Successful Veterinary Care of a Tarantula

Leonardo the Mage

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Jan 9, 2016
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90
I understand that an established fact in the hobby is that veterinary care can't help a tarantula. However, this may not always be the case. While some vets might take your money and say they did something, there are cases in which they might be able to care for an injured T. My own experience can serve as an example:

Approximately four years ago, in 2012, I had an adult female G. rosea who I would, on occasion, handle to show to guests. While I now know that you should only handle when absolutely necessary, Eleven year old me didn't. During the incident that necessitated the treatment, my younger brother dropped my 5" adult female G. rosea NCF. she fell approximately 3 feet and landed on her dorsal (back,) side onto stone floors. She wasn't ruptured as you would expect, but she was leaking hemolymph noticeably. I returned her to her enclosure immediately and soon after my father and I brought her inside her enclosure to my mother's office. As my mother is a veterinarian, she was willing to attempt to treat my T.

My mother has requested to be the one who describes the exact treatment she administered, so the following passages are hers:

"L. brought in his T. and she was leaking clear fluid from a laceration on her dorsal carapace and the fracture to her front leg. My veterinary forums were useless and none of my exotic pet texts cover spiders. I referred to L's copy of TKG3 and the prognosis was dire so we had nothing to lose. I anesthetized Caramel with Isoflurane by putting the large dog mask over her on the table. When she appeared to be immobilized I used Vetbond, a veterinary glue to seal her injuries. I then allowed her to recover from the anesthetic gas. She appeared to be in good shape and after this L. and I did follow up with a friend of mine who specializes in exotics who supported our treatment plan. Caramel is still a member of our family four years later."

Following this treatment, she did self-amputate her right pedipalp, but otherwise remained in good shape. She has since molted twice in the past four years, and is in very good health. She has almost entirely regenerated her right pedipalp, as can be seen in the following picture of her:
DSCF3273.JPG

I think that this can serve as an example of what is possible as far as veterinary care for invertebrates. If you have ideas or an opinion on this feel free to share them. Please don't start on a tirade about handling, I have learned that it isn't safe in most circumstances. If you provide a veterinarian with information that can help them, such as the copy of the TKG3 I gave my mother, there's a chance that your T can be saved. Stuck molts, falls, and injuries from breeding may be treatable.
 

Tarantula20

Arachnosquire
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Oct 19, 2014
Messages
93
Great story, shows why you shouldn't give up on T's in these cases they're resilient little buggers after all:angelic:. Also Im jealous of your G.rosea, I have a G.rosea RCF that I purchased back in 2012 as a 4-4.5 inch female. Well four years later and zero molts:rage:
 

Kodi

Title Master
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Jul 27, 2012
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316
That is quite the story. Your mother used the treatment often suggested here on the forums minus the isoflurane and super glue in substitute for vetbond of course. Honestly I don't see why any veterinarian couldn't do the same thing to save a pets life. Its the quick thinking and wit doctors should be proud to practice. Thanks for sharing. Maybe your mom can add tarantulas to her list of potential patients.
 

ratluvr76

Arachnodemon
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Jul 12, 2014
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>>>stands corrected<<< that being said, thankfully there were no internal injuries to her organs or the treatment may have not been so successful. Still, kudos to your mom for her quick thinking and level head. :)
 

Hellblazer

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May 13, 2016
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135
Great story, I'm glad it worked out for you. Honestly though, most of us don't have a vet in the family and would end up paying hundreds of dollars for something we could try ourselves with super glue.
 

Leonardo the Mage

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Jan 9, 2016
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90
That is quite the story. Your mother used the treatment often suggested here on the forums minus the isoflurane and super glue in substitute for vetbond of course. Honestly I don't see why any veterinarian couldn't do the same thing to save a pets life. Its the quick thinking and wit doctors should be proud to practice. Thanks for sharing. Maybe your mom can add tarantulas to her list of potential patients.
Vet bond is basically just superglue, but has vet in the name so that clients don't see that they can use superglue instead of stich and end up hurting their animal. Super glue was originally made as battlefield stich, so it's safe for most animals.
 

Leonardo the Mage

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Great story, I'm glad it worked out for you. Honestly though, most of us don't have a vet in the family and would end up paying hundreds of dollars for something we could try ourselves with super glue.
However, this might lead to vets that are willing to try extracting Ts from stuck molts, something that some of us don't have the ability or supply to do. A lot fewer Tarantulas might die from a problem that even experienced keepers oftain can't fix.
 

ratluvr76

Arachnodemon
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Jul 12, 2014
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I watched a video on youtube, I THINK it was Tarantulaguy1976's vid. one of his spiders got stuck in a molt and he attempted to save her. It did not end well. The problem with helping them with a molt is that when they are molting/freshly molted they are so soft that even the smallest bump in the wrong place could severely damage it. Coupled with the problem of the hardening process. To help a tarantula out of a bad molt you have to work quickly. I think that's what happened in the vid I'm talking about. The hardening process got too far along and it was finally impossible to help remove the old exo anymore.
 

Janie

Arachnopeon
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Aug 7, 2016
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Hi I am a newbie to this forum and I am a vet. This story is inspiring I am a bit in awe of your mum.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Dec 8, 2006
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Hi I am a newbie to this forum and I am a vet. This story is inspiring I am a bit in awe of your mum.
It's good to know we have a resident DVM on the forum. You are the only one I know of so far.
 

cold blood

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I don't get it, why would someone (not the op) pay a vet to do exactly what hobbyists have already been doing for years.
 

Leonardo the Mage

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Jan 9, 2016
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I don't get it, why would someone (not the op) pay a vet to do exactly what hobbyists have already been doing for years.
Perhaps because some keepers might not be capable of removing a stuck molt, and when they do it often still kills the tarantula. Veterinarians have access to scalpels, medical grade tools, and anesthetics. They are also trained to work on delicate subjects and the fine art of cutting something without damaging something else.
This might be especially worth the cost if the T in question were expensive, such as an adult female M. balfouri.
 

viper69

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Leonardo is right for all the reasons mentioned, some people lack the confidence as well. Fine motor skills are also not necessarily prevalent for a variety of reasons.
 

Formerphobe

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Feb 27, 2011
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It's good to know we have a resident DVM on the forum. You are the only one I know of so far.
There used to be a few veterinarians on here, they just didn't advertise their profession. I don't visit the forums as frequently as I used to, so can't say if any of them still post or even read.
 

bryverine

Arachnoangel
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Apr 18, 2012
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894
I don't get it, why would someone (not the op) pay a vet to do exactly what hobbyists have already been doing for years.
Because of the sleeping gas! :bored: :astonished:

I would be pretty darn nervous about getting tagged by a full grown African T or Poec when trying to repair a rupture. :anxious:

Though I've heard of people using CO2 with pedes maybe this could work.
 

cold blood

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Because of the sleeping gas! :bored: :astonished:

I would be pretty darn nervous about getting tagged by a full grown African T or Poec when trying to repair a rupture. :anxious:

Though I've heard of people using CO2 with pedes maybe this could work.
CO2 is used to put fish "to sleep".


Still most of the time a t is in critical condition, its not really aggressive or even mobile...and because they cannot feel pain in the sense we do, what's the point.


@Leonardo the Mage , that was indeed a good point about the vets tools and dexterity....most not in the hobby for too long, probably wouldn't even attempt such things.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Dec 25, 2014
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I don't get it, why would someone (not the op) pay a vet to do exactly what hobbyists have already been doing for years.
You are indeed right, just as like Leonardo points in post #13 but let's be honest, this would never happen on a large 'normality' and worldwide scale.

Here no vet. (and including the skilled ones as well for the very few into exotics) would even risk the scenario no matter if a 0,00001 % chance, of a serious bite from a P.murinus, 'Haplo' or else.
 

Leonardo the Mage

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Jan 9, 2016
Messages
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You are indeed right, just as like Leonardo points in post #13 but let's be honest, this would never happen on a large 'normality' and worldwide scale.

Here no vet. (and including the skilled ones as well for the very few into exotics) would even risk the scenario no matter if a 0,00001 % chance, of a serious bite from a P.murinus, 'Haplo' or else.
I'm not saying this should become a normal thing around the world, I'm just using my experience to show that maybe we shouldn't assume that we can't get help from a vet or other outside source.
 
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