I am looking for advice. I have a small vivarium that I use as a snail hospital - we have tons of garden snails and difficult to always avoid accidents. Anyway, friends have now started bringing me snails with broken shells and this particular one, Brian ( youtu.be/af7F4IkE-GQ ) has healed very oddly since I he was brought to me September last year, the first pictures are from September and the last ones are recent.
He has grown almost a double shell which is caved in and quite thick at the back from the accident and is quite a bit heavier than the usual shell. As such it seems to often pull on his body when he is sleeping upside down in the lid. It looks like a mantle tear but, when he is moving about, he fits properly in his shell and has no trouble retracting, he can even retract completely when he is on the lid sometimes, so I am unsure if it is just the weight of his shell that is pulling on him instead and if there is anything I can do about this?
(I have been doing all the usual things after taking advice from your website; making sure the humidity is high in the container, I have sphagnum moss to help with this, I spray with luke-warm de-chlorinated water several times a day, provide good range of land snail food, also calcium, veggies etc. He eats ok and seems to get about ok, I tried him in a shallow container but he still goes to the lid though so that doesn’t seem to make much difference).
Also, normally once a snails shell is healed I would release them but I am wondering if this little guy will survive outside given his deformed shell? Thinking he might have to be a permanent resident.
Hi! So his shell is completely healed? If he likes going on the lid he seems pretty healthy. I have 2 snails with deformed shells and they are living happy lives so releasing him is an option. I think you should keep him so he has a longer life! I wish you best of luck!
Thank you so much for your kind reply, that is so good to hear your two snails are living happily with their shell condition.
With regard to if the shell is healed; to the best of my knowledge and from what I can see, it looks that way. (I have had him since September and from what I have observed his shell seems to have stopped growing a couple of months ago. I was planning on releasing him in after the winter, in spring sometime. But because of how he hangs I am worried if he is not kept in a controlled environment he may start drying out plus I am not sure if this is mantle tear or just due to his deformed shell).
Ok! That would help him a lot is he is in a controlled environment, he would have a longer life. Does it just seem like his shell is to heavy and he hangs off the lid? I do know snails can carry a lot of weight and still be ok.
I looked at the video again, he does look like his shell is too heavy for him. If you keep a close eye on him he should be alright. If it was a mantle tear it will heal quite quickly, mantle collapse is a different story.
So he has got a lot worse in the last couple of days, I have been keeping high humidity, trying to get him to eat, regularly spraying tepid de-chlorinated water. But he is struggling to get about and it looks so much worse. I think the shell has healed so heavy and thick that it is becoming too much for him. youtu.be/9cE-0ilMYjM
Ok, yeah that does look a lot worse. It does look like a mantle collapse. This is going to take a lot long to heal then a mantle tear so you need to get him to eat a lot. He may not want to eat but put things like peas, carrots, and lots of greens in his tank or his favorite foods. He will need calcium, green tea baths, etc. I hope he gets better!