Tarantulas are just like any other pet in the since that they can get sick or injured and require basic tarantula care or first aid. This section is help prepare you to provide you tarantula with basic tarantula care techniques so that you know what to do if your pet tarantula becomes dehydrated, receives an injury due to a fall or handling, loses a limb, or goes through a bad molt.
Tarantulas can be touchy when it comes done to humidity levels. Water dishes are very important. The one time they really need water, it needs to be available. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you tarantula becomes dehydrated, the cause is usually due to because the cage has become too dry or it hasn’t fed in a while. A mildly dehydrated tarantula may have a shrunken abdomen and become inactive. A more severely dehydrated tarantula will have its legs curled underneath it to some degree.
Once a tarantula becomes dehydrated it will require an ICU cup. A ICU cup is a basic tarantula care unit that can be created easily in your own kitchen. To create an ICU cup you’ll need a deli cup or Tupperware container, a pin, a paper towel, and water. First you need to poke a few holes into the lid of the container. Moisten the paper towel with warm water and then place it inside the cup so that it completely covers the bottom. Ensure that there is no standing water. 5Your tarantula needs to have a water source around its mouth, which is not used for breathing, but still be able to breathe through the book lungs that are on the bottom of its abdomen. Next, you need to place the tarantula inside of the ICU cup and then secure the lid. Place the container in a room that is in the upper 70s to mid-80s.
Normally, a mildly dehydrated tarantula will recover within 24 hours, though some spiders might need to be in the container for a couple days. If a tarantula is more severely dehydrated it may become necessary to place its mouth in water. You must make sure that the bottom surface of the abdomen is kept out of standing water so the tarantula can breathe. Angling the tarantula into a shallow water container like a petri dish, with only the mouth in the water is best.
SUPER GLUE AND INJURY REPAIR
If you own a tarantula, it is essential to also own household superglue. It your tarantula is injured due to a fall, etc., it is important to have super glue so that you can mend the wound and clot the flow of hem lymph (Hem lymph is the tarantula’s “blood” and it is a clears-whitish-pale bluish liquid). Application of super glue to an injury can even repair ruptures to the abdomen, and save your tarantulas life if the injury is caught immediately. 7
If you tarantula loses a leg or oedipal, don’t worry too much. If the wound heals cleanly, the leg will grow back within a few molts.
Some tarantulas may have difficulty molting, especially if those tarantulas are old or malnourished. Sometime a tarantula can even have trouble completely extricate itself from its old exoskeleton. If this happens, unfortunately, the spider with be trapped within the old exoskeleton. Bad molts usually only present themselves as a tarantulas have difficulty with one of its legs. You can assist the tarantula by gently using tweezers to cleanly separate both the new and old leg. Some younger tarantulas who experience bad molts may end up having a deformed leg. It might sound scary, but after waiting at least four days, tweezers can be used to pluck the deformed leg cleanly off so that it can regenerate with the next molt.
The BEST way to help prevent bad molts is to supply your tarantula with water and by keeping the tarantula well fed
Tarantulas, unlike other pets, only need to be fed once a week on average. They will go through some periods of time where they do not eat for a few weeks. This is usually an indication of it being a seasonal change (winter), about to molt (won’t eat before molting), or possibly it does not like the food you are offering it, in which case we suggest trying something else. Just be sure to remove any uneaten specimens within 24 hours. Trying to over-feed your Tarantula or “Power Feed” is NOT recommended and will shorten your Tarantulas life span.
If you are not sure what kind of tarantula you have, there are some basic housing techniques that you can use to take care of your tarantula until you find out what it is. An overall rule of thumb for picking out a tarantula container is that the container should be no smaller than 2 1/2 times the length of the spider.
Humidity wise, keeping your container too humid can promote mold and fungi. Therefore, it is important not to keep your tarantula’s cage too moist. Until you find out what kind of tarantula you have, make sure that you keep a small bowl of water in the enclosure. You can also spray down one side of the cage every few days. Some species of tarantulas require higher humidity, so you really do need to find out what kind of tarantula you have ASAP. Temperature wise, most tarantulas, a temperature range of 70°-85° will be perfectly find.