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Mice/Mouse quiet, messy fur


QUESTION: I have two mice in one two-story cage. They just turned one years old today. So far they've been in perfect health. I started to notice one mouse preferred to sleep outside if the little igloo place, she would face the corner and sleep outside. Another thing she'd do washe cleared out all the bedding from a little spot and slept there. She's been sleeping in a straight line, not curled up, how I'm used to seeing them. She seems to be ok. She gets up, eats, and runs on her wheel. I thought it might be because it's hot out. (Not overly hot, she's in the best spot in the house). I took her out after witnessing this over the past couple day. Her fur seems to not be so seemless and smooth as it once had been. It looks almost like a baby mouses does. It's slightly clumpier. I have her right now, on my lap and she has crawled in between my legs and the laptop and occasionally is sticker her head out. She usually is a little monkey and known to poop everywhere, but so far, no poopies. She's still curious.... Is she just getting older, or does she have a fever or something? I have no money for the vet. She just doesnt seem so... jumpy (as in climbing the bars and running around) as she used to, although she still is sniffing around and is curious. Now I'm just rambling. Sorry. I love them so much and a couple months ago another mouse in another cage passed away (she had a broken back when I got her, so I just gave her the best life I could [4 months of happiness]), and I dont want to go through that again, and have to deal with another depressed mousey. Shes my first mousey. :(

ANSWER: Dear Katharine,

Certainly if it is hot, she may be feeling unwell or even have a little heatstroke. But if the other mouse is fine, it might be that she is sick.

Since you can't get to the vet,  and she is sick now, so waiting for medication in the mail isn't an option, my suggestion for a home remedy is almost as good: tetracycline. Here is a link to the instructions I give:

At the same time, if she doesn't seem to be pooping, massage her body to help keep things moving.

Best of luck to her, I feel bad that it took me so long to answer :( I have been knocked out by a cold for a few days.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I don't know why she wasn't pooping. But She's turned into a regular pooping machine. I rearranged the house to have an even COOLER spot to put their cage. I also took a little glass bowl, froze it, and put it in the cage. When it was still cold, but not frozen, she slept pressed up against it. So now it's just that she walks with little confidence and her hair still looks like I tried to give it a haircut. I cleaned her cage, so there was a little less bedding in sections because she seems to not like that. Right now it's fairly cold-ish. (pants and t-shirt weather with a light sweater) And they are snuggled together in a ball. I'll take a look at the link just in case.

You need to take care of yourself too!
Feel better!!!

Hi Katharine,

I suggest you drop by a pet store and pick up some fish tetracycline and treat her. If you are wearing a light sweater, she doesn't have heatstroke. Messy fur means she isn't feeling well enough to keep herself clean, which is a very bad sign. So is her quietness when she is usually energetic.

Although the link I gave was for a sneezing mouse, tetracycline is a broad spectrum antibiotic. You don't want to wait and see, like for a person, because mice are delicate and can get sick and die pretty quickly.

Best of luck and health to her.


Natasha (thanks for the well wishes)  


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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.

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

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