Dying Crab

Where to post and/or get advice regarding ill hermit crab(s) that are NOT molting, streaking or dropping legs.
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crabber101
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:42 pm

Dying Crab

Post by crabber101 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:27 am

I checked on my crabs this morning and I saw Rascal lying naked and limp and another crab walking around with Rascal's shell on. Rascal's abdomen looked like it had been deflated and partially ripped from the body. I didn't smell anything, so I ladled the Rascal out, and she dropped a leg. I put what was left of her in iso, gave her a salt water bath and slid her into a shell. She is currently under a coco hut and probably dying. Can I help her? 1) How long have you had your crabs and how long have you been caring for this particular crab in distress? I've had all three of my crabs for a little over a year now. 2) What size is your tank and what kind of lid do you have? The tank is 17 gallons and the lid is a fish tank lid covered in saran wrap.3) What are you using for heat? Please be specific and include fixture type, watt or mat size and where the heat source is mounted.I have a small UTH, I think for a 15 gallon, but where I live, its always very warm, so the UTH is almost never turned on.4) What kind of substrate do you use in your tank and at what depth? Is it dry or damp and sand castle consistency?There is 8 inches of sand at sand castle consistency on one side and 8 inches of damp EE on the other. 5) Do you dechlorinate your fresh water and if so, with what product? Do you offer aquarium salt water in addition to fresh water? Again, what product?I dechlorinate both my salt and fresh water with TopFin Dechlorinater, and for my salt water, I use API salt. 6) What do you normally feed your crabs?The crabs always have a bit of the Hermit Crab Patch "Crab Kibble" in the dish, and they usually get some extra fresh fruits and veggies or a few things from my huge assortment of food from the Hermit Crab Addiction store. 7) Do you bathe, mist or handle your crabs at all?I don't bathe or handle the crabs, but I will mist when the humidity gets low. 8) What are the temperature and humidity readings? Please be specific and include high low fluctuations if you're aware of them.The temperature is around 80 degrees most of the time, the humidity recently has been a little low, 70-75% during the day and 80% at night. Just some extra information, all three of my crabs are Es and the crab that stole Rascal's shell and maimed her is usually the crab that gets picked on. What am I doing wrong? Please help me I don't want Rascal to die and I don't want this to ever happen again.

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JediMasterThrash
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Location: Nerima district of Tokyo, Japan

Dying Crab

Post by JediMasterThrash » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:11 am

Finding a passed crab is always tough, especially when it's one you've had a while. Sometimes crabs die despite great conditions and no obvious problems. It's just part of the mystery that we don't know everything about them yet. Some aspects of their environment we can't recreate quite right in a tank.A deflated abdomen usually means dead, especially if you can poke it or touch it and there is no visible reaction from the crab.It is probably far more likely the crab was already dead before the robber stole his shell. Crabs won't let themselves be killed over their shell, they will quickly give it up once the aggressor in a shell fight is clearly the victor.
JMT.

Stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking crab-herder since '92.

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crabber101
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Dying Crab

Post by crabber101 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:51 am

Thank you for your helpful information, I can indeed touch Rascal's abdomen with no reaction, so I will take it that she has passed. However, there isn't the signature "dead fish" smell, so should I wait for that to come? I don't want to do anything to Rascal's body if there is any hope she is still alive.

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JediMasterThrash
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Location: Nerima district of Tokyo, Japan

Dying Crab

Post by JediMasterThrash » Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:52 am

Once the leg joints have hardened up and don't hinge anymore, it's definitely passed. They don't always have the dead fish smell. That comes from a kind of bile that is excreted from the abdomen usually after death.If you want to be extra safe you can put him in a container and wait 3 more days for any motion. Occasionally if I'm not 100% sure I'll do that.
JMT.

Stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking crab-herder since '92.

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crabber101
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Dying Crab

Post by crabber101 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:56 am

Thank you, but she was definitely passed last night. She fell out of the shell I put her in, her abdomen was deflated and she showed no reaction when I touched it, her eyes were cloudy and pushed down unnaturally and she smelled terrible, like something rotting. Nothing alive will ever smell like she did. Thank you again for all the information, I really appreciate the fast replies.


DragonHeart33
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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:27 pm

Dying Crab

Post by DragonHeart33 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:08 pm

I am really sorry for you loss. You have my shoulder if you wish.

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