Tarantulas are still a very niche pet to keep and although they have seen some solid growth in their popularity in recent years, they are still rarely kept in the Western world.
That said though, the recent growth in the popularity of keeping tarantulas as pets has resulted in more and more people reaching out to ask a wide range of different questions about caring for their pets.
Thankfully, tarantulas are pretty hardy and provided you get the basics right for them, they will usually thrive and not have many serious problems.
One of the more serious issues that we have seen a number of people who keep tarantulas report having recently involved their tarantulas having a ruptured abdomen.
Due to this being a very serious issue that is usually fatal for a tarantula, we wanted to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Why Would A Tarantulas Abdomen Explode?
The most common reason for a tarantulas abdomen to explode is due to the tarantula being overfed or injuring itself in a fall.
As we briefly touched on above, tarantulas are not generally known as being heavy eaters and usually only need feeding once every week or two at the most.
However, some new tarantula owners make the mistake of overfeeding their tarantulas which can lead to a wide range of health problems, one of which being a ruptured abdomen.
Some tarantulas are better than others at managing their food intake and they won’t over eat much but others will just keep eating if the food is available to them.
In terms of falling and injuring itself, this is usually only an issue for wild caught tarantulas as they are not used to being in captivity.
In some cases though, you may end up with a tarantula bred in captivity that just loves to climb but if they call, they can accidentally rupture their abdomen.
In very rare cases, a tarantula may have internal parasites which can cause their abdomen to swell up and eventually rupture.
This is due to the signs of internal parasites in your tarantula being obvious and most people will treat the condition with ease before it is able to become serious enough to potentially cause your tarantula’s abdomen to rupture.
Something Drops On Them
In some tarantula tank setups, there may be rocks, branches or other decorations that may accidentally fall on top of the tarantula and rupture its abdomen.
Rock piles are the most common cause of this and although it is rare, it can happen and as we mentioned earlier in the article, it is usually fatal in a tarantula.
Some setups may have multiple tarantulas in the tank and although we usually recommend against this, there are some situations where this can be beneficial.
The issue is that the tarantulas may fish and end up rupturing their abdomen during the fight. This is the rarest cause of a ruptured abdomen in a tarantula though but it is still something to keep an eye out for.
How Do I Know If My Tarantula Has A Ruptured Abdomen?
If your tarantula has a ruptured abdomen, there are several signs and symptoms that you will be able to look out for which we have listed below.
1) Your Tarantula’s Abdomen Looks Bloated
The first and most obvious sign that something is wrong is if your tarantula’s abdomen looks bloated. This is usually a sign that something is wrong internally and if you see this, you should take your tarantula to the vet as soon as possible.
2) Your Tarantula Is Not Moving
If your tarantula is not moving around much, this may be due to the pain it is in from the ruptured abdomen. This is not always the case though and some tarantulas will continue to move around even with a ruptured abdomen.
3) Your Tarantula’s Abdomen Has A Hole In It
If you can see that your tarantula’s abdomen has a hole in it, this is a sure sign that it has ruptured and you should take it to the vet immediately.
4) Your Tarantula Is Bleeding
If your tarantula is bleeding from its abdomen, this is another sure sign that it has ruptured and you need to take it to the vet as soon as possible.
Please note, we know that tarantula’s don’t “bleed”, they haemolymph due to not technically having blood but the term bleed is more commonly understood.
5) Your Tarantula’s Abdomen Looks Sunken In
Another sign that your tarantula has a ruptured abdomen is if its abdomen looks sunken in. This is usually due to the tarantula losing weight and it is not a good sign.
6) Your Tarantula Is Not Eating
If your tarantula stops eating, this may be due to the pain it is in from the ruptured abdomen or it may be due to the fact that it is not feeling well. Either way, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible.
7) Your Tarantula’s Abdomen Smells Bad
If your tarantula’s abdomen smells bad, this is usually a sign of infection and you should take it to the vet as soon as possible.
What Should I Do If My Tarantula Has A Ruptured Abdomen?
If you think that your tarantula has a ruptured abdomen, the best thing to do is to take it to the vet as soon as possible. This is a serious condition and it is usually fatal in tarantulas so the sooner you get it treated, the better.
At the vet, they will be able to determine if your tarantula has a ruptured abdomen and if so, they can try to treat it. The treatment will usually involve surgery to repair the rupture and then antibiotics to prevent infection.
In most cases, the tarantula may not be able to be saved but it is always worth trying to get it treated as soon as possible.
You really do need to take action as soon as possible if your tarantula is leaking clear fluid (tarantula) from the rupture in its abdomen or it will quickly die.
Some people will just apply liquid band aid to the rupture as a quick option due to the odds of survival in a tarantula leaking clear fluid from a rupture in its abdomen being so low.
Although we have seen some reports that liquid band aid has been able to help some tarantulas survive, we would still guess that the chances of survival will be low.