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Mice/Extremely sick and noisy mouse


Hi Natasha

My female mouse 'Ms Tarly' (Female, 1yr and 4months old) has been progressively getting sick.

Around 3 weeks ago, she began to audibly 'wheeze' or make a slight squeaky noise as she breathed, which has gradually progressed to at times, very loud wheezing and clicking. She's still relatively active, but pauses for brief moments of time, and has become a lot smaller than she was before.

Her eyes are still bright, she is active and her coat isn't noticeably ragged. She doesn't look very sick at all, but she is bony to the touch and obviously not in best health. We've checked in the area for a small animals vet but haven't been able to find any at all, so we've made sure she's comfy and warm and have made everything easily accessible, e.g. food and water.

Today, I think she had somewhat of a seizure: She ran from the opposite side of the cage at full tilt and climbed up onto a little pink house we've got in the cage, she then stood up on her two back legs and just fell over backwards right onto her back and side (which has never happened before and is really unusual because she's been moving around quite slowly for a while). She lay there for a bit until I came over and picked her up. I held her in front of the heater in my hands to keep her warm (it's winter in Australia atm) and calm down, she seemed to recover after a while, except she's started clicking loudly when she breathes.

The worrying thing is that we've got 4 other pet mice too, one of which is the same age as Ms Tarly and very good friends with her (her name's Fatty) and three other younger ones who are about 5months (they've been introduced and have all been getting along fine for the past 4months). My main concern is that if Ms Tarly has another 'seizure', the other mice might get very spooked and may attack her (this is coming from what I have read on the net).

Obviously I want to keep her with the other mice so that she is comfortable etc, but I'm worried for her safety if this happens again. What would be your advice? Have you had any similar experiences?
Also is there anything we could do for her/give her?

Thanks in advance,

Dear Jaye,

Your mouse 'Ms Tarly' is very, very, very, very sick and close to death. Mice show no sign of illness until they are terribly ill.

She needs antibiotics NOW. The fastest thing to do is to get something at the pet store. This post describes how, though the question is about an eye infection:

When she is actually clicking she needs a steam bath, up to once an hour if it helps. Run the hot water in the shower and close the door. When the room is full of steam, bring your little sick mouse in and hold her so she can NOT get wet but can breathe the steam, for 5-10 minutes.


Do NOT let her get cold. Put her way inside your warm clothes and go under the covers to ever so slowly bring her back to the very warm nest you have her in. Sick mice MUST be kept very warm.

If she likes to be held, just hold her quietly the rest of the time. For one, she would rather die in your hands than anywhere else. And secondly, I have saved mice from certain death, whether sick or poisoned, by holding them quietly for even up to 24 hours till they get over the worst of it. It is the warmth and the love.

As for the other mice getting spooked... I have never heard of anyone whose mice attacked a sick or weak mouse. I have heard of it in rats, though even there not first or second hand.

The  'seizure' she had may well have been dying-- mice can be very energetic at that moment-- and you saved her with the warmth.

I wish her good luck and 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.

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

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