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 [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions

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lizdalton12
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PostSubject: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/13/2011, 11:38 pm

I have 3 scorpions and have had them for about 2 years and have never had a problem.I decided i would get a new member of the family and got my first emperor scorpion I have had him for about 2 months and he has been acting really odd lately i thought he died for a day or 2 i didn't move him or his cage because i thought he might just be molting and this would have been his 3i.. checked on him later and he was moving a little and his tail was an ashy grey color but his tail was laying flat the tip was moving around a little and he is drinking, but he is expanding himself like getting really big then small. Kinda like bloating but it doesn't stay that way for long and he is moving around like his legs and he does move his tail be he doesn't get up.. Any ideas? :/


Last edited by GS on 12/4/2011, 9:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Renamed to appropriate title)
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/14/2011, 11:38 am

I think it's fair to say that it doesn't sound good ... and that inflate/deflate response sounds totally weird. Never heard of anything like it. Could it be because of some kind of parasitic behaviour or is it a molt gone wrong....i don't know......although i have experienced scorps that have been disturbed at a crucial point in their approach to moult and which has fatally affected the outcome.
It's not hard to imagine a scorpion that had initiated the process and then for whatever reason be it environmental, physiological or physical gets stuck in it's molt.....and the prognosis for such a scorpion is never good..

Alternatively could there be chemicals or other contaminants in the substrate that could be affecting your emp?. It sounds as if it was in good health when you got it but that it's declined while you've had it..has it come into contact with any cleaning agents or anything else that could possibly be toxic to your emp...

If you suspect though that the problem is physiological then all you can really do is nothing..nothing at all....cut disturbances of any kind down to an absolute minimum, make sure it's environmental needs are met and wait to see what happens..You don't need to offer food. Just let whatever is going to happen, happen. Either it'll pick up or you'll probably be considering putting it in the freezer.

Quote :
and he is moving around like his legs and he does move his tail be he doesn't get up.. Any ideas? :/


I've got to ask...Do you mean that your emp is moving it's tail and body but otherwise it's immobile?.....if so, how long has your emp been in this condition?


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lizdalton12
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/14/2011, 3:57 pm

He has been like this for about 2 days now and he just kinda wiggles around it does look like he was molting but i haven't seen this happen before he does move some but he doesn't get up he kinda just pushes himself around if that makes any sense
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Sauerkraut
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/14/2011, 5:26 pm

what was the last thing he ate? And what type of substrate are you using?
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lizdalton12
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/14/2011, 10:31 pm

Crickets and My Substrate is about 35% Coconut Husk and 65% Sphagnum
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 12:14 am

Are it's movements similar to a tarantula with DKS?



Like jerky movements as if the animal has no control of it's body?

I have seen this in one scorpion from my collection.
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 4:33 am

Eeeek I didn't know scorpions could get this?
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DolbyR
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 4:35 am

Street, I've seen similar to that with few of mine too, though not that noticeable.
Has it been proved why it happens? Poisoning? Dehydration?
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 10:33 am

Nope. My specimen was not dehydrated though.
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 10:36 am

So it's just random with no explanation?
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 10:42 am

It seemed to be. DKS is a catch all for when your T loses muscle control.
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 11:19 am

Yeh DKS basically means "it's not moving correctly" and as such can be a broad range of ailments.....But considering Ts are a combination of muscle and hydraulic control it's not unusual for something to go wrong there. I have a Lasiodora parahybana that i've had since it was smaller than my little finger nail...I disturbed it accidentally during a early molt and it developed DKS...I thought it was never going to recover but it did. Now it's a fine adult female but she's still skittish and will throw hairs at the slightest provocation however she walks and moves ok now.......Ever since i've wondered how many cases of DKS are the keepers fault..Incorrect environment or disturbance at a critical point...
If someone has observed this kind of behaviour in a scorpion then i'd straight away think "what do scorps and spiders have in common" and apart from both being arachnids i'd focus in on that they both molt in much the same way..
So while poisoning, dehydration, parasites or some other condition could be possible causes i lean more to the thought that it's something in connection with molting ....especially after my own experience..

Also, losing control of extremities in humans is nearly always down to brain or nerve damage...A T moves or twitches if you blow on it which means they have nerves connecting their exterior to their interior (what else eh!) and during molt or in the short period leading up to a molt there must be a possibility of those nerves being damaged if the T/scorp is inadvertently disturbed or their environmental conditions are outside of range or maybe even a combination of both.

Whatever the reason i feel it's fair to say that us keepers share a large portion of the blame.....

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lizdalton12
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 12:48 pm

It does kinda look like that but no as jerky.. It is really slow too. I just knew that this wasn't normal but i still didn't know what was going on
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 1:10 pm

I think you are going to have to accept that there's nothing you can do about it Liz..Either it will recover or it won't....One thing is certain though...continual disturbances will only compound the problem. Your scorpion doesn't know you have the best intentions for it, nor does it know that you are worried about it...if you feel the need to keep checking up on it all you really do is disturb it each time you do that.
My advice would be.....place it somewhere warm and without vibrations. Make sure it has the correct humidity and then leave it alone....give it a week before putting any food into it...if the food item is still there the following day take it out, leave the scorp alone again and try again a week later...If there's still no joy and the scorp shows no improvement then you might have to consider euthanasia....otherwise just leave it alone. Scorps can go a long time without feeding .. it might even be able to make it to it's next molt without eating...Just keep the environmental factors within range.
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lizdalton12
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/15/2011, 2:36 pm

Thanks i have been leaving it alone but i guess this is just learning for the next one(: but i think i am going to wait a little while till i gt another one but anyways thanks everyone for the advise very helpful
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Envyizm
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/19/2011, 2:43 pm

A very common effect of fipronil exposure is general loss of nervous system for inverts. I could go into all the blah blah blah gamma amino butric acid and chlorine channels blah blah blah, but I would bore both and and possibly myself to sleep with that one. Fipronil is found in everything from dog flea and tick medications, to mite spray for herps, to "mite proof" bedding for herps and mice to control grain mites. There isn't a whole lot of things out there that would cause a invert of any kind of loose all control of their nervous system besides insecticides.
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/19/2011, 3:38 pm

That's right....i've heard that before..thanks for the reminder....however, at least in the case of my Lasiodora parahybana i can't see how fipronil could have been the suspect...I have no cats or dogs, haven't used any of the things you mention and i live in a detached house in the countryside with a good 300 meters to my nearest neighbour...and if fipronil is the culprit of all cases of DKS then why doesn't the whole collection become affected instead of just like one spider out of 50.

Agreed, fipronil can wipe out a lot of inverts but i don't see how it can be the sole villain with regards to DKS .. There has to be other agents or mechanisms that can cause nerve damage.
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/19/2011, 11:13 pm

The H.h. I lost was one of two that I housed in identical containers right next to each other. One had spazms and eventually died in spite of ICU treatment, the other is still going strong and shows no sign of poor health. Nothing else in my collection has had any problems either. I also wasn't suggesting that the OP's scorpion has DKS, merely posting something as a reference to see if it was moving about in a similar manner.
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/19/2011, 11:22 pm

Ah so DKS could happen to scorpions! I lost my LQ sling to that. He was in pre molt. I suspected him/her to have contracted DKS so i seperated in case it spread. When i touched it, it walked in a very funny manner and its metasoma kept flinging up and down and up and down. Looked as if it was stinging itself. I just hope none of my other collections were affected.

As for the OP, doesnt sound like DKS when described. I think, as said by the others, yours may have parasites or maybe it came in contact with food that was contaminated with some sort of chemicals. Really hard to know.
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Envyizm
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/20/2011, 12:18 am

@ Den.
Agreed that fipronil isn't the only culprit, but insecticides specifically of the arachnid killing variety are the only compounds I've found to make any sense on the matter. The invertebrate nervous system is very simple and resilient, so the probability of random incident regarding invert genetics is highly unlikely and it would take a very specialized fungus to prey on an arachnid in that manner. If you check around your area you'd be surprised at how many insecticides we are exposed to on a daily basis. It only takes a small amount of exposure to the right kind of toxin to trigger the effect. fipronil is only the most common example. Exposure could happen by simply touching something when your out and messing with the substrate without washing your hands. Remember: most insecticides work by shutting down the central nervous system. As far as tarantulas go: Theraphosidae can even absorb water through their scopulae, which makes them more susceptible to dks as this adds a substrate and decor variable to the equation. As it being possible for many other culprits for dks, the likelihood for other factors to trigger such effect in the same fashion insecticides do is very unlikely
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/20/2011, 4:49 am

Quote :
The invertebrate nervous system is very simple and resilient, so the probability of random incident regarding invert genetics is highly unlikely and it would take a very specialized fungus to prey on an arachnid in that manner

Again, agreed..however it does happen..Cordyceps is a well known invert killing fungus that has even specialised itself so that each strain of cordyceps attacks one specific invert species...and if it can happen in the tropics why is it so difficult to imagine an unknown temperate variety with a different M.O .. Not that i'm saying this is the answer but in my mind it could be a possibility...I mean, it's not as if insect research is in a riveting expansion these years..i'm sure there's still plenty of things we don't know or haven't even thought about yet.

Quote :
I lost my LQ sling to that. He was in pre molt.

Another connection to molt!

Although sure, i can see how someone could go into town to do their weekly shopping and end up patting a friendly dog that is tied up out front the market. Coming back home with fipronil on your hands and then without washing them, inspecting one of your scorps or Ts, could be an easy route to DKS..

Although again...i can't see how this can account for every case..If it was as simple as that surely the connection would have been discovered long before now....We need to hear from people that have experienced DKS in their stock and who also can with a 100% certainty rule out fipronil or other insecticidal influence..


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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/20/2011, 6:51 pm

Den wrote:
Although again...i can't see how this can account for every case..If it was as simple as that surely the connection would have been discovered long before now....

Insecticides are in or on just about everything from the grass we walk on (grub killer), market fruits, outside plants (mosquito dusting), Livestock, domesticated animals, animal bedding at the pet store (for mammals and snakes), and even built up in feeder insects from trace amounts of insecticide concentrating in feeders such as commercially sold crickets given fruits and veggies not properly cleansed of insecticides. A lot of people I've spoke to who have had it happen with their T's happened shortly after feeding vertebrate prey. You would think that people would have discovered such a simple connection, but the fact that we theorize things such as temperate Cordyceps fungi being a probability instead of focusing on much more probable scenarios leaves much more static than signal, If you know what I'm getting at. Also, depending on the individual tolerance of a arachnid, one may come into contact with a specific toxic multiple times and dodge dks when another could come in contact with a trace amount and become afflicted with the condition. It's kind of like the healthy 92 year old pack a day smoker vs. the 25 year old kid who smoked a pack of cigarettes and develops lung cancer. Just something to consider.
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/21/2011, 12:38 pm

You present a reasonable case and one i can't immediately find any fault with. Maybe insecticide prevalence is as high and evenly distributed as you suggest, it certainly wouldn't surprise me ... I guess the only way to actually prove that hypothesis would be to travel to some far flung location deep in the tropics or outback where insecticides probably weren't so pervasive and attempt to find natural cases of DKS in arachnids.

Quote :
but the fact that we theorize things such as temperate Cordyceps fungi being a probability instead of focusing on much more probable scenarios leaves much more static than signal, If you know what I'm getting at.

I know exactly what you're getting at although i thought i made it clear i wasn't trying to suggest that that could have been a possibility .. i was simply focusing on the fact that nature has long since accomplished the ability to produce specialised invert killing fungi .. and from there to the thought that maybe, just maybe there could be other types of fungi that have evolved in temperate environments and that we as yet have no idea about doesn't, in my mind take such an enormous leap of faith.

I agree if we consider Occams razor then your ideas sound much more likely but poke me in the eye and call me daft, i can't help focusing in on the fact that there's still a shed load of knowledge we don't know yet plus i bet, 5 shed loads of stuff we haven't even considered yet.
I also have nagging doubts that DKS could actually be a variety of ailments with one or some of them still relating to molt in some way.
BUt that doesn't mean i'm not big enough to agree that your suggestion certainly sounds the more feasible... study
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/21/2011, 4:02 pm

Den wrote:
although i thought i made it clear i wasn't trying to suggest that that could have been a possibility .. i was simply focusing on the fact that nature has long since accomplished the ability to produce specialized invert killing fungi

Sorry, I didn't try to word it as a means of correction, but as an example of some things mentioned in place of insecticides to explain the symptoms of dks. I'd have to say in all honesty your counter argument was probably too logical and plausible to have used it as an example of some of the mythical thinking involved in theorizing dyskinetic syndrome in invertebrates and how the lack of logic causes more static than signal and etc. Considering all likely causes to a condition is definitely the start of conducting proper research.

Although we somewhat sidetracked the topic, I have to say this has been one of the most intellectually stimulating conversations I've had with a member of the forums in some time.
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DolbyR
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PostSubject: Re: [Discussion] Dyskinetic Syndrome (DKS) in Scorpions   11/21/2011, 5:57 pm

Quote :
Although we somewhat sidetracked the topic, I have to say this has been one of the most intellectually stimulating conversations I've had with a member of the forums in some time.

Great info from both of you guys. Though, it would be nice if Bex or GS could split this up into a separate thread. Not because it's O/T or something, but because more people would maybe see it. I'm sure there's some more people who would contribute.
Myself am still too new to inverts and don't have that much exp. really, so I don't have anything to share.

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