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Mice/Mouse still sick after tetracycline


Ruby and Rogue
Ruby and Rogue  
QUESTION: Hi Natasha,

Thanks so much for your advice about Ruby and Rogue. Tapping them on the nose really seemed to help, and the frequency and force of their nibbles definitely decreased.

This brings me to another question: I am in college, and since I am now home for Winter Break, Ruby and Rogue have had to travel a lot lately. We drove two hours to my boyfriend's house and they stayed there for about four days, and yesterday we drove a half hour to my parent's house. They will be here for a month, and then we have to drive two and half hours back to school. I feel so bad that I keep uprooting them.

This all ties together though, because yesterday Ruby bit me kind of hard. Just when we were making progress! :)I assume it's because they are extremely stressed from traveling. How long of an adjustment period should I give them? Is there any way I can ease this stress? In the adjustment period, should I stop handling them except for when I give them their medicine? Let me know what you think!

I'm also attaching pictures because I think they are adorable.

You have been such a big help to me. Thanks for everything!

ANSWER: Hi Lindsay,

Well, indeed they are cute!

I'm glad the tapping helped. Yes, Ruby is stressed. When I travel with my mice, upon arrival I wait a few hours before taking them out of the carrier. This is the least stressful way to get their little noses adjusted to the new smells. Then after putting them in the cage, I give them 24 hours to de-stress before I pick them up. I also make sure that I keep their old litter and bedding so that at least that smells right, even though the rest of the world doesn't.

The way to make the actual travel time much less stressful is to have a wheel or two in the travel cage. Mice like to run and run when they travel.  I don't know how large your wheel is; whether both can fit. If it is too small for two mice, two wheels would be nice to have,

By the way for liquid when travelling, you can give them a halved grape, chunk of cucumber, or other wet fruit or vegetable that they like.

Best of luck and least of stress to them!

Squeaks n giggles,


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

QUESTION: Hi Natasha,

Thanks so much for the help!  We're going to be traveling later today and I will definitely use your advice. Ruby and Rogue have completely stopped nibbling. As you said before, I think they were just stressed. Thanks so much for solving my previous problems!

Also, it seems like Rogue has completely recovered from her URI! I haven't heard any sneezing from her. Unfortunately, Ruby still sneezes and chirps. Is it possible she has asthma or bedding allergies? I gave them Bactrim for 10 days, but I had a lot of difficulty giving it to them, so I put tetracycline in their water for a week afterwards. They were both drinking the water, but like I said, Ruby hasn't stopped sneezing. They both act completely normal, but I know that a lot of mice don't show serious symptoms of illness until its too late. Do you think I should keep giving them tetracycline in their water? I recently watched the videos on about how to give medicine to mice, so I guess I could use that if you think I should start giving them Bactrim again. I just hate giving them medicine because I don't want them to become afraid of me or stop trusting me. I called my vet, but they just said if both of them are eating and drinking then they should be okay. I would really appreciate your thoughts!

Thanks so much for all your help---I keep bombarding you with questions because I value your advice so much!

Hope you are having a great New Year!

All the best,

Hi again Lindsay,

I'm glad their behavior is back to normal and they are not nipping. At least they just have tiny little mouse mouths-- I am sporting a large bandage on my arm covering two gashes from rat teeth from separating two rats!  I am very glad I got the bites and not my little old man rat who was being jumped on. Anyway...

You don't have an exotics vet, do you...  It is NOT ok for mice to make noises, and certainly not sneeze, as long as they are eating-- for a mouse to stop eating she is pretty much half dead. Because they are prey animals they show no signs of illness at all until it is serious (the sneezing mouse gets eaten by the owl). They do not just get a little sick like we do. A mouse can chirp one day and die the next. Sorry to be so blunt.

I have never heard of giving Bactrim... That is from the Fun Mouse site? You need something that targets myco, which all mice have; and apparently stronger than the tetracycline. Your girls may have myco and a secondary infection too. I would want to put them on Baytril and amoxicillin, or Baytril and doxycycline. Can you get prescriptions from your vet just on my/your say-so? Whichever way you go, dose for 14 days, not the 7-10 the vet might tell you.

It is possible to get these medications (which are good to have on hand if you have mice) online by mail. However, it takes time; or, if you overnight mail them, money. A vet visit is the best option-- and it would be good to know if she has congestion in her lungs, which an exotics vet can tell by listening to her lungs.

To get them by mail/online, you go to pigeon supply stores. The only place to get Baytril (enrofloxacin) is to telephone Jedd's. Try asking for Greg; but that may not be important.

In this answer I explain how to get these and how to use them:

Until you can get them, continue with the tetracycline in the water, changing it every few days. Keep the bottle covered with foil to keep the light out. It may take extra care to wash the bottles because algae may grow in them.

Shall I stress again that it is best to go to a qualified vet? :) You  need one trained in "exotics" or "pocket pets."

Let me know what happens.




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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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