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Shrunken abdomen, balding knees & back, not eating for months

rayhoracek

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Tokyo, Japan
Hello,

We have had a Mexican red-knee tarantula (our first T) for about 3 years since it was a sling, we think it is a female based on (our amateur level of) checking after a molt. It was molting 1-2 times a year, but hasn't molted now for far more than a year and its abdomen has been steadily shrinking to the point now that it is quite small, and the back half of it has been bald for about the same about of time (I know this isn't abnormal). It has also developed patches on its knees and the top of its cephalothorax where the hair is gone and the black shell is showing through. We've been consistently offering it the same crickets as it loved before but it has only eaten 1-2 in the last 4-5 months, and even those could have died somewhere secretly without being eaten. It also rests its chest on the ground from time to time which it didn't do before.

I don't know if all of these problems are related or not, but in general it doesn't seem to be in very good shape. I've read that the shrunken abdomen is related to dehydration, but we've kept a water dish just smaller than the T's size full and have sprayed every day, and the tank humidity has stayed consistently between 55-75%. Does anyone have any ideas of what we might be able to do?

ray
 

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rayhoracek

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Tokyo, Japan
We thought it was a female, but looking again it seems it may have developed hooks without us realizing it? See the pics here, I'm not an expert.

My daughter also says it's closer to 4 years old than 3 years as I had originally posted. So if it is a male is this all the beginning of the end maybe?
 

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rayhoracek

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Tokyo, Japan
One other anecdote: last week when it was near its water dish I was pouring water into the dish carefully and it turned around toward the dripping water and attacked / bathed in / played with the water pretty energetically. I thought it might be thinking this was food so I injured a cricket and held it in front of the spider, but it put its front legs up in the air and backed away as if it was afraid of it.
 

x_raphael_xx

Well-Known Member
Messages
750
Location
Plymouth UK
We thought it was a female, but looking again it seems it may have developed hooks without us realizing it? See the pics here, I'm not an expert.

My daughter also says it's closer to 4 years old than 3 years as I had originally posted. So if it is a male is this all the beginning of the end maybe?
Thats a mature male, you can clearly see his tibial hooks here. Sadly, he will now continue to waste away until he passes. You could try and find a female to pair him with.

Capture.JPG
 

Heretic

Member
Messages
61
Location
Indianapolis
That is actually one of the best pics I have seen showing both the Tibial Hook and the Emboli on the end of the Pedipalp. The Emboli is retracted, but is clearly visible in that pic. Most of the time you cant see them.
 

rayhoracek

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Tokyo, Japan
Understood, thanks so much for the help identifying 'him'. We'll do our best to take care of him with water/temp/humidity and keep trying a cricket from time to time. I guess a "tarantula ICU" wouldn't do much to help with the dehydration if he isn't eating anymore, right?
 

Aracnoenthusiast

Well-Known Member
3 Year Member
Messages
613
Location
Nebraska
Dont use an"icu". Just keep the water dish in the enclosure full. It will drink if it so chooses. At this point offering food and water is really all to do
 
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