Spiders - Tarantula Owner Sees Red After Hairy Moment
Lulu Sinclair, Sky News Online
Tarantula lovers are being warned to avoid getting up close and personal with their pet - or else do it from the other side of an aquarium pane.
A Chilean Rose tarantula spider
That is a lesson that a 29-year-old man from Leeds in Britain learned the hard way, according to the medical journal, The Lancet.
In February of last year, the man turned up at St James's University Hospital in Leeds after three weeks of stinging pain in one eye, which had become red, watery and light-sensitive.
Doctors prescribed antibiotics, assuming he was afflicted with a particularly stubborn case of conjunctivitis, but the treatment did not help the symptoms.
When they re-examined the patient with high-magnification lenses, doctors spotted ultra-thin, hair-like projections sticking into the cornea.
They were so small that even microforceps could not remove them.
That is when the man recalled a close encounter with his pet spider shortly before his eye first became irritated.
While cleaning a stubborn stain on the glass tank that was home to his Chilean Rose tarantula, he turned his head to find the fist-sized arachnid very near by.
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Lets get a better understanding Why this happened...
As a keeper of Tarantulas and owner of a Chilean Rose Hair (G. Rosea), I know about this breed, most importantly what to do and not to do. Rosies are considered to be docile but very skiddish, they are also known for changing their personality after each molt.
The Rosies main defense is flicking hairs (Ulticating hairs)from their abdomin as a "Stay back" warning. This gentleman should not of had his head inside a tarantulas enclosure! Anytime you are working inside of the enclosure you should gently stroke the rear leg to let it know you are near (Tarantulas have very poor eye-sight).
Although the G. Rosea is a great starter Tarantula they do change personalities, handling should for the experienced handler and even then eye glasses or some form of eye protection is recomended as well as washing your hands afterwards.
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