DKS - Dyskinetic Syndrome in Tarantulas
What is Dyskinetic Syndrome?
Dyskinetic Syndrome (often referred to as "DKS") is not a specific disease, but rather a set of symptoms which typically include:
-Jerky and/or twitchy movements
-Loss of motor control (inducing difficulty or inability to walk, eat and drink)
-In some cases, lifting of the legs above the carapace
What causes DKS?
Sometimes when a tarantula gets DKS we're able to narrow the cause down. Often it is a result of pesticide exposure which can come in contact with the tarantula in many ways such as:
-Tap or well water used to water, mist and/or hydrate substrate
-Feeders exposed to pesticides
-Pet with flea collar, "advantage" or similar product
-Tracked in on clothing/shoes (from spraying/dusting outside)
-Termite tenting (previously in home, or a neighbors home)
-Bed bug treatment
-Ant eradication etc.
Chemical exposure (such as from household cleaners, aerosols) have also been reported to cause DKS symptoms.
I have also known hobbyists to loose specimens to DKS who later found out they had mold/mildew in their homes ventilation system.
Some hobbyists have reported a specimen exhibiting DKS symptoms after a bad or difficult molt although I do not believe I have not had this happen in my collection.
Is there any cure?
DKS is nearly always fatal. Although it is extremely unlikely for a tarantula to recover, I have had a few hobbyists report to me their specimen made a full recovery. Please give your tarantula fighting chance by helping it eat and drink!
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