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mousey
mousey  

mousey
mousey  
I got my first mouse two days ago! He hasn't stopped sneezing since i got him and i can't figure out what's wrong. I don't think he's sick because hes very active and eats and drinks a lot.

I read that it could be an upper respiratory infection but I use notebook paper (on that, is notebook paper okay, having ink on it?) for bedding and there is a plywood lid on the tank. I read that soft wood isn't good, but wouldn't it not really matter because he can't chew it?

I feed him dry oatmeal, bread pieces, and hamster/gerbil food. He has plenty of fresh water and a little nest of fabric strips that he loves to sleep in.

What could be making him sneeze? I washed the entire tank out, replaced all of his food and bedding, but he still sneezes, quite constantly!

What do you think is wrong and what might I do to help him out?

thank you! ~Kasey

Answer
Hi Kasey,

First two quick notes: No ink on his paper, please; and he should have rat and mouse food, not hamster and gerbil food, if at all possible; no extra bread and only occasionally other extras. You can get huge bags of aspen litter for very little at, for instance, Drs. Foster &Smith online, that will last him a half a year.

Little Mousey sounds sick. Mice don't just get a little sick, like people, and then get better. Because mice are prey animals and have to hide from predators and run away fast, they can't afford to seem sick until they are very sick. So that sneezing isn't just an annoyance; it could indicate a serious respiratory infection.  Mousey should go to the vet. Sadly, his life may be in danger.

Can you get him to the vet? If not, write back and I will try to help you with a home remedy, but it is not nearly as good as what a vet can give you. In the meantime, as a quick test for allergies, wash his cage with no soap, give him paper towels as bedding and plain oats to eat - only for a few days, if you can't get him to the vet right away, in case there is an allergy component. He can't live like that, of course.

And let the pet store know that they sold you a sick mouse. He also looks like he has been through a pretty rough time already- with those raggedy little ears. He is certainly very, very lucky that you rescued him.

Let me know what you do and what happens, please!

Squeaks,

Natasha  

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Natasha

Expertise

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): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising **** SEXING MICE: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES: http://thefunmouse.com/info/index.cfm http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.htm

Experience

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.

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

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

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