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    Thread: Curled legs but no lethargy

    1. #1
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      Curled legs but no lethargy

      Hi everyone, I am new here and will be posting in the introduction area shortly, but I wanted to get this question out there in hopes of getting some advice sooner. I just brought home a G. rosea (looks to be an adult) about a week ago. I have kept this species in the past but it has been about 12 years, so I am just getting involved with them again. The female we brought home has seemed to be settling in nicely, took a cricket on her second night home and ate another about three days later. Don't worry, I am aware that they do not need to be fed nearly so frequently, I offered it because I am not sure what conditions she was in before or what feeding schedule she was on. Her abdomen looks slightly smaller than I would expect at her size, but proportionate. It does not look shrunken. The store she came from had just gotten her in from a different store the day before I got her, so they did not have any history to speak of. She will be fed once a week maximum as far as a regular feeding schedule goes, possibly less frequently depending on her growth.

      Anyway, I just came home to find her sitting out in the open (which is common) but she appeared to have a few legs slightly pointed inward, and one leg so far under her that the back of her "foot" was touching the ground. It almost looked as thought she had been cleaning herself and fell asleep, but also somewhat like a death curl. She did not respond to blowing gently next to her, which is usually enough to make her move. Concerned that she may be dead, I opened the tank and gently brushed her leg. She whirled right around like lightning and charged right into her water dish, which she proceeded to walk into, drink from for about ten seconds and then calmly walked back into her hide where she remains.

      My question is, I can't imagine dehydration is the cause here since she has had two feeders recently and has fresh water accessible at all times in the tank. It also seems odd that if weakness were the cause she would take up being so active immediately after. Can anyone shed some light on what may be going on here? I don't want to worry over a spider being a spider, but it has been ages and I don't know what to make of this. Is it possible for them to sleep in strange positions? Thank you so much for any input, I hope I am just being a worried new keeper.

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      I have seen them in very odd positions. Who knows why they do what they do, silly spiders! I wouldn't blow on her though, that may stress her out.

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      Good to know, is it less stressful then do you think to open the lid and touch her with a brush or something? The lid is a locking one and it vibrates something awful when opened, seems to freak her out just as much. Would you say it is safe to assume that if they are resting in a strange position but are immediately fast and responsive then the death curl can be ruled out? If she is going to do this at all regularly I would love to have a guideline for when to worry and when to shrug it off as her being odd lol. She seems to be resting fine now, did clean herself some more right after all this. Do you suppose she may actually have just stopped cleaning and stayed in that position. Looked for all the world like cleaning posture except that she wasn't moving.

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      Sometimes they will not move for days at a time. Unless they are for sure in a death curl, I wouldn't bother them. I know it's hard not to worry though.

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      Would just a couple of legs be considered a death curl, or are we talking full blown all legs folded under? She has actually moved at least a couple times a day since I brought her home. I take the fact that she ate almost immediately as a good sign too, settled in quickly and all. I am probably more nervous simply due to the fact that she came from a chain pet store, and they are notorious for bad care but I figured we would risk it and do our best with her. She does appear to be in good health, then again I am far from an expert in what to look for.

      Out of curiosity, what do you make of the drinking from the bowl immediately after running into it? I haven't seen her drink (doesn't mean she hasn't I suppose) until today. From what I have read I gathered that a healthy spider should be able to get all its fluids from its prey and that the water dish is just sort of an emergency back up, but that they should not need it ideally. Does this seem like a red flag to you that she would be drinking from it, or will they do this even when in good health?

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      I wouldn't consider it a red flag. I have seen most of my spiders drinking at some point. That just goes to show that they do need fresh clean water. It's common to overthink their care, especially at first, but it sounds like your spider is doing perfectly fine.

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      KcFerry (08-31-2015)

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      Welcome Kiiarah,

      I agree with Tgirl. If she was so weak as to curl (for real), she wouldn't be as responsive as you described. Probably just grooming/cleaning herself.
      Of all my tarantula's, my rosie is the most ridiculous! Shortly after buying her, she buried herself for nearly a year! No food or water during that time. When she emerged, she ate once and laid face down in her water for a day, then re-buried herself for another 6 months! She finally molted and emerged and has been pretty normal since, but she upholds the "crazy rosie" stigma quite well. She's commonly in some silly position and will go off food for months at a time, but she's still here. When she last molted in the spring, she just flipped and molted without laying down a molt mat! Did she forget? LOL
      I guess my point is...there's no way to know if somethings wrong unless it's completely obvious.
      Please keep us updated.
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      Tgirl - That is good to hear confirmed. It is strange how so many people seem to think that the bare minimum is the same as the ideal isn't it? My thinking is that if it is alive it needs access to water, no exceptions. Always baffles me when people try to justify doing less, I think it is just laziness honestly.

      Kc - I am so glad to hear it doesn't sound worrying. I had a feeling I was making more of it than I needed to, but I am new enough to all this that I wouldn't disregard the possibility of missing something serious. I think the hardest thing about them so far is how hard it is to tell exactly what is going on with them. I never know if she is sleeping, waiting for prey to come by, stressed, sick. I am sure it will come with time, but for the moment I am somewhat in the dark when it comes to reading her. She is a lovely girl though and I am busying myself with all the research I can possibly do in order to better care for her. Fortunately I have a ball python, so I have already come to terms with the concept of food refusal lol. Still I am sure the first time she does it I won't be able to help but worry.

      I felt the same way that if she was curling due to any sort of physical problem she wouldn't have been so incredibly fast and agile the next moment. I know the curling is caused by lack of hydraulic pressure to the limbs and a resultant inability to fully extend them. I was initially concerned that maybe she was having difficulty moving but the surprise of me touching her was enough to get a burst of energy out of her. At this point she has been a normal T for over a day, so I would think symptoms would have come back if there were a real issue. Still keeping a close eye on her just in case, but I think it is pretty safe to say she just groomed herself to sleep.

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