almost starved to death h.lividum your advice needed

motorteipidpa

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
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62
ive been keeping tarantulas for a year now and with the 20 different specimens that i have im pretty sure i have the basic care and needs down pat.well i got my cousin into tarantulas a few months ago and he quickly got bored of them and gave all his tarantulas to me cause he wasnt taking care of them at all and they havent eaten for like 3 months.there all fine and im fattening them all up but one of them,an adult cobalt blue,is in horribly bad condition.my cousin never fed it or misted its cage for months cuz he "thought it was dead in side its burrow".well mr t has surfaced and he is not looking good.its abdomen is in the most shrunken form i have ever seen on any tarantula.it will not accept prey of any kind.it can barely move but it does stumble around slowly when frightened.and it stumbles.it dosent even walk right.i just aquired it tonight so starting tomorow im going to try everything i can to bring it back to good health.but it seems all hope is lost.what should i do to try and get it to start eating again?it seems to week to even attack prey.i tried to give it some crickets but it just does not accept them.im going to get a pinky tomorow to see if it can make a good meal out of that.any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated.im sorry for the long post.
Tom
 

Code Monkey

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Jul 22, 2002
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With the stumbling, I'd say dehydration is your biggest foe. I would get it into a moist cage, big water dish, and spray the sides down with water as well. Abdomens on a T can get down right non-existant before starvation is an issue so if it's not accepting prey, it's probably too weak. Get it hydrated, then try again.
 
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belewfripp

Arachnobaron
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Aug 17, 2002
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345
Your spider probably won't take food for awhile. My advice is to take a shallow water dish and place the tarantula front-end down in the dish. Keep the abdomen free and clear of the water. Angle the spider so that the chelicerae and the underside of the chelicerae are immersed in the water. Normally I wouldn't advise simply picking up a spider like H. lividum, but in the state its in, it probably won't be able to get you. However, use your own judgement. If you feel the T is too weak to be able to bite you, gently pick it up between the second and third legs on both sides of the carapace, from above and place it in the dish as advised. If you feel it is in good enough shape to bite you, try to gently prod the T into the dish from behind.

I had an adult female C. lamanai that was essentially dead that we rescued from a pet store for wholesale price. We wouldn't pay anything more than what they paid for it. It was pretty much at the stage where every few minutes you might see a twitch. Using the above method my wife and I were able to bring it all the way back to full health again. Know however that extreme dehydration is postulated to be a cause of permanent damage to the spider. That C. lamanai died about a month later due to an unknown infection and/or intestinal blockage. The extreme dehydration probably weakened her digestive system and made it vulnerable to parasitic/infectious attack. Nonetheless, if your spider has not suffered this kind of damage, you may well be able to bring it back from even the closest brink to death. Hopefully the method I outlined above will work for you.

Adrian
 

MrT

Arachnoking
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Aug 13, 2002
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2,174
Tom,
I've heard of people putting the T into an ICU with water in the bottom. You know a small deli cup w/ lid. Air holes punched in lid and 1/8"-1/4" of water in the bottom of the cup. The T needs to be able to stand or it'll drown. Maybe put some smashed cricket juice in the water. What ever you do keep us posted. We're all pulling for the poor thing.
MrT:(
 

galeogirl

Arachnoprince
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Aug 15, 2002
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1,202
I've used unflavored Pedialyte successfully with dehydrated tarantulas before. It saved several of my ts after a well-meaning petsitter overheated the room my spiders were in thinking that they were all desert animals and needed 90+ degree temperatures to survive.

I wouldn't normally give a spider a piece of sponge to drink from, but if it's so weak that you're worried about giving it a water dish, a sponge is a viable option provided you change it out completely every day.
 
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