Autophagy (or autonomy?) in a baby...

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Cryp_Sis, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Cryp_Sis

    Cryp_Sis O. bimaculoides Supporter

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    Today I noticed that one of my 6-week old baby bimacs appeared to have one of his arm tips in his mouth and close inspection shows he is missing the very tip of several arms. I am, needless to say, extremely worried by this, as the evidence points to autophagy (I am using the word literally to describe the symptom – I have no idea whether it is the disease agent described by Budellmann [1998]. I SERIOUSLY hope not). He has not been eating for the last few days, and has been mostly adopting the “legs curled up towards him” posture, so I thought he was on the way out anyway, but since I saw this behaviour I have, of course, quarantined him. The really bad news is that he has previously been in the closed system with 20+ siblings, and (worse) a new batch of 137 week-old bimacs. There is nothing else in his tank to have caused the damage (all the babies are contained individually, and only a few live mysids and brine shrimp are in there with him). It is definitely only the arm tips that are affected though, rather than loss of an entire arm at the base. Does this give me any hope that this is not the result of a contagious pathogen? Has anyone seen this type of behaviour in hatchlings? I am so worried…
    Other info; the water quality parameters are near-perfect (Ammonia
     
  2. Cryp_Sis

    Cryp_Sis O. bimaculoides Supporter

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    Forgot to add; I can't see the missing arm tips anywhere in the container (although I might well be overlooking them, as the length missing is approx 1mm) so I don't know that they have actually been eaten.
    Tony; I think we need an icon for some REALLY rude words for situations like this...
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Somewhere in here Roy (Neogonodactylus) mentions bacterial problems with his Blue Rings when they were over crowded but the group he was discussing were able to touch each other and he attributed the touching to the possible problem.

    My very limited experience with arm consumption has also been related to what appears to be infection or some type of deterioration. Most notably when Octane escaped and was over exposed to the air (or under exposed to water as it were) and recently with Beldar (senescence). However, Kalypso (briareus) lost an arm for no known reason but never bothered the other arms and lived 18 months in captivity.

    If you can get it to eat, you might try spicing some shrimp with tetracycline (available for fish without a perscription, I mix it with saltwater and inject the shrimp). You might even inject the food of some number of the healthy ones to see if it avoids a problem. Unfortunately, deciding how much to give is guess work (as well has how much actually gets into the system). This is the one antibiotic that seems to be ceph safe and it appeared to halt and allow healing with OhToo's infected arm (but not his eye months later when he started into senescence). I also gave it to my female Merc after she laid her eggs (as a precaution) and she lived an additional 11 weeks after hatching (she never chewed on her arms but neither did her children or grandchildren without the preventative). I wish I had come up with a way to give it to Bel but she would not eat shrimp or dead crabs in the end and I could not think of a way to deliver it.

    I used a 10 day program since that is the typical human recommendation and amount of time is to kill bacteria and not related to the subject.

    Unfortunately, if it is the bacterial form of autophagy it won't help.
     
  4. Cryp_Sis

    Cryp_Sis O. bimaculoides Supporter

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    Thanks so much for the suggestion D. Would you be able to tell me roughly how much you injected into the shrimp (and what size the shrimp were) so I can have a stab at adjusting it for my little ones? I will certainly give it a try as a prophylactic measure for some of the others.
    This is not one of my better days; Moomin died this morning too. I think I'm going to call it a day soon, go home and have a small cry and a large glass of wine.
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Drink a second with my name on it:wine:

    Any signs of senescence with Moomin? Sometimes we loose them out of the blue like this but I have always suspected that a chemical was used in capturing them if it happens within the first month of captivity. One particular supplier seems to have a record of short lived hummelincki but evidence is antecdotal.

    I fed both the merc and the hummelincki shore shrimp that I killed (or damaged :yuck:) using the injection needle so they were very fresh. As for how much powder to mix, I opened the capsules and just guessed so I am useless with quantity. I tried to get as much "yellow" as I could in the needle and then into the shrimp. I know it did not harm the octopuses, I don't know if it helped.

    Oh, I failed to mention that the bacteria involved with Roy's blue rings was some form of vibro (also not responsive to tetracycline and a component in their venom I believe). It can be disasterous for seahorses and the wild caught FL erectus are thought to harbor a form of it benignly but able to transmit it to other species.
     
  6. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Sounds bacterial rather than autophagy, in autophagy the arms are bitten off right at the web or buccal mass if the species has no web.

    J
     
  7. Cryp_Sis

    Cryp_Sis O. bimaculoides Supporter

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    Thanks Jean; that makes me feel a lot better. I actually just found an article by Roger Hanlon detailing appropriate doses of Kanamycin and gentamycin applied in a bath solution for treating bacterial infections in bimacuoides, so I'm going to give that a try.
    More weirdness; the baby is moving around strangely. He seems to be dragging himself along with only the proximal portions of his arms in contact with the substrate. Perhaps the distal ends are infected and therefore not responsive and/or painful?

    D - I'm sorry I wasn't clear about Moomin. I have had her since Sept 2008, and she just laid several hundred small eggs last week (see post under the ID thread), so her death was not unexpected, just upsetting.
     
  8. Cryp_Sis

    Cryp_Sis O. bimaculoides Supporter

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    Too late...
    I literally went over to the fridge to get the antibiotics, and :angel:
    Aaaaargh! That really is it; beer o'clock.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I looked for Moomin's thread but could not find it in journals (hint) and failed to remember it was in the intro category and that she was brooding :oops:. One of the things I am trying to encourage people to put in their brooding mother journals (hint, hint :wink:) is the length of time for each species to brood in an aquarium. So far, from the few posts we do have, it looks like 10-14 days with the small egg species and 8-10 weeks for the larger egg octos.

    Do you have the octos at home or in a lab?

    Did the little octopus act like the substrate was hot or uncomfortable to touch? I have seen starfish/serpents act this way when nothing else seemed disturbed and nothing was odd (suspected PH but PH was fine). This in our first saltwater reef aquarium (this go round - we have started and restarted sw tanks over the years but not until discovering LR have we continued to keep up the hobby - obsessed might be a good word to describe the 8 tanks I maintain now) and likely had to do with new tank syndrome but I avoided stars and serpents for a long time because of it. I never did figure it out and was terrified when I saw one of my huge serpents (three or more years in his current home) walking this way in the reef. It didn't continue though and he was fine.
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I sent you an email with the phone number of the NRCC. They raise large groups of bimac hatchliings and have many years experience with this. They might be able to help.
     

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