Is she being a Dom/bully?

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Is she being a Dom/bully? Empty Is she being a Dom/bully?

Post by FurbeanFan on Thu 26 Sep 2019, 9:47 am

I've had my trio of females for almost 3 months, acquired at 9 weeks, all from the same litter.

One (Cilla) has always seemed most dominant. Until a few days ago, all dominance was directed at one specific sister (Dusty) who would sit and accept the dominant/forced grooming behaviour quietly before they would go on about their business. In the past few days however the forced grooming has transferred onto the third sister (Cass). Cass squeeks incessantly whilst Cilla is pinning her down and washing her, through all the night and whenever Cilla strikes.

There are no bald patches and they all still have whiskers and there are no areas of broken skin from biting.

I've never encountered this problem before and was hoping for some advice. Should I separate the dominant Cilla, the upset Cass or is this behaviour something different entirely?

Thanks in advance.
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Post by Robin~ on Thu 26 Sep 2019, 3:05 pm

Hello!

Typically it’s best to not remove mice until blood is drawn. Sometimes my girls get loud and argue but they can work it out on their own Smile

However, the over grooming can be a sign of stress. What’s their living situation like?
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Post by FurbeanFan on Thu 26 Sep 2019, 3:17 pm

They're housed in a 20gallon, lots of toys and tubes vertically and on the floor space, 8inch wheel so there's no spinal arching, lots of substrate for digging. That's why I am stumped, I dont know what I am missing.

If they where to draw blood who should I remove, I've read different things, the bully or the bullied...

Thank you for your help.
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Post by Robin~ on Thu 26 Sep 2019, 4:04 pm

@FurbeanFan wrote:They're housed in a 20gallon, lots of toys and tubes vertically and on the floor space, 8inch wheel so there's no spinal arching, lots of substrate for digging. That's why I am stumped, I dont know what I am missing.

If they where to draw blood who should I remove, I've read different things, the bully or the bullied...

Thank you for your help.

Sounds pretty good spatially, I’m pretty stumped too!

If there were blood drawn I would likely remove the bully, but don’t quote me on that...perhaps another member could help with that?
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Post by CallaLily on Thu 26 Sep 2019, 5:51 pm

I agree with waiting it out unless blood is drawn or if one of the mice are being kept from eating or drinking enough. Always remove the bully for the “time out.” This will hopefully give her time to chill and miss her friends, while giving the other girls a chance to solidify their bond even more. Some alpha mice a kind of harsh but as long as there’s no blood drawn or weaker mice being starved, it’s usually best to let them work through it.

If she seems to be over-grooming them, try giving more outside of the cage play time and changing toys up more often, keeping them busy and moving. Maybe even think about upgrading their space some. Some mice just need more things to do than others.

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Post by FurbeanFan on Thu 26 Sep 2019, 11:53 pm

Thank you both for your advice.

Their group dynamics concern me when contemplating more space. Dusty already sleeps apart sometimes and I worry that they may split into different territories if they have the space to do so.

The squeaking seems to have stopped this evening, I'm hoping this is one of those situations where as soon as you ask, they stop.

Fingers crossed and thanks again.
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Post by FurbeanFan on Fri 27 Sep 2019, 1:45 pm

Eurgh. The ear washing and squeeking has started again. I guess I should get used to these bags under my eyes. Laughing Laughing Laughing
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