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    Thread: Molt Medics...

    1. #1
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      Molt Medics...

      OK, we frequently see threads here about someone's T stuck in a molt and people offer advice.

      I would like to collect that wisdom into a thread here that we could sticky.

      What to do in a bad molt situation (getting more risky the farther down the list you go):

      1. Unless it is VERY apparent the molt is going bad, LEAVE THE SPIDER ALONE!!! This is a very stressful time for them, and they are super delicate. Most often any tampering will only be disastrous.

      Ts will generally lie flat on their back for around 6-8 hours before they begin the active molt process. Depending on the size of the spider, the active molt should last for about an hour or two. BE PATIENT!

      That said, I have twice had Ts leaking clear liquid from small holes on their abdomen just before a molt. This is not hemolymph (T blood is milky), but apparently the fluids between the old and new exo. Still concerns me as I worry they won't have enough fluid lubrication to free themselves from their old molt. What did I do?

      2. Place said T's cage (with T in it of course) on a counter in the bathroom and run the shower for about 15 minutes to make it nice and steamy in there. This will help keep things soft and lubricated for the T. I don't know if it was necessary for the two Ts mentioned above, but it sure didn't hurt. They both molted just fine.

      3. Is there any way to give your T a draft of water? this can energize it and help it. As long as you keep the water away from the book lungs on the bottom of the abdomen, you don't have to worry about drowing it with a drop to the mouth.

      4. Gravity assist.
      When my Avic geroldi got stuck in its molt 3 days ago, I tried Jump's advice by finding a way to hang it upside down for a gravity assist. I VERY CAREFULLY managed to thread a twist-tie in between the new abdomen and the old exo (which made a loop because the old carapace was stuck to the dorsal part of the new abdomen.) The idea is that as the T hangs there, gravity will help it work free from the old exo. If you can hook the tarsal claws on something (I tried a Q-tip unsuccessfully), try hanging the T up by its feet. Of course, don't hang it from a great height. In the event it DOES free itself, you don't want it to have far to fall.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      5.
      Apply glycerin to the stuck areas. In the case of this Avic (which surprised me with signs of life this morning), I am going to attempt to carefully paint glycerin (with a tiny brush) onto the legs, starting with where the new exo is exposed and painting all the way down the legs to the tips. The glycery helps moisten things up and increases the chances the T can free itself.

      I am told mineral oil, and MAYBE vegetable oil can be used as well.

      6. If just a leg or two is stuck, I would not feel too bad about breaking or cutting the leg off to free the T. One awesome trait about Ts is their ability to regenerate appendages in the next molt or so, EVEN fangs. What's more, they may drip a drop of hemolymph from this, but they are able to cut off the circulation in that leg with the muscles around the next joint up, so you don't have to worry about them bleeding to death like you would from even a "minor" wound to the body. Many a T has thrived with a few less legs in between molts.

      7. If that doesn't work, try cutting off the old exo. I consider this the last resort. In larger Ts, the joints can get stuck in the old exo, and gently crumbling them off at the joints is the way to go. As you can imagine, you want to be VERY CAREFUL you do NOT cut the new exo.

      Maybe others can speak with more experience, detail and expertise on this. I have not tried this yet.

      8. Cut open tips of the old legs. I have this listed last because I thought of it, and I realize I do not know enough to know if it would really assist or not. My thinking here is that the tarantula has to pull against a vacuum inside each leg to get free. As in the case of this Avic, I could shine a light from behind and see that her legs were out of the tarsial joints and I could safely snip off the tips of the tarsals. A draw back from this is that it does allow air into the tips, allowing the tips of the feet to harden faster (if it doesn't progress, the T will get even more stuck).

      Like I said, #8 is very experimental to me and I have not heard anyone else propose it. I would LOVE some feedback about it as well as all the other options listed.

      Am I missing anything here?

      Oh, and I will say, as bad as it may sound, DON'T euthanize your T because it failed to molt! I went to give one more look at my Avic today and was surprised to see it flex and then stretch out its fangs! I gave it some water, and will try to soften things with glycerin here shortly. And even if it is fully stuck in the molt and I cannot free it, I am willing hand-feed it (since it's fangs are free) cricket legs and such for a month. Even if it won't eat, it still has a plump enough belly that it could easily survive without a meal for a month and molt again.

      Where there is life, there is hope.
      Finally, I have seen and read of others here who have attempted to cut their T out of a bad molt. My sober question is, are there ANY examples where that has worked and saved the T? All the examples I am aware of, the T dies shortly after the experience. Are there examples of Ts staying stuck in a molt until their next molt, at which point they are able to molt out of the mess?
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails _MG_7316a failed geroldi molt sm.jpg  

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      Originally Posted by ManlyMan7

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      Originally Posted by crawltech
      Toss the male in, take him out of the water dish in bolus form the next day.

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    3. #2
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      Made this thread in Tarantula Health Issues subforum, and moved it with a permanent redirect to Molts Molts Molts subforum so it can be found in both.

      Now to see if that works.

      This post is a test. It is only a test of the Emergency Redirect Network.


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      Originally Posted by ManlyMan7

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      Originally Posted by crawltech
      Toss the male in, take him out of the water dish in bolus form the next day.

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    5. #3
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      I had my Chaco go through a bad molt recently. I made an ICU with a damp paper towel on the bottom placed the t in and gently placed another towel on top. I she mention it was just the last leg in the left that was stuck. I then put the ICU on TOP of a heating pad for about 2hrs. When next I checked, presto! 1 fresh spidey free of molt. Although the leg is bent in half, the T seems no worse for ware. I posted in molts under the" ICU strikes again. " hope this can help someone in the future.

    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ikester View Post
      I had my Chaco go through a bad molt recently. I made an ICU with a damp paper towel on the bottom placed the t in and gently placed another towel on top. I she mention it was just the last leg in the left that was stuck. I then put the ICU on TOP of a heating pad for about 2hrs. When next I checked, presto! 1 fresh spidey free of molt. Although the leg is bent in half, the T seems no worse for ware. I posted in molts under the" ICU strikes again. " hope this can help someone in the future.
      Excellent idea! I will try that now!

      My Avic geroldi has had glycerin painted onto its legs. And with more water drank, it is definitely got more energy.

      Thanks for the tip!

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      Originally Posted by ManlyMan7

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      Originally Posted by crawltech
      Toss the male in, take him out of the water dish in bolus form the next day.

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      So I came back an hour and a half after applying glyderin to the legs of this geroldi, and this is what I found.

      Click image for larger version. 

Name:	_MG_7246a Avic geroldi sm.jpg 
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Name:	_MG_7248a Avic geroldi sm.jpg 
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      It has pulled the left legs off of the underside of the carapace on the old molt, giving it more freedom of movement.

      I have taken Ikster's idea and put it in an ICU on a heat pad, though I am concered that I might cook it, so I won't leave it there for long.

      I shold also say that this little guy moves a LOT more now after getting some water and freeing up some movement.

      Still, every limb is encased in old exo.

      This is meant as an example for this thread.

      Other ideas are definitely welcome!

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      Originally Posted by ManlyMan7

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      Originally Posted by crawltech
      Toss the male in, take him out of the water dish in bolus form the next day.

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    10. #6
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      Good luck!!!

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      Thanks Ikster.

      This evening, I took this video of my Avic. You can see how mobile it has become.

      Water really helped perk it up too.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwMEw...ature=youtu.be

      I have decided it is not worth stressing her out to try to get her out of the exo. She can move around and that should be good for a month. Hopefully, she will molt out of the whole thing next time and be none the worse for it (though I suspect it will take 2 or 3 molts to fully recover).

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      Originally Posted by ManlyMan7

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      Originally Posted by crawltech
      Toss the male in, take him out of the water dish in bolus form the next day.

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      I really hope she lives MM. I really reallly hope she lives. She deserves it.
      0.0.1 Chromatopelma Cyaneopubescens
      0.1.0 Grammostola rosea "Shelob"
      0.0.1 Brachypelma albopilosum "Speck"
      :horse:


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      Originally Posted by J!m
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      ROA ..... OMG, .....I am speechless and that doesn't happen very often. LOL

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    16. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by RockinOutAmber View Post
      I really hope she lives MM. I really reallly hope she lives. She deserves it.
      Thanks Amber. I hope so too.

      I think one of my biggest challeges will be to keep from mold. Keeping her hydrated and fed will be a little bit of a challege, but shouldn't be too bad.

      I think every week or few days, I will change out her substrate. Avic slings are very prone to mold, and she is less mobile than normal, so doubly so.

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      Originally Posted by crawltech
      Toss the male in, take him out of the water dish in bolus form the next day.

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    17. #10
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      Update: my Chaco just molted today! It's slightly bigger than before but the main thing is it dropped its crippled leg.!! Now I'll try to monitor how long it takes to regen. Hey manly, didn't you start a sticky to observe the regen process too? I'll get a pic when I can. Starting today 11/08/2012 1:00 pm mtn. New molt 7 legs.

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