Reader Questions – Cracked or Broken Shells

Hi,

I am after some advice – One of my 6-month old snails has fallen off a plant pot today and cracked the entrance to its shell, what should we do? It’s only a small crack a bit like flaking the very end of your nail off.

Do you advise taking it to a vet to see if it can be repaired or should we leave it? Will it be in any sort of pain? Thank you.
— Dawn

Hi Dawn,

If the crack is at the entrance of the shell then it should repair itself as it grows without too much problem. The snail won’t be in any pain, as you say, it’s like breaking a fingernail. Although, if it stops eating or acting differently then let me know. Your snail might appear to be eating away at the entrance to its shell, but this is normal – they do this to try and smooth out broken or jagged parts.

If snails crack their shells further up then it can be more of an issue, although vets are unlikely to be able to help as they don’t tend to have much experience with snails. Snails are generally good at repairing their own shells, but sometimes a large break or hole might require a bit of assistance, particularly if the snail’s body has become open to the elements. If you want to attempt to repair a snail’s broken shell, then this article is really helpful.

Hope that helps, good luck!

Questions, HealthKate