Feeling guilty- sick mouse+ long teeth + should I upgrade cage?

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Feeling guilty- sick mouse+ long teeth + should I upgrade cage? Empty Feeling guilty- sick mouse+ long teeth + should I upgrade cage?

Post by danistarr24 on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 6:11 pm

*HE IS AT THE VET NOW Smile
My mouse, Oliver, is about 1.5 years old. I have had rats before, but never mice. I found him running around my science classroom when he was only a few weeks old, clearly a domesticated mouse (he was friendly and his coloration).

He lives in a 20 gallon long aquarium, fed the Sunseed Vita Prima Dwarf Prescription food (along with mouse safe human food), has a water bowl and water bottle (as he seems to very which he prefers). I use kaytee clean and cozy shavings, and his cage is full of cardboard boxes strategically glued together into giant play structures. I buy apple wood sticks, have a wood bridge, wood jungle gym, apple shaped loofah, wood chews, recently rice pops for his teeth.

Over the last 6 months or so, he gradually lost weight. I assumed it was due to aging. Over the last couple weeks though, his weight loss increased, and yesterday he was breathing heavy, hunched over, and making a horrible clicking/grinding noise (which I thought was him chewing before, as I had only heard it at night), and sneezing. I did some research online, and found that he most likely has an upper respiratory issue.

He is currently at the vet (he was doing much better today, not making the noise or breathing as hard) I had to drop him off due to school, but before I left the doctor said that his skin on his upper half looked purple, his lungs sounded okay but she wanted to try to take x-rays, but that his teeth are too long! Sad

She showed me his teeth, they aren't digging into anything, but they are long enough that she is concerned that it has contributed to his weight loss. I feel guilty, even though I have provided tons of chewing things for him. I just ordered a bunch of stuff online that will arrive tomorrow (rodent pinecones, lava stone, different wood chews, etc.) to see if he perhaps like those better. They ideally would like to put him under to file down his teeth, but they are worried about breathing if he is sick.

I just feel so horrible if the reason he has lost so much weight is from it being difficult to eat. I'd happily take recommendations on how to prevent it from happening again in the future.

I also am wondering if upgrading to a larger cage would be nice for him as he ages more? He still likes to climb, but I thought have a larger surface area to run around might be nice for him to get some exercise without having to climb as much. I was thinking of just making a homemade rubbermaid bin cage like they do for Syrian hammies. I would put lots of screen cut outs for ventilation.

Thank you for any advice, I just feel lousy. Sad

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Post by danistarr24 on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 8:02 pm

So mousey is home now. Vet also told me that he is actually a girl. The person who looked at him when he was a baby told me he was a boy, so I just assumed they were correct. But the vet and several techs checked, she is actually a girl.

I am calling her Olive now. Now I feel awful that she has been kept alone without other mice her whole life. It is too late at this point to introduce her to another mouse right?

She is on antibiotics, and after the meds if she is feeling better they will have her come back for her teeth if she doesn't chew on the new things that arrive tomorrow.

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Post by CallaLily on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 1:57 pm

It’s not too late to introduce another female - preferably two - but of course after they go through a proper quarantine and your girl is feeling better.

I’m glad you were able to get her to the vet and that she is doing better. I don’t have any advice on the teeth. What you’re providing should be enough to keep them under control for the average mouse. Hopefully someone else will chime in with more advice.

As for more space. I would wait until she’s better and you’ve successfully introduced her to new friends. Then once everyone is getting on very well for at least a few weeks, try them out in a larger space and see how they do. Remember to really pack any space with a lot of things for them to do/climb/hide/etc.

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Post by Sparrow on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 3:23 pm

For the long teeth, some of my mice are very particular and refuse to chew on anything other than dry pasta and whimzee chews. You could try giving her those to see if she likes them. I know with hamsters and a large portion of my mice, they don't seem overly concerned with wooden chews and I too always worried about overgrown teeth. However, those work for all so far.

As to the introduction to more females, it might be great to have her have friends especially since she has been alone all her life. Like said above, two would be best, or even three, since you don't want to end up with just one female again and with your mouse being elderly, this is inevitable. 3 week quarantine for the new mice and wait until Olive is all healthy again Smile
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Post by danistarr24 on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 2:21 am

@CallaLily wrote:It’s not too late to introduce another female - preferably two - but of course after they go through a proper quarantine and your girl is feeling better.

I’m glad you were able to get her to the vet and that she is doing better. I don’t have any advice on the teeth. What you’re providing should be enough to keep them under control for the average mouse.  Hopefully someone else will chime in with more advice.

As for more space. I would wait until she’s better and you’ve successfully introduced her to new friends. Then once everyone is getting on very well for at least a few weeks, try them out in a larger space and see how they do. Remember to really pack any space with a lot of things for them to do/climb/hide/etc.

I have been looking for more female mice, but am not having any luck at any shelters, rescues, petfinder, etc. within a 100 mile radius. I won't get a mouse from a breeder or pet store, as I do not want to support either practice. Has she been miserable all her life being alone? I feel so terrible. I've always been one to advocate for keeping rodents such as rats, gerbils, etc. in pairs/groups too.

She is slowly gettng better, her appetite has decreased though and she won't touch any of the new chew things I got. Not even her rice pops, which she used to destroy.

Her home is packed with tons of things to do though, I would argue at least 80% is full of toys and things to climb on.

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Post by danistarr24 on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 2:29 am

@Sparrow wrote:For the long teeth, some of my mice are very particular and refuse to chew on anything other than dry pasta and whimzee chews. You could try giving her those to see if she likes them. I know with hamsters and a large portion of my mice, they don't seem overly concerned with wooden chews and I too always worried about overgrown teeth. However, those work for all so far.

As to the introduction to more females, it might be great to have her have friends especially since she has been alone all her life. Like said above, two would be best, or even three, since you don't want to end up with just one female again and with your mouse being elderly, this is inevitable. 3 week quarantine for the new mice and wait until Olive is all healthy again Smile

Thank you for the response. She used to not be picky and would chew on anything in her cage. She never has cared for dried pasta, and I've tried different noodle shapes. She really used to love her rice pops, less than a month ago she was destroying one over a couple day period and also would chew on a cheese flavored wood chew. I will try the whimzee chews.

I've been trying to find female mice locally, and I am not having any luck. I do not want to support breeders or pet stores, and there are no female mice looking for a new home on cl, in any animal shelter, rescue, etc near me. Has she been horribly lonely and miserable her whole life? I just feel so awful. I love this little mouse so much, and I can't sleep because I feel so guilty that she has had a potentially poor quality of life. I fill her cage full of things to play with, it is at least 80 percent full with stuff from top to bottom.

She's doing a little better, although she seems to be very stressed by getting the medication. She is hiding more and her appetite has decreased since giving her the medication. The only thing she has showed any interest in has been popcorn and yogies, and bread. I know yogies are bad for her, but she is so skinny I am trying to fatten her up and give her something yummy tasting after her medication. The vet said if she doesn't recover her prognosis leans towards poor.

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