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Hermit crab lost his entire leg. What to do?

My son has had Edward, his hermit crab, for 5 months. Last night we discovered an entire large leg (not claw) in the sand. I looked it up and the web suggests that he is stressed or not properly cared for. So for those who have thriving crabs can you share some tips or advice. Also, do you suggest plastic or glass tank? We currently have plastic. Any advice welcome to make this little guy happy again.


Asked by Orionsgirl at 10:22 AM on Jan. 13, 2010 in Pets

Level 31 (48,442 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • you might not want to put him by the window if there could be a draft. they are sensitive to temp. and humidity. but anyway, just keep his cage clean and feed him crab food and also fruits and veggies (mine love apples and cantalope lol). also they like meat like chicken, but keep in mind they don't eat a lot and put the fresh food in their cage at night and take it out first thing in the morning so it doesn't get gross. you might expect to see him growing a new leg (it looks like a white blob where the old leg was), then he will shed his whole shell (not the one they live in, the actual shell from the body and then he will gradually get harder. don't bug him too much while his shell is getting harder, it's stressful on their body. you can give him some cuddle bone to help make his shell grow back strong. don't put any other crabs around him after he sheds too.... they'll eat him :(

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 11:36 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • I'd call a pet store and ask

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:36 AM on Jan. 13, 2010

  • Well I'm headed to Petsmart but sometimes they don't know what they are talking about either =)

    Answer by Orionsgirl at 10:41 AM on Jan. 13, 2010

  • Make sure you are spraying him enough and maybe clean his water sponge a little more often. He might need a few more things to hide in. I'm more of a fan of glass tanks, they end up lasting longer and they're easier to clean. Wow-haven't had a hermie in forever...maybe a trip Tom's Tropicals is in order...

    Oh, also, make sure you have plenty of different shaped shells in there for him to switch to. He might have grown so he needs the next two sizes up of the shape isn't working for him for some reason. AND RINSE THE SHELLS OUT BEFORE YOU PUT THEM IN HIS TANK!!!

    Answer by metalhealthmama at 10:44 AM on Jan. 13, 2010

  • Do you have 2 males in the same tank? It could be they are fighting. If thats the case need to remove one. It could be a mite problem. Which mites are deadly to hermit crabs. Alot of time you will see missing limbs. It might help if you do a salt bath.
    Good Luck!

    Danielle Shellhorn

    Answer by ddsunshine at 12:49 PM on Jan. 13, 2010

  • thanks for the tips! And no, it's just a single crab. I thoroughly cleaned his tank, bought new substrate and a larger water dish, and rearranged a bit. I also put him closer to the warmth of the window since I it's real chilly here.

    Answer by Orionsgirl at 4:18 PM on Jan. 13, 2010

  • he died but thank you!

    Answer by Orionsgirl at 10:59 PM on Jan. 24, 2010