Did I Hurt My Tarantula?? :(

Ashes44

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The only way to truly tell if a tarantula is drinking is if you witness it moving to water on its own- face down fangs spread.

When this particular tarantula either recovers (doubtful) or dies, do not collect another tarantula until you read a good book like The Tarantula Keeper's Guide and learn to properly care for it. In the mean time, relocate any tarantulas you find in your area to a more remote place in the vicinity to protect them. The best thing you can do, as others here have stated, leave it alone with the dish of water and hope for the best. Your intervention is only hurting it more. Spiders are not pets, they're like fish... leave them alone and watch them!
She was slowly, slowly moving to the water yesterday when I just moved her to it myself. And then I did watch her drink as you described.
Thank you for the book reference, and I do realize that you are most likely right in what you've said. After reading about Texas Browns for 3 days straight now, I have really just come to a fork in the road about them. Half of the information describes an ideal and docile pet. The other half describes a wanderer. SO, yes I will DEFINITELY do research and I can promise you this is only the beginning for me....
 

Ashes44

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A happy tarantula is a tarantula that isn't being bothered by other beings, including us. They just don't get anything out of interacting with us.
I really do understand this part of it...even though I've made so many mistakes already. I swear my nurturing kicks in so heavily and it's hard for me to not be able to help. I just have to keep reminding myself that my version of helping is harmful to her...and do the opposite of what I feel like doing ha. I'm a nanny, a good one, because of how attentive I was made to be but I'm finally doing what needs to be done because I'm learning sooo much from you guys.
P.S. THANK YOU FOR BEING A GUIDE, instead of condescending. I initially thought I was going to get my hand slapped, or worse, over and over again by people who know what they're doing already. I've been guilty of acting that way about people caring for all the animals I know everything about.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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If you have her in a tub with a lid.. With MOIST paper towels.. Thats all she is going to need at the moment.. You are doing fine with that setup..
One more thing before I leave this thread alone. I will contradict the above established advice by saying a moist environment, or the typical "ICU", for an arid species of tarantula, such as the species in Texas, will not help and will cause stress. Arid species have developed a thicker exocuticle that holds more moisture inside to overcome desiccation and all tarantulas have a thin layer of waxy cuticle on the surface of the exocuticle (or exoskeleton) to repel water. The tarantula, in its natural habitat, obtains sufficient hydration from moist soil within its burrow and from water collected on surrounding vegetation (pers. observation). Paper towels collect water and trap it and does not allow the spider to suck it up into its body to become hydrated and the adaption to dry conditions will cause stress to the spider that is placed into a moist, humid environment. The best "recovery container" for a dehydrated tarantula from an arid region is a dry container with a shallow water dish, or even better, a small puddle of water directly on the bottom of the container. Thus the setup the original poster has now (minus the leaves and branches) is the best for this particular situation.

- Lonnie
 

Ashes44

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The sp. we have here in Texas are not communal.. They would defend their turf if one came onto it..

QUOTE]

Maybe a lil' cheesey, but YAY for having a fellow Texan here :)
But where the hell is Tatum??
And our Ts don't sound much different from us in defense of their turf, do they??...jk
 

Ashes44

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One more thing before I leave this thread alone.

Thus the setup the original poster has now (minus the leaves and branches) is the best for this particular situation.
1. Thanks again for all your help.

2. Original poster's name is Ashley. Hope to stay connected here at Arachnoboards.

3. Sorry bout the leaves and branch - it looks silly even to me. She was aggressive when I got her into it and the kids were squeemish and it was a quick kind of setup. And now that I'm leaving her alone, they'll have to stay until whatever happens happens....
 

Redneck

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The sp. we have here in Texas are not communal.. They would defend their turf if one came onto it..

QUOTE]

Maybe a lil' cheesey, but YAY for having a fellow Texan here :)
But where the hell is Tatum??
And our Ts don't sound much different from us in defense of their turf, do they??...jk
LoL! There are many Texans here..
Tatum is 45 minutes west of Shreveport, La...
About.. 2.5-3 east of Dallas..
I think its a 4 hour drive to Houston..

Its a small town.. :)
 

NChromatus

Arachnosquire
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Jul 29, 2009
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I really do understand this part of it...even though I've made so many mistakes already. I swear my nurturing kicks in so heavily and it's hard for me to not be able to help. I just have to keep reminding myself that my version of helping is harmful to her...and do the opposite of what I feel like doing ha. I'm a nanny, a good one, because of how attentive I was made to be but I'm finally doing what needs to be done because I'm learning sooo much from you guys.
P.S. THANK YOU FOR BEING A GUIDE, instead of condescending. I initially thought I was going to get my hand slapped, or worse, over and over again by people who know what they're doing already. I've been guilty of acting that way about people caring for all the animals I know everything about.
You're doing great already- you've already demonstrated the dedication.

It's just a matter of tranforming that dedicated drive to the patience involved in working with tarantulas. It is so different than working with other animals, or people.

One of the greatest quotes I ever heard about tarantulas is that "Nothing ever happens quickly in the tarantula world." I think that was either from the TKG or Sam Marshall's "Tarantulas and Other Arachnids," but I can't remember which.

It's just a very different kind of animal from those mammals we're used to interacting with, and a very different kind of approach.

Once you get used to the approach, you might like it. It's big picture- Zen, actually.
 

NChromatus

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The sp. we have here in Texas are not communal.. They would defend their turf if one came onto it..
For the record- there most definitely is a "chance" of there being a "colony" of tarantulas in an area where you found a tarantula.

There is a very large difference between a colony of tarantulas and a commune (a communal group) of tarantulas.

No, Aphonopelma are not communal tarantulas. However, like most tarantulas, they do live in colonies. I.E., they don't live in the same burrow, but they do live in different burrows in the same geographic area as each other. Schultz, TKG, p. 86 (2009).

A colony of tarantulas is a group of tarantulas spread near each other geographically, particularly with regard to their burrowing behavior. They live near each other, but not together.

I'd say there is an excellent chance of a colony of that species nearby you. If you could identify an area where there might be such a colony, and you can nurse the tarantula back to health, it might be better for the colony if you put it back, especially if it's a female.
 
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Ashes44

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Great news

Athena is comin' back with all her attitude :)
When I checked on her after work, her legs were more spread...not all the way but DEFinitely not in death curl mode anymore...and she was nearly out of water. When I added more I spilled too much so I fixed that situation, and Athena was trying to kick hairs at me...it was so good to see that!!
SO YAYYYY!!!!!!!! And don't worry everyone, I will be leaving her alone from here on out until I get her kick ass terrarium!
 

Redneck

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Athena is comin' back with all her attitude :)
When I checked on her after work, her legs were more spread...not all the way but DEFinitely not in death curl mode anymore...and she was nearly out of water. When I added more I spilled too much so I fixed that situation, and Athena was trying to kick hairs at me...it was so good to see that!!
SO YAYYYY!!!!!!!! And don't worry everyone, I will be leaving her alone from here on out until I get her kick ass terrarium!
Glad to hear she is doing good for ya! :D
I am feeling all giddy! {D
 

super-pede

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Athena is comin' back with all her attitude :)
When I checked on her after work, her legs were more spread...not all the way but DEFinitely not in death curl mode anymore...and she was nearly out of water. When I added more I spilled too much so I fixed that situation, and Athena was trying to kick hairs at me...it was so good to see that!!
SO YAYYYY!!!!!!!! And don't worry everyone, I will be leaving her alone from here on out until I get her kick ass terrarium!
that's great news!
 

belljar77

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Ashley- just wanted to wish you luck with your new hobby! Sorry you had to discover it the way you did, but once you've started...I'll just hazard a guess that this won't be your last tarantula. I hope she makes a full recovery.
 

Redneck

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I wouldnt try and feed her yet..
Just keep offering her water at the moment..

Her getting hydrated is more important than her eating..
 

Ashes44

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Athena's Status = FANTASTIC!

Just wanted to thank everyone again for helping out with Athena!
She is doing very well and is eating and drinking. She's pretty inactive unless I'm giving her more water, but she is happy in her space :)
Just an overview of how she came back to health: I finally listened to all your advice and left her alone for 3 days. Made sure she had water and then when I went to add more water, she was feisty. Almost back to full strength with her hair kicking. Then I left her alone for another 3 days and she was walking around when I turned on the light. She ate two of the three crickets I gave her and since then I've just become very accustomed to letting her be :)
 

Redneck

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Just wanted to thank everyone again for helping out with Athena!
She is doing very well and is eating and drinking. She's pretty inactive unless I'm giving her more water, but she is happy in her space :)
Just an overview of how she came back to health: I finally listened to all your advice and left her alone for 3 days. Made sure she had water and then when I went to add more water, she was feisty. Almost back to full strength with her hair kicking. Then I left her alone for another 3 days and she was walking around when I turned on the light. She ate two of the three crickets I gave her and since then I've just become very accustomed to letting her be :)
Yay! Glad to hear she is doing good.. :D
 

Hentzi

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That is fantastic news you will have to put some pictures up for us all to see :)
 
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