sling acting strange

Kent

Arachnopeon
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Oct 12, 2010
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hi just wanted to know if anybody might have an answer to why my chilean red sling over the past few days is acting like he has had some sort of drug very tappy if you know what i mean bit spaced out, hasen"t eaten in a couple of weeks, have had it about 6 months been fine its about an inch in length, i keep his home quite moist and warm enough so bit puslled. :?

any suggestions would be appreciated

thanks
 

jonnyquong

Arachnosquire
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Oct 20, 2008
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Sounds like what people refer to as DKS, a catch-all name for who-knows-what that causes your tarantula to act all weird and twitchy. :barf:
http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=169511
Usually (I'm not sure this is always the case) the end result is the death of the spider. :(
Several tarantula keepers think it may be related to things like some of the popular topical flea/tick medications for cats/dogs. No certain cause has been established, to my knowledge.
Best of luck to you and your spider. :eek:
 

curiousme

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I am unsure exactly what your spiderling is doing from your description, or what species you have. If it is acting twitchy, or moving spastically and uncontrollably then I agree that DKS could possibly be a reason why.

I am going to guess that your spiderling is a G. rosea R(ed)C(olor)F(orm), but that could be incorrect since I have not heard that specific common name before. We do have one of those spiderlings and right before it molted it started doing some strange movements, nothing like DKS, but it would spread its jaws and acted very upset that I was invading its enclosure. I have a video I can post of it, should this sound more like your problem.

So, my question for you is: How does its abdomen look? Is it very dark and black, almost shiny?
 

Kent

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Hi its hard to explain its like when it walks it keeps its knees above its head very tight in, his abdomen looks dull in colour but has a balding area witch tells me it should be in pre molt.

your right on the species its just the red form
 

curiousme

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Hi its hard to explain its like when it walks it keeps its knees above its head very tight in, his abdomen looks dull in colour but has a balding area witch tells me it should be in pre molt.

your right on the species its just the red form
A bald spot by itself does not mean a molt is coming, but if the exoskeleton underneath that bald spot is dark/ black then that is a sign of premolt. Is it twitching or seem unable to control its legs at all? From your second description it still isn't sounding quite like DKS to me, but I have never personally had a T with DKS. Is it doing anything else unusual, besides the walking stiffly?
 

Kent

Arachnopeon
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hi not a lot realy slightly unsteady just moves its legs very quickly when trying to walk.
 

curiousme

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Does the T have water available? and

Have you looked up any videos of Ts with DKS to see if it resembles those movements? A video of your T's behavior would be invaluable for this issue, if you are able to get one.
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Mabey it's just being a little skittish. In my little experience I've noticed my slings tend to jump about when they are disturbed. I have had a sling with DKS and it gets to the point where it is just out of control to where it cant walk and spazzes its body really fast.
 

Kent

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Have had a look at some you tube vids and some look similar the slings have never had a water bowl I just keep the vermiculite very moist am wondering if maybe to moist so have moved him to a dry pot to see if any change in behaviour.

Will try and upload a vid if I can
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Roseas typically don't like wet substrate and will alot of the time be weird if they are on it. That may very well have been the issue. But they still need one corner to be moist if it is a sling.
 

curiousme

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Have had a look at some you tube vids and some look similar the slings have never had a water bowl I just keep the vermiculite very moist am wondering if maybe to moist so have moved him to a dry pot to see if any change in behaviour.

Will try and upload a vid if I can
I have never kept a spiderling on vermiculite, so I am unsure if they are able to extract water from it. How big of a sling are we talking about? I would give it a bottlecap water dish and see if it takes a drink. Don't know if that could be the cause of the funny movement, but it is definitely something to try.

Personally I would also change out the substrate, because vermiculite is not a good substrate for Ts that like to burrow. Coco fiber, peat moss, or potting soil(no ferts) would all be fine and I have used all. If your T is under 2" then keeping part of the substrate wet is needed. This is due to their epicuticle not being fully formed yet and the risk of dessication is much higher until it is.
 

Shaka

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May 25, 2010
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Fangs going all over the place and uncontrolled movements sounds like a DKS patient. I would recommend putting it in an ICU and observe it as much as you can anyway. If it is a case of DKS, so far the only hopes are that it either somehow passes, or molts out.

If it's unable to eat, try turning it over onto it's back and if it's suffering from DKS symptoms it won't easily get back up. You can then feed it by mashing a cricket with a drop or two of water to make a "soup" and drip it onto your T's mouth parts, it should eat. The hope again is to get the T to become well fed so it can live through the ordeal and hopefully also reach a molt which sometimes also gets rid of the symptoms.

Just my 2 cents from things I have tried in the past.

Shaka.
 

curiousme

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Fangs going all over the place and uncontrolled movements sounds like a DKS patient.
The OP never said anything about its fangs going all over the place, so only part of this sentence applies. All he has said is that it walks with it knees close in around its body/ around its head, with quick, slightly unsteady movements.

I would hesitate to diagnose anyone's T with DKS, when there is no video, or a description better than what has been given here. The symptoms that he has sparsely described don't inherently mean DKS. He hasn't said anything about spastic movements, just quick. Sticking it in an ICU when it isn't hurt, or dehydrated would stress a spider as well. Hopefully the OP will be able to post video.

I hope your T is doing better Kent.
 

Shaka

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@curiousme, fair enough - I sort of jumped to conclusions there. However I have noticed with 2 cases now that T's which develop acute DKS symptoms start out with fast and "tappy" movements and they stop eating around the same time because they don't have solid control over their legs, fangs etc.

Our first case was a P.Regalis that we thought was just clumsy as it kept falling from its piece of cork bark or from the glass every time we got near the enclosure. It was too late once we had realised that this poor T could barely run along the floor or it's enclosure and just sort of flapped it's legs in one place and it's fangs would stretch out and close again randomly. I cared for it as described above for about 2 months, watching it struggle and suffer until it finally gave in. Really sad.

I also agree with you that putting a T in an ICU when there may be nothing wrong is an unnecessary stress to the T, but I guess I have become a bit paranoid of this dang syndrome as watching your T go through it is torture, knowing especially that there is nothing you can really do about it.

I really hope all the best for your T Ken.

And thanks curiousme for the prudent pointers :)

Shaka
 

Kent

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Hi just want to say thanks again to everyone for their advice but I don't think it's looking good for the little guy, has fallen on his back a couple of times and don't seem to be able to right itself and just stands there with a few legs up on one side will try and get some peat or something else for the slings other than vermiculite also have a giant White knee witch I got tiny about 5mm and has more than tripled in size and a Mexican red knee sub adult doing well.

all I can do is wait now.
 

curiousme

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@curiousme, fair enough - I sort of jumped to conclusions there. However I have noticed with 2 cases now that T's which develop acute DKS symptoms start out with fast and "tappy" movements and they stop eating around the same time because they don't have solid control over their legs, fangs etc.
That was all I was trying to prevent. What you have on me is the experience of actually losing a T to it.

I also agree with you that putting a T in an ICU when there may be nothing wrong is an unnecessary stress to the T, but I guess I have become a bit paranoid of this dang syndrome as watching your T go through it is torture, knowing especially that there is nothing you can really do about it.
That may or may not be the case, but if it does get worse, it would be a viable option.

And thanks curiousme for the prudent pointers :)

Shaka
Thank you for taking them as such. :)

---------- Post added at 04:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:09 PM ----------

Hi just want to say thanks again to everyone for their advice but I don't think it's looking good for the little guy, has fallen on his back a couple of times and don't seem to be able to right itself and just stands there with a few legs up on one side will try and get some peat or something else for the slings other than vermiculite also have a giant White knee witch I got tiny about 5mm and has more than tripled in size and a Mexican red knee sub adult doing well.

all I can do is wait now.
Have you made sure it has/ had water?

Sorry to hear about the turn for the worse. :(
 

Kent

Arachnopeon
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Oct 12, 2010
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Yes put it in a tub with a shallow bit of water for a few hours so it was standing in it then re did it's home with fresh substrate and put a large shallow lid for water in,was in quite a moist substrate before now lot dryer don't know what else I can do.

Any suggestions welcome
 

Kent

Arachnopeon
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Oct 12, 2010
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Much the same thought earlyer he was going to molt cos he went on his back and dident try and right itself so I left it a couple of hours but when I checked on him he was back on his feet, no molt.
 
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