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From time to time you may experience problems with your snails. Very little is known about what these illnesses are, what causes them, and even less is known about treatments. Unfortunately it seems more time is spent on increasingly more ingenious ways to kill them.

Because of this, the following information is a mix of whatever research is possible and available, theory and hypothesis, logical thinking and the result of various discussions with a large group of snail owners. It is with the help of the community at large, that these problems can at least be documented. Where possible I have tried to link to example incidents.

Hopefully, we can find some effective solutions to the majority of these problems but for now I'm afraid you'll have to be content with various suggestions and discussion.

Gut Extrusion

There have been a few cases of the digestive tract being expelled through the mouth, sometimes entirely. In particular see the following link which is the best documented case of this problem:


The illness detailed here showed symptoms over a period of time, one of the factors behind my making the Swollen Mouth illness into a section of its own. The two are probably related, favouring the swollen mouth illness as a sub-set of gut extrusion.

As always, there are a number of possibilities behind this problem:

A digestive or stomach disorder caused by infection or bacterial imbalance

There is evidence (The Life of Achatinidae in London, Presidential address, R. H. Nisbet, Proc. malac. Soc. Lond. (1974) 41, 171) to suggest that snails eat soil to help digestion. That means they rely on, as many invertebrates do, the natural bacterial flora and fauna in the substrate without which they will stop eating and die. Changes in this microscopic life could have a negative effect on the snail and should not be ruled out as a precursor to this problem.

Parasitic invasion

A parasitic invasion of some sort, probably by nematodes (see Pests: Other).


(See Internal Tumours).

Further Reading

To search the forum for threads definitely relevant to this problem click here.

To search the forum for threads that may be relevant click here.