The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
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I've kinda toyed with the idea of making this thread for a while as I've gotten sick of typing the same things out every time someone has a tarantula that shows the slightest hint of jerky movements so I thought I'd try to consolidate everything into a single thread that I/others can just reference in future.

Clarification

"Dyskinetic Syndrome" (often abbreviated to "DKS") is a misnomer based on outdated/incorrect information, a syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition whereas afflicted tarantulas only exhibit one symptom, dyskinesia.
Dyskinesia refers to a category of movement disorders that are characterized by involuntary movements, including movements similar to tics or chorea and diminished voluntary movements (so stuff like eating or walking normally goes straight out the window).

In short, "DKS/Dyskinetic syndrome" is the wrong name for dyskinesia, and dyskinesia is a symptom of an underlying problem.

Causes

We still don't know all of the causes of dyskinesia in tarantulas, however, we do now know that there are numerous underlying causes, these include (but are not limited to);

  • Severe dehydration.
  • Impaction.
  • Internal parasites (e.g. parasitic nematodes. Parasites are generally host specific so this is extremely unlikely to occur unless you purchase a WC specimen that already has them).
  • Poisoning, either from exposure to pesticides (e.g. airborne insecticides, tick/flea medication for other pets) or possibly even household chemicals.
  • Bacterial infection (I'm guessing as a result of improper husbandry).

Treatment

Unfortunately, there are still not a great deal of options when it comes to treating dyskinesia in tarantulas, the symptom lessens in severity and sometimes disappears altogether with subsequent moults if you can keep the tarantula alive long enough for it to do so. If you are able to establish the cause then that might make life a little easier in regards to which treatment options might be worth pursuing.

In cases of extreme dehydration that aren't caused by a sucking stomach issue (thread on checking if a tarantula has successfully moulted its sucking stomach here, this is the first thing I check for when pulling a moult) it's as simple as providing hydration for the affected tarantula, you can either attempt to place the tarantula with its mouthparts over a shallow dish or you can gently flip the tarantula onto its back and pipette drops of water directly onto its mouthparts.

If dehydration is the result of a sucking stomach issue then I'm afraid that this can only be resolved with another moult.

@boina did experiment with a heat treatment that she found in German forums with some success but this only really worked for species from hotter climates though, this option may be helpful if you believe the cause is bacterial or poisoning.

This thread (post #32) and the link below should cover treatment for impaction.
https://tomsbigspiders.com/2017/05/27/tarantula-impaction-revisited/

I think I've covered everything that I wanted to but if there's anything that you think I might have missed then give me a shout and I'll add it in if it's relevant. I hope this clears some things up and can be of use.
 
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Arachnid Addicted

Arachnoprince
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That was very, very informative. I've always thought all of these causes presented similar symptons but "DKS" was something apart. That was really interesting.
 

The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
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StampFan

Arachnodemon
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I'll add flea/tick treatments for pets here. That fits under poison/pesticide, but for some people in some areas they may not think of this insecticide sitting on their pet as a possible culprit, but it is.
 

The Grym Reaper

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I'll add flea/tick treatments for pets here. That fits under poison/pesticide, but for some people in some areas they may not think of this insecticide sitting on their pet as a possible culprit, but it is.
Yeah, that's fair enough, I just limited that entry to pesticides/household chemicals in the interest of keeping it relatively concise, those are broad terms that cover a lot of harmful or potentially harmful substances.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
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@The Grym Reaper @boina if you guys know anything about getting rid of those parasite mites, and dont mind talk a lil bit about it, I'd be glad to read.
Tarantula parasitic mites are extremely rare. If you find any call the nearest arachnologist, they will love to get their hands on some.

Seriously, the mites you find around your tarantulas are harmless scavengers and not parasitic. Read the link @The Grym Reaper already posted.
 

Arachnid Addicted

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Tarantula parasitic mites are extremely rare. If you find any call the nearest arachnologist, they will love to get their hands on some.

Seriously, the mites you find around your tarantulas are harmless scavengers and not parasitic. Read the link @The Grym Reaper already posted.
Just finished to read your thread. Awesome one, btw. I have some doubts myself, though. Mind if I sent you a message inbox?
 
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