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Post by anxiousmousedad on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 5:17 pm

Hi! So, long story short I have 4 girls and had to separate them 2 and 2 into 2 different tanks. One of the girls turned out to be a huge bully so I had to take out the 2 she was attacking, and on that front everything is fine now. I ended up having to take one of the girls to the vet because she was running in circles and had a severe head tilt, which was fixed with antibiotics. She's fine, if not a little anxious and easily tired now. The thing is, the mouse that I moved in with her has historically gotten along great with her, but is displaying some behaviors that I don't understand and make me nervous. She seems like she always wants to get out. Every time I walk into the room she pops up and tries to climb the tank walls, and climbs on top of the water bottle and just sits there trying to poke her nose through the screen top. She doesn't attack her sister at all and is very nice with her, grooming and cuddling, but she seems like she doesn't want to be there and I'm not sure why??? It's making me anxious because I don't want to move her back in with the other 2 she was originally rooming with due to aggression issues, and I feel bad considering leaving the girl that was sick all alone in her tank.

Does anyone know what's going on?

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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 7:15 pm

You didn't mention the time frame for these events.  If all of this has happened in a short time, your climber may not have realized yet that the move is permanent, and may be wondering if it isn't just about time to go home yet.  It is also possible that your climber misses the company of the other two girls, and needs a little extra company from you to fill the gap.

I suppose it is also possible that, with first the separation from the others and then her roommate having been recently sick (and running in circles of all things!), taken out for a doctor visit (first I had three roomies, then I had one, and now where did she go?), and medicated (eeewww- my roomie smells like MEDICINE!), perhaps your climber perceives that things are all mixed up and unstable and needs both time and your regular reassuring presence to find her calm normal state again.

But that's just me thinking in the short time frame.

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Post by anxiousmousedad on Tue 25 Feb 2020, 1:10 pm

It's been - what I consider - a long time frame? It's been a couple of months, my sick girl went to the vet right before Christmas and was moved out of the tank immediately, then the aggressor got aggressive toward my climber not too long after that. The thing is, it was going fine at first but now this weird climbing issue is happening. I put the tanks right next to each other to help with socialization but would it maybe help if I let them play together in the playpen I got for them for tank cleaning days? The thing is also, I mostly leave them alone for now. I live in an aggressive household and have PTSD and anxiety, so my whole jam is I don't want them getting used to the smell of me when I'm anxious and thinking that's normal. I should be moving relatively soon to a safer environment, which is when I'll start actually bonding with them more closely because it'll be safer.

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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Tue 25 Feb 2020, 6:43 pm

Since your four mousies all used to live together, it seems to me it would be all right to allow them supervised play all together while you work on tank cleaning -- "supervised" meaning you can at least see or hear them at all times, so if bullying ensues you can intervene.  But I am not personally knowledgeable about multiple-mouse issues, and I leave the final word on that to others in this forum.

As for having stress around them, I really would not worry about it.  As long as you bring them their food, clean up their messes, and treat them kindly, they probably don't really give a care what your stress smells like.

I have an extremely stressful existence, and I won't go into all the details here because they just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on.  Things were outrageous at the time I adopted my little April in August 2015.  I'd had flu in the spring, and I was still completely exhausted (I still have not recovered from that -- a possible "cytokine cascade" situation).  My Mazda had finally rusted completely out and I'd had to buy a new car out of my "retirement" savings.  My mum was just returned home from her third long hospitalization in less than six months.  And I was trying to keep up with a 70-hours-per-week job where I am perpetually bullied by incompetent nepotism hires who cannot be disciplined or fired because of their relation to the boss.

But by August I thought events were pointing toward some improvement and that April would have a nice little life in the mousehouse in my office.  At least nicer than being eaten by somebody's snake.  Instead, things just kept getting worse.  And worse.  And worse.  And much, much worse.  Despite all of it, April seemed very contented with her lifestyle, and almost always popped out of wherever in her tank she was hiding or snoozing as soon as I would enter the room.  She was my "little mouse", I was her "giant mouse", and we were very attached, right up until her final heartbeat.

So don't stress too much about the stress.  Just be a giant friend to your mousies.  Actions speak louder than stress smells.

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Post by anxiousmousedad on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 11:15 am

Thank you so much!!! I'll start supervised play soon, hopefully things balance out again! This really helped, I feel much better now about taking care of them.

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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 6:09 pm

That's the way to do it. Knowledge + confidence + optimism + patience ... + tasty treats -- before you know it, you can be a superhero to your little mousies!

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I loved you so / I still do / I always will / 'Twas Heaven here with you.
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