What Happens if a Leg Comes Off a Tarantula?

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Besides feeding the occasional parasite, tarantulas are not noted for a history of medical issues. Their main health concerns are poor handling and molting complications. Careless handling and problems with molting can cause your tarantula to lose a leg. Although tarantula legs can regenerate, it is important to respond to an injury promptly and appropriately to prevent further damage.

Bleeding

If your tarantula loses a leg, he will be able to stop blood flow from going to that area so he won't bleed to death. This ability is like that of clotting in humans. Tarantula blood, referred to as hemolymph, is clear to blue in color. Once blood flow is halted to the injured area, your tarantula will begin to regenerate his leg the next time it molts. You may need to assist him in stopping blood flow to the area, especially if he malnourished or severely injured.

What You Can Do

Your tarantula may need your help to stop blood flow to the injured area. In this case, you need to apply super glue or nail polish to help seal up the wound and assist the hemolymph in clotting. It can be helpful to place your tarantula in the fridge for 20 minutes to help slow the bleeding before applying super glue.

Leg Regeneration

A tarantula is able to regenerate a new leg the next time he molts. This new leg may not be as large or hairy as the previous one, but additional molting sessions will restore the leg to its normal appearance. A younger tarantula may have difficulty when molting, as he may become trapped in his exoskeleton, and needs your help to remove a deformed leg. To help, pinch the disfigured leg with forceps or tweezers to force your tarantula to remove the leg and continue to molt.

Preventative Measures

When handling your tarantula, be careful not to drop him or allow him to crawl around potentially hazardous areas, such as along wires or screens where his legs can become trapped and severed. To promote healthy molting, provide him with fresh food and water. Healthy and hydrated tarantulas experience less difficulties when molting than tarantulas without access to fresh water.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Author

    Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.