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Mice/Bored Mousies

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Question
Hi,

I asked you a question a few days ago about my mice having loose/swollen skin. I'm not sure if you answered it yet, because I lost all my emails yesterday! (so I don't know of this site sent me an "answer to my question" email).

But now I reallized that I think my mice are bored, and therefor less active, and therefore gaining wait. Their bellys look fat too, along with their neck. And they act less active. Not lethargic, they just aren't the busybodies that mice usually are. They sit around, scratching themselves and acting like they're not sure what to do.

I have two guesses why they might be bored:

#1: When I cleaned their terrarium a few days ago, I was in a hurry so I just threw a few toys/accesories in the cage. Usually I make all kinds of elaborate-ish setups for them to play in, but this time I didn't.

#2: I've had a rash on my hand for the past week or so, and because we havn't been to the doctor yet, I don't know what it is yet, and so I don't want to take any chances if it might be something mice can catch; so I havn't been holding them/taking them out of the cage. I just wear gloves when feeding/watering them. (I usually take them out for 10 minutes to an hour every day). Maybe they are bored because they don't get that time with me now.


So, do you have any ideas for how to solve boredom? Any fun things I can make for them? I'd love some ideas/instructions for making any fun playthings for mice.

Thanks so much! (sorry for the long description)

Answer
Hi Miriam,

I'm sorry, I just sent an answer to your other question before reading this one.  Glad you got a better idea of what was causing the change in appearance!

I actually wrote this blog post (with photos) several years back with some ideas on how to make/repurpose toys for rodents!  Here is a link:  http://tinyfurballs.blogspot.com/2010/03/diy-toys-for-rodents.html  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

You can also take a peek at their diet - is it unusually high in fats or proteins?  Mice should always have food available around the clock, but picking a diet lower in these and with fewer seeds/nuts can help when their metabolisms change with age and they start packing on a little extra padding.

Hope I helped!  Please let me know if you have any other questions,
-Tam

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Tamarah

Expertise

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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