Avic Problems Again

CABIV

Arachnosquire
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Aug 6, 2014
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94
Round 4, either I'm doing something very wrong, or my luck is just that bad.

My Avic (not sure on the sub species) was all nice and plump right ahead of Christmas. It was fairly active and the last time I fed it, it snapped up the cricket before it hit the enclosure. Later, I noticed that it had spent a few days hiding out at the top of it's log hide. Food was going uneaten for days.

During this time, another one of my tarantulas started getting a little more reclusive, and it was clearly going into Pre-molt (it has indeed molted and is stretching out now). I assumed the same was probably true of my Avic. However, I noticed it seemed to be in that same spot for the last few weeks.

Last night, I see it is out from its log, but instead of a molt, it looks like it dumped all of its weight, and its movements are strange. It takes weird hesitant steps, and sometimes it seems like it doesn't know where its going, almost moving like it caught something, spinning in weird circles and tapping its spinnerets on the ground, but with no visible silk. It seemed to wander restlessly around the cage for a while before settling in a less than healthy looking position.

I'm using one of the mini-exoterra tanks, which is fresh and brand new for this spider. It has a bottle cap and pebble for water, which it seemed to use, and a hollow log for a hide. I did let the parts of the enclosure remain damp to keep the humidity up, but only in a corner. The air seemed humid enough, but I have no measurements.

The Avic is on the small side, but it isn't nearly as small as my last one, so I figured it might be a little more resilient. This one was at the pet store with a missing leg when I bought my previous Avic. This one molted and survived just fine in a critter keeper with just a bottle cap and pebbles and a little bit of coconut choir (I saw it nearly every other week). It molted and was doing just fine when I picked it up following the death of my previous avic in August.

I wonder if perhaps, it was going to molt, but maybe that spot on top of the log was really dry, and when it didn't go down to get something to drink, it started to loose moisture too much? It is close to a year since it was known to have molted. If it has a new skin underneath, but is refusing to molt, that could explain why its moving so strangely. One odd details is that it almost seems like some of the opisthoma's bristles are matted down onto the surface, instead of being "fuzzy". It was like this for some time though (months), so I don't think those are bristles "under" the skin, but its hard to tell. It did seem to darken right before it went into hiding.

I need to take new pictures of it, but here are some older photos.

These are fairly recent photos from before it went hiding. The opisthoma is maybe 2/3 the size and not nearly as round.




 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
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Snap some more recent photos of the tarantula and some full photos of the enclosure. We'll see if there is something we can help with. From the two you have there the enclosure seems to be a exo-terra or something like it with sparse furnishings. which depending on the setup could be your problem.

Send us some pics and we'll help as much as we can.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
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if one of my spiders gets fat and disappears and than reappears a while little noticeably skinnier, i just feed them again.
also, its genus-species. no sub species.
it looks perfectly healthy and normal to me.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
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if one of my spiders gets fat and disappears and than reappears a while little noticeably skinnier, i just feed them again.
also, its genus-species. no sub species.
it looks perfectly healthy and normal to me.
I think those are the older pics from before it went into hiding and it's a lot slimmer now. So I'm hoping for new photos to see what it looks like now.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
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I think those are the older pics from before it went into hiding and it's a lot slimmer now. So I'm hoping for new photos to see what it looks like now.
good eye. ;)

OP, if its really skinny and is out walking around, throw it some food.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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and when it didn't go down to get something to drink, it started to loose moisture too much?
This can happen, particularly after a molt when they are in their canopy.

If it has a new skin underneath, but is refusing to molt, that could explain why its moving so strangely
They don't refuse to molt. A video of the odd movements would be useful. Many people see odd movements that are perfectly normal once a video is provided.
 

Ghost56

Arachnobaron
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Aug 28, 2016
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443
I've gotta agree with a few others here too on your enclosure. It looks like you have just a piece of cork tube in there with nothing else which isn't going to cut it for avics at all.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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Last night, I see it is out from its log, but instead of a molt, it looks like it dumped all of its weight, and its movements are strange. It takes weird hesitant steps, and sometimes it seems like it doesn't know where its going, almost moving like it caught something, spinning in weird circles and tapping its spinnerets on the ground, but with no visible silk. It seemed to wander restlessly around the cage for a while before settling in a less than healthy looking position.
Some of those symptoms could be caused by pre-molt. In the days and weeks leading up to the actual molt, the old exoskeleton begins to disconnect from the nervous system. During this time, your Avic may not seem to have as good a grip on smooth surfaces and may not seem as responsive or agile.

Confirm that she is still rejecting food, and if she is, make sure she is hydrated. (It's important for tarantulas to be adequately hydrated when molting, because they need to produce lubricating fluid to separate from their old exoskeletons.) When she does molt, it may be time to rehouse her into an enclosure that has more anchor points for webbing. (Plastic plants work well for this.)

I don't know that this necessarily applies to your Avic (mine is elderly, and yours is a juvenile), but my old Avicularia avicularia fasted for 13 months before molting. When she first started to reject food, I assumed that she was in pre-molt, but 11 months in, I began to wonder if she was dying of old age, because she was skinny, lethargic, and looked clumsier than normal when she moved. I didn't expect her to molt successfully.

Then I realized that she was no longer going down to her water dish and wondered if she might just be dehydrated. So I reached in and held the water dish up to her level, and she drank for a good five minutes until I could no longer hold that awkward position. So then I mounted a high-level water dish for her, thinking it might be easier for her to find and use, and she took a long drink from that as well.

A week later, she finally molted. And then she molted again 10 months later. After that second molt, she actually seemed to be better than she had been during the previous instar.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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Where do you get these?
It is a Command soap dish from Walmart. (You just need to block the drainage hole at the bottom.) It works well, because the mounting base sticks to the glass with adhesive strips, and you can lift the dish right off of the base to clean it.
 

CEC

Arachnoangel
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Where do you get these?
Edit* Never mind. She went all fancy on me... lol
Most hobbyists I know, hot glue etc. a Dixie cup or bottle caps to the sidewall.

Many Avic. keepers do this not just for accessibility of the T but also for the keeper. It's easier to refill and clean a water bowl in a top opening enclosure. Lots of times when an Avic gets settled they block the water bowl with webbing and what have you... Trying to pour most of the water in the bowl and not on the substrate can be tricky. Thus, why I prefer inverted or side opening enclosures for Avics. Much easier for maintenance. ;)
 
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Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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Do you block the hole with hot glue?
It's some kind of putty. (If you need to know, I'm sure I could get the name of it from my husband, who had it as part of his work tools and materials.)

Oh, and if anyone was curious, the dish holds 4 fl oz (118 mL) when filled to the brim.


Many Avic. keepers do this not just for accessibility of the T but also for the keeper. It's easier to refill and clean a water bowl in a top opening enclosure. Lots of times when an Avic gets settled they block the water bowl with webbing and what have you...
I have been very fortunate in the placement of both Avic dishes. They haven't webbed the dishes, and they don't foul them up very often. They are both accessible to me and apparently to the tarantulas.



 

CEC

Arachnoangel
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It's some kind of putty. (If you need to know, I'm sure I could get the name of it from my husband, who had it as part of his work tools and materials.)

Oh, and if anyone was curious, the dish holds 4 fl oz (118 mL) when filled to the brim.



I have been very fortunate in the placement of both Avic dishes. They haven't webbed the dishes, and they don't foul them up very often. They are both accessible to me and apparently to the tarantulas.




What style enclosure is that?
 

CEC

Arachnoangel
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The kind with 4 sides ;) I couldn't resist. I've seen the dish, I might give that a try.
It could be a hexagon fish tank for all I know. ;)
If it's 4 sided, I'm guessing an Exo-Terra, Zoo-Med, costume 5 gal on it's side? All those are side opening, though, and irrelevant to my point about top opening (only) enclosures.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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It could be a hexagon fish tank for all I know. ;)
If it's 4 sided, I'm guessing an Exo-Terra, Zoo-Med, costume 5 gal on it's side? All those are side opening, though, and irrelevant to my point about top opening (only) enclosures.
Ah the hex..good point haha ;)

I bet it's 4 sided based on the pic, but if hex, that would be one large hex. I love hex tanks.

I like a dual opening setup, top and front when possible.
 

CEC

Arachnoangel
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Ah the hex..good point haha ;)

I bet it's 4 sided based on the pic, but if hex, that would be one large hex. I love hex tanks.

I like a dual opening setup, top and front when possible.
Couldn't agree more.
 

CEC

Arachnoangel
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I've seen the dish, I might give that a try.
The same thing can be achieved with 2 dixie cups, if your more frugal or have limited space. Just Hot glue the first dixie cup where you want it, and slide the second dixie cup into the first one so you can pull it out for cleaning. ;)
The soap dish certainly looks more upscale, though.
 
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ledzeppelin

Arachnobaron
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Edit* Never mind. She went all fancy on me... lol
Most hobbyists I know, hot glue etc. a Dixie cup or bottle caps to the sidewall.
That's actually a very solid idea.. I have never thought of that :eek: Thanks! I'll now do this for all of them ><
 
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