Oh dear - I think our Giant African Land Snail is dead - what to do?

(31 Posts)
Clockface Sun 26-Oct-08 18:21:14

Just got back from weekend away. My parents who had moved in, had forgotten to give the snail any water. She (the snail) is very cold now and totally retreated into shell, sealed herself up. I have put her in a shallow tub of tepid water to see if I can revive her but no luck. Oh dear! What do I do?

LynetteScavo Sun 26-Oct-08 18:22:58

Give it a funeral?

Flightattendant3 Sun 26-Oct-08 18:24:41

warm her up in the microwave?

Sorry. Unhelpful perhaps.

I mean it, would she benefit from being warmed or would heat do more harm?

Thinking, top of fridge, airing cupboard, etc.

Clockface Sun 26-Oct-08 18:24:47

But how do I tell the dc that their pet is dead? sad Dh is suggesting that I sneak back t tjhe pet hop and buy another one and pretend it's te same one, but I am not sure. Besides anything else, it's half term and I'd have to take the dc with me... hmm

Flightattendant3 Sun 26-Oct-08 18:26:16

Is it just hibernating?

Btw how do you know it is a she?

Tell them it's hibernating. That'll probably make sense and buy you time in case you are wrong and she really is Ok just cuddled up in there watching the Eastenders omnibus thinking 'feck off I am busy'.

Wallace Sun 26-Oct-08 18:27:58

Don't snails seal themselves up over the dry season?

Clockface Sun 26-Oct-08 18:29:31

She isn't a she, snails don't have genders. Or actually they have both, they have girl bits and boy bits, and they have to get all their bits lined up in correct position for mating, which can tkae most of a day.

Sigh...this snail has had a precious place in my heart!

Millarkie Sun 26-Oct-08 18:48:27

Ours used to do this (seal herself in her shell) quite a lot..sometimes for weeks at a time..then she'd wake up and munch cucumber again.
When she finally died we noticed that her body did not fill the shell up to the lip (where the 'seal' usually formed), and after a couple of days she began to rot and smelt incredibly bad.
If I were you I would leave yours somewhere warm and moist for a few days and don't panic if she takes her time coming out again. (How old is she?)

Millarkie Sun 26-Oct-08 19:00:07

We called ours a 'she' cos she had a girl's name 'Shelly'.

ThemasterandmarGOREitas Sun 26-Oct-08 19:02:18

I agree with the sealing up when dry theory. In Cameroon there were hardly any snails around during the dry season, the minute it got wet and very humid, out they popped, enormous great big beasts. Ds1 used to collect them in a wheelbarrow. When he was a baby he ate one blush.

So I suggest the bathroom, lots of vegetation and a fair bit of moisture. Hopefully he/she/it will be back on lively slimey form soon.

Clockface Sun 26-Oct-08 19:19:06

Thank you Milarkie! So maybe all is not lost.

Question for you; when Shelly used to go into her shell, did her flesh (or whatever it's called) feel soft / hard? Ours feels hard but I have read about a protective membrane... hmm And did you put food out for her whilst she was in he shell?

Millarkie Sun 26-Oct-08 19:29:17

To be honest - I never poked her flesh when she was hibernating so I don't know if it felt different..she would get a crusty seal across the opening of the shell quite quickly.
And yes we would still put a bit of food in for her but obviously it would just go yukky and we would replace it every few days. This was mainly because dh and I are both out of the house all day and we didn't know if she might wake up in the middle (warmer) part of the day...although the 'seal' would appear intact for weeks.

A normal garden snail can seal up for up to 3 yrs iirc.

(perhaps the tiniest wiff of some garlic butter may wake her, non?)

Pentapetides Sun 26-Oct-08 19:34:18

I give ours a warm shower under the tap and they're as right as rain.

pointygravedogger Sun 26-Oct-08 19:37:08

garlic butter?

Isn't that what you have with snails? grin

Clockface Sun 26-Oct-08 19:58:29

Marmaduke; hey! how dare you suggest such a thing??!! wink

pointygravedogger Sun 26-Oct-08 19:59:54

you might need one of these

pointygravedogger Sun 26-Oct-08 22:29:41

ok. I apologise

RubberDuck Sun 26-Oct-08 22:37:30

Don't know if land snails are different to tropical water snails, but if conditions aren't right in my fish tank they seal themselves in for "better times"!

The way you tell if they're dead is to pick them up and sniff - when they're dead they smell vile. (Or if you've left it too long to perform the sniff test all their innards fall out as you pick them up shock)

bella29 Mon 27-Oct-08 08:26:21

So glad I read this thread at breakfast time [somewhat nauseous emoticon] hmm

pointygravedogger Mon 27-Oct-08 17:07:35

I think agreen tight-lipped envy would also be nauseous

Clockface Mon 27-Oct-08 17:33:13

Well, she/he/it doesn't smell hmm. Dare I phone the scary pet shop fromwhence she came, or will the scary pet shop owner come round with one of his venomous snakes to avenge the snail? hmm shock

Millarkie Mon 27-Oct-08 17:46:07

I thought it was illegal to sell them... we got ours from former nanny who ended up with 100s because they breed so easily. She offered them to a pet shop but was told they weren't allowed to sell them.
They do really really really stink when they die -honestly, I came home and thought someone had opened a fish processing plant in our back garden but it was just our snail (dh had moved it outside after he smelt it in the morning)

Clockface Mon 27-Oct-08 17:52:41

Millarkie - NO! shock I bought an illegal snail! We were recommended the scary pet shop by a local wildlife type place, so it seemed above board. They were kept out the back though... hmm

JustKeepScreamingInFear Mon 27-Oct-08 17:58:51

clockface - a quick google found this which says it happens when they are too dry, and to put them in tepid water and it will come out again

Clockface Wed 29-Oct-08 14:08:43

Thanks JKSIF.

Good news! "And on the third day he/she/it rose again"....! She (the snail) has shed her membrane and has moved!!!! Yes she is alive. Phew.

Se has got a banana as a waking-up treat. grin

bella29 Wed 29-Oct-08 14:10:56

Hurrah!

grin

Millarkie Wed 29-Oct-08 21:09:02

Yeah! Thought she'd wake up - 3 days is nothing - Shelly would do weeks at a time!

Heated Wed 29-Oct-08 21:11:59

Relief!

mummyclaire1984 Tue 12-Aug-14 09:15:38

Hello, I know this is a really old thread (I found it doing a google search) but thought I'd comment on how helpful it was all these years later!! I have been looking after my friends snail while they are away and know nothing about them, it hadn't moved in a few days so thought I'd killed it! ..... Luckily after smelling it (and no smell) I gave it a fair amount of warm water in its tank as it was quite dry and sat its tank in a sink of hot water to make it nice and hot and after a few mins was very glad to see its head pop out its shell !! smile

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