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Dks caused by bad food?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Ferdinandpol, Dec 4, 2019.

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    Just had another little sling, H puclhripes, show symptoms of DKS. This is my second time around after my chaco golden knee sling had one before. Unfortunately died. The chaco was powerfed and showed symptoms suddenly, her sister which was fed slowly didn’t get dks. My h pulchripes now shows symptoms after being fed a newly molted nymph lats. Later it showed jerky movements and this morning I’m now pisitive it’s DKS. There might be other factors but I’m starting to lean into the cause of DKS is bad feeders. What do you guys think?

    EDIT: Reading some older threads which says "DKS" is caused by contaminated food

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  2. sasker

    sasker Arachnoangel Active Member

    There is consensus that what is called 'DKS' is caused by chemicals, such as pesticides. Powerfeeding has nothing to do with it. By the way, powerfeeding is a term that does not really apply to tarantulas. They eat, go into pre-molt and stop eating, molt, and eat again. Feeding tarantulas a lot does not necessarily increase their growth speed. One could slow down growth by feeding less, and higher temps in combination with enough food gives the maximum growth rate, but it does not speed up the growing process. It only lengthens the period during which the tarantula refuses food before molting.

    As for the DKS symptoms, do you have other pets, like cats or dogs? Are they treated against flees? Do you spray against mites and flees or perhaps mosquitoes? A friend of mine had his cat treated with fipronil. He must have pet his cats prior to feeding the tarantulas because one of them became shaky and disorientated. He had no idea that tarantulas respond so strongly to insecticides :rolleyes:

    Edit: DKS symptoms can be caused by food that has been exposed to harmful chemicals.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  3. Awesome insight! I wasn’t suspecting the powerfeed to be the cause of the DKS but the continuos feeding that might have led a chance a “contaminated” food to be fed.

    As for pets, I do have a dog that was treated from flees a week ago. My h pulchripes might have had gotten the ‘dks’ by then but just showed symptoms now, but if that were the case, then shouldn’t my other Ts have showcased signs as well?
  4. sasker

    sasker Arachnoangel Active Member

    It depends on how much this particular tarantula has been exposed. These chemicals are very effective against inverts. Only trace amounts are required to have an effect. If you have just pet your dog prior to feeding your tarantula, he might have gotten a higher dose than the others. Also, I suppose not all animals respond equally. Just like humans. Breathing in asbestos particles increases the chance of lung cancer, but not 100% of the people who have been in contact with asbestos get lung cancer.
  5. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    That is not entirely true. Feeding a tarantula heavily between moults will indeed result in a larger spider when it moults, contra if the same tarantula was fed less. The more heavily fed tarantula will stay in premoult for longer though! So in one way, powerfeeding is not entirely wrong term to use. But i dont really know the meaning of powerfeeding actually. I guess it is more fitting for reptiles?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  6. Arachnophoric

    Arachnophoric Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    Dks-like movement can also be caused by dehydration and improper keeping conditions. Not just poisoning.
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  7. sasker

    sasker Arachnoangel Active Member

    I know that ball python keepers sometimes powerfeed their animals to get them sexually mature asap. There is a significant shortening of the time required to get them to maturity, which cannot be said about tarantulas. The feeding regime has some influence on the growth rate of tarantulas, but to call this powerfeeding? Many keepers give their slings as much food as they can eat to get out of their fragile sling stage quickly. But after some time molt cycles just get longer and longer. Eventually you will just end up with prolonged periods of fasting or with overly obese tarantulas. At this point 'powerfeeding' has lost its purpose.
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  8. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnoreaper Arachnosupporter

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  9. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Yes, but i have heard from a friend of mine who is a arachnologist, and from an american arachnologist that feeding spiderlings heavily will result in larger more healthy adults that are more sexual fit! Contra if spiderlings are fed less.
    One of those arachnolohist have made experiment on wolfspiders that confirm this. Another experiment involved slingd that where fed on one prey item VS slings that where fed diffrent types of prey. The ones that where fed diffrent prey had a higher survival rate. Now, i am no scientist, but i have no reason to doubt their knollage.
  10. sasker

    sasker Arachnoangel Active Member

    I totally believe you. If feeding your tarantulas the optimum amount of food to grow strong and healthy tarantulas, then you could call this power feeding. The practice of power feeding is somewhat of a controversial topic with regards to reptiles such as ball pythons. I have never kept reptiles, but what I understood is that these animals are fed a lot to speed up their growth to more than what is healthy for them. It is said to shorten their lifespan.

    The OP mentioned that one of his tarantulas was 'powerfed'. For as far as I know, this is not really an issue with tarantulas. You either feed them enough (a.k.a 'power feeding) or you kind of starve them.
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