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Mice/Inconsistent chattering from my pet mouse!


Hello Natasha, I have a 2 month old male mouse, Harold.  He makes clicking noises that seem to resemble symptoms of a respiratory infection, but the clicking is not constant.  It comes and goes, and at times he will not make the noise for a few minutes.  I purchased tetracycline, but I wanted to ask if it could be something else before I give him a dose...if I gave it to him and he did not need it, would that potentially have negative effects?  Thank you. :)

Dear John,

There is no harm in giving him tetracycline if he is not sick, as long as it is a minumum of ten days. In any case, he is sick. If the noises are more clicking than chattering, he is very, very sick. He should go to the vet immediately. Clicking means they are suffocating.

Again, if he is clicking, the first thing to do is a steam bath. Then the vet. To give him a steam bath, you bring him into the bathroom where you have been running the hot shower. Hold him gently but quite firmly (fingers above forelegs) as close to the steam as possible without getting him wet. He must absolutely not get wet, and he might struggle like the dickens. 5-10 minutes. Then make sure he does not get cold when you bring him out. I hold him in my hand, wrapped loosely in a towel, and go under the covers with the mouse, gradually letting air in so the change is very gradual. Then to the vet.

I hope he is only chattering. Of course a vet visit and prescription antibiotics are much, much better than tetracycline, in every case.  I am sure you have found a link for how to dose the tet.

Best of luck and health to him.




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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.

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

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