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Post by FireViper on Tue 05 Dec 2017, 8:39 am

My 11 year old daughter has taken to pets of all kinds and we recently added four mice to the menagerie. We picked them up from a reptile store (the only place nearby that carried mice that weren't the white variety) that breeds fancy mice for feeders.

One passed away relatively quickly; my daughter notice that it had a droopy eye the second day and it died that night. On Sunday, about four weeks after we got them, another passed away. All three had been very active for the month, and earlier in the day my daughter had taken them all out and held them in her hands. All seemed normal, active and healthy. Then just a few hours later it was gone.

All the mice are girls and live in a 10 gallon tank. Plenty of bedding substrate, enough they can bury themselves in, a couple of hides, two wheels, food and water. The store gave us antibiotics for the water when we brought them home and we had them on it for ten days.

The tank was spot cleaned frequently and the bedding changed out every week or so. Plenty of water and we've been feeding them store bought mouse and rodent food.

As we're new, we don't know much. We read the life expectancy isn't very long for mice, but losing two so quickly is pretty sad. Are we doing something wrong? What can we do to make sure the remaining two are happy and healthy.

Thanks!

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Post by Blessed on Tue 05 Dec 2017, 10:36 am

Hey there, FireViper! Welcome3 to PMF!
Aw, I'm sorry you have to go through that ['specially so soon]! Most likely you are not doing anything wrong. Your mice sound like they're living in a good, clean-enough environment, and like you're giving them normal, good care. So I really doubt it has anything to do on your part.
Being bred for feeders and all, there's a good chance they weren't bred for good health or a long life, so they were probably sick with an unknown illness that just took them really quickly. Sad
Again, sorry for your losses.
Love,
Blessed

P.S. We really like photos, lol! Yellow heart

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Post by CallaLily on Tue 05 Dec 2017, 11:10 am

I agree, chances are you've done nothing wrong. Poor breeding and possible illness from the start (the only reason I can think you were sent home with antibiotics) are probably more likely. There's a bunch of mouse care info here if you'd like to read through it: http://www.petmousefanciers.com/t1230-mouse-sticky-index.

How are the remaining girls doing? Any signs of illness?


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Post by moosticks on Tue 05 Dec 2017, 3:34 pm

I am new to mouse-parenting too so I haven't got much advice to offer, but I did want to offer my condolences. I hope your daughter is doing ok? We lost one of ours after about 6 weeks and we were all devastated; especially the kids. I really feel for you both. Sad

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Post by River on Tue 05 Dec 2017, 5:30 pm

The only reason they'd be sent home with antibiotics is if they were already sick, so chances are, you've done nothing wrong.

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Post by Rodents rock! on Tue 05 Dec 2017, 7:17 pm

I agree with CallaLily and River. I've never heard of any animal from a pet store being sent home with antibiotics. So it sounds like where you got them from knew something was wrong. So I honestly don't believe it was anything you guys did wrong at all. So sorry for your loss.
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Post by FireViper on Tue 05 Dec 2017, 11:36 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments and assurances. Both passings were difficult, especially since I was away for the second one. My daughter had her own burial service for Pip, which was nice.

Thought it odd as they gave us antibiotics as well, but told us it was pretty standard. They are one of the best reptile stores in the SF Bay Area, and take great care of the reptiles. Really hard to find fancy mice in out area. None of the local big chains carry mice and only the two reptile stores do. Should we try to track down a third female? Heard that it helps to keep peace to have at least three.

Thanks again!

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Post by Nijimi にじみ on Wed 06 Dec 2017, 3:59 am

It's been ok for me to keep 2 mice, they never fight most likely because they were living together before in a pet store. You should use Hoobly Classified to find mice, it' reliable and I got two babies from there.

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Post by Blessed on Wed 06 Dec 2017, 7:33 am

You know, with the only-two-females-thing, I honestly think that actually depends on the personalities of your mice! So keep an eye (or ear!) out on them at least for a bit. But most likely, they'll be fine. Bouncy Actually...don't ask why I just said that; I think the biggest (or only) reason three females are recommended, is so when one dies, the other two are left with each other; a friend like most need.
Yellow heart,
Blessed

P.S. I've considered when one of the other two die, then your last one would be left alone... Unless you get a third friend soon after your third one dies, or when the second one is sick. . . But then--if you know what I mean--it's like a never-ending process. =P
So I recommend making whatever choice you'd personally prefer.

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Post by CallaLily on Wed 06 Dec 2017, 8:04 am

They can be ok, just the two of them. There's basically two reasons why at least 3 girls in a group are recommended.

The first is that it balances the group out more. Sometimes the dominant mouse can be kind of relentless (not necessarily mean but just over grooming, etc) but if there's at least two other submissive mice, then there isn't just one poor mouse taking all of the alpha's attention. But not all alpha girls are a pain. Laughing So your two may get on just fine. Just keep an eye on them, as usual.

The second is, if one mouse suddenly passes away you're not left with one very lonely depressed girl - waiting for a newbie to be purchased/adopted and get through quarantine. If you're planning to have a group of girls for some time, this is no big deal to keep up at least 3. If you're planning to take a break from girl mice, you can just stop at any time and treat the last lonely girl as you would a lone male - giving tons of distractions and play time.

The decision is yours. Smile

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Post by FireViper on Sun 10 Dec 2017, 9:48 am

Thanks for the tips. Hope to not jinx it, but so far, the girls are doing well together. Very active and friendly. Will keep an eye on them and perhaps add a girl or two soon. Christmas is coming. . . .

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