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Mice/Pet mouse dragging back legs and seems sick


Hi, my daughter's pet girl mouse, Dena, is 15 months old and up until a week ago was very spry and active, even though she was born with only 3 legs! :) She is missing a forearm, but gets along great. It started a week ago and she had some redness/scabbing on her ear. We wiped it gently with a wet Q-tip and then put a tiny amount of Neosporin on it.  After that she started getting tired and over the next few days, just started being sluggish and sleeping and shivering a lot.  Today she was unable to get out of her little nest and I had to help her.  She is super bloated and can't move her back legs very well.  I'm assuming she either has a intestinal blockage or tumors?  If she is dying, I don't want her to be in pain.  What is your opinion and what should I do?  Thanks!

Dear Jen,

It sounds to me like that is a very unhappy mouse. An intestinal blockage is a very real possibility.

Bring her to the vet. It is still possible that the vet will diagnose something treatable. If not, it is best to have her put to sleep.

If she is put to sleep, ask for two injections. One to knock her out and one to put her to sleep. Although this is common practice for larger animals, some vets don't do it for smaller ones. Otherwise she may be in pain.

I am so sorry about the little girl. The different ones are even more special. I know your daughter will be devastated if the mouse has to go.

Keep her super warm until the vet visit. If it does not distress her, a tiny bit of massage might make her feel better. Use your hand on her belly and make a circular rubbing movement with the skin. If your daughter wants to hold her quietly, that is fine, but not off and on. The mouse might be comforted if held for several hours at a time. Otherwise, place a heating pad on low under part of the cage, with a towel between the two. Be super careful it is not hot, because she can't move herself off of it easily.

Poor little thing. Best of luck to her for a speedy recovery or quiet end.




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I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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