Preventing illness is best achieved by giving the tarantula the appropriate habitat and keeping the enclosure free from mold, mites, leftovers, molt and other parasites. Mold can form on their book lungs (which are located on the underside of their abdomens) and cause breathing problems. A sick tarantula should be moved to a Tarantula ICU for a week or until it has fully recovered.
If you find that your enclosure has mite infestation, immediately remove your tarantula and inspect it for any mites that are clinging on it. Here is where the pinch-grab method can prove to be useful. Using a damp paper towel or cotton swab, gently wipe away any mites sticking to your tarantula. Pay close attention to areas between the legs, joints, underside, around the mouth and be particularly careful when dealing with the booklungs. Clean out your enclosure and wash everything, throw out the substrate and replace with new substrate. To avoid contaminating other enclosures or tarantulas, always wash your hand after dealing with contaminated enclosures or tarantulas.
Treating your Tarantula’s Injuries:
If your tarantula falls or gets injured in any manner, you should watch it carefully. Look for a semi-clear milky white-ish substance oozing out of your tarantula. This is blood. Tarantula blood does not clot so wounds should be treated immediately to avoid excessive bleeding. Wounds can easily be treated by using a cue-tip and dabbing either water-based glue or liquid band aid directly into the wound. Be careful to only apply treatment of the wounded area as excessive glue or band aid can cause movement restrictions for your tarantula (especially if you are treating wounds in the leg and joint areas). Also take caution in treating wounds that are in the abdomen, be careful not to glue/band aid the anus, spinnerets, book lungs or the epigastric furrow. Lightly injured tarantulas can be kept in their enclosures while seriously injured tarantulas should spend at least a day to recover in an ICU.
A dehydrated tarantula is easily recognizable if its abdomen is slightly wrinkled or deflated. Apply treatment immediately. Using a medicine dropper or small syringe (without the needle), simply but very gently use the pinch-grab method and flip your tarantula over and drop water directly to its fangs (do not drown your tarantula, just a few drops). Then place your tarantula in an ICU until it is regained health.
Building a Tarantula ICU:
Building a tarantula ICU is fairly easy. All you need is a deli container (with air holes on the top and sides) a little bigger than your tarantula patient, a water dish and plenty paper towels. Just line the bottom and the sides of the enclosure with slightly damp (with water) paper towels, be sure that the sides are cushioned with paper towels before placing your tarantula in it. Place the water bowl with clean water inside and you’re done.