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Risk of illness and prevention

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Risk of illness and prevention

Post by SarahThal on Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:00 am

So how at risk are mice in getting problems and in regards to healthcare, should we get pet insurance or just see the vet if necessary. I'm from the UK and new to mice (although my girlfriend has had loads in the past) but we have 2 males (housed separately) and I want to make sure they are looked after as best we can.

So basically what are the most common problems and will most mice get these?
Also whats the best prevention methods?

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Re: Risk of illness and prevention

Post by River on Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:20 am

I just go to the vet when necessary with mice. They have short lives. Usually health problems occur not at all or only once or twice a lifetime. Insurance is helpful with longer lived animals.

The most common problems, I'd say, are respiratory infections, mites, allergies, and chronic scratching disorders.

You can avoid respiratory infections by avoiding pine (kiln dried is safe, though) and cedar bedding. Try to use a non-dusty Aspen or paper based bedding. Dust in bedding is pretty hard to avoid entirely in my experience, but my girls have healthy lungs after nearly two years, so just aim for something minimal in the dust department

Mites is easily treated for. We have a whole page on treating with ivermectin, so see there. I do this with all new mice to prevent it from spreading to the colony.

Allergies are fairly common. They're usually to peanuts or corn when fed too frequently, but as my luck would have it, my girl is allergic to wood. There is no way to prevent this, really, but cut down on corn and peanut consumption anyways. They are safe in smaller portions of the diet.

Chronic scratching disorder is often referred to as OCD. It can develop after a mite infestation, after a longterm allergy, or just out of nowhere. The best way to prevent this is to give the mice enough space to live and a lot of toys to direct their energy at.

There is no saying if a mouse will develop any of these. Mites are by far the most common and the most likely, though. My Maier never had any problems until Graham gave her mites from the pet shop (my mistake!), and lived the rest of her life with no illnesses. I've had a handful of mice live their entire lives without a single health issue. It all depends.
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Re: Risk of illness and prevention

Post by Rodents rock! on Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:57 pm

Ya never know what the future holds, but I agree with River. I wouldn't get pet insurance for mice. Knock on wood, I've had my mouse for over a year and a half now and he's never had any illness. He does have an allergy to wood, so I only use plastic and ceramic things in his tank and he is just fine. I could be wrong, but I think the majority of pet mice probably go through life with no problems. Hope that helps Very Happy
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Re: Risk of illness and prevention

Post by CallaLily on Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:12 pm

Common health problems in pet mice are respiratory infections and tumors.  I also see a lot of mention of stroke, mites/scratching, and ear or eye infections.

For prevention really the main things you can do are to keep a clean cage (weekly full cleans), a good food mix and clean water available at all times, and maintain the temperature and humidity in the room they're in at a safe range.  There is a preventative treatment for mites/lice.  I can't really think of anything else except poorly bred mice tend to have more health issues than those from a quality breeder.

I just pay for vet visits as needed.  Mice don't need the stress of well visits, so it'll only be when/if health issues arise. Out of my 12 pet mice so far (2014-present), around half of them have needed to see the vet at least once in their life. And about half of those went more than once. Mostly tumors, one ear infection, and one with ongoing eye issues.

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