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Mice/sleepy new mouse


QUESTION: Hi Natasha,

My boyfriend has two new female mice. We have had them for about 10 days. They are not full grown, but aren't tiny babies either. (They are about half the size of my full grown mice.) They get along really well and seem to be quite happy in their new home. However, one of my boyfriend's mice seems to sleep more than normal. I am a fairly new mice owner, having had my two mice for only about 4 months, so I am basing my definition of "normal" on what my adult mice are like and what the second new mouse is like. I've been trying to investigate whether or not she is up during the night and have decided she is up some during the night, but not the entire night. Her fur and eyes look healthy. She is eating, but not as enthusiastically as my adult mice. She is quite tame and crawls easily into my hand. But, she also is willing to sit for a long period of time in my hand. In my limited experience, most mice move around and are too curious to sit still like that. While she was resting in my hand, she made little clicking noises. She also seems to breathe very hard and fast at times. Do you think she might be sick? Is it possible that she just has a more "relaxed" or sleepy disposition? There are times that she seems to be active and inquisitive like a normal mouse, but they are short lived and inconsistent. She also seems underweight and her belly doesn't look as full as the other mice. Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Mahriah,

The mouse should go to the vet. You need an "exotics" vet or a "pocket pets" vet. Dog and cat vets do not know about mice.

While mice certainly do have different personalities, and there are lazy ones and active ones, not eating enthusiastically, and being thin, and breathing heavily  are strong signs that she may be sick.

I do have some good news for you. That clicking sound is called bruxing, and she does it because she is very happy to be with you.



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

QUESTION: Hi Natasha,

Thanks for the advice.  I took her to the vet today and the vet said she most likely has a respiratory infection based upon her heavy breathing. She prescribed her antibiotics and will follow up in 3 days to see if they are working. Hope they do the trick! She's a sweetie.


Hi Mahriah,

Thanks for the update! I'm glad she is getting some medicine. Don't forget to take the medication for the full course even though she may seem fine by that third day! I really, really recommend two weeks.

I wish her good health!




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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.

I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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