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Mice/Mouse's eye twitching and has hiccups?


QUESTION: Hello Tamarah,

My pet mouse eye twitches and his body looks as if he has the hiccups sometimes, it looks as if his back jerks a bit when he's about to go sleep and during his sleep

Do you perhaps know what this means?


ANSWER: Hi Tammy,

The eye twitching doesn't mean anything unless he's regularly squinting it, which could indicate irritation.

As far as the hiccups, are you sure he is not sneezing or coughing?  Sometimes they sound like little regular hiccups several times a day.  Coughing or sneezing may indicate an upper respiratory infection, or URI, which would need medication.  Is there a vet near you who works with pocket pets like mice?  That's the best solution if you think something may be wrong - a vet will be able to tell you what's going on and give you the best antibiotics to help.

If seeing a professional veterinarian is impossible please write me back with how long he has been "hiccuping," if it has worsened, improved, or made no change over time, and if his other behaviors (level of energy, posture, appetite, water intake, coat quality) have remained the same or changed since his hiccuping began.  I'll also need to know how long he has been having these hiccups and about how many times a day (or if it's fairly constant).

Best of luck, and let me know how else I can help!

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

QUESTION: Hi Tamarah

Yes he does squint his left eye occasionally

He does also sneeze and the 'hiccups' may be coughs as well. He coughs for about less than 10 times within 5mins? its not constant throughout the whole entire day

Hes been sneezing for about 3 weeks, but with the hiccups Ive only seen it start since a week ago. His energy, appetite, water intake and coat quality has not changed at all, hasn't lost any weight, and doesnt have any discharge out of his nose or eyes
however he curls up into a ball when he sleeps sometimes? (hes not laying on his side and curling up but hes on his feet with his head tucked under into his chest?)

He also scratches himself quite a lot in the same area on his back - if this information is relevant for you


Hi Tammy,

Is there a veterinarian in your area who works with pocket pets like mice?  Would it be possible to bring him in soon?  It sounds like he may be sick with something called an upper respiratory infection, which needs antibiotics as it can be quite serious if not treated.  Sleeping in a ball is completely normal, however.

Please let me know if you can bring him to a vet or not.

Best of luck,


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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: Orphaned Mice Videos: Natasha's Your First Mouse: General Mouse Help: Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds:


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!

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