Needing advice on bad molt

MySpiderJake

Arachnopeon
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Nov 8, 2016
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Im starting off with as much detailed background as possible but i listed my questions at the end if it is easier to skip ahead. So... I am fairly new to keeping T's and from the start everything has gone swimmingly until yesterday :( i feel awful and am willing to do anything to fix the situation if its possible. I was doing my daily check-up on my slings and I found that my ~half inch E. species red had a bad molt sometime during the past 72 hours (he likes to burrow so I don't get to see him every day).
His chelicerae and pedipalps are still stuck in his molt. Since he was up and walking around dragging the molt it was obvious he felt finished with the molt. Using the moistened tip of a paintbrush I tried to see if it would slide off easily or if I could moisten it enough for him to slide it off. No such luck. I tried raising the humidity by dampening the soil as much as possible without making it too damp and warming his cup a bit. Well it's been roughly a day and a half since I did this and there's no improvement. It seems stuck tight like a rubber band. He managed to pull away the rest of the molt aside from what is stuck. I can't tell if this was a freak accident or the most common cause low humidity. His soil seemed a bit (not completely) dry but I didn't want to flood him when he was underground in his tiny cup. And also there were plenty of condensation drops on the lid so I figured the humidity was fine (I obviously may have been wrong). I've tried my best to find answers to these questions so I'm sorry if they're repetitive but these are my questions:
1: Should I be attempting to remove the remaining molt at this point? He is so small I don't want to hurt him. I know they can regrow pedipalps and chelicerae but I don't think it would be helpful to accidentally damage them further or accidentally pull them off.
2. I'm pretty certain it is impossible for him to eat normally on his own in this condition. Should I try giving him a tiny food item and seeing if he can manage or go straight to liquifying food to get him through?
3. Upon next molt assuming he gets there, if I don't remove the current stuck molt, will it be even harder for him to have a successful molt because it seems so tight or could it still slide out normally?
4. My current plan is to not continue attempting to remove the molt as I don't want to pull off his pedipalps/chelicerae. Keep him warm and the humidity high. Offer him liquified crickets/dubias/red runners every few days. Does this seem viable?
Any and all advice is welcome! I care a great deal about my tarantulas and am horrified that this happened :sorry:
 

cold blood

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You did what you can...I have had luck moistening sub and letting the t do the rest, I have also used the damp q-tip, both with some degrees of success.

You're right to be concerned, because it will not be able to eat or drink with the chicerae stuck. Try to get a good pic or three so we can see exactly whats happening.


Losing its fangs would suck, but its not the death sentence doing nothing likely would be. I've nursed a few ts through molts after losing both fangs.

Gotta get it off, and the sooner the better.
 

cold blood

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It is really nerve wracking working these things with small delicate slings.
 

MySpiderJake

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Nov 8, 2016
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20170211_001529.jpg Thank you for your reply. That's exactly what I needed to know. I moved him temporarily to a cup with moist paper towel so I can see what im doing better and so I cold get a picture without a dark background for better contrast.
 

MySpiderJake

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I think he may have ended up getting the molt off his pedipalps but they're a bit mangled regardless. Do I need to do anything to them?
 

cold blood

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Yeah, it can lose legs or palps without consequence....its the fangs you don't want it to lose....again, not fatal if you do, but a real pain.
 

MySpiderJake

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Nov 8, 2016
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Thank you all for your info and help. The molt is really not budging with a stiff bristle paint brush or q tip. I have tweezers but there is nothing to grab onto without grabbing his fang on the inside too. I'm going to keep trying and give him till morning then reevaluate and try again, but Im afraid that leaves only the option of him losing the fangs. Which would bring new questions. If i have to remove the fangs, do I just pull them off with the tweezers? Is there any sort of care to stop him from losing hemolymph etc? When the fangs are gone I'm assuming liquid diet would be the requirement?
 

cold blood

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I would just try harder to remove the exo from the area, and if the fangs pop off, so be it, its better than having an exo stuck on its face.

Yes, should that occur, you will need to alter the diet...it will likely eat with much less frequency, and not fatten as much, therefore the molt cycle will be extended as well.

Many have luck with "cricket soup", but I prefer wax worms, which I bisect and score across that cut. I see the advantage of waxies being that there is nothing hard to get in the way or work through, which will be more difficult for a fangless t.

Just know that the outcome may not end up a good one, so be prepared...but doing nothing will gaurantee that bad outcome.....Good luck.
 

awiec

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Feb 13, 2014
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I usually try to catch these threads, but cb has got you. I think worm guts are your best bet. It's certainly feasable to deal with a fangless spider, if a guy can nurse back to health a legless spider I think yoi will manage with a fangless one.
 
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