Glove Growing Up

DWhatley

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Dom,
You might PM redoc since you may (and it sure sounds like it - fertile or not) be right behind him in timing and ask the he keep you up dated on any obvious observations and timings. I know it was extremely helpful to me to be just behind LEV with the Mercs since the experience was very fresh and it gave me vicarious observations just before they were about to happen.

Redoc has put out a call for experiences on aculeatus egg hatchings but has had not takers so it would be very future helpful if both of you would keep at least a weekly log. Keeping her eating is going to be primary in length of survival. The Mercs seem to typically last up to 5 weeks after hatching IF they eat (LEV, gholland and twice for me) but Jean reports that one of their (New Zeland) species dies before the hatching (don't worry, they can get out of the den they are SMALL, the large egged Merc are tick sized and can still get anywhere they want).

I will also make a small exception to Nancy's comment about them coming out of their dens to die. This was true of my wild caught Merc mother, Trapper, and many have reported aimless wanderings and day time sitings of night octos just before death but two of my tank reared did not and I never found the carcasses in a heavily rocked 45 gallon aquarium. Fortunately, the bio-load seems to be very small as there was never a spike or tank suggestion of the demises, they just "disappeared". I find this a bit odd since I have kept dead hatchlings of two species in saltwater just to see how long it takes them to "dissolve" (ie no clean-up crew) and even after two weeks, the corpses were easily recognizable, just dehydrated. This makes me suspect they are easily eaten after death and that the tank effect is very small. I know you have other critters to worry about but you did mention that Mr. 3 legs was already being consumed when you found him.

If you can't get Glove to come to the door for food, you might try sticking food on a stick through the door rubble with a small amount showing outside and see if she goes for it. Otherwise, try squirting some Cyclop-eeze into the den with a pipette. She will likely blow it back out (and may or may not eat some) but she will protect her eggs from the invasion and you will know she is alive.
 

Domboski

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Well its been a some time but heres the update. There was no way I could get food for Glovette (yes confirmed) so I put about 50 amphipods and 50 small shore crabs about a week ago hoping they would make their way to glove in her den. Well two days ago my skimmer went crazy and there was no obvious reason so I figured Glovette passed on. I've been waiting to engage in a tank overhaul so I decided it was time to do it today. I took out Glovette's PVC and as I was pulling them apart one at a time slowly as I was unsure where Glovette was when I found found her. She is still alive and quite strong. She was holding the PVC pipe together trying to stop me from pulling them apart. There was a boat load of eggs too. I removed the section of PVC where Glovette and her eggs were and put it in my refugium. I took some stray eggs strands and put them in my main tank where they were eaten quickly. The eggs are completely clear. I'm assuming that means they are non-fertile. Glovette looks pretty healthy and actually was trying to catch a grass shrimp and crab I put in the fuge with her.

I'm dreading Glovette's final stage of life. Does anyone on the board euthanize their Octos when they start withering away while still alive? If so, What is the preferred method? Of course I'll search the board as well.

Thanks,

Dom
 

DWhatley

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Dom,
I think you are right about the eggs not being fertile since all other pictures show black eyes this long after the octopus went into brooding.

I have lost a couple of octos now but all have been Mercs so my experience and opinions might change. I have let all die naturally and only with Sisturus would I have considered euthanasia. The others did not seem uncomfortable or in pain and seemed to just go to sleep. Sisty was more heart breaking as he appeared to have a "stroke" (or something equivalent) and loss the use of two arms followed by the inability to stay up right. I still let him die on his own but was internally debating the issue after a full day of this condition. Here is a link to discussion on the topic within TONMO

http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/8457/
 

Domboski

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Thanks D for the thread. I hope I don't have to euthanize Glovette but since she has a strong urge to keep eating I'm afraid she will extend her life to that point. I always thought freezing was humane as I was under the impression that as the temperature dropped the body functions slowed and the fish would become "drunk" until it finally passed on. It's terrible that a super smart animal has so short of a lifespan and passes in such a manner.
 

DWhatley

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I think I contributed this to the link I sent but I'll repeat what I tried here with Trapper. I did not do this with Sisty and don't believe it would have helped but if infection and skin lession are what you most fear, it might. I injected trapper's shrimp with a small amount of Tetracycline for 10 days after the babies hatched. She lived almost 12 weeks (excessive) from the appearance of the first hatchling and did not show any signs of skin deterioration. She ate up until her last hours and I did not detect undue stress or discomfort other than she preferred softer things to climb on and would sit in my hand or on the pump rather than climbing around in the LR. She was only eating Cyclop-eeze in the end but would take it directly from a pipette and could climb the tank wall to come and eat (there is a video in her thread if you are interested in reading more). I don't think Sisty's affliction was bacterial though but I wish I had tried the one-time shot of antibiotics just to know I did all I know to do. Sisty was 13 months old so it is unlikely anything would have stopped time and I don't kick myself much about it.


As you may have noted in the thread, Gjbarord feels that trying to prolong an animal's end of life is not best for the animal and makes some good points but I still argue that if the life can be extended without pain then it is worth trying. How to make the call is difficult.
 

Domboski

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I did read that and it is quite interesting. It is so hard to make a decision. I'm a believer that relating our own experience and feelings to understand what another animal is going through is somewhat irrational especially with an animal like a ceph. They are so complex and different than we are. That type of philosophy really leaves a big black hole in what is best to do though in this situation. Right now I'm like 80% leave Glovette to a natural passing and 20% euthanization.
 

Nancy

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Not all octopuses experience the end of life in the same way. Some have what appears to be a "heart attack" (?organ failure) and die quickly. Others don't seem to visibly deteriorate but are far less active and then pass away. The ones that concern us are the ones with lesions and quite visible deterioration.

Octopuses can live some time after egg laying and even appear to be in faily good shape - just depends.

Nancy
 

Domboski

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Well Glovette is still alive but doesn't seem to be eating any longer. She is actually acting weird. Rather than hide in a den, she chooses to cover her head with her tentacle web. Very strange. I feel bad for her. The eggs are all gone. She looks to be in good shape and I'm not 100% sure she isn't eating because I put about 30 grass shrimp in the tank with her. Has anyone witnessed this behavior and could let me know what this means?
 

DWhatley

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No suggestions or answers but a few questions. When you said the eggs are "gone" do you mean they totally vanished or just became empty sacks? Could she have eaten them? There is some conjecture that females may eat unfertile eggs but I have only seen maybe kinds of references. Does she stay in the open curled up all the time or just during night/day? With my 5 mercs, only HideNSeek (male) did something similar during his last week. If I disturbed him, he could swim but would return to that position after "escaping" my intrusion.
 

Domboski

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dwhatley;119068 said:
No suggestions or answers but a few questions. When you said the eggs are "gone" do you mean they totally vanished or just became empty sacks? Could she have eaten them?

I took most out and the rest are completely gone. She may have eaten them or the grass shrimp picked at them.

dwhatley;119068 said:
Does she stay in the open curled up all the time or just during night/day?

All of the time. Actually today she is looking terrible. She is no longer curled up and is very white. She is also breathing heavily. I'm assuming it is only a matter of days.

Very sad :cry:. I wish I could do something to ease her pain. Do you think I should use benzaclin and put her out of her misery?
 

DWhatley

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I've had to make that choice several times so far this year for my pets. We put our 11 year old Dane to sleep when I felt her hips grinding the day she could not get up. Later that night she managed to get up and do steps but we decided to call in the vet. I told her I would try meds if it would keep her comfortable and let her expire naturally but she felt the decision was over due.

I put Sisturus in a separate container when it was obvious he had only hours. When I could not see breathing I waited another hour and then put him in formalin. That triggered an arm reaction. I am sure he was already dead but I hurts me to think he might have had a little life left and that the formalin caused pain.

HideNSeek may have been the worst because I think I extended his life (unintentionally) by putting in an air line.

My main problem is trying to separate my pain from the animals. It is so miserable to watch them die but I feel they have the right to die naturally. I hope I go in my sleep and no one has to make the choice. It does not matter to me but the suffering of the living, whichever choice is made, is the worst part.
 

Domboski

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Glovette passed away yesterday :cry: She was found when I got home from work. Almost 9 months to the day. She was my favorite Octo by far and will be missed. I hope she lived a happy life. As you all know I never had a cover on my tank (not recommended), housed her with many different species (also not recommended) and even kept her with another Octo (that was brief). I believe she was happy and constantly stimulated. The only basis I have for this is that she never tried to get out. Hopefully I did the right thing.

I appreciate everyone's input and advice. As I always do, I'm going to take some time off before I get another Octo.
 

Domboski

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dwhatley;119196 said:
I've had to make that choice several times so far this year for my pets. We put our 11 year old Dane to sleep when I felt her hips grinding the day she could not get up. Later that night she managed to get up and do steps but we decided to call in the vet. I told her I would try meds if it would keep her comfortable and let her expire naturally but she felt the decision was over due.

I put Sisturus in a separate container when it was obvious he had only hours. When I could not see breathing I waited another hour and then put him in formalin. That triggered an arm reaction. I am sure he was already dead but I hurts me to think he might have had a little life left and that the formalin caused pain.

HideNSeek may have been the worst because I think I extended his life (unintentionally) by putting in an air line.

My main problem is trying to separate my pain from the animals. It is so miserable to watch them die but I feel they have the right to die naturally. I hope I go in my sleep and no one has to make the choice. It does not matter to me but the suffering of the living, whichever choice is made, is the worst part.


Very tough D. Sorry to hear about your dog. I agree with you 100% about the way to go.
 
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