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Charlie The Facehugger
Posted: June 08, 2013 02:15 am
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My Avic avic is near death. Please help advise me and disambiguate between DKS and (fingers crossed) an extended premolt + stress.

Age: ≈ 4 years
Self-fast period: 3 months
Last bedding change: 1.5 months

The Avic avic, unsexed but will be referred to as she/her herein, first started acting strange 2 months ago where I'd repeatedly find her stuck on the top of her enclosure—seemingly unable to "let go". After observing her climbing behavior in different scenarios, it appears control of her tarsal claws is a factor.

After each "rescue", assuming dehydration I'd physically place her in a horizontal channel of her enclosure, where she'd readily "swash" her sternum left and right in the water and later drag her maxilla/labium across the droplets on the walls.

Her movement for the past month has regressed from stiff/slow to now only responding to external stimuli. To put things into grim perspective, last night I gently placed her on her back. She'd be right where I left her today if I didn't replace her upright.

Her strange movement closely resembles http://youtu.be/lIQTc9JGSKc and not nearly as sporadic as http://youtu.be/Y_jTwAAlpbA.

During the past 2 weeks, she's spent a total of 72 hours in an ICU, where each time I successfully positioned her sternum in [and her book lungs out of] a shallow water dish.

While she has never flicked, she does have a distinctively darker spot on the dorsal side of her abdomen. (Of which I think is thick, velvety fur, not skin.)

Pre and post bedding change, spanning (and exceeding) this 3 month period, she has laid out zero web.

Historically, she molts where she spends most of her time - in one of the vertical channels of her enclosure. I'm worried we both think its circumference isn't large enough this time. If true, could she be restraining from molting? There are plenty of flat open areas she could molt. They are, however, unpopulated with cork bark or other vertical standing material, in case she wants to molt while suspended.

Should I assume the culprit stiffness of premolt and leave her alone? Or assume DKS and hand feed her? Please advise!

This post has been edited by Charlie The Facehugger on June 08, 2013 09:13 am
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Charlie The Facehugger
Posted: June 08, 2013 11:34 pm
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Update: she passed this afternoon. :(

If anyone would like more details, more information can be found in this thread (assuming it's kosher to link): http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread...699#post2175699
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