G. rosea sluggish and drinking an absurd amount of water...dying of old age or something else?

WiseWarrior

Arachnopeon
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Aug 15, 2007
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My father's G. rosea is acting very bizarrely. For the past few days she's been very sluggish, often times with some of her legs curled under her. She's also been drinking an insane amount of water...the dish isn't large, but yesterday I had to refill it FIVE times, and most of those times were in the evening hours. She was sitting in it a lot as well.

The humidity wasn't low at all, and has never been a problem in my house. I own three tarantulas of my own, one for 9 years, and I've never had humidity issues. He's had the rosea for around 5 years, and she was already an adult when he purchased her. I'm not used to Ts dying, so it's possible this is normal behavior, but the fact that she's drinking such a large amount of water is really confusing me. Could she have some sort of parasite or something that's causing this behavior? Any advice?

(Here's a picture of her in her dish after she finished drinking most of the water)
Marie 2.jpg
 

Bugmom

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Have you noticed any white "goo" in the water dish or on the substrate? Can you get a look at her mouth area?
 

cold blood

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1. Roseas have no humidity requirements, in fact they generally do not like moisture. That said, they can still become dehydrated and yours appears to be. And then there are things that can cause such things, like heat mats or lamps or even space heaters to an extent. Even the turning on of the furnace can really dry out a home quick, and its that time of year.

2. It cant drink an insane amount of water. If it was actually drinking a lot, it wouldn't look dehydrated. One of the reasons water dishes like that are frowned upon is because they're difficult to clean. Any slight amount of web or substrate can wick water away quickly. If the sub beneath the dish is wet, this is the case.

How is it being kept, because you even mentioned humidity I am curious. When did it eat last? When was its last molt? Is it mobile or is it reluctant to move and in a curl, or is it just in that position trying to get the last drops? Ts drink really really slowly.

Can we get pics of the entire set up so we can make more educated guesses.

Parasites are extremely rare and generally found in wild caught specimens, and even if it was, it would have manifested its self long ago, he's had it 9 years, a parasite would have finished that job long ago.....unless he is feeding it wild caught prey items. For instance I've watched orb weavers eating grasshoppers, and while it was being consumed, a parasitic worm was exiting the backside of the hopper. Not saying he is, just asking if.

Its a very nice looking rosea by the way.
 

WiseWarrior

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Aug 15, 2007
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1. Roseas have no humidity requirements, in fact they generally do not like moisture. That said, they can still become dehydrated and yours appears to be. And then there are things that can cause such things, like heat mats or lamps or even space heaters to an extent. Even the turning on of the furnace can really dry out a home quick, and its that time of year.

2. It cant drink an insane amount of water. If it was actually drinking a lot, it wouldn't look dehydrated. One of the reasons water dishes like that are frowned upon is because they're difficult to clean. Any slight amount of web or substrate can wick water away quickly. If the sub beneath the dish is wet, this is the case.

How is it being kept, because you even mentioned humidity I am curious. When did it eat last? When was its last molt? Is it mobile or is it reluctant to move and in a curl, or is it just in that position trying to get the last drops? Ts drink really really slowly.

Can we get pics of the entire set up so we can make more educated guesses.

Parasites are extremely rare and generally found in wild caught specimens, and even if it was, it would have manifested its self long ago, he's had it 9 years, a parasite would have finished that job long ago.....unless he is feeding it wild caught prey items. For instance I've watched orb weavers eating grasshoppers, and while it was being consumed, a parasitic worm was exiting the backside of the hopper. Not saying he is, just asking if.

Its a very nice looking rosea by the way.
1. No heat mats or heaters nearby, and there's no furnace in my apartment. There's a lamp around 4 feet away, but it's been there for many years.
2. That's true, but he's used that dish for years, and I have a similar one for one of my Ts I've used for several years too. The water level goes down rather quickly, normally from full to empty within a week, but the reason this is so abnormal is because it happened 5 times in one day, and that's never even come close to happening. I lifted up the dish and there was barely any spilled water, either. (Note that I cleaned the dish prior to the photo I'm posting, but you can see the extent of the moist substrate in it in the first picture I posted)

Her last meal was almost two weeks ago; I feed her every two weeks. Last molt...I can't remember for sure, but perhaps around 4 years? She's normally pretty active for a rosie, but for the past few days she's been very sluggish. I attempt to move her to get a look at her mouth as bugmom requested (Nothing abnormal there btw) and she put up absolutely no resistance despite normally being quick to attack things in her general vicinity.

And lastly, that's great to hear about the parasites. I go to the pet store for crickets every two weeks for his and my tarantulas, and that's all I've ever fed her. Nothing wild caught. I've warned him of the dangers of doing so, so I know he wouldn't do that.

Thanks for your help! Here's a picture of her setup as requested: IMG_6973.JPG
 

cold blood

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There's good and bad. It does seem too damp around the dish. The enclosure seems very tall, combine that with the falling hazards the hide and water dish are (the main reason people don't like those kind of dishes). So the reaction could be from a bad fall. A damaged t will need to replace lost hemolymph, even if the loss was very minor, which would make the t want to drink as well as being more prone to dehydration.

The possible good, its been 4 years since last molt, and a t nearing molt will generally want to drink prior. My "rosie" never drinks...unless she's about to molt, then she's face first. The bad side of this is that a t will often roam prior to molting (also the only time mine moves around a lot) as well as the loss of grip, which does make them more prone to a fall, and brings us back to the first thought. The final days before molting, sluggishness isn't uncommon.

Because of their reluctance to flick hairs and expose skin, they can be a very difficult species to confidently predict pre-molt without records of several cycles.

Lamps won't cause instant issues, it is something that will wear on the t over time, and manifest its self when a t is most vulnerable...like around molt time.
 

WiseWarrior

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Aug 15, 2007
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It's damp because of the issues the past few days I've had with the water dish, such as the T walking in and out, and me removing it to clean it. I need to remove the top layer of soil surrounding the dish, which I'll do shortly.

And yeah, the cage is high. The T has never really climbed at all so we never thought it wasn't an issue...maybe once a month she'll climb a little ways up the side and then go back down. If she did this recently with poor grip a fall is definitely possible, so assuming it's in pre-molt it's possible that occurred. I can definitely raise the substrate level up to make things safer.

I wasn't aware Ts would continue to molt this late in their life. That's why the thought didn't cross my mind despite the slowed behavior being reminiscent of pre-molt behavior for my (younger) Ts.

Thanks again for your help!

Edit: In removing the damp soil I noticed one of the small moist spots I saw extended deep into the soil...which would actually clear things up. The water dish is one where if it's not positioned correctly water will leak out, but I've always caught it quickly. My dad's moved it around recently in checking on his T, and considering where the spillage occurred it's probably because it was leaking. Meaning I kept filling up the dish not realizing it was moved to a position where the water would leak, and that's what kept happening.

Another positive I noted is that while it looks like she has her legs curled under her, that's not quite the case...she just has a very unique way of standing I'm not accustomed to seeing in Ts...so a lot of my worry seems to be the case of various misunderstood situations.
 
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compnerd7

Arachnobaron
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Apr 6, 2007
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I would be willing to bet that she will molt soon. 4 years without a molt... things are prolly getting cramped inside that old exo, which would cause anyone to become a bit sluggish.
 

KezyGLA

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4 years between moults would suggest quite an old specimen. It could be old age.
 

WiseWarrior

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Sadly, my initial suspicions were correct. She died today of old age. Thank you everyone for your help. My dad really enjoyed all the years he had her for.
 

Andrea82

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Sadly, my initial suspicions were correct. She died today of old age. Thank you everyone for your help. My dad really enjoyed all the years he had her for.
That is really sad...sorry for both your loss :(
 

Nolimit2far

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May 10, 2008
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No kidding man. That sucks, I'm really sorry your T checked out. I lost a 8 inch T.Blondi few years ago. I still miss "Vlad". What a great experience with that big girl. Never a picky eater. Super docile.
 

WiseWarrior

Arachnopeon
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Aug 15, 2007
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Thanks for the condolences! We've had two Ts pass away before, but both right after we purchased them. (A mature male, and a sling) It feels different to lose a T you've had this long. You've seen their personality and grown attached to them. It was also hard since I assumed from the get-go she was dying of old age, so it was painful waiting it out while holding out hope it was something else, like a molt.

But we've made the best of it. Our tarantula family has now grown--we each got a G. pulchripes sling.

Mine:
Olivier.jpg

His:
Dad\'s T.jpg
 
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