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Hi,

Luna, my 10 month old little mouse, became sick a few weeks ago so i took her to the vets. She had been sneezing and clicking and suddenly became very quiet and hunched. She was prescribed Baytril and I gave her the course of that and a bit more when it failed to clear it up completely (she isn't as sick as she was but she still clicks and is a bit hunched with ragged fur).

The past few days i have noticed that she seems cold so i do everything i can to keep her warm, especially overnight (using hot water bottles on top of the cage with a towel etc). She has also started to refuse to be put back in the cage after I've had her out. I've had mice before who have gotten sick and have chosen to let go away from the cage, usually snuggled in my sleeve when i sense they're time is coming. Do you think Luna doesn't want to be in the cage because she doesn't want to die in there with the others around? Would another trip to the vets be useful? (It is hard for me to get to the vets but not impossible). Or do you think I should just wait and see if this is her time?

I also had another mouse who became sick very suddenly, stopped eating and died a few days later from a seizure (this was in december). Have you come across anything like that before? Do you know why she might have died? I'm also not sure if she was able to urinate very well as she smelt a bit of urine in her last few days - I thought maybe a build up of toxins or an imbalance in electrolytes due to urination and eating troubles caused the seizure from which she died but i don't know.

Any advice or insight would be very much appreciated as my girls are very dear to me.

Georgia

Answer
Hi Georgia,

If she is still hunching, cold, and behaving oddly, she is still sick. Sometimes mice with upper respiratory illnesses have a combination of a viral and a bacterial infection - antibiotics help with the bacterial, but the viral can only run its course.  She needs more (or different) antibiotics to protect her health as much as possible from bacterial infections while her body works to rid itself of the viral.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you if too much damage has been done and it's just her time.  That's a decision only you and your vet can make. It sounds like you already have a pretty good feeling about what's going on. It's your decision how to proceed, but antibiotics will not hurt - they can only help, so I'd recommend trying them JUST in case.


With regards to your deceased mouse, I am so sorry for your loss. It is possible that the seizure was not the cause of her passing, but the result. Sometimes as the brain shuts down, it sends haywire signals to the rest of the body, and it looks like she is having a violent seizure.  In reality, she is not feeling anything, and it's just part of her passing. It just looks really, really scary and upsetting.  From what you've told me, it sounds like something else was attacking her body, and shutting it down very quickly. Ill mice do not groom very well, which may be why she smelled - urine not getting cleaned off of her feet and fur can smell a lot very quickly.  As to what it was, I can't guess - the only way to tell would have been by necropsy.  It could have been an aggressive URI, something intestinal, an internal deformity, or even an internal tumor. There's just no telling, unfortunately.

Since you have lost one mouse recently and another is ill, definitely consider giving antibiotics to any other mice you have simultaneously to protect them from anything contagious. URIs have been known to wipe out whole mouse colonies if not treated promptly, so definitely play it safe.

Hopefully I've answered all of your questions, and Luna is doing okay.  Please let me know if there is anything else I can help out with.

-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

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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