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Mice/Mouse's friend died; do I need to get another?

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Hi Natasha,
I got my two mice Ruby and Angelina almost a year ago now, but sadly Ruby had to be put down a week ago due to a massive tumor :( my heart is broken, and so is Angelina's, I can tell. She isn't really eating and all she does is sleep, and I'm scared of her fading away. I don't know if getting another mouse is an option right now, but I don't want to see her live like this. Ruby was the dominant mouse out of the two, and Angelina has always been so timid and frightened, she's not as bad as she used to be, but she's not really handling Ruby's absence as well as Ruby might if it had of been Angelina that had passed. I'm sort of at a loss here! I know mice are social creatures that need company, so is getting another mouse the only option? And is there anything I can do to help her?
Thanks heaps,

Ellen

Answer
Hi Ellen,

Short answer: Yes.

Getting her some friends (two, so that you never have a solo mouse again) is the only way... Unless you are phasing out of mice. When you are phasing out, there will be a single mouse in the end, who will be lonely, and need a lot of attention.

If you are not phasing out, go and get her two girlfriends now. Two little ones would be great. She needs friends right away. Right now she is at very high risk for depression, illness, and mites. These three conditions can feed on each other in a deadly spiral.

As to what else you can do, give her a ton of love. Don't just allot her one time slot a day. Talk to her, pick her up and kiss her every time you go near the cage. Keep her on your shoulder or in your sleeve when watching TV or doing other calm household tasks or activities. Give her "face time": look into her face and talk right to her. You are her only mouse friend right now.

I wish her the best of luck, love, and health. I am sorry for your- and her- loss.

Squeaks,

Natasha

Mice

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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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