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Worried about Mousey.


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Does anyone have experience with pet mice? I have had mine for probably about a year and a half or so. She seems to be getting less active now and I'm beginning to worry she's either sick or aging. I give her a cardboard tube thing every time I clean her cage and she used to love to chew them up, but lately she hasn't been doing that. She's slowed down on her eating, but her water drinking seems to be much more than it used to be. She rarely runs on her wheel. How can I tell if she's just slowing down or if I should be worried about illness? Also, I know that there's a good chance she won't live much longer as they typically live 2-3 years. I'm kinda sad thinking she might not be around much longer. :(

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Andy and I are debating about what to do at this point. She looked like she was taking a real bad turn yesterday and we were going to take her to the vet to be put down, but then when I put her in the carrying case to go, she perked up quite a bit. She's been moving around a little more since last night. But, still not eating or wanting to run around much. She's definitely not doing very well or herself... but how bad it is we don't know. She's definitely old for a mouse. No matter what I guess I have to be ready to say good-bye because there isn't much time left. I just hope that if it comes down to it I make the right decision if she is suffering. 

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She seems to be doing a bit better. Still sleeping most of the time, but she is moving around more and eating again. She doesn't run on her wheel at all, but maybe she's just getting too old to do so. 

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The excessive water drinking could be a symptom of diabetes.

 

I used to have mice (I keep rats now) and they do tend to slow down as they age. I hope Mousey is okay.

 

How long did yours typically live? I think I've had her about 2 years now. I would imagine the pet stores get them young, but they're fully grown so they're not babies...

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Hi, sorry to hear about Mousey. :(

 

I'm not experienced with mice, but I've had hamsters. Typically pet stores sell rodents around 3-6 months of age, so she definitely wasn't very old when you got her. With the symptoms you are describing, it sounds to me like it's probably old age. Assuming you got her at 6 months old, she would be 2 years- 2.5 years old now.

 

The best you can do for her now is make however much time she has left as comfortable as possible. Lower her water bottle if you see her struggling to drink, make food easily accessible, remove any toys she's not using, etc. etc. 

 

If she loses her appetite altogether, you may have to resort to hand feeding. You can give her some baby food or crush up her dry mix and add water to make a watery paste. You can administer it with a syringe or a tiny spoon where she can lick it off. You can also give her some veggies in her food bowl and see if she'll touch those.

 

How does she act when you take her out of the cage and let her go? Does she scutter around a bit? If she does, maybe you can take her out everyday for a little bit and let her walk around the floor (with supervision, of course). She probably won't have much vigor so you won't have to worry about her running fast. Hopefully you can make her at least a little bit less lethargic by doing this.

 

Keep checking on her daily, and make sure her breathing does not become labored. If you see her begin to rapidly decline suddenly, it may be best to put her to sleep. :(

 

I'm very, very sorry. It's such a shame that our little rodent friends live such short lives, especially when many goldfish can live twice as long very often. It really hurts to see them go. Good luck.

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I'm sorry to hear Mousey isn't doing good I have a gerbil like this who is good one day and then the next day is worse and she has continual hair loss etc. It's love and dedication that allows animals to achieve there full age and also genetics so you have done well to get Mousey to the age that she is at now 

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Hi, sorry to hear about Mousey. :(

 

I'm not experienced with mice, but I've had hamsters. Typically pet stores sell rodents around 3-6 months of age, so she definitely wasn't very old when you got her. With the symptoms you are describing, it sounds to me like it's probably old age. Assuming you got her at 6 months old, she would be 2 years- 2.5 years old now.

 

The best you can do for her now is make however much time she has left as comfortable as possible. Lower her water bottle if you see her struggling to drink, make food easily accessible, remove any toys she's not using, etc. etc. 

 

If she loses her appetite altogether, you may have to resort to hand feeding. You can give her some baby food or crush up her dry mix and add water to make a watery paste. You can administer it with a syringe or a tiny spoon where she can lick it off. You can also give her some veggies in her food bowl and see if she'll touch those.

 

How does she act when you take her out of the cage and let her go? Does she scutter around a bit? If she does, maybe you can take her out everyday for a little bit and let her walk around the floor (with supervision, of course). She probably won't have much vigor so you won't have to worry about her running fast. Hopefully you can make her at least a little bit less lethargic by doing this.

 

Keep checking on her daily, and make sure her breathing does not become labored. If you see her begin to rapidly decline suddenly, it may be best to put her to sleep. :(

 

I'm very, very sorry. It's such a shame that our little rodent friends live such short lives, especially when many goldfish can live twice as long very often. It really hurts to see them go. Good luck.

 

Last time I got her out of her cage to put her in her ball she ran to one side of the room by Andy and then lay down. When I came over and nudged her she ran to the other side of the room and did the same. She doesn't seem very interested in exploring anymore. Her habitat is a glass 10 gallon tank with a wire cage on top that makes it two levels. She doesn't seem to be spending as much time on the top anymore. I'm thinking maybe I should move her food to the lower level so she can get to it easier. She's been eating, but it's about 1/3 what it used to be. She's no longer noisy at night. I've seen a couple days where her breathing looked a bit labored, but then others where it's not. It's so hard to tell. 

 

I guess it's hardest because it happened in a matter of just a couple weeks. But, time is relative. What is weeks to us may be more like months or years to them since they live such short lives... 

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The excessive water drinking could be a symptom of diabetes.

 

I used to have mice (I keep rats now) and they do tend to slow down as they age. I hope Mousey is okay.

 

How long did yours typically live? I think I've had her about 2 years now. I would imagine the pet stores get them young, but they're fully grown so they're not babies...

 

 

I had three mice, all males. One lived under a year. He died suddenly, no idea why. :( The other two lived around 2 to 2.5 years. Most rodents unfortunately have pretty short life spans. It's hard getting so attached to them...you feel like you never have enough time together.

 

I don't remember if my mice did so much but most the rats I've had slowed down A LOT after they got to be around 1.5-2 years old.

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Thanks for sharing your experiences. At least I can say she's had a long and (probably) healthy life for a rodent. It's too bad they leave us so soon. I will do my best to make her remaining time happy and comfortable.

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She actually seems to be doing a bit better, thanks for asking. :)
I'm surprised that she's taken a turn for the better, but I'm certainly not complaining. She's been moving around more and eating. I'm going to try putting her in her ball today when I clean out her cage and see if she wants to run around. It almost seems like she got a second wind. Maybe it was just a passing illness. I've been giving her some carrots and I'm going to get her some fruit next time we shop to see if that livens her up a bit more too.

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I'm sorry to read about your Mousey, Crystal.  It's so hard having such a small pet that takes a turn for the worse because I don't think there are enough Vets around here that has the knowledge for small rodents.   I believe there are only two Vets in North County that specialize in small rodents.  There is one down the Coast somewhere and one in Temecula.   (okay, Temecula isn't in North County but it's close to where I live.)   Taylor has had hamsters in the past and she has one rat now.  (she did have three at one time but two have passed.  One rat passed on their own and the other by euthanize at the Vets in Temecula)   We have, and do go to the Vet in Temecula.  Her rat now has to be close to 3 1/2 years old, if not that old now.  We took her to the Vets  not even two months ago because we thought she needed to be euthanized because we thought she broke her leg.  The Vet told us she torn a tendon in her foot.  He told us we could go either way with her but she was eating and getting around okay dragging her poor leg/foot behind her and the Vet assured us she wasn't in any pain because she was eating and not just hiding/laying around.  After more discussion with the Dr. and Taylor we decided to bring her home. Two months later she's still with us.

 

That's wonderful that Mousey seems to be doing better today.  May she continue feeling good.  

Edited by 4prettyfish
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Glad to hear your Mousie is hanging in there! We have a couple of pet mice, Sprinkles (white) & Cupcake (brown). We had Cupcake checked out by a vet & put her on antibiotics for a while, because we wanted to rule out an ear infection, but it turns out she's a waltzer. I found a lot of good mouse info on this board: http://forum.thefunmouse.com/ 

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Glad to hear your Mousie is hanging in there! We have a couple of pet mice, Sprinkles (white) & Cupcake (brown). We had Cupcake checked out by a vet & put her on antibiotics for a while, because we wanted to rule out an ear infection, but it turns out she's a waltzer. I found a lot of good mouse info on this board: http://forum.thefunmouse.com/ 

 

Thank you for the info. :)

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Think about what old people like.  (A grandparent can be very helpful here.) Soft food, warm temperature, soft comfy beds and chairs.  Many cheat themselves in nutrition to eat things that don't take preparation and are easy to chew and swallow.  Even though moderate exercise helps with arthritis and prolongs mobility, it still hurts, so they avoid it.  

 

Here's an article about feeding mice that might be helpful since it has some comments on old mice.  .

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