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oh my god!

veronyka

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
I came home from a long day of work today to see my a. avic looking really really strange. I looked closely and now I see that she is molting!Yayy... except for one thing.. I gave her a cricket last night. I am now watching that cricket like a hawk, since I had no idea she was going to molt today. I was thinking, do I risk it and kill the cricket now, or do I wait till shes done then immediately kill the cricket, and I guess I need to wait because I figure disturbing the molt now will definitely kill the T. :( So now my fingers are crossed that the cricket doesn't move. Now I wish I still had my camera.
 

Code Monkey

Arachnoemperor
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Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
3,786
Odds are you should remove the cricket now rather than later because it's really, really hard to disturb a T *in* the state of moulting but it's really, really easy to disturb them right after they finish when they're most susceptible to injury.
 
G

Garrick

Guest
Don't worry too much. This has happened to me more than I like to admit. . . you get so many spiders and sometimes it's hard to remember where they are as far as molting.
Anyway, it has happened where a cricket tried to make an easy snack with a molting spider, or the spider has gotten so pestered that complications are caused, BUT I have never seen such things occur personally. I think it's rare and your spider will be back on its feet before the cricket has any idea of what's going on. Sweat not.

-Garrick
 
G

Garrick

Guest
Um, I see someone replied the same time I did. I must respectfully differ about disturbing a tarantula during its molt. It is VERY easy to injure them at such a time. They've really gotta work to slide their legs out past those tight joints. If too much time is lost or if energy is diverted, they can get stuck. Seen it- it ain't pretty.

-Garrick
 

veronyka

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
Well I think my spider is almost done. I want to wait because I have no intentions of touching the spider when she's done, but I want her to be able to rest in peace without that pesky cricket. I just don't trust it. I guess it's good I came home when I did. My spider was molting in between the side of the cage and the log I have on its side. Now she's on the bottom, and it looks like she's about done.
If I were to open the cage, it would create a disturbance just by the fact that the lid is loud and sorta "pops" open. The spider always jumps when I open it, and that's why I think I should wait.
 

Code Monkey

Arachnoemperor
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Jul 22, 2002
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3,786
The point is I've never seen a moulting spider react to *anything* - they're moulting, they might as well be in a coma for their ability to react. There was an article in the ATS journal about how a T which was completely paralysed before and after by a pepsis sting was still able to moult normally - completely different set of nervous input/output going on there.

I've popped lids off, rearranged stuff in the cage to take photos. The moulting spider just does its thing. People can be paranoid if they want but so long as you aren't touching your moulting spider it's not going to disturb it at all in my experience.
 

veronyka

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
Hmmm.. I've read stories of people who disturbed their spiders and that was the end of it. Plus this cage is narrow and I sometimes have trouble chasing the crickets around the bottom. This time the cricket is on the other side of the waterdish, so I think I'm ok for now:D
 

Code Monkey

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I think it's a matter of what will disturb your spider - moving the cage, opening the cage, etc., don't disturb a moulting T in *my* experience. Anything which actually moved or otherwise touched the T itself might interrupt the process and, yes, bad things would ensue.

My policy on cricket removal in your situation, and I've been there where you can't guarantee where the pesky bugger is going to go, is to outright kill the cricket by using something I can swiftly trap it against the substrate with and smash it. No danger to the T, no disturbance to the T. I'm sure you'll be fine because the 'cricket killed the moulting' T stories are about as frequent as the 'I disturbed my T durring a moult and it died' stories ;)
 

veronyka

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
I managed to remove the cricket finally. It jumped away once but I smashed it with my tweezers and flushed it :D now she can molt in peace. Actually, I think she may be just about finished but I want to give her a while before I intrude.

I have horrible picture quality on my cam but here's the girl in action =D
 

Attachments

Botar

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,442
I have a T blondi that lost 3 legs in a molt. I was sure she was going to die afterwards, but she made it to the next moult (and I had the humidity problem fixed) and regenerated all 3 lost legs. Now she is doing fine.

I try not to disturb them at all during a molt, but that is more of a precaution than a practice out of experience or scientific knowledge.
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
While it seems like the situation has passed, I'd like to echo what Code_Monkey has to say. Allowing prey items that can bite back to hang around a weakened individual is to be avoided. It is often quite easy to sneak into an enclosure and kill a cricket -- the exception being one of our P.regalis, who live in very tall glass jars without particularily large openings (they came in the containers, they seem to like them, so we've left them in there). In this particular case I managed to slip a wooden spoon handle into the enclosure. Crickets are predictable in that they follow edges, so I just set up half an inch off the substrate at the very edge and waited for the cricket to move under my spoon before crushing it.

As for disturbing them, I've moved juvies mid-moult and immediatley post-moult before I realized they were moulting. Granted, I didn't open their containers, but they usually realize when they're being air-lifted to a new location.

Cheers,
Dave
 

veronyka

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
Well I tried glycerine for my spider, since she's been in this molt for 3 days now :( but it seemed to help so far. She didn't struggle when I put the drops on, it's as if she knew I was there to help. I actually think she's going to come out of it ok :)
 

Code Monkey

Arachnoemperor
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Jul 22, 2002
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I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but if your T has been in a moult for three days, your T will at best be an invalid until it's next moult, and that's assuming it successfully did moult the pumping stomach conduit parts and you are up to the job of feeding it by hand, it's legs will be useless. Once the carapace top is popped there's only a few hours the T can get out, after that the new skin begins to harden.

Stan Shultz has reported on some success with using a scalpel to remove the old skin from the trapped legs but that is in the first hours of noticing the problem, not days afterwards.
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
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Aug 15, 2002
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I understand, however, that the legs are out and the T is walking? And basicaly the moult is just stuck to the T. Rather unglamorous, but much less severe than a bound T.

Cheers,
Dave
 

MrDeranged

He Who Rules
Staff member
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Messages
1,951
Veronyka,

How much of the T is out of the old skin? Is it all the way out and part of it is just being dragged around? Or is it that part of it is still in the old skin? and if so, what part is still in the old skin?

Scott
 

Code Monkey

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Jul 22, 2002
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We need an update!

I may have jumped the gun with my doom and gloom pronouncement, but then I would never have said a T was stuck in a moult if the legs were actually freed - it would be like Dave said, stuck to a moult which is easy to free. Sometimes the abdomen portion of the exuvia will wind up sticking to them if they rest too long in the old skin - that's a simple matter of catching the old sking and gently peeling it off.

But, if the legs are trapped, then there is relatively little to do at this point unless you are confident you can remove all of the old skin without piercing the new.
 

veronyka

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
Ok here's the update....
It looks like Code Monkey's outlook may be the correct one. I separated the rest of the skin from the T, and she looks like she will be OK.. but as it turns out some of her legs are deformed, and I am not too sure she will be able to walk. Right now she can't but if I have to feed her by hand, I will. All the old skin is off, and she is alive, so I am happy about that. She has all her legs, and both pedis but it appears her front two legs on her right and her front leg on her left were stuck in the molt. When I pulled them off all legs are complete and whole, but now I feel bad that I didn't know what to do 3 days ago :( Anyway, now I can hope for a healthy spider if I hand feed her and she has a better molt next time. But how do I make sure now that she can drink her water?
 

veronyka

Arachnoknight
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Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
On a high note.. I just found that one of my b. vagans slings just molted :) She's gonna be so pretty when she gets bigger :)
 

Code Monkey

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Jul 22, 2002
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Hey Veronyka, sorry to hear it wasn't just a 'stuck to the moult' situation, but at least your T is still alive, so we've still got hope.

When you get a chance, get the best picture(s) you can of your Avic in a 'normal' splayed leg pose and let anyone with experience on these boards give you an opinion on whether or not the deformed legs should be left alone or amputated. I would also post a link to the picture(s) with the same question to the ATS_enthusiast group on yahoo.groups. If they're too deformed, the problem is that the legs will definitely become trapped on the next moult.

You'll have to evaluate your T's mobility and ability to care for itself over the next days and weeks. If it can't capture prey or drink from a water bowl or even misting, you can kill two birds with one stone by cupping it in your hand and dribbling a soupy mixture of smooshed up cricket and water into the mouth groove every few days.

Keep us posted.
 

veronyka

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
221
Well.. upon closer inspection, it was her pedipalps that were stuck in the molt as well as part of two legs. Now, all the legs except 1 & 2 on the right side appear to be small and freshly molted but her 1 & 2 are big and fuzzy. I peeled all the exuvium off so I know it's not that. However, her legs are all rather bunched up at this point but she is able to move a little, she's not totally paralyzed. I do plan to hand feed her and maybe place a very shallow bowl she can just walk into rather than the one she has now where she has to climb up on it. Her fangs and body all appear to be normal. When I get a chance, I will take a picture and post it. Hopefully I wont have to amputate, as that would break my heart. But if it's the only way to keep her in good shape I will do it. Anyway, I will keep you guys posted.
 
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