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Mice/Depressed or sick mouse after losing friends

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Question
Hi Natasha,
So I have had 3 female mice: Jerry, Joey and junior :) sadly, two of them passed away this year. Jerry passed just about a week ago. Last night, I noticed that Junior seemed really down. He slept all day and night. His fur is scruffy and messy. He also didnt eat very much. I tried to cheer him up with his favorite treat, some peanut butter. But he didnt want to eat any. Which is weird, because he has never turned down peanut butter. Him and Jerry were inseparable. What do you think is wrong? How can I make him better?

Answer
Dear Lily,

I am a little confused as to gender. So I will answer for each.

If Junior is a male, he will not allow another friend, and needs you badly. He needs lots and lots of love. Hold him as much as possible. Keep him on your shoulder or sleeve as you watch TV or anything you can do with him. You are his only mouse friend. Mice actually do die sometimes of a broken heart. And watch carefully for signs of illness or mires, both of which he is prone to as a lonely and depressed mouse.

If Junior is a female, then she needs two more friends as fast as possible. Until you can get them, act as above with a male. But she needs mouse love ASAP.

While he is scruffy, you should take care of his toilette for him. Take a soft, flat bristled toothbrush and gently comb his fur. Check his underside to make sure he has no urine on him, which would need to be gently washed off.

It is also possible that he is already sick. Bringing him to the vet now would identify that and treat it as soon as possible. You can probably wait two days to see if he seems to be better; but I cannot 100% guarantee that he isn't sick and could pass before then. So a vet visit is a good thing. If he is still scruffy and has not changed for the better after 2 days he should go to the vet. Of course if he gets worse at all, even though you are showering him with love, he must go to the vet immediately.

Warning- a mouse can easily choke on peanut butter. Even people choke on it pretty frequently. Always water it down-- I use rice milk-- to a pourable consistency. Or spread it extremely thin onto something.

I wish little Junior the very best of luck and health.

Squeaks,

Natasha  

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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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