megaphobema robustum dead, unusual material in abdomen.

treeweta

Arachnobaron
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A sudden death of a 5 year old M robustum female took me by surprise today, she was curled up after appearing very normal a few days ago.

Anyway i noticed a hard patch on the back of the abdomen which seemed to be one of those 'hernia' type things that some can get but was quite obscured by hairs. Anyway i opened up the abdomen and found in a similar vicinity some very strange material. I will post pics soon but it is a set of 'accretions' of some black granular hard substance, some of which is almost spiky, there are several masses which appear to be made up of individual pieces all stuck together. I have never seen anything hard like that in a spiders abdomen before, its almost gives the impression of being chitinous. the masses were about 0.5 cm each, so quite big for the 6 inch leg span spider. i assume its demise is related to this material.
 

TalonAWD

Arachnoprince
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Maybe a tumor. Its abdomen area is where the heart is.
I'm sorry for your loss.
 

treeweta

Arachnobaron
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Maybe a tumor. Its abdomen area is where the heart is.
I'm sorry for your loss.
thanks.

i was thinking it could be some type of tumor, or some immune response to some pathogens??

im going to bottle it up anyway!!
 

jbm150

Arachnoprince
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I'm sorry for your loss man, thats a tough one to lose. I'm interested though in the pics, I'm curious as to what this granular material might be....
 

Vespula

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I'm sorry for your loss. It'll be interesting to see what the pictures show.
 

treeweta

Arachnobaron
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sorry this is late but heres a photo of the now dried material from the M robustum abdomen. cm scale.

 

treeweta

Arachnobaron
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the female sibling of this spider is showing signs of 'dyskintetic syndrome', shes been very active the last week or so, whereas sh normally hides in her burrow for weeks, her movement is skittish, shes holding legs under....ugghh, anyway ive not use pesticide on dogs since last summer, everything has been stable for months re feeding. anyway when she dies (which im sure is inevitable) i shall open her up and see if shes got anything like the material that her sister had when she died in december....grrr, 2 months ago i had 2 heatly young adult females and a immature male, soon none..very frustrating, my care cant be in question, i grew these from 2nd moult or so spiderlings over the last 5 yeasr.
 
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treeweta

Arachnobaron
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where do you get your feeders from?
ive used a colony of orange head roaches for the last 4 years (i feed them on dry cat food and water), i switched from pet shop crickets after 'white mouth paste' killed some of my blondi spiderlings. The robustum hasnt eaten since it moulted in november, her abdomen is fat and she seemed healthy until about 7 days ago.
 

treeweta

Arachnobaron
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the spider mentioned 2 posts above has now died, the symptoms were DS like but not as pronounced, just skittish but not uncoordinated, she just got less active over last few days and today was just slumped, anyway i'll open her up soon and see if theres anything of the materieal in abdomen that the sibling had....
 

baconmushroom

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I'm sorry for the loss, I hope you can really find the root cause why the T's died we can't really be sure if it's DKS though..
 

treeweta

Arachnobaron
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one thing i do notice about this dead robustum is that despite not eating that much over the last year its abdomen does seem very large, i wonder if its possible that they can get a blockage at the anus and then get a build up of waste that eventually kills them??
 

Upjohn252

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Sorry if Im hijacking, but is this common that crickets bought at a pet store
cause "white paste" around the mouth?
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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Sorry if Im hijacking, but is this common that crickets bought at a pet store
cause "white paste" around the mouth?
My Ts are messy eaters sometimes. I can point out a few of mine with a little crusty paste on the mouth. Unless the paste is alive and moving its just leftovers from the bolus.

I should point out i only use lats and dubia.
 

esotericman

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The anus can get blocked, as I suppose could the spinnerets, but the pigmentation seems a little odd to me. Was the animal webbing and making waste that you know of?

I have yet to see any solid information on "tumors" in tarantulas. I have read of cancerous cells in insects though.

Crickets can carry nematodes which when they infect the tarantula multiply and exit around the mouth parts. It's not common, but always lethal.

I suspect the other animal's death is a red herring, an unrelated event, unless you find the same bodies upon necropsy.

Back to the OP and animal, when was the last molt, and did it seem to go normally?
 

treeweta

Arachnobaron
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My Ts are messy eaters sometimes. I can point out a few of mine with a little crusty paste on the mouth. Unless the paste is alive and moving its just leftovers from the bolus.

I should point out i only use lats and dubia.
the paste thing is different, it some type of disease. I had 4 blondi get it after feeding with crickets from a batch (not implying cause) two spiderlings died within days, 2 large juveniles actually survived it even though they also had the added symptoms of their rear tarsi becomming immobile and hairless, and the bald part of the abdomen became spotted with brown patches, a strange affair, the feet recovered after a few moults.

The symptoms of the paste is that the spiders would climb their enclosure walls constantly, the pasted was obvious in the mouth looking rather like toothpaste in the centre of the mouth, also the spiders had a distinct smell. It all seems disntinct from nematodes which can result in a yellowish mass at the mouth, this is a distictly white chalky paste like substance.
 
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AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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I just wanted to point out the white crust on the mouth isnt always something sinsiter. I have perfectly healthy Ts that are major pigs and stuff 3-4 prey items in their mouth at once and make a complete mess. :p

I have heard of nemetodes. This sounds like a different but similar parsite. :? But if it was a parasite wouldnt any of them infected still be potentially infected and not recover? :confused:

There have been reports of nemotodes living inside of a WC T with no signs until a year later when it died. (I read that in The taranutla keepers guide 3rd edition) Pretty scary as it can spread and destroy your entire collection.

My advice is to treat everything like its potentially infected. I once had a mite infestation pretty bad. I solved the problem by cleaning everything with bleach. (along with using dry substrate on the infected individuals for a period of time but thats a different problem) Since i cleaned and isolated the problem along with killing the mites ive introduced them back with the others i have not had a mite problem since.

Its a pretty big undertaking but one of the only things you can do when the unknown is killing your pets.
 

esotericman

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the paste thing is different, it some type of disease. I had 4 blondi get it after feeding with crickets from a batch (not implying cause) two spiderlings died within days, 2 large juveniles actually survived it even though they also had the added symptoms of their rear tarsi becomming immoblie and hairless, and the bald part of the abdomen became spotted with brown patches, a strange affair, the feet recovered after a few moults.

The symptoms of the paste is that the spiders would climb their enclosure walls constantly, the pasted was obvious in the mouth looking rather like toothpaste in the centre of the mouth, also the spiders had a distinct smell. It all seems disntinct from nematodes which can result in a yellowish mass at the mouth, this is a distictly white chalky paste like substance.

The last time I knew, there were 6 different groups of nematodes which could and did infect tarantulas. The issue is that some eat the animal outright and others literally burp up bacteria which help digest the host. It's a real mess, but we can not assume that all nematode infections look or act the same.

The smell factor is an interesting observation. Was it yeasty or what?

In any case, I don't want to pirate the thread from the solid inner body masses found in this animal.
 

treeweta

Arachnobaron
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The last time I knew, there were 6 different groups of nematodes which could and did infect tarantulas. The issue is that some eat the animal outright and others literally burp up bacteria which help digest the host. It's a real mess, but we can not assume that all nematode infections look or act the same.

The smell factor is an interesting observation. Was it yeasty or what?

In any case, I don't want to pirate the thread from the solid inner body masses found in this animal.
re the paste, to confirm, i have no idea what it was. I do know that the two juvenile blondis survived it, they did ultimately die, one moulted twice but then lost its fangs, the other got to 8 inches and then got severe DKS type symptoms and died about 2 weeks after they started. re teh smell, hard to describe almost a pungent, earthy smell, maybe slighty fruity??? im trying to rmemeber it but it is distinct

---------- Post added at 08:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:05 AM ----------

ok, i opened the abdomen of the second dead female to see if she also had the granular masses. All ive found is a big mass of cream coloured material, i'll assume its stored food?? oddly i'm more used to seeing a brown coloured mass in the abdomen, anyway theres no smell and to be honest aside from this mass (which im sure is lots of organs in reality) the only thing i can differentiate in the interior is the heart at the dorsal surface.

to summarise, this spider had mild DSK like symptoms, but more skittish rather than uncoordinated, drinking water a lot, legs a bit curled under when she was resting. Her abdomen however seemed overly large as she wasnt especially greedy. The sibling with the granules, i didnt notice any other symptoms, she was just found dead one morning in december 2010.

talk about bad luck, 2 seemingly different causes of death in 2 otherwise healthy seeming spiders.




---------- Post added at 08:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 AM ----------

The anus can get blocked, as I suppose could the spinnerets, but the pigmentation seems a little odd to me. Was the animal webbing and making waste that you know of?

I have yet to see any solid information on "tumors" in tarantulas. I have read of cancerous cells in insects though.

Crickets can carry nematodes which when they infect the tarantula multiply and exit around the mouth parts. It's not common, but always lethal.

I suspect the other animal's death is a red herring, an unrelated event, unless you find the same bodies upon necropsy.

Back to the OP and animal, when was the last molt, and did it seem to go normally?
i cant give you any info on the animals excretion, ive actually cleaned out the tank, but interestingly enough, now i think about it there did seem to be a lack of excretion in the tank, not confirmed but something to consider at least. ive had adult spiders seem to lose ability to make web before, they go through the motions but nothing comes out. As for the dead spider, she moulted in november and emerged a seemingly healthy spider.
 
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jbm150

Arachnoprince
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Good lord, I hope someone can chime in here: is that normally what the interior of their abdomens look like? I'd think you'd be able to distinguish something other than the heart, right? I imagine tarantulas store their food as fat, is that what we're seeing here?
 
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