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Pretty Sure that Evelyn is Dying

Discussion in 'Grammostola' started by VanessaS, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    _DSC6921.JPG Evelyn was my very first tarantula. I purchased her over 15 years ago and she was an already a full grown, wild caught adult G. rosea.
    I have gone through many of her fasting periods and this is different. She has not moulted in over two years, she was usually moulting around November, and hasn't eaten anything in over nine months.
    My concern is that her abdomen is really shriveling up this time. With her previous fasts it always stayed a decent size. Her longest fast, before now, has been about six months. She always has a dish with water, which I have seen her drink from, and she is still fairly active. I have tried to feed her everything that is available to me and she is not interested in anything.
    I have included a photo taken of her today. I cleaned out her enclosure on the off chance that there was something in the substrate that was making her sick.
    What are your thoughts?
  2. Nicolas C

    Nicolas C Well-Known Member

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    Hello Vanessa. Hard to tell from my point of view. Fasting - even more than nine months - is no problems for this sp. Molting every two years, or even more, is normal too. But the abdomen here looks very skinny. Most probably, she's a very old lady who has done her time and she's gonna die of old age under your sweet cares. However, she could also do her "Grammostola rosea/porteri special thing", and surprise you with a molt, or even feeding again for no reasons in a week or so.

    It seems you haven't done anything wrong, she has all that she needs if she had been ok with you for 15 years and you haven't changed her regime recently (like changing temps, etc.). Continue giving her care, offering food once every month to see what happens (and taking it away if she doesn't eat it after 12 hours). As you don't know her age and have kept her 15 years, she's very probably quite old.

    Keep us updated.
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  3. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    She has always been such a darling girl. She has lived in four different places with me and I can't remember a time without her. Not even moving made her stop eating. I have heard that they will often go over a year without food, but her shrunken abdomen is really bothering me.
    I will keep trying to feed her like you suggest. I hope she isn't suffering.
    Thank you.
  4. Scoolman

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

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    Are you sure "she" is not a mature male?
  5. CrypticSpider

    CrypticSpider Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    15 years with Vanessa, plus she was an adult when she was acquired. I think this alone would rule out a mature male. There is no telling of her age, but gotten as an adult plus 15 years may mean it is her time to go.

    Another possibilty is that she may be gearing up to molt but is not feeding to fill up her reserves. As old as she is... being thin may even be better for her if/when she molts.

    As was mentioned above, she seems well taken care of... all one can do is care for her as normal, and wait.

    I would, however, offer her a prey once a week. My porteri will fast til near ready to molt, and will suddenly feed well about 2 weeks before she molts.

    She is beautiful, Vanessa... I wish her well, and hugs for you. :)
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  6. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    I've just read in another post that someone feels that feeding their tarantula a hornworm might have killed them. I have fed Evelyn hornworms, but they have been purchased and not wild. She has never eaten anything wild caught - always purchased.
    Could that be what has happened to her? I researched before giving them to her and everywhere I read said they were fine. I mean, they can't be selling poisonous feed at pet stores, right? Most of the time I got them from a PetSmart close to me.
  7. Nicolas C

    Nicolas C Well-Known Member

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    If your tarantula was poisoned, it should have killed her way more quickly. And you would have seen it in the way she would have moved. No, I guess according to what you said, that it's either about age (most probably) or a coming molt.
  8. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    I checked my records and I bought Evelyn for $14.99 back in August of 1999. She was on sale from $19.99. She has been with me closer to 17 years.
    Here is a photo that I took back in January 2015.

    Attached Files:

  9. Scoolman

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

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    Good point Cryptic, obviously I did not read very closey.

    She may well have been 5 years or more when you got her. So she is most likely well into her 20s now. For many species that is a full life span.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
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  10. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry she's not feeling well. I bought my rose hair in 1998 full grown from a little pet shop in Texas. She's never had an abdomen that small. Does yours have a shallow water dish? Maybe it's getting dehydrated?
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  11. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, distracted. I see your first post, she has water.
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  12. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    Always a full water dish and, since she hasn't eaten in so long, I have seen her sitting over it drinking several times. Then, she will sit in it until I fill it again. I have seen her drinking more in the last couple of months than all the other 16+ years combined. I have never put anything in her dish, like sponges or cotton balls or anything. Just always straight, clean, room temperature water.
    I changed her substrate as a last resort and it is a bit damper than usual. She is looking miserable tonight, but that might be the substrate change. She is moving her pedipalps up and down slowly and methodically like she would do if she were grooming her fangs. She looks so pathetic tonight, but she has been roaming around her enclosure and checking things out since I changed the substrate. She has no problems moving around, although slowly.
    Here she is right now...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  13. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    I tried looking it up online to no avail. Most websites say dehydration. Some recommendations were putting in a small enclosure with damp paper towels and air vents to help them hydrate. (Better instructions online)

    :( Not sure what to do. I hope she pulls through.
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  14. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for doing that - looking it up for me. I have watched a few videos of people's tarantulas as they are dying and she really isn't acting like they show in the video. I thought about the ICU container, but she seems to be having no problem drinking. She sits right over the dish and the water disappears. It has never been dry enough that it would evaporate that quickly. I've been overflowing it to the point where I was concerned that mould might develop directly around the dish.
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  15. Scoolman

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

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    Have you noticed any build up or discharge around the fangs and mouth?
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  16. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    No worries. I feel bad for her. Thought online may give better answers than I had.
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  17. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    I've never grabbed her and flipped her over. I don't handle her at all. She has been a good girl, but I have never felt comfortable handling them.
    I tried lifting her up a bit with a plastic spoon, and taking a photo, but it didn't work very well.
    I've never seen anything obvious without looking directly underneath her.
  18. Scoolman

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

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    Do you notice any foreign matter, or milky substance in her water when she drinks.
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  19. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    I'm watching videos on how to pick her up by putting my fingers on both sides and I'm embarrassed by how easy people make it look. She has never shown any aggression at all, so I don't know why I don't just do it.
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  20. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    Okay @Scoolman , I picked her up. I did it!! It was easy and she was such a good little girl. Photo is below. No, I have never seen any discolouration or discharge in her water. She was over the water drinking again just before I picked her up. She is wet underneath a bit.
    She has retreated into her little hide.

    Attached Files:

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