Dehydrated Tarantula

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
So, I have a dehydrated tarantula here and I've done my research on how to help her thru this. (with fingers crossed) This morning I walked into seeing her upside down in her water bowl. Having recently shed my first instinct was to get her out of the water to prevent drowning. I have her in a critter keeper to keep a closer eye on her (currently in the "death curl"), wet paper towels as bedding, and using a baby jar lid to keep water in. Is there anything else that I could do to increase her chances of survival? She appears to be drinking and I see her fangs moving here and there. I placed her on the rim of the baby food lid for easy access to the water so she doesn't have to use much energy trying to reach it. I read about how tarantulas legs are like hydraulics. Sometimes it looks as if she is trying to stand but is obviously having trouble due to the dehydration. I have another tarantula which has not had any problems such as this. He regularly uses the water bowl that I provided to him. (I think he believes he is a dog - lol)

My concern is with the water bowl that I included. Should it be slightly deeper than this? I originally had a small water bottle cap in there but it was hard for me to keep refilling it. The water drops in the picture are from me spilling out the excess water. I haven't misted her or anything like that. The only thing I've been doing is refilling the water bowl.

I attached two pictures of Mary Jane so you guys can check out my ICU. This is my first time having to do this so I wanted to run it by the pros. Please let me know if it needs improvement or if there is anything else I can do to help her survive. I took her in because her previous owner was no longer allowed to keep her. So, I really hope she'll be okay.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Danielle
 

Attachments

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
Hey guys! I know this is a common question with regards to the dehydration. I'm sorry for bringing it up. I read everything I could about it and how to hopefully rehydrate my tarantula. I just need a specific question answered about the baby food lid. It's low enough for her and she's right at the rim of it. I figured she'll be okay because if she wants a drink she just has to lean down or use her legs to bring water up. I just want to know if she'll be okay with it and that she'll make it at least thru the night. I also read it may take a few days to rehydrate so I know it's a "wait and see" deal". Thanks! :)
 

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
Tried getting a video of her current behavior to see if you guys think she's drinking. I think she is but I wanted to double check. Sorry for all the questions, pics and video. Just trying to provide you with enough information to help me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y2OFDScnns

Thanks again!
Danielle
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
So, I have a dehydrated tarantula here and I've done my research on how to help her thru this. (with fingers crossed) This morning I walked into seeing her upside down in her water bowl. Having recently shed my first instinct was to get her out of the water to prevent drowning.
So how did you figure it was dehydrated? Was it because it was in the water dish? Was it doing a death curl BEFORE you took it out of the water dish? The pictures aren't too clear, but it doesn't look dehydrated to me. The reason it was on its back was because it was trying to molt. Probably in the water dish to get moisture. Disturbing it while molting is bad and can stress it out and might be why its doing a death curl. And a tarantulas lungs are on the underside of its abdomen, so unless it was completely submerged, it wouldn't have drown.

Research molting.

Post some pictures of its enclosure.

And good luck
 

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
Hey Chris! Thanks for the response. I didn't think she was molting because she just molted a few months ago. I didn't realize it could be possible for her to molt again so quickly. I honestly didn't get a good look at her when she was upside down in the water bowl this morning. I just got worried and my first instinct was to move her. I know it's absolutely not a good idea to move her since being upside down is an indication of the molting process. My gut just told me to react rather than just let her sit there. You are right though....I should have remembered the lungs were on the underside so being on her back in the water wasn't truly a threat since she wasn't fully submerged. I figured she was dehydrated based on her "symptoms" and my research. But I came on here for verification since you guys are the pros.

What do you recommend that I do in the meantime? Should I continue to keep her in the ICU with how the pictures show? Or should I maybe provide her moisture via misting her? I don't usually do that with my tarantulas. But maybe she needs it? Like I said I'm here to ask you guys for help. I have never experienced this before, whatever it may be.

Thanks again and thanks for being nice.
 

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
I'm just going to see what tomorrow brings. Whatever is going on I know that I'm doing what I can to help her. It's sad that I don't know exactly what is happening but I'm trying to think positively.
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
I would keep it in the ICU and hope for the best. Don't directly mist the spider, that will stress it out. I really hope it pulls through. Keeping it in the ICU is about all you can do.

As for molting, how long ago was it? How big is your spider? What and how often do you feed it? And what temperature do you keep it?
 

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
I would keep it in the ICU and hope for the best. Don't directly mist the spider, that will stress it out. I really hope it pulls through. Keeping it in the ICU is about all you can do.

As for molting, how long ago was it? How big is your spider? What and how often do you feed it? And what temperature do you keep it?
The molt was on 4/16/2010 - I know that because I wrote it down. Now that makes me think she could've been in a molt!! Oh man...I am feeling guilty. She isn't very large. I want to say approximately 5 inches from front leg to back. She's always been small since I got her from the previous owner. She only eats crickets and only a 2-3 per week. The temperature is currently mid 70's. I keep them in my computer room. I was planning to move them to a warmer part of the house before winter hits. But before I did that I was planning to buy habitats from tarantulacages.com.

I'm totally bummed. :(
 

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
Almost forgot - the baby food lid, is that okay for her to drink from or should I change it to a small bottle cap? I guess at this point it doesn't matter. I think if she wants a drink badly enough she'll get it. She's still sitting at the rim of the lid. I figured it was best to keep her there rather than keeping her far away from the water bowl.

Anyway, thanks again for your help!
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
Yeah it very well couldve been molting. I would get it something that it would not have to strain to take a drink from. Don't worry about it, every one makes mistakes. Just do what you can to help it pull through. Good luck
 

Redneck

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
1,393
Almost forgot - the baby food lid, is that okay for her to drink from or should I change it to a small bottle cap? I guess at this point it doesn't matter. I think if she wants a drink badly enough she'll get it. She's still sitting at the rim of the lid. I figured it was best to keep her there rather than keeping her far away from the water bowl.

Anyway, thanks again for your help!
The baby food lid is fine.. But you might lift her rump up to make sure her mouth is actually in the water.. Best of luck!
 

Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
1,669
The molt was on 4/16/2010 - I know that because I wrote it down. Now that makes me think she could've been in a molt!! ...
No. They only molt once a year at that size. If she molted in April it means that she's acclimated to the northern hemisphere and won't molt again till next spring if she survives.

... She's always been small since I got her from the previous owner. ...
This explains her northern hemisphere acclimatization. The previous owner helped her through that.

... She only eats crickets and only a 2-3 per week. ...
This is almost too much food for a rose. She could survive on almost half that and still be in great shape.

... The temperature is currently mid 70's. ...
Temperature is a bogus issue with almost all tarantulas. They can adjust to, and thrive at a wider temperature range than we can. If you're comfortable, so is your tarantula.

Are you a newbie? If so, or even if you're just interested, read http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/stansrant.html.

Also, have you read http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/roses.html?

One of the most perilous times in a tarantula's life is the molting period. I suspect that they injure themselves internally and become so sick that they simply cannot heal. Maybe 1/3 of all captive tarantulas die either during a molt or soon after. There's little that you can do about it except give it the best care you can all the time.

If this one doesn't make it, don't give up. Go get yourself another and try again. They really are extremely fascinating creatures, and very hardy to boot. After having a few tarantulas as pets you'll never look at spiders the same way again!

Best of luck.
 
Last edited:

Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
1,669
The baby food lid is fine.. But you might lift her rump up to make sure her mouth is actually in the water.. Best of luck!
I concur. Good call, Tom. Tarantulas (obviously!) aren't like us. For some strange reason we're built with our respiratory system entangled with our digestion system. We have trouble drinking and talking at the same time.

Not so for spiders in general and tarantulas in particular. While their digestive system opens at both ends with the "IN" port on the front, their respiratory system opens underneath, just a little behind their mid-section. So, they can both drink and breath at the same time without embarrassing themselves with a major coughing, spitting spell!

Get the "head end" into the water, keep the "tail end" high and dry.
 

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
No. They only molt once a year at that size. If she molted in April it means that she's acclimated to the northern hemisphere and won't molt again till next spring if she survives.



This explains her northern hemisphere acclimatization. The previous owner helped her through that.



This is almost too much food for a rose. She could survive on almost half that and still be in great shape.



Temperature is a bogus issue with almost all tarantulas. They can adjust to, and thrive at a wider temperature range than we can. If you're comfortable, so is your tarantula.

Are you a newbie? If so, or even if you're just interested, read http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/stansrant.html.

Also, have you read http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/roses.html?

One of the most perilous times in a tarantula's life is the molting period. I suspect that they injure themselves internally and become so sick that they simply cannot heal. Maybe 1/3 of all captive tarantulas die either during a molt or soon after. There's little that you can do about it except give it the best care you can all the time.

If this one doesn't make it, don't give up. Go get yourself another and try again. They really are extremely fascinating creatures, and very hardy to boot. After having a few tarantulas as pets you'll never look at spiders the same way again!

Best of luck.
Thank you so much for this information! Don't worry, if MJ doesn't pull through (which I'm hoping she does) I totally won't give up. I still have a really hardy Rose that I've had for 3 years. He's awesome and my first one. Right now she is doing little push-ups as if she is trying to get back onto her feet. She also raised her abdomen a few times which I'm guessing might be a good sign. Yesterday I wasn't getting much response from her. Today seems a little bit better. But time will only tell. I'm hoping I'll see results by Wednesday. *sighs* Love my little 8 legged kids!!!
 

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
Oh, and I've noticed she might be moving around when the lights are turned off. Not talking like wondering the critter keeper. I mean I have a bottle cap to keep her "rear-end" up and it's moved twice. That leads me to believe she had to have moved. I hope to have good news for you guys in the next few days. The waiting part is horrible but at least I know I took good care of her and I'm here with her now.
 

Dani87GN

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
25
Whoa....MJ is kinda feisty right now. Legs are still curled but there's more activity right now then I've see since Sunday. Her fangs keep moving back and forth, she's doing her "push ups" for a few more seconds than she could yesterday (and barely did any Sunday). Maybe she will pull through!! *knocking on wood & crossing my fingers*
 
Top