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September 16, 2005 9:12 PM   Subscribe

My hermit crab's claw fell off! Is he going to be okay?

He is alive now, but this seems bad! Any advice? Is there anything to help him?
posted by slimslowslider to Pets & Animals (10 answers total)
Best answer: I hear it's normal.

P.S. I will find my frog.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:19 PM on September 16, 2005

From what I can gather, hermit crabs may lose limbs due to depression, getting a second crab may help. Also, hermit crabs commonly kept as pets molt and shed their exoskeleton.

I would not recommend prescribing zoloft or prozac to your hermit crab, but it would be funny.
posted by Derek at 9:21 PM on September 16, 2005

Since your question has been answered - how do you like your hermit crabs? Are they really that easy to care for?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:40 PM on September 16, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the quick help-I was panicking just a little. He does have a buddy, so unless they hate each other, he's probably not lonely.
As for crabs as pets, here's the deal: I do not like the crabs and they are not particularly easy to care for. My husband bought them as pets for our four-year-old son, who obviously can't take care of them himself. They require specific humidity and temperatures, they are noctural (aka boring during the time you see them), their food stinks, they have pinchers and frankly, give me the creeps. I just don't want them to die on my watch. Unless you're alergic, just get a cat.
posted by slimslowslider at 10:00 PM on September 16, 2005

That is why they are depressed
posted by edgeways at 10:05 PM on September 16, 2005

This is all adorable.
posted by pealco at 3:06 AM on September 17, 2005

If he's wearing bell bottoms, growing sideburns, and driving around in a fast little car then I'd start to worry.

posted by craniac at 5:58 AM on September 17, 2005

I have three hermit crabs. Two of them are currently molting, so I haven't seen them for a few days. The last one that molted spent nearly a month underground before he reappeared looking beautiful in his new exoskeleton. I don't expect to see my two current molters for several weeks.

As for ease of care, as long as you give them a decent crabitat with several inches of sand to dig in, lots of places to hide, and enough moisture to keep the humidity up they are not difficult to care for at all. I spend far more time caring for my cats than I do my hermit crabs. Once a week I clean the crabitat (boil all the empty shells, microwave the water dishes and driftwood, all to prevent any bacteria growth) and at the same time give the crabs a quick bath in water treated with Stress Coat. Hermit Crabs have modified gills that need to be kept moist, and the Stress Coat seems to make them happier. The whole process takes perhaps fifteen minutes. Aside from that, it's a matter of keeping an eye on the temperature and humidity during the week, and keeping the water (both fresh water and salt water) topped off and keeping food available. They eat a miniscule amount, to the point where it is hard to tell that they have even eaten anything.

I think they are fascinating to watch, particularly since one of them is a real climber. If you want a pet that will play with you, hermit crabs are not for you. But if you want a pet that is different and interesting, hermit crabs are pretty dang cool.
posted by Lokheed at 6:08 AM on September 17, 2005

"Crabitat." Nice.
posted by TonyRobots at 7:07 AM on September 17, 2005

Response by poster: Update: he died.
posted by slimslowslider at 11:37 PM on October 9, 2005

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