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Old 11-12-2010, 05:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I have a sick Mouse

I know some people on here know something about mice and other small critters so I thought someone would help me out.

One of my pet mice doesn't seem to be eating much. Actually I have two problems one mouse (Zoey) is overweight so I've been hiding the food in hard to reach places and have cut out the fatty treats from their diet. It has helped she lost most of her excess weight but recently the other mouse (Amy) has lost a bunch of weight. It's like it happened overnight. her sides are sunken in, her hips stick out and she stopped taking food from us (she's always been a bit shy and slow to take food so it took me a while to notice the difference). It's so hard to tell how much she is eating or if she is eating at all. I've looked at her mouth and teeth don't seem to be bleeding or digging in or anything. I tried to syringe her a bit of baby food that I had for Quigley but she really didn't want it.

Right now Amy is on the play table alone with all her favourite foods (seeds dog treats, cereal, parsley, baby food). I'm so worried about her. I keep thinking I'm going to open the cage to find that she passed away. It's been about a week since she stopped taking food from us and I don't think I've seen her eat more than a few bites in that time. She has to be eating something right? How long does it take them to starve to death?

I would take her to the vet but I'm not sure he'll be able to do anything. I'm afraid that he'll want to put her to sleep.

Help?
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

You need to move her to a different cage than the other female. What it could be is that the other female has noticed the drop in food and is bullying food away from the smaller female. Put her in a small cage, no bigger than a 10 gallon aquarium, with a lot of bedding and a bowl of food and some water. I would fill up her food bowl and then leave her alone in a quiet, somewhat dark room for a couple days. Going in to check on her is fine, but she is probably frightened from the bullying and needs to realize eating is fine again.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

That's what I was wondering too. I haven't noticed any bullying but it is why I had Amy on the table by herself. I was worried about separating them for such a long time though. Would I be able to put them back together after a couple of days? Do you think giving Amy a few hours of alone time every day would work?
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

Why are you worried about separating them if bullying is what might be going on? I'd think it would be a relief to the mouse to be away from that and have full access to food. If it starts eating again, I'd say keep them separated for good, no one should be starved. Taking her out for a few hours a day isn't the same as her being allowed to eat all day, any time of the day, by her choosing. It would still be stressful to her.

It's great you are paying attention to the weight of the other mouse, this will also give you the opportunity to really know what each is getting to eat, safely and nutritionally. I know they are pack/social animals, but even with dogs a pack is not always the best thing if its an unsafe pack.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

I'm not sure that bullying is actually what is going on (edit I've never seen any evidence that Zoe is the dominant one). I'm worried about them becoming depressed because solitary mice can become depressed and die. It is not like having a solitary dog, (edit) especially because they have never been separated for more than an hour in the year that I have had them.

Even having them separate it is almost impossible to figure out what they are eating because they horde it. I would have to sift through the bedding everyday and even then I'm sure I'd miss stashes of food.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

Leave them apart for a couple days, to see if the little one is eating and gaining weight. If not then there might be a medical problem and separating probably wont fix it. If she does start eating and gaining weight, you might have to consider permanent separation.

You said that this began after putting the larger one on a diet. Is there any way you can go back to the old feeding method? Do you have a wheel? OR better yet 2 wheels? I would recommend getting a run-about ball or something to increase activity as a way of reducing weight. They make an awesome track for the balls. That way she has no option but to move and explore. Or you can reduce the amount you feed but leave it in the open, and then hide some more food. Making sure there is immediate food will reduce the larger one's anxiety about a food shortage.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

Run around balls suck for all animals I refuse to use them. Sorry if that sounds harsh I just really don't like them. We used one for our last mouse and it constantly came open risking escape. Also pee gets everywhere because it comes out through the slits and the mouse is left in the unsanitary environment with pee and poop it's so gross. I don't even want to touch it when it's time to get them out. I put them on a high table with a towel for their time outside the cage.

Thank you everyone for opinions and help. I will try to separate them and see what happens.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

After my post the other day I came home and observed the mice eating dinner together (no bullying) so after watching them closely for the next hour I decided not to separate. Monday morning I checked on them as usual and everything was fine but when I went to get them out for play time a few hours later Amy was dead. I cried for hours but now I'm glad that it is over and she passed with her best friend beside her. Zoey is craving lots of attention from me but otherwise seems fine. She probably knew better than I did what was about to happen. I just hope I can give her enough attention to keep her from feeling too lonely now that she is an only mouse.
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

Hedgielover,

I'm sorry to hear that, it really sucks to lose a pet. I'm wondering if Amy had some underlying medical issues?

*hugs*
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I have a sick Mouse

I'm so sorry about Amy. Obviously you cared very much about her.



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