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Mice/i have just got a female mouse, can you assist me?

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hello, me and my girlfriend have just brought a female mouse, roughly 8-10 weeks old at a pet shop. after getting the mouse and doing a bit of research it seems me and my girlfriend are under different views on handling the mouse based on the fact we have viewed different websites which have all said different things. hopefully you can give me a bit of clarity on raising a mouse?

firstly, my girlfriend is under the impression that the mouse will die if it is lonely, seen as we have only brought one female mouse and some websites advise to have at least 3 females. it would be nice to have just one mouse providing i don't do it any damage! will my 10 week old female mouse adapt to being on her own, or will she literally die from loneliness??

ive also heard from someone that eating oranges or peanuts causes the mice to have mental problems and diarrhea? but im not sure of this either.

finally, if you could just give me some main big tips that will help me on my way from your experience that would be great :) all these different websites with different information is more that a little confusing.

thank you soo much for your time, i hope to hear back from you soon.

Answer
Hi Jordan,

Congratulations on your new pet!  Your girlfriend is correct that female mice frequently do well with companions, however, living alone certainly won't hurt her.  The majority of female mice enjoy the company of others and will bond strongly with them - this is the reasoning behind getting three females at a time.  Because of that bonding, when one passes on later in life, it can be very hard on the survivor.  If that survivor has another friend to help her through her grieving, it will be a lot easier on her until a third mouse can join the group.  So in the end, yes, having companions will probably make her much happier, but it isn't a requirement!

I have never heard anything about any kind of food causing mental problems at all.  Loose stools can be brought on by having too much fruit (or an unbalanced or suddenly changed diet in general), so all treats should be given in moderation, and citrus fruits like oranges can be one of those things that may indeed cause intestinal upset.  Peanuts are completely safe to the best of my knowledge, and peanut butter spread thinly over a cracker can make a wonderful treat!  This webpage has a ton of great ideas for safe foods, as well as a list of things to avoid:

http://www.fancymicebreeders.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5

As far as general tips go, just enjoy your new fuzzy friend!  She may need a little space for her first few days while she gets used to her new environment, but once she feels a little more comfortable, you can start bringing her out now and then and playing with her a bit.  Remember that mice are nocturnal, so it's always a good idea to wait until she is up and about before initiating playtime.  Also, sometimes mice get nervous about being picked up - always be patient.  If you are having an especially rough time, try waiting until she climbs into a toilet paper tube or a hide and lifting that instead, letting her climb out onto you on her own time.  That's really all the tips I can think of off the top of my head!  Mice make wonderful pets, and if you run into any other questions you might have please feel free to let me know and I'll be happy to help out as best I can!

Congratulations again on your new little mouse!
-Tam

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Tamarah

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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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