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Mice/Mouse dies after stopping meds too early.

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QUESTION: Hi Natasha

Yes here I am again. I know I must be getting a bit annoying because I seem to be coming back everyday now. Anyway I just finished having the mice in the bath tub and I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Bambi is so much better. I hearded her into the toilet tube (in answer to your previous answer yes I have a toilet tube in there for them) once she was in there I could tip her out and handle her and suprisingly she was fine and just walked across my hands and didn't seem to mind being handled atall. She didn't try to jump away or run up my arm, she was a little bit scared but thats to be expected but I managed to handle her for quite a while so I'm hoping if I do that everyday, she will get used to me and when I put her back in the cage after being in the tub I didn't even need to use the toilet tube, I just picked her up and she was fine so thats the good news.

The bad news is that I'm a quite worried about Misty, I think she might be depressed. I always praised Misty's incredibly docile nature becuse she would just sit in my hand and barely even move when I tried to handle her. When we first brought Misty home she was quite inquisitive, she was still much sleepier and more docile than the other two but she would go on her wheel and eat food from her dish and seemed quite a happy little mouse but today in the tub I had her out and I had this cool tube toy thing which is designed for hamsters anyway and she went in as soon as I put her in the tub and whilst she was in it she barely moved and didn't come out and she looked like she was breathing weirdly, whilst the other two ran around she just sat there and didn't move. I started to get a little worried so I took apart the tube toy and pulled her out. Another thing I tought was strange was that the noise of me taking the toy apart still didn't move her and even when I prodded her with my finger she still didn't move. I had her in my hand and she just sat their, I started talking to her and kissing her to try and calm her down and she just sat their. the syptoms generally are:
1)not eating very much
2)not running on wheel
3)not moving very much
4)strange breathing when scared
5)sleeps a lot but occasionally comes up at night to drink
6)very arched back which she has always had but I read in a book that this can be cause for consern.
So is she depressed or maybe too stressed from moving to a new home or maybe stressed from being handled too much.

Oh! and another thing if I take her to the vets (which I probably will) then what will the treatment be? Will I have to put her on antibiotics and how would I give them to her. By the way should I take Lunar and Bambi with us to the vets in case she gets lonely.

I don't want to lose her especially when she is such a sweetheart, I've really become attached to her   

Well thanks for answering my questions :)

From Verity :)

ANSWER: Dear Verity,

She sounds very sick. She needs to go to the vet fast. A mouse must see an "exotics" vet or a "pocket pets" vet.

The vet will give her antibiotics. I would give such a sick mouse two kinds, but they may not. If they give you only Baytril, tell them gently that an experienced rodent person you know felt that there may be a secondary infection, and since a secondary infection kills fast, maybe they could give you amoxicillin just in case. Vets differ. And sometimes they don't care what you think.. However some are very open to suggestion.

The classic way to give a mouse medication is not easy- you have to scruff her, which is holding her skin on the back of the neck. It does not hurt if you just get skin-- this is how her mom used to carry her (have you ever seen a cat carrying a kitten?) You may be able to do this well enough that her mouth will automatically open. You will have a syringe (no needle) and you will have to get the contents into her mouth. This isn't fun for you or the mouse. It is the standard method.

However, you could try an easier way first- put the medication on a tiny treat, so she is sure to finish it (that is, if she takes it at all). It has to be something irresistible. A piece of buttered and salted popcorn, for instance. Or a drop of completely liquid peanut butter (mixed with rice or soy milk, or if that isn't possible, water). It has to be liquid so she will not choke.

Last resort (Yes these are out of order :) ) if you really can't get it in her, is to wipe it onto her fur where she will wash it off. Her cheeks would work, or behind her ears. She washes her whole body, so she should  get it in her. However, this is sort of approximate because it may rub off on something.

Yes, take everyone with her. If you can take the cage, that's great- but it is likely too large. So find/make a little travel box or cage and put it in the tub/their cage with treats in it until time to go. Then put some of their bedding in it- a little blanket is great- and put them in. If a wheel fits, terrific. Mice like to run in the wheel when they travel.

Best of luck- I really hope Misty gets well quickly.

Squeaks,

Natasha




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

QUESTION: Hi Natasha

Well I took Misty to the vet yesterday morning and they've given her Baytril just like you said. I'm supposed to give it to her twice a day and if she hasn't made an improvement by the weekend then the vet said to bring her. They've given us a tiny syringe to put it in her mouth but it still isn't easy to get it in her because like most pets, Misty HATES taking her medicine so I just have to sort of shove it in her mouth and squirt it in. The vet said she has a breathing problem. Misty is only 6 weeks old and I thought it was strange for such a young mouse to get sick but the vet says that this problem normally happens to young mice and that she may have even been born with it. Although Misty hates taking her medicine, the good news is that it seems to be working although I've only been giving her the medicine since yesterday it seems to have made a quick improvement. Misty is not quite as docile or lifeless as she used to be, when I went to pick her up yesterday evening to give her her second dose of medicine, instead of just sitting in my hand like she used to, she ran up my arm and this is unsually lively for what was such a docile mouse and she wakes up more, eats a lot more, drinks more and even occasionally runs on her wheel so I'm pleased that she seems so much happier and brighter.

The only thing that is a little strange is that when I had them in the bath tub today Misty seemed terrified and started doing that wierd breathing again (I have noticed that the strange breathing seems to be brought on by stress). While Bambi and Lunar ran around playing and exploring, Misty just sat in a little wooden hied I put in the tub for them and she didn't come out the entire time but when I put her back in her cage suddenly she was fine and seemed happy and playful. I have noticed that she seems happiest in her cage.

Is this behaviour part of her ilness or is she just a timid mouse? Should I get her out to play in the tub so she gets used to being out or would it be best to leave her in her cage where she seems happiest?

ANSWER: Hi Verity,

Mice are born with a respiratory illness called myco, which can only be eradicated or avoided by killing the mom before birth. The stress of moving, being chased, etc has made her susceptible. That is why she got sick. The hope is that she hasn't already gotten sick with something else too, which the amoxicillin would fight. She may also be a little young for amoxicillin (she would probably get Zithromax).

My recommendation is to give Misty her special time out with you, and not in the tub. You will have a more special bond with her that way too. Wait till she is well in a week or so and then try the tub again. Are you getting in the tub with her? If so, you can sit there with her in your shirt or sleeve.

Have fun :)

squeaks,

Natasha





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

QUESTION: Hi Natasha

Well I'm afaraid I have some sad news. Misty just died today and has now gone to mousy heaven. Misty had a breathing problem as you know and was on Baytril for a while but she made a massive inprovement and would play and explore and she wasn't scared of being in the bath tub after a while and she ate and drank much better so we stopped giving her the Baytril and she was fine but yesterday in the bath tub she didn't look as well and was breathing funny and was making strange noises but she still ran around and explored so I didn't worry too much but today I kept hearing strange noises coming from the nestbox but I didn't want to wake her up and stress her out so I left her but my mum said she was worried and wanted to make sure she was ok so I opened the nestbox and at first she looked ok but when I held her she didn't look very lively and just sat in my hand so we dropped some Baytril on her head so she could wash it off (this is the easiest method to give it to her) and we put her back in her cage and she started making these really wierd squeaking noises that were quite loud and she was breathing much much worse than before. She looked like she was gagging or choking and she just sat in the corner of the cage and didn't move, sometimes she looked like she wanted to eat or drink but she was so sick that she couldn't. When I got them out to go in the tub at play time, I decided to not get Misty and just to get Bambi and Lunar out for a play because I didn't want to disturb Misty or stress her out so I left her in her cage to let her get some rest but she woke up and she looked really bad so we made an appointment at the vets. Misty went back to bed for a few minutes but we had to take her to the vets so we woke her up and she was ok but still looked quite sick. I picked her up and was about to put her in her travel case but she ran up my arm and suddenly went really jumpy and I dropped her in her case and was about to shut it but she started having some sort of seizure and was shaking and suddenly she flopped over and me and my mum thought she had died and stated crying but she woke up again and moved around but she then just flopped back over and died. We tried to wake her up but she was dead. We had an appointment so we had to take her to the vets anyway and the vet checked her heart beat just to make sure she was definitely dead and the vet said she was dead. :(

I'm still quite upset because I had gotten really attached to her even though I only had her a week and a half. I was wondering what do I do now, I have two mice left and would they be ok together or do I need to get another one and how did Misty die so suddenly, she had been fine up until yesterday afternoon so what could've killed her and should I have stopped giving her the Baytril or carried on, would she have survived if I'd kept on giving it to her. Misty was only 7 and a half weeks old when she died, I know mice don't live very long but surely it's not common for a mouse to die so young.

Well thanks for answering my questions :(

From Verity (R.I.P Misty)

Answer
Hi,

I am so sorry about your loss. Poor little girl.

The convulsions are absolutely normal at the moment of death. They can range from a little kicking to throwing themselves up in the air.

It is definitely because you stopped with the Baytril. It is like humans-- no matter how good you feel you have to complete the full 10-14 days. There are two reasons. One, she will get sick again. Two, the next time she is sick the antibiotic might not work.

You can take your time getting a third baby.

Again I  am so sorry.

Mice

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Natasha

Expertise

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): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising **** SEXING MICE: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES: http://thefunmouse.com/info/index.cfm http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.htm

Experience

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.

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

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

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