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Pretty Sure that Evelyn is Dying

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

  1. Scoolman

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

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    OK, the fact that the area around the mouth are wet is concerning. Tarantula setae are waterproof, they don't absorb water. So, even after drinking the mouth area should still be dry.
    Here is where I am going with this. Her behaviors, and symptoms are very compelling for nematodes. Refusal to eat, constant drinking, sitting in or near water, standing on "tiptoe", repeated methodical cleaning of the mouth and fangs, fangs held loosely open not tightly closed like normal.a discharge, sometimes milky in appearance, and crusty formations around the mouth and fangs. Since she does not seem to have any discharge or crusting, I could be, I hope I am, wrong.

    Give her a new, clean water dish. Watch her, and as soon as you see her drinking, let her finish then take the dish. Pull a sample of the water and place it under a microscope, or you can use a magnifier app on your phone, and examine the water for small (1mm) thread-like organisms moving about.
    If this is the result of nematodes, you must quarantine her immediately. Nematodes can spread through an entire collection like wildfire. It is nearly always fatal. There are only a handful of cases where a keeper managed to save a tarantula.
    I did not not want to mention this until we had more evidence, as I did not want to panic, or scare you. However, I think you ned to know what you may be looking for, so you can, if this proves positive, take immediate action to help her.

    A link with details for you:
    http://giantspiders.com/article12/

    The TKG also has a good bit info on nematodes.
  2. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    I read the article and I don't see any of the other symptoms that they mention. Evelyn has no problems putting her pedipalps down to stabilize herself when I jiggle the enclosure. I have no sweet smell coming from her enclosure. She hasn't made a web in a very long time - since the last time she moulted, actually. She never did much webbing ever unless it was her moult mat.
    Could the dampness be caused by having a damp substrate? I just replaced it yesterday and squeezed out as much water as I could, but it is still damp to the touch.
    I downloaded the magnifying app and it is pretty good. I went over her entire water dish, as she was just there and I had cleaned it out yesterday, and there was nothing in it. I took the dish out and went over all the substrate around it as well and saw nothing.
    I got a better close up of her. I tried moving her fangs with a plastic spoon and I couldn't. I didn't want to damage her, so I didn't force them. They are tucked in there very tightly.
    I went over and read the Melly post on the arachnoboards and Evelyn isn't displaying really any of those symptoms either.

    Attached Files:

  3. Scoolman

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

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    Hmmm, well we may just be looking at the progression of age here.
    VanessaS likes this.
  4. CrypticSpider

    CrypticSpider Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    Very good info posted by Scoolman.

    IMHO.... I think one of 2 things is going on with her.

    1) She is going to molt.

    2) She is near her time to go.

    IF she is weak, and does attempt to molt, she may not have the strength to complete it.

    Looking at her pics, she does seem quite healthy... just has a small but not shriveled abdomen.

    Only time will tell.

    The damp substrate may cause her stress, as 99% of all rosea/porteri (well... the entire Grammostola genus, to be honest) cannot stand damp substrate.
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  5. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    Her substrate has only been damp since yesterday. I changed it on the chance that there was something contaminated in it. Before that - it was bone dry and she has been like this for a while. The only moisture has been where I overflowed the water dish a bit. It will dry up fairly quickly.
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  6. Nunua

    Nunua New Member

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    I've been actively reading this thread, and tbh I feel quite sad because I know how important any multi-legged friends can get.
    The worst things with them is not only to see them suffer from something, but also be unaware of the actual reason for certain behavior when animal doesn't show any signs of pain etc.

    I wish all the best for you and your gorgeous old lady - Of course it would be absolutely amazing if this will end up a molt, but if not, at least I can say (even as a complete stranger) that you've taken a good care of her and done your best to find out if something is wrong. ♥
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  7. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    I've held mine alot but have never picked them up like that.
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  8. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your words.
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  9. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    I can't thank you all enough for your kind words and for trying to help my little girl. I remember when I first got her and how exciting it was. She has been with me for so long and changed countless arachnophobic minds about spiders. She is an excellent ambassador for her kind and has won over so many people.
  10. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, how's Evelyn doing?
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  11. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for checking in on her!
    Her substrate was way too damp and I had to replace it yesterday. It was starting to show patches of mould forming. I nuked it, dried it out, and added more of the dry substrate to it. It still might be a bit damp for her, but it is much better than before.
    She is the same pretty much. She is moving around and she was grooming herself last night after I dried out her substrate. I haven't seen her drinking anything the last few days. So, pretty much status quo.
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  12. CrypticSpider

    CrypticSpider Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    I hope she continues to do well. :)
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  13. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    Evelyn is about the same as she has been for months. I had to remove the substrate and dry it completely out. I haven't bothered her this much in her entire life - she must be thinking WTH! I am not going to bother her anymore, her substrate is good and she looks comfortable on it.
    She is moving around quite a lot and spending time in her hole, which she has always loved, so I don't think she is suffering. She is drinking too.
    I know this might sound very selfish of me, but when I was taking these photos tonight, I was thinking that I hope the new group I'm getting are as wonderful about me taking photos of them as Evelyn has been. It made me feel more than a bit horrible that I was thinking like that - like I was writing her off or something. Evelyn has always been the best model ever and always cooperated with me photographing her. I really do hope that she comes out of this okay and that she is maybe younger than my estimate.

    Attached Files:

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  14. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    Not selfish. It's good to be excited about the future. You've been doing your best with Evelyn, doesn't seem to me that you are writing her off.
    I love the last photo of her!
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  15. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    How's Evelyn?
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  16. Kymura

    Kymura Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Just came to ask the same thing.
    She About the same hun?
    Update pictures would be nice ~.^
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  17. VanessaS

    VanessaS Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for checking in on my little old girlie!! You guys are the best ever.

    She is, unfortunately, pretty much the same. I moved her to a smaller container. She stands on her tiptoes all the time, even though the substrate is bone dry, and she only crushed the last cricket I put in there and didn't eat any of them. She isn't moving around that much and spends all of her time either inside, or next to, her water dish... on her tiptoes. When I take her enclosure out, she sometimes falls over a bit with the jiggling of her container.

    I can try to get a couple of photos of her tonight.
    Thanks everyone.
    xoxo
  18. MiaWolf42

    MiaWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    I wish she was doing better! I'm still hoping.
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  19. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Sucks hard to lose a pet you've had for years. If she was mine I'd put her down. To me the killing food and loss of balance is a sign the end is near and I couldn't stand the thought she may be suffering.
  20. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Very sorry, I hadn't seen this thread for some reason, I feel bad for the old girl. Also I was happy that you found the courage to pick her up and examine her properly. Well done :) I've done it a few times, and I don't care for it, it stresses me out to pick one up that way. I'm terrified of squeezing too hard..just thinking about I makes me tense..
    MiaWolf42 likes this.
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