Can a hermit crab get stuck in its shell?

It looks like my one hermit crab is straining to get out of its shell.

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4 Responses to Can a hermit crab get stuck in its shell?

  1. tara d says:

    Yes, they can get stuck in their shell. Is the crab able to move his legs and pinchers, or does it look like his body is stuck inside the shell? Sometimes they can get stuck to the paint inside of painted shells. There is not much that can be done to free the crab, but it has been done. Here’s a link to an article that could help you, this person bought a crab that was stuck inside of a shell and managed to free them by slowly chipping away enough of the shell with nail clippers: http://www.crabstreetjournal.com/articles/lhcosociety/paintedshells_piccalo.htm

    Whatever you do though, do not try to crack the shell or pull him out by force, because that will cause him more stress; a hermit crab would rather be ripped apart than let go of the shell, because there is a possibility that he may not actually be stuck.

  2. jacoby1 says:

    the answer to your question is yes it can die from beinf stuck in its shell i had one for about a year and it was time for a new bigger shell i went and bought one and it died tryin to get out

  3. Justin and Kim D says:

    YES! THEY CAN DIE mine did! U need to buy alot of shells about 4 different sizes. where it can find one it likes. hurry they grow quick! mine was hudge weight 5 pounds and I coulr not find another shell bigger it died! U can easyily crack the shell or pull him out if he is so big he can’t get out! but first buy bigger shells!
    hope i helped!

    GOOD LUCK!

  4. purrfectpals5 says:

    Okay, whatever you do, do NOT pull him out. You can and will kill him by trying to do so, because even if he wants out of his shell he will resist your efforts (he will see you as a predator trying to kill him).

    What exactly is your crab doing that it looks like he’s straining? I have dozens of crabs and sometimes when they readjust (like they’re trying to get more comfortable) they look to be straining. Has he been able to bring his pincers and legs out? I have a few crabs that, no matter what, will not come out of their shells if someone is near the tank; they’re just being shy.

    If he truly is stuck, you may try to see if you can crack the shell so he can come out. I’ve never had to do this; but will provide you with a couple of links below so you can research it for yourself. And the people on the below sites may have better suggestions for you as well. When you’re ready to help him, just be sure to have some larger shells ready for him; normally the openings should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch larger than his current shell; but if he truly is stuck, you may want to select shells that are 1/2 to 1 inch larger.

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