You are here:

Mice/first mouse died


I just bought a mouse this morning and when I took him home I put him in his cage and he seemed fine and .he was running on his wheel and then later on he started shaking I thought he was cold and I picked him up with a blanket but he was still shaking I put him on my desk and he couldn't stand up and he lost balance and I was scared because I didn't know what was going to happen (this is the first time I had a pet mouse) then he was breathing heavily and all of a sudden he stopped breathing and shaking.
I just want to know if he had an infection or why this happened to him

Dear Ellen,

What an unfortunate beginning! I hope this doesn't throw you off of mice! Though it might throw you off of the pet store.

It is possible that there was something congenitally wrong with the mouse. If he looked 100% healthy when you bought him, that would probably be the case. However, this was your first mouse. So because you aren't familiar with mouse health, you may have overlooked some signs of illness.

First, the pet store must be told what happened. Tell a manager if possible.

Second, if you want to proceed on the idea that the problem may have been congenital, and think you might want to get another mouse there, first, take a good look around the store. Is it clean? Are the cages clean? Do the other animals look healthy? are they overcrowded? Now to the mice. Every mouse in the cage must look healthy. A healthy mouse has bright, open eyes. Smooth and perfect fur. A sleek line- not a hunched spine. Nothing around eyes or nose. It is not sluggish- it is either sitting or active but not moving slowly.

If the store and mice pass this test, you can try again. Or you can go to another store- and now you know how to measure a healthy mouse. Of course, the very best thing to do is to go to a private breeder. If you tell me where you are I may be able to find you one. Well bred mice are not expensive. Never fear. Usually $5-10.

Before putting the new mouse in the cage, wash everything in the cage with hot water with a tiny bit of bleach. Use new bedding, litter, etc. If the first mouse was sick, you don't want those lethal germs killing the next mouse.

I hope the rest of your introduction to mice goes far, far better.

In my profile there are a series of addies (can't use links) and one is for a video I made called Your First Mouse. Watch that for various pointers.




All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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.

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

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

©2016 All rights reserved.