Mice/Mice were squeezed by horrible child
QUESTION: hi, i am very upset, a horrible child came to our house and while i was busy squeezed my 2 pet mice... they are now tramatised and bite and jump when touched. they were very handled and friendly and i hope they will be ok? do they know the difference between people? will they forget the horrible thing that happened to them, are they hurt?
ANSWER: Dear Jo,
Oh, no, oh, no! Poor little dears! That would be incredibly traumatic :( :(.
First off, you are very right to worry about physical damage. Depending on how hard they were squeezed, they may have a (hate to say "good") chance of internal injuries. I assume you examined them for broken bones.
They should go to the vet right away to be examined. The vet will not be able to tell some things-- if a particular organ was damaged, for instance-- but may be able to recognize signs of certain kinds of damage.
You must bring them to a vet who specializes in "exotics" or "pocket pets." Cat and dog vets do not know mice, and there may be very species-specific issues. Don't wait; it is almost the weekend and you won't find a vet if you need one on the weekend.
If possible, bring with you a moist fecal sample and some urine on a small piece of paper towel, in small ziplock bags, for each mouse. The vet may be able to tell whether, for instance, the kidneys are not working properly.
I certainly hope there is no internal damage.
As for psychological damage, as you can see they have been completely traumatized. After the vet has helped you to try to determine if there is any physical damage, you are going to have to start at square one as if you had rescued someone else's abused mouse. It is possible that they will warm back up to you right away; but it is also possible that one or both undergoes a complete personality change and has a very hard time trusting anyone.
I have written out a list of many baby steps to take to get to know and tame a scared mouse. I hope you will be able to glide through many or even most of these steps, but you may really have to work on this.
Those poor mice. It is so important to give kids extremely close supervision with tiny animals-- especially young children-- and one must judge the child's personality and maturity level first. And close supervision means holding the child's hands. Some kids are fine-- I had my first mice at age 5 and I was very trustworthy. Other children are too hyperactive or careless at age 12. Even a thoughtless adult, inexperienced with small animals or animals at all, can injure or kill a pet mouse by accident.
I really hope these girls can heal quickly both physically and emotionally. I wish them and you the very best of luck.
Please keep me up to date on this. I would really like to know how they recover, to help the next, hopefully never, squeezed mouse.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you so much for your quick reply. Your a very nice soul indeed. We let the mice sit overnight to try to calm them down. The next morning they seemed better but still upset and didn't want to be handled.I watched for ages so as to gage whether they needed a vet but they seemed ok. We did as you suggested and just put our hand in the cage to let them smell us and they seem to be slowly coming around. Do they recognize different people and their scents? This morning my daughter has handled them both so im pretty sure they will be ok. They must have been more emotionally traumatized than physically.. thank god as we love the little cuties....and i will be sure to not let any little nasty friends of my daughter into there home again. Thanks again NAtasha, thanks for caring..
Thanks for the update :) I am so glad they seem physically OK. I'm sure now you understand the value of immediate adult supervision around kids and mice. Probably your daughter is so responsible around them that you weren't thinking that other kids her age might be far less mature.
Yes they do know who is who. It is just hard to know how to generalize. After all, three days ago they thought they knew all humans were good. Suddenly they learn they were wrong- but about what? Are humans bad? Does that mean all humans, even my own human moms? Being mice, they have to be careful.
Sounds like it is going to work out.
Thanks again for the update :)