Finally found a new heart mouse!

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Post by antant26 on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 12:33 am

Hello everyone, it's been a while since my last mouse Salem passed away, around a year ago next Wednesday. I was going to get a leopard gecko, but as fate would have it, one of my classmates asked if I could care for her mouse! I'll post pictures of her as soon as I get them.

The information I know about the mouse whom we will refer to as mouse A until I can learn her name, or pick a name for her:
She is single and depressed
She lives in a 10 gallon tank
She's relatively young, my classmate said a couple months or so, the number wasn't precise. Of course, I'll try to figure out as much info as possible about mouse A, and I'll be able to stay in contact with her current owner if I have any questions.

Any tips so far?

My plan is to bring her home next week, and I'll immediately take her to my exotic vet whom I know I can trust. For anyone in the Bay Area, it's All Creatures Vet Clinic in El Cerrito. They're the ones who gave Salem his antibiotics for his abscess.

While at the vet's office, I will definitely want to confirm mouse A's gender, my mom was very concerned about that. Salem, my old male mouse, was quite stinky.

Now for my plan for the little girl, who doesn't have a name yet in my book. Since she's a single female, I'll definitely want to introduce her to a friend. In my local area, there are 500 retired lab mice up for adoption, so I have a good starting point.

My plan in the following steps:
1. Bring mouse A, my classmate's mouse home, and immediately take her to the vet. Keep her for two weeks in quarantine to really make sure she's ok.
2. Go ahead and adopt another mouse, mouse B. Mouse A and mouse B will both be housed in separate ten gallon tanks right next to each other. Mouse B will already have been in quarantine at the rescue, and health checked.
3. Each week or so I will switch toys and bedding between them.
4. After a few months or so, I will introduce them together into a 20 gallon high or long tank, or something of the sort, with all the toys sanitized and fresh bedding, so it will be neutral territory.
5. Pray they get along. If not, start the process over, maybe allowing them to interact in a playpen, neutral territory.

Sound like a good plan? What if with mouse B I also adopted a mouse C, as a trio is the best number for females? How do I introduce a third to a pair? Chance this will work?

I'll need to do gender checks throughout, and one more thing... all the mice are PEW. Any tips on differentiating them? Should I get mouse B from a breeder just so there's a color difference? Would be useful for records.

Thank you so much everyone, and I am excited to jump back into the joys of mouse keeping! Really missed the community. Bouncy

(For names I'm thinking London, Paris, or Tokyo, to run along the theme from my last mouse, who was also named after a city. Any other ideas?)

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 2:46 am

Awesome! Good luck with everything! I'd just do at least a 3 week quarantine, though some illnesses can take up to 4 weeks to show symptoms. Also, about the third girl, can you not adopt a pair of mice from the shelter and introduce the pair to your single girl?

I saw those 500 lab mice for adoption! That's so cool!

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Post by CallaLily on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 8:20 am

It is recommended to quarantine any new mouse for at least 3 weeks. Even if they've been through a quarantine at another facility.  Just thought I'd mention it. Up to you of course. Smile

Method 1, Off-Site Quarantine: In addition to what was stated above, Off-Site Quarantine is to be done in a very controlled building separate from any animals. It is best that you shed your clothes, take a shower, and wait a few hours between caring for the quarantined animals and your pre-existing animals. Once the off-site quarantine is complete (no animal shows and signs of illness or infestation), animals may enter your home. However, they still may NOT come in contact with your other animals but rather go through an in-house quarantine as well. When ever animals are moved from one place to another, they MUST be quarantined, no matter where they came from. Animals can easily pick up illness and/or parasites from anywhere, even a controlled off-site quarantine facility. This is why it is critical to also quarantine animals coming from an off-site quarantine to your home or place where your mice reside
http://www.petmousefanciers.com/t7-quarantine

I think adopting 2 more mice would be better than just one more, just because groups of 3 (or more) tend to be more balanced than a pair and should one die suddenly, you won't be left with one very lonely mouse.  You'd go through the same introduction steps.

As for telling them apart....you will get to know them and spot little differences.  I had two PEW mice to start with. One was a little bigger, had larger ears, and was very outgoing.   And two of the mice I have now look very much alike (agouti sisters) but one has a little tiny bit of pink on the tip of her tail and slightly darker ears with a small tear in one.   She's also more shy than her sister.  You can mark them in the beginning with a spot of food coloring to tell them apart until you can do without.

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Post by antant26 on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 2:07 pm

Okay, I guess I'll get two, after mouse A gets a four week quarantine. I was just worried that mouse B and C might gang up on mouse A and bully her. I guess I'll adopt two lab mice. I hope they don't mind being housed together in a 10 gallon, but they'll probably not mind much as considering the conditions they were born into. Thanks everyone, I'll keep posting! I'll probably get to know the first girl in that time enough to tell her apart from the other two. Smile

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 4:06 pm

10 gallons are perfectly suitable for up to 3 girls Smile

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Post by antant26 on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 8:24 pm

Thanks everyone!

Learned some new info about her, and it's not so peachy. She's being kept on either cedar or aspen, and previously had two mouse friends who died. :'(

Regardless, I'm as ready as I'll ever be, and this just highlights my mission. I sanitized a whole lot of toys with dawn dish soap, so she'll have some new things to explore until she gets through her quarantine. I'll likely get her home this Thursday.

Health-wise at this rate I'm expecting some respiratory issues (do infections come from this) and maybe some brain damage. I have my vet fund, so I'm buckled down and prepared for whatever happens. Any other things I should be ready for or expect?

Oh! One more thing: I have an old bag of dust free bedding in my garage. I'm guessing I shouldn't use it and throw it out, it's been there for over a year. Razz Oh well, I'll get some pink bedding instead. Smile I really don't want to bother her once I bring her home, but I'll definitely want to do a bedding change asap. I guess the hideout she has now is going to be enough to keep her scent in there. I'll want to bring her home in the ten gallon she has now, the one I have still needs to be sanitized. Razz

On the bright side for the little girl, since she was housed with other female mice, we can assume for now that she is really a girl, and not a boy, as of my knowledge the other girls did not get pregnant. I'll still get some pictures to be sure.


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Post by scaredymouse on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 11:48 pm

If she's on aspen, it's okay... Although it can cause allergies. Cedar is the one that is harmful too the respiratory system but that didn't necessarily mean that she has problems yet. So it doesn't directly cause respiratory infections but it can make nice mouse susceptible to infections. But she may be fine, so don't start worrying just yet.

Also you're right, you shouldn't use the old bedding in the garage. You really don't need to take her to the vet when you get her unless she is actually sick. Its really stressful and unnecessary. Mice don't really need wellness exams. Save your money for when she needs it.

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Post by antant26 on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 8:43 pm

Finally brought her home! She was being kept in a ten gallon tank on cedar bedding with no toys safe for half a towel and a sipper tube for a water. She had no wheel.

On the sunny side, I immediately did a bedding change and gave her plenty of toys. I easily blew her mind with just a couple toilet paper tubes, imagine what she'll think of all the toys I have in store!

Regarding health issues, she seems pretty ok, despite the conditions she was kept in. Her coat looks very healthy, she's active, and curious once she gets over initial wariness. She hasn't used her wheel yet, probably because she doesn't know how. But compared to Salem, my chubby old brindle, she's looking a little on the skinny side. I fed her some Healthy Select Parakeet food and I think she really likes it!

Can't get any pictures in, I'll see if I can post a quick video clip. I've already posted a few photos on my instagram (@willowmousey).

It's so hard leaving her alone to adjust!!! I honestly just want to cuddle her forever, but I know I have to be patient.

Speaking of which, she STILL doesn't have a name yet!




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