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Question
Hi Natasha,

Sadly, we just lost our Squeaks 2 days ago.  She had been battling tumors for quite some time and I suspect that they finally turned malignant (Surprisingly I'm taking it much harder than my daughters, 5 and 7!). She was the sweetest little thing - sort of like a dog in many ways and will be missed tremendously!  However, my concern is for our remaining mouse, Nibbles. They were around the same age, as we got them both last April right around the same time.

My plan is to get more mice as I'm very worried about Nibbles losing "her sister" but I'm not sure how to do this (I'm probably over thinking it).  Seeing all the tumors that my poor little Squeaks got I really wanted to go with a local breeder, however there aren't any here in MA. Anyway... Would it be better to get Nibbles some friends of the same age? And if so, where could I find them? The pet shops only seem to have young mice.

As for quarantining and introductions... Is it really THAT necessary to quarantine? (I didn't do it when I introduced Squeaks & Nibbles because I didn't know). But what am I supposed to watch for during this time? Can I keep the cages near each other so Nibbles isn't as lonely?

Your expertise is invaluable to us (newbie) mouse parents! So Thank You so much!!

Kristin

Answer
Hi Kristin,

Poor little lonely Nibbles. I apologize for the delay. Rat kitten emergency (yes, rat babies are kittens/kits. Mice are pups). I hope this does not sound terse as a result.

Get Nibbles 2-3 little girl mice. 3 is always best so you never have a situation like this again.

I know a mousery in Connecticut. I don't know if she has any available right now. I can contact her.

Quarantine is best but up to you. But for a real quarantine would be in two separate buildings, changing clothes and showering between. My guess is that would be pretty hard. And Nibbles is lonely now. If she had the choice, she would probably choose the possibility off getting sick to being lonely. But if you do go to a pet store, you must make sure every mouse in the tank looks healthy: clean faces, smooth fur, smooth spines, not hunched over.

Intros are easy. Clean cage, mark all mice with *real * vanilla on necks and rumps, put them in a cage with toys including TP rolls, and watch. Expect some or a lot of chasing and squeaking. Only separate in these 4 cases:

1. Blood
2. Someone is depressed, lethargic
3. Someone is blocked from wheel, nest, food, or water
4. Chasing and squeaking of one baby is constant.

I will try to contact the breeder. The mousery is Mosaic Mousery. Her name is Christine.  If you prefer, you can try to find her in Facebook. Tell her you are coming from me. Best you let me know. You can find me on FB too. I am the only Natasha Millikan there.

Sorry to sound so hurried, lol.

My condolences on the loss of Squeaks.

Lol I usually end with Squeaks but that would be strange.

Whisker wiggles,

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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