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Mice/Why did my mouse die?



This happened a while ago but It has been bothering me.
I was wondering if you have any ideas what could have happened.
I will give all info I can think of.

I bought a 2 month old mouse.
He was friendly, active, ate well, drank well and peed everywhere (even on the bars of his cage).
He was fed a mouse mix food and his cage bedding was pine shavings (changed once a week, whole cage was cleaned because of the peeing).

When he was about 6 months old we moved (about a 2.5 hour drive).
When we got to the new house I noticed he was scratching his head (around the ears) a lot.
He seemed to be drinking well but not eating much.
I looked for a vet that would see a mouse but it took me a while to find one and about 3 days after the move I found him dead, the fur on his head was scratched off and the skin was very red.


Dear Jessica,

First-- important!-- mice must not have cedar or pine litters. They contain oils which irritate their respiratory passages and lead easily to disease. You can get aspen litter, or other manufactured litters such as Carefresh. Drs Foster & Smith sell huge bags of aspen for not very much.

Male mice do pee all over. They are marking their territory. Some people just can't stand the smell. If you don't like it, get a few female mice. Unless the cage gets dirty, they smell nice. They are best kept in threes, so that when one dies there is not a bereft and lonely mouse left, prone to illness and mites.

As to your question..

I am sure there are possibilities I cannot think of.

The first thing that pops into my head, assuming the issue was from the relocation, is a terrible allergy to something in the new place-- perhaps a new rug, or paint, or furniture polish.

If it is unrelated to the move, then the scratching was due either to a skin disease or mites. In either case such a sudden death is unusual, but anything that hurts the mouse, hurts its immune system and leaves it open to any other infection. A mouse can die within 12 hours of contracting some illnesses.

A likely possibility is that the scratching led to a wound which became infected; the infection spread inside and caused blood poisoning, which killed the mouse.

I can't tell you for sure. But these are likely scenarios.

I am sorry about the loss of your mouse.




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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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