Weird breathing?

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 5:22 pm

You do realize that with pet type mice, all of them are going to need a veterinarian's care someday, right?

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 5:29 pm

Isn't it like 100's of dollars though? She's not in a critical condition and I don't have money to spend on something that's not serious.

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Post by MouseLover on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 5:36 pm

Yeah I thought that if she was just responding to your presence, then it could be that she was nervous around you. But if she's doing it when she doesn't know you're watching then that doesn't sound likely. Does she make any noises when she's breathing at all? She could have a respiratory issue. It might be time to take her to a vet. Laboured breathing usually isn't a great sign, and she might be suffering.

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 5:40 pm

At first I was confused as to what laboured meant. I don't have enough money, I don't know what to do Sad

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Post by River on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 5:41 pm

It's not 100's of dollars - the highest I've heard of is 75 dollars, and I've heard of lower. However, you can call around vets to see about prices. Ones in smaller towns tend to have cheaper prices. On top of this, you can offer to clean kennels for the vet instead of paying. You may also want to consider isay and GoFundMe, or just negotiate prices with the vet. There is always a way to help your pet.
That said, this could be an emergency. It sounds - and looks - pretty bad to me, and if she isn't treated, it'll only escalate.

If you absolutely CAN NOT treat her, even with the advice I've given, save the innocent and rehome your pet to someone who can properly give them vet treatment. It's the best thing.

Is she exhibiting any other symptoms? Or just those spurts of labored breath? Is it constant, or does it just come in spurts? If it's just episodes here and there, my first thought would be an allergy of some sort. Childrens Benadryl can be dosed properly - call a vet for the dosage, it's free. Alternatively, if it is just episodes here and there...it may be seizures.

If it's constant, I'd suspect some form of a lung problem which is even more serious, such as pneumonia or a URI, etc.

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Post by Peachy on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 5:58 pm

I'm sorry this is taking a turn. Sad I'd call around. The best vet I've been to was also one of the cheapest... he charged $20 for the exam and $15 for the medication. $35 to treat a URI.

Something else to think about might be the store's return policy? I took a boy back when he started bleeding from his rear on his second day home. They put my name and number on the outside of his container and called their vet, but I know not everyone is comfortable with that option.

Good luck to you and your girlie.


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Post by scaredymouse on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 6:06 pm

If she is having trouble breathing, she is in pain.  Not being able to breathe is awful.  And if it's so bad that she doesn't want to move, it's really awful.  She either has a respiratory infection or an obstruction.  Vets do not cost hundreds of dollars.  My local vet is about $40.00 for an office visit plus medication.  Other vets may be more expensive but it's not hundreds of dollars.  

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 8:51 pm

I hate to say it, but I'm with Petekey. If I was ever in a situation where I couldn't afford vet care for a sick mouse, I would start selling possessions and picking up work to get money. If there was nothing I could do, I would rehome the mouse to someone who could get vet care. It's not fair to the mouse, being denied vet care. Whenever I adopt a pet, I consider it to be taking an oath to provide that pet with whatever they need, whenever they need, no matter what it is, so they can live the happiest, healthiest, and fullest life they can. Vet care is a part of that. I wouldn't adopt pets otherwise. 

The good thing with mice is that you'll never need to pay for an expensive surgery, because mice don't respond to them well, so they're too high risk. There are many other health problems that will require health problems, but the most I've ever had to spend at a vet other than an office visit was a blood test for a lump, which was $100. For mice, vets will mostly only ever do basic medicines, which are much less expensive than some pricier cat or dog treatments. 

Call around the vets near you and ask about their prices and if they're willing to negotiate. Try exotic vets first and then small animal vets. Also ask about the vet's experience with treating mice and other rodents. My vet charges about $65 for an office visit, and basic medicines will usually never run more than $30, but it depends on the vet and whether or not they'll send you to a pharmacy.

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Post by MouseLover on Thu 07 Jul 2016, 8:36 am

My vets usually costs about £30 to be seen and treated, which as far as I'm aware is about $45 or something. Of course it depends on the vet, and I'm aware things are probably different over here.

If I were you I'd ask around at a few vets and try to get price quotes. Let them know if you're struggling with money right now, they may be willing to set up some kind of payment plan so you can pay in installments, if that makes things easier. I think it would be best if Violet can stay with you, as she's probably settling in to her new home now, and it would cause her stress to be moved again - and as we all know, stress is bad for the immune system. I hope you can find a way to pay for the vet as it is in Violet's best interest, and this must be very stressful for you as well Sad hope you are both okay today.

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Fri 08 Jul 2016, 7:03 pm

I thank you for all your information, but I simply cannot take her to the vet. I understand that mice feel too, and I want to help her, the only way I can do that, though, is to give her the most comfort I possibly can. I have a feeling, also, it would be even more stress to take her to the vet. Re-homing around where I live basically means going to a home with kids that will not be responsible with her, or going to a home with a boa constrictor for food, which is even worse. It's very hard to find a good home for mice & rats around here. I lost my receipt from PetCo, so I can't return her, but I think returning would also be a bad option anyways because I'm sure PetCo doesn't really care. I am going to provide as much comfort as I can, and give her the best life I can without taking her to the vet. On a side note, I think she's sneezing, I don't know what mouse sneezes are like but I'm pretty sure that's what I'm seeing. Could that mean it's just allergies? Should I try shredded newspaper for bedding if so? I don't have a shredder so I'd have to shred it by hand, and that's very time consuming so I'd like to know if it's worth it for Violet first. Thanks again, please understand that I love my mice and want to treat them the best I can, this is just a hard situation for me.

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri 08 Jul 2016, 7:06 pm

I hate to be the one to say it, but I do have to advise that until your financial situation is better, it would probably best to not acquire anymore mice. To be denied vet care just isn't fair to anymore mice you take in.

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Post by River on Fri 08 Jul 2016, 7:29 pm

I really doubt there are no good mice owners in your area. Make an ad on craigslist, and interrogate possible new owners; ask them for pictures of the cage they'll be kept in, the food they'll be fed, the care they'll receive, etc.
On the other hand, shelters and rescues always make people fill out papers before adopting a pet, so they'll go to a good home that way. Making sure you price her at 5-10$ will make sure she doesn't go for snake food.

However, being so far away, there is nothing I can do. I apologize for your situation. It must be very hard on everyone involved.

I do agree with Cinna. If you are both financially unavailable, and don't have a Plan B for when things go wrong and you don't have the money, you probably shouldn't own any more mice.

It is possible for it to be allergies or a problem with dusty bedding. How is she doing otherwise? Good coat, bright eyes, perky ears? All health top-notch other than these issues? Try changing the bedding to something hypoallergenic like sheets of newspaper or paper towel. It isn't preferred by the mouse, but it'll help you figure out the problem. Is there anything in or around the cage that smells? Do you have candles, paint, air fresheners, etc. around the mouse? These could cause breathing troubles. Does she stop doing it when you take her into a playpen or the bathtub?

However the addition of sneezing can also point to pneumonia or a URI, which are more serious. Some people say you can use Tetracycline, and most people use tetracycline for fish. Of course, this is dangerous, but considering your circumstances, you only have so many possibilities, and the risk could be well worth it. I've heard many people use it with success, but I cannot guarantee - find the dosage online.

Is the sneeze a dry sound? If you check my 'many questions in one' thread, I have a video of Maier doing what I assumed was sneezing as well (and it still very well can be, but since hers is dry and she's done it so long, it's no worry.)

Or does it sound wet or mucusy? If so, that's more cause for concern and more going for a URI or pneumonia.

Any other weird signs? Weight loss, lethargy, dingy/greasy/unkempt coat, dull/squinted eyes, hunched posture? Any difference in stools or urine color or consistency?

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri 08 Jul 2016, 8:22 pm

I don't recommend trying tetracycline. I can't remember the exact reasonings, but I remember the discussion came up with an old TFM member who had a mouse with a URI but couldn't take her to a vet due to parental issues. It was generally decided that it wasn't safe, but someone will have to remind me as to why. 

Try removing all wood, too. It might be a wood allergy. Stick to strictly cardboard toys and see if it helps. Is she making any sort of ticking or clicking sounds?

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Fri 08 Jul 2016, 8:29 pm

She doesn't make sounds when she's breathing, but when I pick her up she'll make little sounds at me but I think it's just like chattering kinda. Holly used to do that too. Do popsicle sticks count? She has one toy made of popsicle sticks, and a little block of wood for chewing. She is healthy otherwise, bright eyes, perked ears, eating, drinking. She does have a hunched position, does that make it worse? We have regular paint like for art in the room, but all the caps of the paint are closed and I don't really smell it so I don't think that's it. I use CareFresh bedding, the white kind, if that helps for finding out what's wrong.

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri 08 Jul 2016, 8:34 pm

Alright, since this could be an allergy and vet isn't an option, let's break down completely everything to figure out what this is. 

First, what you gotta do is remove all wooden toys from the tank. Switch from carefresh to shredded newspaper or white paper. Stick with only plastic toys for a few days. What are you feeding them? What's the crude protein amount? What items do you remove from their food, such as peanuts and sunflower seeds? If you don't remove peanuts, raisins, striped sunflower seeds, and corn, start doing it. If the crude protein amount is higher than 14%, switch to another recommended food that's within the 12-14% range. Wait a few days. If the breathing anomalies stop, then good! We've eliminated something from the tank that was causing the allergy. Once she's stopped, slowly start to reintroduce the things you removed. Put her back on carefresh. If she starts sneezing, you know that she's allergic to carefresh. If not, it's good. Reintroduce wooden toys and repeat. Remove the paint from the room to see if it helps. Can you get a video of this chattering sound? There's normal chatter, and then there's URI clicking. We might be able to tell the difference with a good video. Try getting a humidifier and see if it helps.

Can you give a detailed description of what exactly her breathing is like now, again? Sorry. There seem to be quite a few breathing trouble threads going, and I'm getting them mixed up.

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