You are here:

Mice/my mouse just died, and another has symptoms!


QUESTION: Hey there, just a few hours ago my mouse passed away. Ha has been sick for a few days prior but was still eating and drinking and moving around. He had a hunched back, and was all slow and weird. He was quite cold, although I tryed to keep him warm withnwheat sacks and constant handling. Now one of my other boys is showing the signs, help! I don't want him to die as well! Should I separate him and the other three? How can I help him?

ANSWER: Hi Isabel,

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.  How old are your mice?  Are the males all living together?  Have there been any other symptoms, such as fur loss, scabs, fighting, squeaking, sneezing, wheezing, or clicking?

If your mice are all male, I would suggest keeping them separately regardless of disease, because males can fight very suddenly, leading either directly to death or to infections which can be lethal.  Separating once signs begin to show however will not prevent the spread of a disease, and it's likely they will all need treated for whatever is causing the symptoms.

Do you have a veterinarian in your area who works with pocket pets like mice?  That is the very first thing I would recommend.  You can bring in the entire cage so the vet can see all the mice and what *exactly* is going on with the sick one, so they can give you targeted medications right away.  If this is not possible, please write me back immediately and I will explain how to administer over the counter antibiotics, but again, a vet would be a far better and faster choice for them if you can do so.

In the meantime, look for any other symptoms you can, and keep the cage in a warm, draft-free location.  Any further information you can give me if you can't get to the vet, will help me help you, so please let me know if there is anything else going on.  Look for coat condition and injuries, breathing problems, eating/drinking, normal-looking poop, fighting, or lethargy.

Best of luck, and please let me know ASAP if you cannot get them to a vet quickly, so I can do what I can to help from here.

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

QUESTION: Thanks for your quick response and helpful advice. Unfortunately monty passed away that night. The five mice got along very well, even though they are boys.they were very sweet to each other and only fight over food, but that's only squeaking at each other and no bites or cuts or bald patches have ever been found and I handle then for at least half an hour every day. They are only 6 weeks old which is why its so devastating to lose them. I went to the vets upon the second mouses death, and she told me it was no fault of mine, but it was their genetics. Sadly, my breeder must not have kept a close enough eye on whom was breeding with whom, creating dodgy genes. These genes have made my baby's unhealthy and die because they aren't a good mix of different genes.

Thanks for your help and concern, next time I'll travel to get my mice. I just hope the remaining 3 mice will survive a lot longer than their poor brothers.


More bad news, I am so sorry. At least you got some closure on why it happened, but that must be so difficult.

One last word about separating them, however - they may get along well now, as they are not yet sexually mature, but please be aware that this can change overnight. You already have doubts about the breeder's skills, so trusting them to have given you a line which has lifelong compatible males (which I have only ever seen from one breeder) might not be a good idea. Brothers can get along for longer, but you never really know when that ends until the fighting starts, and that could result in serious or deadly injuries overnight.

Best of luck, and I'm so sorry again to hear about both of your losses.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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!

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

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

©2017 All rights reserved.