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Mice/Mouse behaving erratically

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Question
We had two mice and one of them died a few days ago. The other one began to display the following behaviours - first it was severely itching and scratching and making lots of noise (I assume pain) and jumping around. I immediately applied some spot on anti pest drops and now the scratching has stopped. The mouse (can't remember its name - is my son's mouse) is now jittery and jumpy. I have seen it drinking and eating today so that is a relief. We are also suffering a heatwave with temperatures in high 20s degrees cent. I have placed a moving fan near one of the cages - it can get away from the fan if it wants but seems to be ok with it.

Question - its behaviour is it from its likely infestation and will it subside? Or is it from the death of the other mouse? Or perhaps when I put the drops on - didnt handle her but had to chase her a little bit. Perhaps a combination.

Is there anything else I should do and is the fan ok?

Best wishes
Amanda

Answer
Hi Amanda,

Mice do grieve, and it can take a few weeks for a mouse to behave normally after the loss of a friend.  During this time, you can help make things easier for her by giving her extra attention and new activities/toys to explore.

When mice live in pairs or communities, they control pest populations like mites through mutual grooming.  When a mouse suddenly lives alone, mites can become out of control and cause the itching you are describing.  If the spot treatment worked, that is great!  You may need to reapply after a certain amount of time according to the label, and it would be a good idea to sanitize the cage and completely change the bedding at the same time.

As long as the mouse can get away from the fan when needed, that should be fine.

I'm sorry for your loss, and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help out.

-Tam

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Tamarah

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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: 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/

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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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East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

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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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