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Post by VoidThoughts on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 2:26 am

Hello, I'm Voidthoughts and about two hours ago I found my beloved Monty dead in the back of his cage. He was a year and eight months old so he was getting on in age for a mouse. He was also the only mouse I own.

I was grief stricken to find him cold and completely unresponsive. While I expected him to pass sometime by the end of the year because he was starting to become less active (he didn't regularly use his running wheel anymore) I was startled to find him gone today. Last night I had given him a cheerio and in his excitement he nipped me trying to grab the treat before scampering off into his mouse house. He seemed happy and relatively healthy.

However as I was inspecting him I found a nasty looking lesion on his stomach a little above his penis, about a centimeter in diameter. It looked somewhat infected. I was disturbed as I had not noticed the wound the last time I had handled him today. Monty did not like being flipped on his back or held above me, and he had not been showing any signs of discomfort lately so of course I didn't disturb my little old friend by checking. The thought never even occurred to me.

I've been looking on image searches to see if I could find any similar looking wounds online, but I haven't had any success. I joined this forum specifically to ask if anyone could help tell me where Monty might have gotten the large open sore from. Any help would be appreciated as I just cannot rest. I feel like I let him down.

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Post by DVirginiana on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 4:22 am

Do you happen to have a picture? Without actually seeing the wound the best anyone can do is guess. If you handle him regularly, I think it'd be hard to miss a wound like that even without turning him to his back, and you'd have probably seen signs of infection if there was an infection bad enough to kill him. My gut feeling is that the injury probably happened just before his death, probably as a result of thrashing about from a seizure or something such as that.

Since you hadn't noticed anything there before, I doubt it's from something like a tumor or cyst rupturing. It's possible he could have had a seizure or something as he was dying and either bit himself or cut himself on a piece of cage decor.
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Post by VoidThoughts on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 6:00 am

A warning cause its pretty nasty looking. Here is the best image I could take, I was having trouble holding the camera without my hands shaking.

Nasty Looking Lesion on Mouse stomach:

Post Mortem Discovery :c Please help Img_0210

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 9:26 am

Honestly if you want to know what happened to Monty, what I would do is bring him to a vet for necropsy. We can only really guess, but a vet has a pretty good chance of giving you a definite answer. Usually they do them for free, too. Just keep him refrigerated, but don't freeze him. Otherwise the results will be skewed.

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Post by Peachy on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 10:15 am

Hi, VoidThoughts. Welcome to the forum. Mouse Wave

I can't say what that might be, but I had a couple mice who had tumors in a similar spot. I wouldn't have even noticed if I hadn't watched one groom it bald and the other climb his cage walls. I'm sorry for your loss, what an awful thing to see. Sad
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Post by CallaLily on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 10:26 am

I'm so sorry for your loss. I agree with Cinna.

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Post by scaredymouse on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 2:04 pm

Necropsy is the only definitive way to know. However, it looks like he had some sort of abscess/cyst (which is basically an infection) and he punctured it. I don't think that alone would have killed him. I have seen some horrible wounds on mice that healed up and you would have felt that open sore that when you held him. Most likely the cyst burst on the inside and causes sepsis (bloodborn infection). And that coincided with him poking at it.

My boy had a small cyst and he punctured it/ate it (who knows) but he had a little scab and it was over. But it was tiny. Please try not to beat yourself up for not noticing it. You would have felt an open sore as he walked across your hands. And as far as noticing the lump... they are hard to notice when you aren't looking for them. I recently had a mouse with a huge lump on her throat and unless she was at the right angle, you couldn't see it. And it was right by her face! I didn't notice it until it was at least the size of a bean.

It doesn't sound like he was in any pain. Unfortunately, lumps and bumps are part of the territory with our beloved little friends. That is a common area for males to get lumps. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Monty was a very special mouse and certainly well loved.

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 2:12 pm

What I do is every week during tank cleaning, I do mouse checkups. I weigh them, check their eyes and ears, check their genitalia, count their toes (I'm paranoid about them losing toes heheh), and feel them all over for lumps. I check everywhere from the back to the sides to the tummy. And I keep logs of everything in a journal. It's the absolute best way to keep track of your mice's health, with weighing being the most important easily.

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Post by VoidThoughts on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 8:52 pm

I just wanted to thank all of you for your responses. I feel a bit better knowing it probably wasn't me being neglectful that caused him to die.

I think scaredymouse is correct about the wound possibly being an abscess. Of course I can't tell for certain without a necropsy, but I think I'd prefer to just bury him in a quiet spot in my yard. Other than the belly sore he looks like he's resting pretty peacefully. It might be ignorant or foolish of me, but I don't really want him to be cut up just to figure out exactly what happened in the end.

I'm actually kind of relieved it happened so suddenly and that he didn't get horribly sick or miserable. I know for a fact that he was horribly inbred and was expecting far more health problems than he ever experienced. It's probably selfish to say I wish I had more time with him since he was over a year and a half old, but I really do wish mice lasted longer. He was a funny little guy and a great companion.

Once again, thank you all for the information your provided and your sympathies. I really appreciate it.

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