SueNami - O. briareus

DWhatley

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We are seeing some behavior changes in SueNami and I hope they are simply maturity and not the approach of senescense. His color is still good and the changes are positive as far as humans go. I think some of the comments about an octopus beginning senescense as much as 6 month before death are only maturity changes and not necessarily doom and gloom but I need to keep a lot more animals to feel comfortable with my thinking. For the last month he has been very active at night (after 11:00) and now he is starting to stay out just before lights out (9:00).

In any case, SueNami is becoming more social. He is still very skiddish (again, I think the far sightedness is the primary reason for this) but he is willing to be seen more and more often and is loosing his fear of the dogs (he would freeze whenever the dogs came into the room). Tonight he allowed me to pet him between the eyes for the first time. He has approached my finger often but never permitted more than slight, brief contact but tonight he stayed still and let me pet him. He flinched a little but then came back up to the finger for more. I had to reach back to the back wall where he was perched (ie he did not come to the corner where I offer my hand) but later he allowed me to pet him while he was in the middle of the tank. Hopefully this will progress but he has been so much slower to interact than my others, that if this is as much as he permits I feel I have made great progress.
 

DWhatley

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Approaching the End

Unfortunately, I am afraid SueNami will not be with me much longer. His color is still good but he has refused any food for about a week now. Initially he started taking his shrimp every other offering but would eat a single crab. Over the last week, the crabs have stayed alive in the tank and he pushes away all direct offerings with an emphatic, "I don't want it" attitude and goes so far as to direct it to one of the tubes and tries to force it to the other side.

He has never socialized like most briareus but has learned to be comfortable out of his den with people around and with my hand in the tank.

I don't think he has lived a normal life span for a briareus but I don't think tank life has shortened his time. He came missing 3 arms and extremely near sighted so I feel he was either suffered physical damage (other than just the arms) in the wild or was born with sight defects. I tend to think it is more that former as I would not think he would have survived to his arrival size with the sight problems from birth.
 

CaptFish

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Oh man! I'm very sorry to hear that. It sounds to me like you gave a handicap octo a great home. Plus now we have another great journal.
:octopus:
 

DWhatley

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I am pretty bummed. I have tried everything I can think of to offer for food and he just pushes it away. The more I insist that he taste it, the more agressively he insists he is not interested. After Trapper hatched her young she would eat Cyclop-eze and eventually would take it from a pipette (there is a video in her thread of her inhaling it) and I continue to wonder if something goes wrong with their ability to use their beak or their digestion can't handle large items any longer. I have tried squirting small thawed mysis and Cyclop-eze close to SueNami's mouth but he just moves away. He always comes out when we feed the tank though so he may be eating a small amount of it.
 

DWhatley

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SueNami Last Day

Measurements AD
Mantle: 3.25" (8.26 cm)
Longest arm: 10" (25.4 cm)

SueNami has not been eating offered food for several weeks but retained most of his color control (the first picture was taken two days before he died, note the cork screw arms) until his last day. He must have eaten some small things as we saw him eliminate three days ago and could see traces of Cyclop-eze. At one point, I tried several times to get him to eat Cyclop-eze from a pipette (Trapper would eat this way after brooding) without success. The blotchy looking photo is the one I took last night. He was having trouble breathing (and may be why he chose to be in front of the return and on top of the Koralia) and a brissle worm was on the tip of one arm so I was not surprised to find him dead today. Last night I got out a breeder net to allow him to die without being molested by the clean-up crew but before I could get it in place, he moved back behind the LR and I let him be.

There is one possible unusual sign I noted with SueNami and tried to video. Unfortunately, I did not keep the clips as they did not clearly show what I was trying to show. I had forgotten about the constant "hick-up" observations until reading back on on McLovin's thread and noticed that Simple recorded something similar (post #16).

I am still pondering the refusal to eat during the last weeks of senesence and am convinced that something stops working that causes this. Since all of mine that would eat at this stage only ate small dead things, I have wondered if the muscle that controls the beak looses strength but looking into their digestive track also makes me wonder if their stomach stops emptying. While SueNami was eating well, we consistently noticed that he would not eat until he eliminated and then was immediately hungry. This pattern was so obvious (and stopped as he aged and ate less) that I went on an internet hunt to better understand their digestive system and found that the routing is one way so that the stomach must empty before new food can be introduced (there is a holding tank crop in the path but it is very small compared to the stomach). The information I read also mentioned that the liver directly injects digestive juices into the stomach so liver failure is another thought.

I sure wish our bio students would study this more in the lab.

After discussing the digestive tack Neal wondered out loud about how much nutrition the receive if the food source is large vs small and can stay in the stomach longer. Would small feedings multiple times a day be better than one larger feeding at night?
 

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DWhatley

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I really could not stand seeing SueNami's empty tank at dinner every night (I look directly at the tank while eating). When he stopped eating, I wrote Tom to reserve the first baby that came his way but he emailed back that a baby would be very unlikely until spring. When Greg posted that Tom had 5 briareus, asked about the smallest and ended up ordering it. If all goes well SueNami's tank will be inhabited again tomorrow.

Because of some shipping pricing issues with the new site, I had a nice chat with him today and he added "for more info go to www.tonmo.com" to the description of the briareus as well as the "joubini". He knows joubini may not be the right name (I think he either has seen the correction on Ken's site or has talked to Ken as they are friendly competitors) and I confirmed the error and explained the difference but he has not yet changed the name.
 

Nancy

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RIP SueNami :angelpus:

Sorry for your loss D. And thanks for posting the excellent (but sad) end-of-life photos.

Sounds like SueNami's tank won't be empty long.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

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Each one is different so a part of the personalities kind of stay with the tank but an empty tank is unbearable.
 

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