wish the spider a speedy recovery
There isn't a lot of T research going on much less for this. DKS (IMO) is just a reaction to something. It could be damage from a fall or some type of toxin the Ts react badly to. It's a broad term that is used when someone doesn't know why their T is jerking/twitching. Which makes figuring out what might be causing it in any one instance really hard without a lot more information.

It's like looking at every person that has a seizure and saying they had CJR. You don't know if their seizure is cause by head trauma from a fall, a infection in their brain shorting nerves, epilepsy, heavy metal poisoning, regular poisoning.... etc. That's why I think DKS is a not very helpful term.

It took a lot of studies to try to understand some of the causes for seizures and we don't fully understand all of them still. It would likely take just as many studies to learn about what I think of as the tarantula equivalent of a seizure. It's not likely to have the interest and funding to make those studies happen.
 
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Trenor

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Sorry it took so long to get a video,
To answer some questions, I have another tarantula that lives in an enclosure right next to the avics. Its an A geniculata sling and its not experiencing any symptoms. I feed them crickets from a local pet store and I do not spray pesticides or bug sprays near the T's. She is able to move normally about 80% of the time which was partially why getting a video was so difficult. I'm not too worried about what exactly is wrong with her (unless you believe there is a cure or fix to it), I just want to know if you guys think its a good idea to move her to a shorter enclosure so she doesn't fall and hurt herself.
I would move her to a clean new enclosure with all new stuff in it. I would only put in new substrate and cork that I knew was clean. This will limit dyes/chemicals in fake plants and other things as being the cause of the issue. I would make the new enclosure shorter to reduce fall damage until your tarantula is better. I would move it to a location that is away from vents and sprays and anything else that might get into it's enclosure. If this started after it fell during it's last molt then it could have suffered some nerve damage from the fall. It's really hard to figure out what the cause is since it could be so many things.

Best of luck to you and your T.
 
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