Taking a long time to die

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
Messages
279
I have a very strange little avic (legspan now about 2.5"). It was purchased from petco last June. It was perfect, loved to eat, molted once, beautiful little guy. I took it to college with me in September. And it started refusing to eat. Started acting really strange and skittish, stumbling while it walked, looked kind of... drunk. Handling it once I noticed some leaking fluid, I wasn't sure what to think at the time, but now I realize it must have been haemolymph, not sure where it came from though. After five months of trying to leave it alone, thinking it would molt, I changed the enclosure to give more humidity, and it started eating. After two months it stopped eating, started webbing the ground a lot, I thought for sure it was going to molt this time. Instead, it stayed huddled under its piece of bark for a few weeks. Before I left to go home, I poked it out of its hiding place and saw the abdomen was really strange looking. Almost all of the hairs were rubbed off, and while it stumbled around, it would rub its abdomen with its hind legs. And the abdomen had deep wrinkles in it, the whole shape was kind of squished. Theres nothing that could have fallen onto it. The cage always had good humidity, I overflowed the waterdish and sprayed about every other day. In its hiding place, it sat with its legs touching the water dish. I thought maybe a leak, so I put it in an ICU. That was four days ago, and I've noticed a few brown spots on the paper towel, perhaps leaking haemolymph? And it's been starting to curl up, getting less responsive, but still alive. Still stumbles a bit. Seems like this little guy is taking a long time to die.

Anyone had a tarantula that got really deep wrinkles in the abdomen? My camera isnt good enough to get a clear shot of it, but its quite strange. And I think my avic was actually trying to kick hairs at me before. Or at least, kept rubbing the abdomen, looked almost like it was trying to protect it.

I have a feeling theres not much more I can do. It wont go to the waterdish, I've tried prodding it, but it just freaks out when it touches water.
 

DrAce

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
768
Kinda sounds like some sort of disease... but I know they are sometimes 'over diagnosed'.

Do you know if it was wild caught, or captive bred?
 

BertWright

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Messages
27
Similar Experience with my Pink Toe

I have a very strange little avic (legspan now about 2.5"). It was purchased from petco last June. It was perfect, loved to eat, molted once, beautiful little guy. I took it to college with me in September. And it started refusing to eat. Started acting really strange and skittish, stumbling while it walked, looked kind of... drunk. Handling it once I noticed some leaking fluid, I wasn't sure what to think at the time, but now I realize it must have been haemolymph, not sure where it came from though. After five months of trying to leave it alone, thinking it would molt, I changed the enclosure to give more humidity, and it started eating. After two months it stopped eating, started webbing the ground a lot, I thought for sure it was going to molt this time. Instead, it stayed huddled under its piece of bark for a few weeks. Before I left to go home, I poked it out of its hiding place and saw the abdomen was really strange looking. Almost all of the hairs were rubbed off, and while it stumbled around, it would rub its abdomen with its hind legs. And the abdomen had deep wrinkles in it, the whole shape was kind of squished. Theres nothing that could have fallen onto it. The cage always had good humidity, I overflowed the waterdish and sprayed about every other day. In its hiding place, it sat with its legs touching the water dish. I thought maybe a leak, so I put it in an ICU. That was four days ago, and I've noticed a few brown spots on the paper towel, perhaps leaking haemolymph? And it's been starting to curl up, getting less responsive, but still alive. Still stumbles a bit. Seems like this little guy is taking a long time to die.

Anyone had a tarantula that got really deep wrinkles in the abdomen? My camera isnt good enough to get a clear shot of it, but its quite strange. And I think my avic was actually trying to kick hairs at me before. Or at least, kept rubbing the abdomen, looked almost like it was trying to protect it.

I have a feeling theres not much more I can do. It wont go to the waterdish, I've tried prodding it, but it just freaks out when it touches water.

Let me just say that I've had several Pink Toes and even had a cohabitive setup with several in the same cage. I don't care what anyone says, they are not the easiest spiders to raise (in captivity). I have seen it all with the Avicularia avicularia Guyana PinkToe tarantula. Mine (too) had the deep wrinkled prune-looking opisthosoma that to me looked like it had lost a great amount of fluid. Since Pink Toes do not kick urticating hairs, but instead rub them on, I don't know about your spider trying to kick. I do know that by the time I noticed its shrunken butt that it had also smeared some white substance (waste, hemolyph or something else) - leaving several large circular rub spots all over its 2.5 gallon aquarium glass. I use near straight Peat Moss, but thought that she may have impaled herself with a small sharp stick (as is often found in Sphagnum moss) - but thinking maybe no since (other than the spiral rub marks all over the glass that was white-gray in color and almost opaque on the glass) there were no noticeable signs of any 'leaks'. I don't know what to think. I'm inclined to believe that it may have been something else (disease?). One other thing - that may or may not have anything to do with the shrinking butt, I did notice some small mites (a few) on the spider, after examining my dead pink toe. Mites CAN kill a spider if they infest their mouth area (I've read and heard this). I have had two 'bouts' with mites and both cases involved a sick spider - I 'saved' several tarantulas during my first bout battling a mite infestation - but this T had died by the time I finally noticed the mites. I am not telling you what to do, but it sounds as though you may want to consider euthanizing the little fellow- when they curl their legs under, there is really not much left to do. It is somehing that I acknowledge anytime I buy a Pink Toe - They are great spiders and neat. I have even had them produce egg sacs - but long-term captivity of the Pink Toe is a bit more challenging than most of my other 'Ts'. Hopefully this information helps. Someone else may have a suggestion, but it sounds as if the tarantula is dying, and possibly dead by now. Good luck with whatever you decide to do with saving your spider.

Bert Wright
Fellow Tarantula Keeper/Enthusiast
 
Last edited:

Iggy22

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
55
I do know that by the time I noticed its shrunken butt that it had also smeared some white substance (waste, hemolyph or something else) - leaving several large circular rub spots all over its 2.5 gallon aquarium glass.
I think that might have been feces, but I could be wrong.

Dehydration in t's is common. I think the only think you can do now is keep spraying and find out where that leak is coming from. If you find it, seal it up with some super glue. Try to find something that sets fast asn wont put out lots of chemicals/fumes.

If it's a Avic. Avic. it's arboreal. It sounds as though you have it in a flat cage with dirt. These t's like to climb. It might have fallen trying to climb and hurt itself from lack of gripping. Keep filling the water dish and keep the humidity up. That's all I can think of.
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
Messages
279
Yeah I was thinking the reason for a shriveled abdomen would be dehydration, but if anything I thought I was making the cage *too* moist. Every other day or so I would spray water and overflow the dish, adding more water to the substrate (peat/dirt). It would have to have been pretty stupid to ignore the big water dish sitting right next to it. There was good airflow though. And yes it was arboreal, the tank was on one end to be vertical (2.5 gallon), it just chose to sit on the bottom.

Bertwright - what you described sounds like what happened to mine. Left a few little smear spots on the paper towel. Very wrinkled, and I guess it probably wasn't really trying to kick, but was certainly acting spastic, rubbing a lot.

I don't know if it was wild caught or captive bred... it was from Petco, so who knows. I wasn't sure if they would get such a small wild caught specimen.

Getting less responsive... guess I'll wait and see how things look tomorrow.
 
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