Is this a molt sac?

Questions about hermit crabs that abandoned their shell.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

She's in the ISO at this point. Last time I checked on her, she still wasn't in a shell, but that was two hours ago. The office is dark now, and the ISO is in a corner far from the door. I'll be keeping the husband from turning on the light tonight if possible to avoid stressing her out.

Temperature was 72.5 when I last checked on the warm side, and humidity was up to 76%. She has about 6 shells with her, including a few smaller and a few bigger. She was checking out a shell more appropriately sized for her shape and size last I saw but, like I said, I'm trying to let her stay in the dark.
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ladybug15057
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by ladybug15057 »

This is probably the best place for her. If she keeps coming out of her shell there is also the chance that another may even scoot across her and possibly puncturing her soft abdomen.
With the great care you give your hermie Emma, she'll be fine. It's the mama that needs to pace so she doesn't go into a full blown anxiety attack.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Well, good news, guys. I checked on her using ambient light from the hallway and she went into a shell around 9 tonight. She was sitting by the water bowls but has since gone into the cooler of the two hideys and is facing away from the door (okay, I admit to using a small low-light red keychain light to check this, but only from an 'up' position - I positioned the light above the tank and could just barely see her in there). I can only hope that she is in fact molting - can't see enough to know that.

Can't smell any 'death' smell yet. I do notice a bit of an odor, somewhat similar to death smell but at the same time not, but husband doesn't notice at all. It could just have something to do with the smell of newly wetted sand (it has an odor, don't ask me to explain it) and that I fed both tanks dried octopus tonight (has a bit of an odor) but it doesn't seem to fit to me. Hopefully she's shedding that exo...I'll let you guys know whenever I figure it out.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

One other thing - humidity in the ISO is hanging around 79-80, although the temperature is only 72. Hopefully it warms up, and if not I'll put a bulb on the side she isn't on (I have an extra one) tomorrow during the day.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Overnight she appears to have changed shells into Nibs' little shell and is now facing sideways in the cocohut, not looking at the back. I can't see any movement, but I also don't smell anything and won't move anything in the tank (let alone the hidey) until I do.

I was thinking as I was falling asleep - Marie, have you ever had a crab in desperate need of a molt do anything like Toodles? Have you ever seen an 'impending molt' abdomen? If so, did it appear to be completely turgid (filled) to the point that it looked more like a roughly abdomen-shaped balloon than an abdomen? That's how I would describe Toodles' abdomen.

I'm thinking about the whole molting process a lot - perhaps the reason crabs get a molt sac is they store up so much water in their abdomens that their body creates a place to put it in much the same way that a human's body accommodates a baby, stretching out the easiest place to put it in and creating a stretched-out version of the original part? Does what I said even make sense?
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by Big MaC »

Okay your crab sounds really stressed, i m thinking that it is indeed a molt, however it s sounding like shes suffering from PPS when did you get her? was it fairly resent because it could be a molt due to the new enviroment ext.

Oh and to comphort you here is what happened to my crab Curly about 6 months ago on his first molt

Here s what happened to my Curly (hes fine now)

Curly

I thought he was dead
http://i31.tinypic.com/2exyasp.jpg

But then I picked him up and he . . .
http://i28.tinypic.com/23it09c.jpg

Him now! (well about 3 or 4 months ago)
http://i29.tinypic.com/dysun9.jpg
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ladybug15057
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by ladybug15057 »

Emma how I wish Sue's site (Coenobita research) was back online. But yes I have noted the abdomen on some of the premolters here seemed 'swollen'. I have also seen their exo's appear super swollen too. (was it here or CSJ I wrote this, CrabbyJo?) But how their exo's seemed 'puffy' to the point where if I would get a pin (which I would NEVER do) and poke it that they would explode and fly around like a balloon.
I realize and can read in your postings and in the shout box that you are a bit stressed about this. Personally I would find it super stressful for a molter to burrow to molt and not know what was going on, I would go totally bonkers. (for those reading this the hermies here do have all they need to burrow if they would opt to burrow) You do provide for your hermies all one can Emma, I do feel she will be fine. It is just getting you though this before you molt!! (keep your hands away from your hair... it is alright!)
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by CrabbyJo »

Gosh Marie I think it may have been here you wrote it, but don't rightly remember. I know it was in reference to my big PP, Marvin, who now looks "thin" after his molt. I hadn't realized how swollen he really was before he went down for his molt, except now it's like he's gotten so skinny lol.

Emma, take some deep yoga breaths, think calm thoughts, tell yourself you know how to do this, you know what to do, you know what not to do, and Toodles knows too just what she should do. You've given her everything she needs to do what she needs to do.
Breathe, and keep those pacing slippers on. :) We're here in spirit holding your hand wearing our pacing slippers too!
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Big Mac - I've had this crab for 362 days now, so it definitely isn't PPS. She's had several successful molts with me as well, so I'm not sure what caused these problems.

Toodles' exo did seem to fit...well, just wrong during the last week. Her behavior was off too - she'd spend most of her time hanging her entire carapace out of shells, just sitting around. I wish I would've ISOed her then - maybe the molt would've been easier? Hard to say for sure.

I just got home from game night with some friends (glad they got me out of the house, I am much less stressed now) and the house didn't smell like fish yet. Husband agrees - no death smell (we've both smelled it twice, know exactly what it smells like) and I know there was some movement in there.

She seems to have pushed one of the two shells she has in the cocohut with her into the doorway to block me off from seeing her, which is probably good because it keeps my nosy self out of there. Humidity is stable at 83% when the light is off (wish I could warm it up more at night, but I can't without using a light and I don't want to mess her up day/night cycle wise), which I figure is better than being slightly low since she'd spent so much time in and out of shells, it might help keep her abdomen moist for longer if she's out of a shell in there (can't see a thing other than that empty shell blocking the doorway).

I find it funny that she's put a door there, it just makes me laugh. Frustrates me, but makes me laugh all the same. She's always been a good crab at frustrating me - she was the last crab to make it into the 30g way back when I switched from 10 to 30 because she was molting. Where was she molting? Under the water bowl. That's my Toodles for you, always doing what I don't want her to.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Well, she hasn't molted yet, but she is holding on to life quite well considering that she can barely fit into a shell. I'll be working to keep the humidity up since she has pushed both of her shells that were in the cocohut with her out of the cocohut. Frustrating, but at this point I still know she's alive (no smell plus movement last night) so it could be worse.
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Rack, 23 Sep 08; Benny, 23 Sep 08; Slightly, 3 Jan 09; Nibs, 3 Jan 09; Curly, 3 Jan 09; Spaz, 5 Jul 09

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