Mysterious illness that killed off alot of my Ts

CRX

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
171
Hey guys. I've decided to get more Ts and get back into the hobby after a year and a half of absence, but I really want to know what exactly happened to my first Ts.

It started about 2 years ago, when I ordered my first batch of T slings. They all did fine, webbed and ate normally for a couple weeks, but slowly and inexplicably they all began to waste away and die. I KNOW it wasn't from being kept in an incorrect habitat, I've always been very attentive about that stuff. Here's what would happen:

1. The T would stop eating and become very skittish.

2. 2-4 days after that, whenever it moved it would flail it's legs around like it was struggling to gain a footing.

3. The leg flailing and skittishness slowly got worse and the T would die within a week.

Now, I had no idea what was going on and this was very traumatic for me to have my beloved Ts dying for no clear reason. But one day when I was cleaning out the tank I keep my crickets in, I noticed a few of the crickets were acting similar to the way the Ts acted. Then it dawned on me. Whatever was causing this to happen to the crickets was spreading to the Ts somehow, probably by feeding them the diseased crickets. Since then, I've been very careful not to feed any diseased crickets to my remaining three Ts, and they're still doing fine.

My question is, is there a name for this disease, and has it happened to anyone else's Ts?
 

Leviticus

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Oct 10, 2006
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357
From that description it sounds like Dyskinetic syndrome. This thread below should have some answers to your questions although there is still much unknown about this problem.

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=17135&highlight=diskinetic+syndrome

Welcome back to the hobby by the way. It is a wonderful one. I personally have not experienced this issue but have had friends that have and read much about it. As you noted many believe that the food supply is the key.
 

jonnyquong

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
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Oct 20, 2008
Messages
139
Dyskinetic syndrome is simply a catch-all name for something ailing a tarantula that we don't understand. More specific info would help... what kinds of tarantulas, ages, environments, etc. Sounds like perhaps like a poison of some kind. Got dogs or cats? Use Frontline or a similar flea & tick (arachnid) killer?
 

Tindalos

Arachnoknight
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Sep 1, 2009
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158
it sounds like poisoning, i wish i could be of more help, sorry for your loss.
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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Jan 30, 2010
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590
Glad to hear your re-entering the hobby. I highly suspect contamination from handling your T or the feeders you give them. What exactly is contaminating them is anyones guess. Another thought. What kind of water do you give them? Maybe your tap water is the culprit. :? Let us know what you think may have happend.
 

come2imagine3

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
27
Also were you spraying any air fresheners(glade) around the area, that too will kill t's and feeders. That happened to a member on arachnophiles.
 

CRX

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
171
I can say without a doubt it was not poisoning. I NEVER spray any air fresheners, bug spray, or anything around my animals. I'm far too paranoid to do stuff like that. My mom puts frontline on the dogs once a month usually, but I don't even touch them until that stuff is dried, and before I feed my Ts or clean their enclosures, I *always* wash my hands thouroughly.

And I do give them tap water, but if the tap water was the cause, it doesn't make sense that only some of them got it since they were all drinking the same water. Like I said, I highly suspect they got it from the diseased crickets since the crickets were basically showing the same symptons as the Ts. And after reading a bit in that dyskinetic syndrome thread, that sounds exactly like what was happening to my Ts.

Oh, and for the person that wanted to know the specifics of the Ts that died and their enclosures. I had them all on coco fiber, and I had proper humidity levels for each species.

x1 Stromatopelma calceatum sling. It was about 1/3'' and housed in a small deli container.
x2 Psalmopoeus cambridgei slings. They were 1/3'' and housed in large pill bottles.
x1 Poecilotheria regalis sling. It was 3/4'' and housed in a medium sized deli container.
x1 Aphonopelma behlei sling. It was 1/2'' and housed in a small deli container.
x1 Heteropoda venatoria. Even though it wasn't a T, it displayed the same symptoms as the Ts. It was 2" and housed in a large critter keeper.

The second batch of Ts that died a couple months later:
x1 Pterinochilus murinus. This was my first T of all time and I had him for a while before he died. He was 3'' and housed in a large critter keeper.
x1 Heteroscodra maculata. She was a sub-adult female and died around the same time the P. murinus did. She around 3'' and housed in a 10 gallon tank.

I realize such a large amount of Ts dying close together sounds like poisoning, but like I said, I'm 99% sure it was not poisoning.

Oh and one more thing. I found this video in the DS thread:

http://video.google.pl/videoplay?docid=-6407574570189818122#

That is *exactly* what was happening to my Ts.
 
Last edited:

Sleazoid

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
241
It seems on a more recent DKS thread that a lot of people came to a conclusion that frontline is a very likely suspect for DKS. One of my T's died from DKS a few months back, and my dog always uses frontline and stays in my room.
 

Crysta

Arachnoprince
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Feb 18, 2005
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1,475
Front lines an oil and is really hard to remove... and since you do it once a month it could very well be the cause.. (are fleas that bad? i had a dogs all my life and they only got fleas once, and that was cured with a dish soap bath... lol)

theres a lot of threads on this subject already.. dog rolls on carpet, touches your cloths, etc.
You pet dog, frontline gets on you.. you touch crickets...crickets touch crickets, and crickets touch spiders..

anything insect/arachnids going to enjoy the pleasures of frontline...very powerful stuff if you're not careful.
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
Old Timer
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Jan 30, 2010
Messages
590
Alot of people with tarantulas with dks have been exposed to frontline. Seems like its a better product than we have been led to believe... :barf:
 

CRX

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Dec 28, 2008
Messages
171
Front lines an oil and is really hard to remove... and since you do it once a month it could very well be the cause.. (are fleas that bad? i had a dogs all my life and they only got fleas once, and that was cured with a dish soap bath... lol)

theres a lot of threads on this subject already.. dog rolls on carpet, touches your cloths, etc.
You pet dog, frontline gets on you.. you touch crickets...crickets touch crickets, and crickets touch spiders..

anything insect/arachnids going to enjoy the pleasures of frontline...very powerful stuff if you're not careful.
It's not exactly once every month, just generally every month. During Dec-Feb they don't get frontline at all. But the thing is, the first batch of Ts died in January and at that time it had been at least two months since the dogs had gotten their frontline.

And yeah, during the summer/spring and sometimes in the fall fleas are very bad here.
 

Le Wasp

Arachnoknight
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Oct 25, 2007
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245
It's not exactly once every month, just generally every month. During Dec-Feb they don't get frontline at all. But the thing is, the first batch of Ts died in January and at that time it had been at least two months since the dogs had gotten their frontline.

And yeah, during the summer/spring and sometimes in the fall fleas are very bad here.
I also think frontline is to blame here. Most of the other folks who observed DKS in their Ts have used frontline -- and that's too much of a correlation to be coincidental. DKS seems to be caused by exposure to barely lethal doses of the chemicals used to kill ticks. Since ticks are so closely related to tarantulas, these chemicals have the greatest effect on your spiders. The delayed reaction makes sense with the kind of nerve damage that may be causing the DKS. Not a lot is known about the mechanisms behind DKS, but it makes sense to me that it can be caused by a chronic exposure to sub-lethal doses.

If you're going to continue with flea treatment, I'd recommend switching to one that doesn't target ticks. Ticks are usually easy enough to find and remove from dogs anyway, while fleas are super tiny and can build up populations rapidly. My dogs are on flea & heartworm pill meds and I haven't had any unexplained deaths.
 

Stopdroproll

Arachnoknight
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Aug 27, 2006
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I also remember someone experiencing DKS symptoms and was treating their dog for flea.
 

Sleazoid

Arachnoknight
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Jul 18, 2010
Messages
241
I am going to take my dog to the vet today anyways, might as well pick up some flea medication that doesn't involve ticks. Better safe than sorry, I have already lost one my slings to it.
 

CRX

Arachnoknight
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Dec 28, 2008
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171
I'm still doubtful that frontline caused it since it had been two months since the dogs had it when the Ts died. But if you guys are that sure frontline is the problem, I'll tell my mom she needs to get a new flea medication.
 

AudreyElizabeth

Arachnodemon
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Feb 10, 2003
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744
I'm still doubtful that frontline caused it since it had been two months since the dogs had it when the Ts died. But if you guys are that sure frontline is the problem, I'll tell my mom she needs to get a new flea medication.
No one can be 100% sure, but it is a possibility.
I have dogs, and I use Comfortis, which is oral. It targets fleas and works very well.
I don't like using anything topical for flea treatments; not with tarantulas and feeder insects at risk. I just think about how much dog hair I vacuum up; I don't want anything floating around that could be a hazard.
Hopefully you'll have better luck this time.

You said your crickets were exhibiting the same symptoms?
Where do you get your feeder insects?
 

AprilH

Petridish
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Oct 2, 2005
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85
Frontline is labeled as monthly for ticks, every 2-3 months for fleas. It lasts longer than a month, so it's not doubtful at all. I don't need flea/tick control for my cats, but when I moved I bought Program (oral monthly treatment) in case there were fleas or anything at the new place. I never used it though, but there are other options that are much safer than Frontline.
 

jimip

Arachnosquire
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Oct 26, 2010
Messages
103
I HAD NO IDEA i was just about to switch my dog over to frontline. hes due for a switch up at the moment hes on a pill he loves to chew up. maybe ill keep him on that.
 
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