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Any Instances of DKS? Dyskinetic Syndrome in Tarantulas.

Discussion in 'General Tarantula Discussion' started by DewDrop, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. DewDrop

    DewDrop Active Member

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    I have not seen any. None of my spiders have had the condition. What tarantulas are the most effected? What ages does it usually occur in? Has anyone had any tarantulas with the condition? Thanks.
  2. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    @Tomoran had one in his blogs. From what i've read any age and any T can "catch" this. Nobody knows what causes it.
  3. micheldied

    micheldied Well-Known Member

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    DKS isn't a real condition in that it's just a bunch of symptoms that seem to happen with no real known causes, and it's always fatal. It can happen to any T at any age.
  4. Tomoran

    Tomoran Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    Yup, a couple years ago, I had an A. insubtilis juvenile show these symptoms after a recent molt. Unfortunately, I was never able to pinpoint a possible cause.

    "DKS" is a not a disease, but symptoms that include the jerky movements, loss of motor control, and eventually death (usually in less than a week). It's thought to have many possible causes including pesticide exposure, extreme temps (either hot or cold), or some other type of poisoning. I've heard of tarantulas exhibiting these symptoms after enduring high temps while being shipped, after a bad molt, after being exposed to chemical fumes from household cleaners, and after possibly being exposed to dog/cat flea and tick treatment.
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  5. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I had a P. sp Karon arrive which seemed fine when it arrived and I rehoused it but about an hour after its legs started twitching. Within 6 hours it was dead. It arrived at the beginning of February, packed with a heat pad and the other T that came with it was and still is fine.
  6. Chubbs

    Chubbs Well-Known Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    As has been said DKS is not a disease. It is a list of symptoms linked to a particular cause. The most common cause is exposure to pesticides or other toxic chemicals.
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  7. DewDrop

    DewDrop Active Member

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    oh ok thanks ya'll. We got a round of bed bug treatment like way over a year ago where the professional dusted, sprayed and gassed. He told us to make sure that the spider was out of the house and that we didn't bring her back for 48 hours and not until after all the pesticide powder had been cleaned up and the place vacuumed. Wonderful customer service. It is nice to know that exterminators can be found that do care for the safety of the pet tarantulas. We did as ask of course. We imposed on the in law for a couple days, but I had to go back that night for my meds I had forgotten, which were placed in the bathroom for easy reach. My husband and I walked in covering our mouths and eyes, all bare skin covered and it looked like it was snowing a powder everywhere. We didn't realize the massive amount of residue we'd have to be cleaning but were so thrilled once we realized, there wouldn't be a bed bug one able to withstand that. We haven't had any recurrence of infestation. We even got a reminder on the note on the door about not bringing the spider back until we were told. So I can definitely assume pesticide exposure causes the DKS to occur in tarantulas.

    However there is a fungus I believe it is that kills malaria in mosquitoes, Metarhizium anisopliae, I have an article by the NIH on the modified fungus. It is on public domain so I am assuming it has been released for public knowledge.

    http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news...ngi-kill-malaria-causing-parasites-mosquitoes

    For those interested. This is where the topic of soil used in tarantula husbandry has left me with a particular conundrum. After having microwaved the peat moss for 5 minutes I had a spot of mold pop up twice the size of a tip of a safety pin after it was warmed to about 75 to 80f after two days in the damp. If you have ever tried germinating orchid seeds you know molds and fungus are just among us and there is no certainty about any of them without a masters degree pertaining. I got the spots out and dried up the enclosure pretty well, but my wonder is about if a fungus is killing mosquitoes, there is another one I did read about that will kill them because it renders them unable to populate or something I cannot find the name, perhaps I read THAT article months ago wrong, but here is this one http://entomologytoday.org/2013/12/17/fungus-spores-can-kill-mosquitoes-save-lives/ Perhaps it is a fungus causing the DKS. Then again if I can think it with the lack of college I have, I can only assume it has already been questioned and answered to the point that if it was a fungus or mold, it would of been discovered by now and proven. That was the only pesticide treatment we had besides the monthly round of pest control spray for the kitchen and bathroom we get as a courtesy in the apartments and the spiders are never around that. I wanted to share that the bed bug treatment went well and so far the spider is great. So no certain kinds of pesticides have been pinpointed or proven?
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  8. RedCapTrio

    RedCapTrio Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I guess my Tara had this. It may have been exposed to chemicals from wherever. It had spasms, spun in circles, lost a leg, then died within 24 hours. I will have to tell my family not to use aerosols near the T enclosures as to prevent recurrence of DKS. :(
  9. boo boo 86

    boo boo 86 Member

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    Hi unfortunately my T is suffering from Dks she has been like that's over a week and half but she is still eating and webbing. Not sure how it's happened could be cleaning products :-(
  10. Rockpython

    Rockpython Active Member

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    I must disagree that it's always fatal. I had an L. difficilis sling get it (acting in that manner) I squished dubia for it, it molted and fully recovered
  11. micheldied

    micheldied Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I've only heard of one case where a T survived. I believe the owner made "cricket soup" for the T, and it eventually molted out of it as well.
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  12. SpiderDad61

    SpiderDad61 Well-Known Member

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    Can mold cause it, Chubbs?
  13. Kymura

    Kymura Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Its hard to know which have actually survived without seeing vids of the actual T's.
    I read a few testaments that swear their T's survived but no actual evidence to show that the T actually had this problem.
    Saw your thread @boo boo 86 , absolutely heartbreaking . Keep feeding her however you need to and lets all hope for the best outcome!
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  14. boo boo 86

    boo boo 86 Member

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    She still has the skittish behaviour but I'm starting to think it's her molt behaviour she is still with me and posted that post in December. She hadn't actually eaten in nearly 2 month.
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  15. Steve123

    Steve123 Member

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    Hey guys, don't want to be a bore, but if I can help clarity a little bit:

    Any label with "syndrome" at the end is by definition not a disease, but a constellation of signs and symptoms, often with multiple causes. A disease generally has one cause, like chicken pox. "Signs" are things you observe (uncoordinated walking, not eating), "symptoms" are things the patient complains of (dizziness, leg pains, lack of appetite). Because spiders don't complain to us, they just have signs, never symptoms. :)

    In the end, DKS, as a syndrome, almost for sure has multiple causes (pesticides, fungus infection, vitamin deficiency, molt complication . . . ) leading to an observed behavior that may lead to death (heavy dose of pesticides), but may also be reversible (vitamin deficiency)!

    Sorry about your T @boo boo 86. When fatal, it's an awful lot of suffering to watch a T go through. I hate that part.

    Sorry, I don't want to be known as a pedant. Hope the above helps. :(
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  16. boo boo 86

    boo boo 86 Member

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    I'm pretty much sure she is in pre moult not eaten and has turned very dark first I was seriously worried for her but observing her she only has the skittish walk when she runs. When she walks it's nearly normal with a few twitches. She has turned very dark so I'm no longer concerned.
  17. boo boo 86

    boo boo 86 Member

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    I can assure you she isn't suffering in any way.
  18. Steve123

    Steve123 Member

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    Oh that's great, good to hear. Also cool to learn premolt can be a cause of abnormal movements sometimes. Hope to hear follow-up. GL!
  19. boo boo 86

    boo boo 86 Member

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    Thank you Defford be an up date of when she moults. How long they in pre moult for? Seems like it been waiting for forever lol.
  20. Steve123

    Steve123 Member

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    So much depends on size/age and species. In general the larger and older a T gets, the longer the premolt and postmolt phase. A big ole' B. smithi can take months (2-3) in premolt, a G. porteri even longer. Some old Ts can skip a year in the usual once yearly adult molt cycle.
    boo boo 86 likes this.
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