ICU Questions...

Sheazy

Arachnoknight
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I have done a few searches and found alot of reasons to use the ICU, and lots of threads about making one...but I have a few questions I haven't seen asked/answered...or I just missed them.

So...

I put my A. avic in ICU yesterday since I came home around 4:30 and found her in the "death curl". Since then she has uncurled and is now hanging on the side as opposed to sitting in the middle like she was. I checked on her a couple times today and she moved rather well compared to yesterday, and seems almost back to normal.

My questions are...

People always say to put the ICU container in a warm dark area. How much warmer are we talking about? For instance...my T shelf sits around a constant 77-78F, and where I put the ICU container is more like 87-89F. Is this too much of an increase, or should it be fine as long as the paper towels stay moist?

Second, How long should I keep her in ICU? She appears to be fine, but I dont wanna assume, jump the gun, and put her back...only to have her do it (curl) again within a day or so. I have no idea what caused it, and she was both eating and drinking regularly prior. Maybe not enough humidity? I need suggestions here guys/gals. I have only had to ICU 2 T's, and one was for a mite problem...this is my first death curl recovery...so post any helpful info or knowledge you guys might think would help! Thanks in advance!!

Original thread can be seen here with pics...

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=98650
 

beetleman

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i always put in the closet,it's always alittle warmer,but not too warm to shock the t,and as for how long,i always give about 2weeks just to make sure it's fine. hope this helps alittle.
 

Sheazy

Arachnoknight
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Apr 19, 2007
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I thought about the closet, but it is the same temp as the room with all my T's. I ended up choosing the garage because it was the only place with a decent temp increase.

What about the rest of you? How much of a temp increase do you give your T's in ICU, and how long would you keep one there if it was in a death curl one day, and seems fine and moving about the next?
 

Sheazy

Arachnoknight
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Anyone else?

Come on...you mean to tell me no one else knows the temperature's you subject them to into ICU?
 

pinkfoot

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Actually your temps in your Avics home look fine, so I doubt it's a temp problem at all. In this case I would ICU at the same temp or as close to it as possible.

More important is the introduction of humidity in the role of an ICU, which you have done, and to good effect, it seems!

Length of time in the ICU depends totally by the response of the spid - I'd leave it in for three days as a precaution once she has made what seems to be a full recovery. :)
 

kitty_b

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i have a 1/2" a. seemanni blue phase in an ICU.... which is just a damp paper towel in place of substrate in the deli cup. as soon as it is acting alert and eating, i'll move it back to a normal cup with substrate. in fact, i put it in last night, and it's already running circles around the cup!

some people keep their critters in ICU for several days or a week. i try not to keep them in there longer than necessary, as i worry about stress from not being able to hide/burrow.
 

Sheazy

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Hmm, okay. Well the lil avic has been in there since friday. When I check on it sat. morning it was already hanging onto the side and walking laps around the ICU. I left it in there, and when I checked again this morning, she was still hanging on the side, and seems very responsive now. I could also tell her legs are turning a dirty pink color, and very thin brown lines are evident...so I know a molt is upcoming shortly.

I guess this little avic is still 1" so it may need more humidity as a sling than I was offering. I know ventilation is not a problem, so I must have more than enough. I will change my misting habits with this one and see if it helps.

Thanks everyone for your input and personal ICU procedures!

Spike is doing GREAT!! (so far...lol) :D
 

sparular

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I think that 80-85 deg. F is a good temp for an Avic. ICU. You want it to be the most comfortable temp for your T so that they are not stressed (unless you are battling an infection). Although they should be fine at 90 deg. , I would put them in the middle of their comfort range. It looks like you just needed some deep moisturizing. Make sure that there is a water dish in the ICU so your avic can drink. It sounds like it was just acute dehydration to me. So, I say, keep her in the ICU until she looks all better then add a day.
Spar.
 

Stan Schultz

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... People always say to put the ICU container in a warm dark area. ...
I think that the idea of an ICU first appeared in the TARANTULA KEEPER'S GUIDE, so I'll chime in here.

Warm: Slightly elevated above room temperature. Anything you'd be comfortable with. There's no magic here. You're merely making sure that the tarantula's metabolism is working at a pace that will allow faster repair/recovery. (Remember that in your home the tarantula's body temperature is effectively room temperature, and their metabolic rate is strongly dependent on their body temperature.)

Dark: As opposed to putting it in sunlight to warm it. Dark, or at least a reduction in light intensity, also makes it a little more comfortable because it'll feel a little less exposed. Less "emotional" stress (Do tarantulas even experience "emotions?") results in less physiological stress results in more attention/energy paid to healing. No magic here either. It's a good story anyway.

... Second, How long should I keep her in ICU? She appears to be fine, but I dont wanna assume, jump the gun, and put her back...only to have her do it (curl) again within a day or so. ...
You can leave a tarantula in an ICU for one or two days, maybe even a third. But after that the bacterial growth on the paper towel (especially if the tarantula vomited or defecated) and even on the tarantula itself can become dangerous. My suggestion would be to thoroughly clean or set up a new ICU every second day. I wouldn't keep a tarantula in an ICU longer than 2 cycles (~ 4 days) though, unless it was still so sick that I thought it would surely die if returned to a normal cage.

Also, of course, depending on what was originally wrong with the tarantula you may want to completely redo the original cage while the tarantula's in the ICU. It makes no sense to try to cure your pet tarantula, then put it back in the same cage that got it sick in the first place!

... I have no idea what caused it, and she was both eating and drinking regularly prior. Maybe not enough humidity? ...
And that, unfortunately, is the state of the art. Probably not, but it's difficult to tell. Very young tarantulas still have not developed an adequate wax layer on their body surfaces to retard water loss, so we keep them in containers with an extremely elevated humidity. As they grow, almost all tarantulas will develop both a thicker exoskeleton and an adequate wax layer to protect themselves from aridity, even extreme aridity.

(Translate that into meaning that fiddling a lot with the relative humidity in your tarantula's cage, almost any tarantula's cage, is a waste of time, effort and money. Use a larger water dish, cover the cage with plastic food wrap and get on with your life instead.)

By the time an Avicularia has a leg span of 2 inches it should have developed a full water containment system, however.

Avicularia have a penchant for dying shortly after being shipped and unexpectedly thereafter. I have no facts as to why but, again, I can spin some fine stories.

The stress of shipping as well as any consequent battering in the shipping container can weaken or injury the tarantula enough that it eventually can't cope with the stresses of adapting to cage life. This may account for the relatively high mortality rate immediately after shipping. Maybe.

Maybe also the shipping stresses weaken them enough that they can't fight off otherwise harmless pathogens. Maybe.

Why would they die unexpectedly after apparently doing well in captivity? I don't know. There is no reason to believe, however, that they don't get sick and die for all the reasons we or any other animal might. Okay, so they don't have a liver, so they can't die of liver disease, right? Right. But they have some other organs that perform the same basic functions of a liver, and if those organs become diseased, it'll kill them just as dead.

So what do you do about your Avicularia? Just what you did. If it appears to suffer a relapse repeat the treatment. And hope for the best.

Best of luck. Hope this helps.
 

JColt

Arachnoknight
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Nice Info Pikaia, Printing this off, thank you!
 

Sheazy

Arachnoknight
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Apr 19, 2007
Messages
155
I think that the idea of an ICU first appeared in the TARANTULA KEEPER'S GUIDE, so I'll chime in here.

Warm: Slightly elevated above room temperature. Anything you'd be comfortable with. There's no magic here. You're merely making sure that the tarantula's metabolism is working at a pace that will allow faster repair/recovery. (Remember that in your home the tarantula's body temperature is effectively room temperature, and their metabolic rate is strongly dependent on their body temperature.)

Dark: As opposed to putting it in sunlight to warm it. Dark, or at least a reduction in light intensity, also makes it a little more comfortable because it'll feel a little less exposed. Less "emotional" stress (Do tarantulas even experience "emotions?") results in less physiological stress results in more attention/energy paid to healing. No magic here either. It's a good story anyway.



You can leave a tarantula in an ICU for one or two days, maybe even a third. But after that the bacterial growth on the paper towel (especially if the tarantula vomited or defecated) and even on the tarantula itself can become dangerous. My suggestion would be to thoroughly clean or set up a new ICU every second day. I wouldn't keep a tarantula in an ICU longer than 2 cycles (~ 4 days) though, unless it was still so sick that I thought it would surely die if returned to a normal cage.

Also, of course, depending on what was originally wrong with the tarantula you may want to completely redo the original cage while the tarantula's in the ICU. It makes no sense to try to cure your pet tarantula, then put it back in the same cage that got it sick in the first place!



And that, unfortunately, is the state of the art. Probably not, but it's difficult to tell. Very young tarantulas still have not developed an adequate wax layer on their body surfaces to retard water loss, so we keep them in containers with an extremely elevated humidity. As they grow, almost all tarantulas will develop both a thicker exoskeleton and an adequate wax layer to protect themselves from aridity, even extreme aridity.

(Translate that into meaning that fiddling a lot with the relative humidity in your tarantula's cage, almost any tarantula's cage, is a waste of time, effort and money. Use a larger water dish, cover the cage with plastic food wrap and get on with your life instead.)

By the time an Avicularia has a leg span of 2 inches it should have developed a full water containment system, however.

Avicularia have a penchant for dying shortly after being shipped and unexpectedly thereafter. I have no facts as to why but, again, I can spin some fine stories.

The stress of shipping as well as any consequent battering in the shipping container can weaken or injury the tarantula enough that it eventually can't cope with the stresses of adapting to cage life. This may account for the relatively high mortality rate immediately after shipping. Maybe.

Maybe also the shipping stresses weaken them enough that they can't fight off otherwise harmless pathogens. Maybe.

Why would they die unexpectedly after apparently doing well in captivity? I don't know. There is no reason to believe, however, that they don't get sick and die for all the reasons we or any other animal might. Okay, so they don't have a liver, so they can't die of liver disease, right? Right. But they have some other organs that perform the same basic functions of a liver, and if those organs become diseased, it'll kill them just as dead.

So what do you do about your Avicularia? Just what you did. If it appears to suffer a relapse repeat the treatment. And hope for the best.

Best of luck. Hope this helps.
Thanks, that is all great information. From what you have mentioned...I think I did pretty much everything as best as I could and now it seems she is fine. If it should happen again I would surely repeat and hope for the best. Thanks again for everyone's input. Glad to know I wasn't doing anything to negatively affect my T as far as temps or length of time.
 
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