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Mice/Are you sure it is myco?


QUESTION: My pet mouse, Tiamet, 16 months, white with red eyes, is usually sleek, bright eyed and active. For about a week now she has been less active, ruffled fur, squinty eyed, hunched posture. She has been eating, but I can feel her spine and see her hip bones, and she is hiding all the time and seems to be in pain. My other mice are fine. I'm going home for thanksgiving, and no vets are available. Usually my mice are fine for a couple of days alone, but I'm worried about her.  I think the trip home would be stressful, a long car ride with a dog to scare her. Is there anything I can do for her? She has been eliminating, but it is small and redder than usual.

ANSWER: Dear Genevieve,

Tiamet is very, very sick. She is absolutely in danger of her life, and it could be immediately. She super, super needs to go to a vet.

If you simply can't do that, you need to get her started on antibiotics immediately. I do not guarantee that what she has is curable with antibiotics-- not being a vet and certainly not seeing the mouse-- nor that it isn't too late. But if you love her, you must try.

You can get the important mouse antibiotics sold for pigeons. I would want to put your mouse on Baytril (to specifically deal with myco, which I guarantee she has) and amoxicillin (to deal with a secondary infection, which is very likely). Although amoxicillin is easy to get, there is only one place to get Baytril (enrofloxacin) because it is no longer legal in poultry (not for the poultry's sake; for the people who eat it. As long as you don't eat the mouse you are fine). That is Jedd's Pigeon Supply. You must cal on the phone.


If you get someone who doesn't know about it (it used to be you asked for a guy named Greg) I can find a direct link to it under a code word.

Unfortunately, they don't seem to have amoxicillin. I find that at Foy's:

This is in a powder form. If you get it I will figure out how much to give her. She will probably take it in soy yogurt.

You need to get these overnight mail.

If there is really  no way to even get those, here is a far less effective solution. Here is a link to an answer before I had found suppliers for the other drugs. You can get tetracycline formulated for fish. You can find this at an aquarium store or pet store.

Because she is so sick, you have to take her with you or have someone check on her once a day. Otherwise she may die, and that is not healthy for the other mice, of course. You would, by the way, come home to a bloody mess, as mice have the instinct to eat a corpse, so as not too attract predators to the burrow.

She should be in a nice, small container, cushioned by blankets, with a grape to chew on for moisture. Cut a small slice into the grape so she smells what it is and realizes it is liquid. There is nothing to do about the dog barking, without a muzzle, but certainly you can wrap up her carrier in such a way that the two can't see each other. Do make sure she is not suffocating. Normally mice need a wheel when they travel, but not this little girl.

I am so sorry she is so sick. She needs attention immediately.

My mice send their best wishes.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I feel terrible now. I made the decision to leave her in her cage with her sister mice along with lots of nice bedding, carrots, water, pelleted food, seeds, wheel, and hidey igloos. Are you sure its mycoplasmosis? Why wouldn't my other mice have it?

Dear Genevieve,

Yes, she has myco. I know that because every mouse had myco at a very low level all the time. It only flares up sometimes, usually if the mouse is getting older, is sick with something else, has had some sort of stress like temperature change, or anything at all which can affect her immune system. The question is always whether she has something else too, and with how sick she is, I have to guarantee that she does.

The other mice may get sick too, so you need to watch them. Their myco can flare up because they are being exposed to it.

Now that she is left alone, I do hope she makes it. If she doesn't, what the cage will look like when you get home is a question. Best case scenario (other than her surviving) is you find a little dry pile of fur and bones. Or that her death is recent enough that the body is OK. I am so sorry to be so graphic and give you such an unpleasant scenario.

I wish I had something more helpful to say. I was hoping I had answered your question quickly enough, but I guess you did not see the answer. But we can hope for the best.




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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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