Retarded/Brain damaged Ts (aka any hope for Special K?)

Code Monkey

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I've got a 1" G. pulchra sling that just ain't right; I've taken to calling it Special K. I got this from Hoke back in June and it's moulted 2X in my care. It's always been a bit "clumsy", moving about sort of like a CP person with flailing of the limbs, and it has always freaked at the tiniest disturbance. In that parental blind spot way I chalked it up to it being a baby, it would grow out of it.

Well, after it moulted at the end of November after a 3 month+ fast, it's been worse. It usually sits with almost all of it's legs pulled off the ground in some whacked defensive pose. If you so much as touch the tank it thrashes around like an epileptic and gnashes the fangs at the ground. If it falls on its back it often can't even right itself. It apparently can no longer work its tarsal claws because it keeps getting its rear legs stuck in the silk it still somehow lays.

It's been 3 weeks since this moult and it hasn't fed yet to the best of my knowledge, and the abdomen is very undersized. I've tried pre-killed, cut open crickets as well as teeny live ones and nothing. I don't even know if it can hunt/eat at this stage of its deterioration.

At any rate, I'm about to the point of popping it in the freezer or giving it a swift whack with a large flat object because the condition does not seem to be improving and appears to be getting worse. If it can't feed, it's going to die of starvation before its next moult. Since it reacts to everything with fang gnashing, force feeding it is out of the question, not to mention the difficulty presented by its small size. I'm also leary of trying to force an obviously damaged specimen to live.

I'm not sure if this was due to an infection that it otherwise recovered from, or if it is a retarded tarantula. Just looking to see if anyone has ever seen a sling with obvious neurological dysfunction that came out of it.


below is a picture of a typical pose for Special K - leaning over on one side, all legs pulled in, fangs extended:
 

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Vayu Son

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I have a Paraphysa scrofa sling that is the same way.

Paraphysa scrofa
recieved from Swift's Invertebrates 5/30/02 spiderling unsexed Ls: 1/4"
molt: 6/17/02 new ls: 1/2"
molt: week of 7/28/02 new ls: about the same ;)
molt: 9/6/02 new ls: haha
molt: 10/20/02

its still about the same size. Will eat a little and then fast for a few months, then eat and molt. The flailing is getting a little better. I about killed it when i put a live pinhead in and it spazzed out for a couple HOURS. now its only dead food for it.

-V
 

Code Monkey

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I guess that means you haven't given upon your special little spider yet.

It's a tough choice to weigh. I suppose the worst possible scenario is it does starve to death before its next moult which, while Darwinian, isn't anything worse than thousands of slings suffer around the globe every day. OTOH, putting effort into something that doesn't look like it's getting better and risking letting it starve to death just to "give it its chance" seems sort of evil too.

I hate decisions like this.
 

Vayu Son

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I thought mine would starve to, but it eventually ate and the day it ate it molted. If the abdomen isnt shriveling id give it a chance.

Here is mine in 'non freak out mode'...its getting better.

-V
 

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Code Monkey

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Mine lacks the coordination to even strike the pose you show there. The legs do not work in concert. When I say it's got neurological issues, they're pretty serious.
 

Vayu Son

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Id still give it a chance. Ive seen alot of spiders worse off than yours pull through. If it starts to curl i would give it the freezer treatment, otherwise it may just fix itself next molt.

-V
 

The_Phantom

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Oh Code, Im so sorry about your little spiders strange condition. I really hope he gets better and you wont have to you know--euthanize. :(
 

Chris

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These are very similar symptoms to some spiders of mine that were frozen during shipping... some of them came back to life but they are very clumsy and unco-ordinated.

Perhaps your spider was frozen before you got a hold of it?
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Chris
These are very similar symptoms to some spiders of mine that were frozen during shipping... some of them came back to life but they are very clumsy and unco-ordinated.

Perhaps your spider was frozen before you got a hold of it?
If it was, it was frozen long before I got it (being shipped from Oklahoma to Virginia in June I don't see to much chance of sudden freezing temps miraculously appearing).

The big problem is getting it to eat. I wouldn't mind keeping the little spaz alive as long as possible if it would just eat but it has so far refused and I'm getting tired of wasting crickets. I guess it qualifies as an experiment to see what happens ;)
 

Gail

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I hope Special K makes it for you - at least you will have documented another of the strange twists in arachnid medicine.
I have had several slings that were deathly afraid of live food but didn't want to eat dead food either. I found that if I simply incapacitated the cricket with a slight head pinch and pinching off the legs so it was still alive enough to wiggle a bit that they would take them. Don't know if it will work for your nut case but it might be worth a try if you can stand being Joseph Mengela to a cricket or two :D

Gail
 

Tarantula Lover

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*sigh*

I hope Special K makes it! Keep on trying and dont give up on it! Keep fighting!! I give luck to special K and you to CM!

James
 

arachnopunks

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I have always wondered if genetically disadvantaged tarantulas existed. I know most animals have these occurances but we have always wondered about inverts. I agree with Gail, at least you have documented this for others to see. I would let the spider live or die on its own and document its progress or regression. You are right, it is no more cruel than if that same spider was in the wild. It would either die on its own or become a meal. I wish someone knew what was wrong with it.

-Jill
 

MrDeranged

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Is it possible that it's dehydrated? You might want to try placing it facedown in a very shallow waterdish and be careful to keep the Book lungs out of the water. Other than that, I can't think of anything else that might help....

Sorry dude,

Scott
 

looseyfur

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munched

only in the pet trade will less then healthy T's be given the chance at life... What ever CM does I am sure it will be the right decision I wish him and speical K all the luck.

Loosey
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by mrderanged
Is it possible that it's dehydrated? You might want to try placing it facedown in a very shallow waterdish and be careful to keep the Book lungs out of the water. Other than that, I can't think of anything else that might help....

Sorry dude,

Scott
Not unless it's been dehydrated for six months. It's not a matter of not being able to extend the legs or anything like that: picture the MOST f'd up person you've ever seen that still had all his or her limbs and could "walk", that's how this spider gets around after the moult. Before the moult it was just a bad Parkinson's victim, now it's the Jerry's Kid of tarantulas.
 

Lycanthrope

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oddly enough my stoutleg seems to have a bit of a hard time walking correctly. sits in wierd places and positions too. right this minute he has 3 legs on his water dish, 3 on the wall of his kk, and 2 on the ground, it looks very wierd.i can try and push him along with a paint brush all i want, he just stands there like a mule, MAYBE taking a step here and there. hes only about 1.5", so im hoping he grows out of it, IF he grows. i feed him .5" crix, which if im lucky he eats 1/3rd of each cricket, leaving the rest to rot. definately a candidate for TDS (tarantula down syndrome).
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by monantony
Code,
Would describe this flailing like a parachuter in a full spread position?
Pretty much, when it freaks and is trying to run it more or less rows itself across the ground with mad, uncoordinated flailing of all limbs.

I had versi babies, about 100 or so and 14 of them had this affliction. They looked normal but when disturbed they flailed thier legs and 'vibrated'. None recovered though, or lasted near as long as yours have....
I'm glad to learn that others have seen this sort of affliction. This is starting to feel like a support group for parents of children with special needs ;)

I have heard the 'freezing' theory too and perhaps it is some sort of nerve damage. Mine <like yours> were never exposed to cold but were exposed to excessive amounts of moisture while in the hammock incubator, the primary reason I had only 100 out of 180 to deal with initially.Perhaps a kinda of mold toxin? Mine died a slow starvation death :-(
Yeah, I have no idea of the cause. It was never visibly ill, just got progressively shakier. Illness or congentital, though, it's definitely not among the strongest and I suspect it's not going to last too much longer. The abdomen is about as small as it can be and still house internal organs and it shows zero interest in food dead or alive.

But, I'm committed to see what happens since it appears to be, if not exactly common, a regularly occuring affliction. This will be one more piece of data out there for people to learn from.
 
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Wade

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Originally posted by monantony
Perhaps a kinda of mold toxin?
I'm wondering about this one. When I moved to my new house, all the critters went into the basement (not a complaint, it's a nice big finished basement). Although it's a pretty dry basement with no mildew odor or anything, it's still a basement and has a higher humidity and limited ventilation. After this move, I had a peculiar rash of deaths among my desert scorpions, previously my hardiest animals. Their behaviour is very much like what Code Monkey is describing for his tarantula. Flailing around at the slightest disturbance, seeming unable to right themselves, etc. Initially, I feared some sort of residual pesticide in the house, but since it only affected desert scorpions and not the many other scorpions and tarantulas (including desert tarantulas), I kinda doubted it. Even my mantids, which I consider to be much more delicate than most arachnids, were unefected. I started thinking about molds, perhaps there was some sort of mold in the basement that was especially bad for desert scorpions. I increased the ventilation on the cages, but I was still losing them. finally, I gave up and moved my desert scorps to my place of work. It's still a mystery.

The behavior is also similar to what happened to two adult females I had die earlier this year, an A. seemanni and a A. avicularia, both of whom died soon after producing eggsacs. I decribed it in a post called "worn out?" awhile back. I speculated that they may have never recovered from the strain of eggsac production. I also thought dehydration was a possibility, I transfered them to "ICU"'s, but nothing helped and they died. I wonder if this could result from any sort of extreme stress, sometimes they may not recover even when conditions improve.

One thing you can try to get some nutrients into the spider is smash up some cricket guts into a liquid paste and try to smear this on the tarantulas chelicerae, hopefully it'll injest some of it. I've also heard of using meat-based baby food this way, but I've never tried it.

Wade
 

Vys

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*pfffffffff*AAAAAhahhahahahaaaaaaahahahah*KLAAANGGG!!* AAAAoooowwwwwAOwAOwAOOWWW!BloodbloooodAOOOO!!

Sorry. Me and CM disagree about most things, however the cynical sense of humour certainly isn't one of them. Had to dang a finger hard against a side of my open chassi to stop laughing.

I truly did not wish to offend anyone.

Anyway, weird affliction :/ I hope it's health takes a turn to the better and makes it able to pull through! Good of you to document and spread the info!
 
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