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Question
Hi i was wondering if you could help. We bought two female pet mice from our local pet shop 3 days ago, they have settled into their new cage fine. We have just noticed that one of the mice is dragging one of her back legs every now and then. She doesnt seem to do it all the time.. She is fine in every other way bright eyes, eating, drinking and active.Was really just wondering if there is anything we could do if there is a problem with the leg. She doesnt seem to be in any pain with it she doesnt squeek or bie if you touch it, should we just leave well alone or get her to a vet ??

Answer
Hi Sarah,

I think a visit to the vet would be well worth it, if you have one in your area who is familiar with mice.  What is strange about this situation is that it comes and goes - usually a dragging limb is the sign of a serious nervous or muscular injury, or even a broken bone.  However, these do not come and go like you mentioned.

This makes me think the problem could be one of either an injury that happened before and is just flaring up with the excitement and exercise involved in moving to a new home, or even an underlying health issue such as poor circulation.  A problem like this can be helped with pain or anti-inflammatory medications that your vet could give you, to prevent it from worsening.  Unfortunately, the fact that she isn't showing much pain doesn't necessarily mean she isn't feeling discomfort, as mice tend to hide their symptoms to keep from appearing weakened.  It is possible the problem is not serious, but it isn't likely to resolve itself, and a visit to a vet might make her feel a lot more comfortable, and you, too!

If there is no vet in your area who can help, let me know and we'll explore what other methods we can try from home to try and help her feel more comfortable in moving around.  If you notice any patterns in when she shows this behavior, or even what she was doing around when it happens, that might help us nail down a cause.

Best of luck, and congratulations on your new pets!
-Tam

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Tamarah

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising Natasha's Your First Mouse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share General Mouse Help: http://www.fancymice.info/ Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/species/

Experience

I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

Organizations
East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Education/Credentials
Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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