Allergies with food

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Allergies with food

Post by goldfishfanforever on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 5:29 pm

Does anyone have any studies or articles to backup the claims that peanuts, peanut butter, raisins and sunflower seeds are more likely to be allergens for a mouse than any other type of food. thanks Smile
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Re: Allergies with food

Post by CallaLily on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 7:09 pm

It's not that raisins are a common allergen. It's that they are not safe for many other animals (causing kidney failure). From my understanding, it's kind of weird with other animals too. Like dogs for example, I've read stories about dogs that ate very little and became quite ill, where other dogs ate large amounts and were perfectly fine. A quick internet search should bring up a lot of info on that. Because of this many avoid feeding their mice raisins or grapes.

I don't have any info on how common allergies are in mice to peanuts and sunflower seeds. It's info that was carried over from very experienced fanciers over at TFM. Peanut butter can be a worry just in the fact that it's thick and sticky (not to mention most people buy brands that are full of sugar and junk).

Really the bottom line is, mice don't need these foods anyway, so are in no way missing out by not having them. Better safe than sorry really.

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by goldfishfanforever on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 7:35 pm

@CallaLily wrote:It's not that raisins are a common allergen. It's that they are not safe for many other animals (causing kidney failure). From my understanding, it's kind of weird with other animals too. Like dogs for example, I've read stories about dogs that ate very little and became quite ill, where other dogs ate large amounts and were perfectly fine.  A quick internet search should bring up a lot of info on that.  Because of this many avoid feeding their mice raisins or grapes.

I don't have any info on how common allergies are in mice to peanuts and sunflower seeds.  It's info that was carried over from very experienced fanciers over at TFM.  Peanut butter can be a worry just in the fact that it's thick and sticky (not to mention most people buy brands that are full of sugar and junk).

Really the bottom line is, mice don't need these foods anyway, so are in no way missing out by not having them. Better safe than sorry really.
Yeah I don't feed Hugo any of these things but someone over on the Hamster forum I am on wanted a study or article to show why they cannot be fed these foods. I looked up before asking this question and all I could find was that grapes/raisins cause kidney failure like you have stated however I couldn't find anything on peanuts or sunflower seeds.
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Re: Allergies with food

Post by MesaMouse on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 7:41 pm

@goldfishfanforever wrote:Yeah I don't feed Hugo any of these things but someone over on the Hamster forum I am on wanted a study or article to show why they cannot be fed these foods. I looked up before asking this question and all I could find was that grapes/raisins cause kidney failure like you have stated however I couldn't find anything on peanuts or sunflower seeds.

Mice with unknown genetic lines (i.e., pet store mice) tend to have weaker immune systems and are simply more sensitive to certain foods like peanuts and striped sunflower seeds (black oil sunflower seeds are perfectly fine, though). Peanuts and striped sunflower seeds aren't necessarily lethal for such mice but may trigger skin and digestive allergies.

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by goldfishfanforever on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 7:52 pm

@MesaMouse wrote:
@goldfishfanforever wrote:Yeah I don't feed Hugo any of these things but someone over on the Hamster forum I am on wanted a study or article to show why they cannot be fed these foods. I looked up before asking this question and all I could find was that grapes/raisins cause kidney failure like you have stated however I couldn't find anything on peanuts or sunflower seeds.

Mice with unknown genetic lines (i.e., pet store mice) tend to have weaker immune systems and are simply more sensitive to certain foods like peanuts and striped sunflower seeds (black oil sunflower seeds are perfectly fine, though). Peanuts and striped sunflower seeds aren't necessarily lethal for such mice but may trigger skin and digestive allergies.
Thank you for the clarification Smile
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Re: Allergies with food

Post by CallaLily on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 7:46 am

I forgot all about this thread until I ran across it yesterday. I've been thinking a lot about it since. I think these are answers we need to try to find.  It's bugged me for a while now (which is why in the beginning I was so determined to find a food without it) and all this reading on ham* nutrition lately has really made me question the general recommendation to remove items from a seed mix.  Doing so does alter the nutrition of the food.  Removing them will change the amount of protein and fat and probably fiber too. Removing any item/s will do this.

@CallaLily wrote:Really the bottom line is, mice don't need these foods anyway, so are in no way missing out by not having them. Better safe than sorry really.

This was easy for me to say because I haven't used a mix that contained these ingredients for a while now. And I'm going to be honest and say that back when I was using Brown's (a mix of both the mouse and hamster) I didn't pick anything out up until near the very end when Celyn and Rina started getting overweight. No sign of allergies or any excess itching.  And they've been on this different diet for months without any change so I'm thinking a few sunflower seeds weren't the problem with their weight.

I know every mouse is different and that there have been a few on here who have had trouble with itchy mice and I agree that for them these foods may be an issue. But what I'm wondering is, is it really such a big issue for most mice?  Big enough to toy around with the nutritional value of their food?

@CallaLily wrote: It's info that was carried over from very experienced fanciers over at TFM.  

I don't want to completely ignore advice passed around by fanciers with years of experience. But I can't help but wonder if this was info that started off as advice for itchy mice with allergy symptoms that somehow got turned into advice for all mice from untracked lines?  I've seen this before on other forums.  Advice is given to a specific person and then someone else repeats it, then someone else, and on and on until you have people swearing it's the absolute truth for all (I feel like the same thing happened with aspen bedding). That combined with the old forum being so super strict many didn't feel comfortable asking questions or pushing issues further.  (Sorry. It's the truth. I'm not the only one who felt this way. And those that did push, often got banned.)

So here's BarbaraFunMouse's actual words from her care articles:

BarbaraFunMouse wrote: Common allergens. Along with high protein, some mice have allergies to things such as peanuts, sun flower seeds, and wheat, to name a few. Most mice will be fine with these ingredients in moderation, but if your mouse starts to form hot spots you might want to try eliminating these things from the diet. You can read more about this in the "Hair loss, itching, and skin problems" section of this site.

BarbaraFunMouse wrote:If your mouse has hot spots remove all of the common problem foods such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, wheat, and also lower the soy protein in the diet. If one of these things is the problem, your mouse will show signs of improvement within a week as long as you caught the problem in time (before chronic scratching sets in). This is the best way to deal with an allergy that isn't out of control. Usually simply taking these steps will solve the problem.

So when did that turn into recommending to remove those things from all pet shop mice diets?  Why? This is what I'm curious to know. Can the old TFM mods access the old forum still?  If so , anyone willing to look around and see if they can find anything?  I'll keep trying to see if I can find any outside info on this too.  Please feel free to speak your mind or share anything you may have found on this topic.  Thank you.


*Obviously ham nutrition requirements are completely different. If you're interested in seeing exactly what it is I read that sparked this up again for me, check out the stickies in the nutrition section of hamster hideout forum.

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by Peachy on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 9:46 am

I can try to look around on TFM (sometimes words are too common to search, you know, lol), but IMO, it's easier to just pick that stuff out than to risk (and then deal with) allergies if they happen.

How nutritional are sunflower seeds and peanuts anyway? Scratch
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Re: Allergies with food

Post by MesaMouse on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 9:47 am

When I started keeping mice, I hadn't found TFM (or even thought about the existence of online animal forums) and so was unaware of possible food triggers. The first four ladies ate everything that came in Kaytee's Rat/Mouse Mix -- I know, I know, but I didn't know about the chemicals in Kaytee foods then, either, nor did I know about the desired levels of Crude Protein, Fat, Crude Fiber, etc. The mice ate striped sunflower seeds, peanuts (even in the shells! they loved to play with them, gnaw the shells and then eat the nut as a final prize), occasional cheese shreds, you name it, they ate it. They were Petco feeder bin mice so not bred for a lengthy life and none lived more than a year before suffering strokes, tumors or heart attacks. But the bottom line is that none of them exhibited any undue effects from food.

Wild mice, of course, eat what they can find and are no worse off for it. Have we weakened the mouse's digestive and immune systems by overbreeding them as feeders and standard pet shop pets? I'm curious as to whether breeders hesitate to feed all of the items we remove from commercial mixes. Are breeder lines generally healthier because they eat more of a variety or because they eat an even more restricted diet? Maybe AppleCheeks and Mouseketeer can chime in on the diets they've fed while breeding over the years. Yet another point: US mixes and UK mixes vary quite a bit -- do UK mousers remove the same items we do? are other items considered "no-nos"? We rightly remove raisins and almonds as both of those foods can be toxic not only to mice but to many, many animals but are we doing more harm than good by removing, for instance, the striped sunflower seeds and peanuts? As CallaLily rightly pointed out, we are changing the CP, CF and Fat contents of the mix by doing so but, on the other hand, are those numbers even correct for keeping pet mice healthy?

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by CallaLily on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 10:02 am

@Peachy wrote:, but IMO, it's easier to just pick that stuff out than to risk (and then deal with) allergies if they happen.

How nutritional are sunflower seeds and peanuts anyway? Scratch

It's not that I think they're requirements in a mix, it's that removing them (or anything) from a commercial mix alters the protein, fat, and fiber in a way that we couldn't calculate easily.  So what I'm asking is, is it worth completely changing the GA - and possibly giving them too little protein, fat, fiber - really worth it?  If we calculate how removing them affects the mix, we could then add other, healthier things in to compensate. But that's not really doable with a commercial mix.

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by CallaLily on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 10:08 am

@MesaMouse wrote:
Wild mice, of course, eat what they can find and are no worse off for it. Have we weakened the mouse's digestive and immune systems by overbreeding them as feeders and standard pet shop pets? I'm curious as to whether breeders hesitate to feed all of the items we remove from commercial mixes. Are breeder lines generally healthier because they eat more of a variety or because they eat an even more restricted diet? Maybe AppleCheeks and Mouseketeer can chime in on the diets they've fed while breeding over the years. Yet another point: US mixes and UK mixes vary quite a bit -- do UK mousers remove the same items we do? are other items considered "no-nos"? We rightly remove raisins and almonds as both of those foods can be toxic not only to mice but to many, many animals but are we doing more harm than good by removing, for instance, the striped sunflower seeds and peanuts? As CallaLily rightly pointed out, we are changing the CP, CF and Fat contents of the mix by doing so but, on the other hand, are those numbers even correct for keeping pet mice healthy?


Great questions!  I wish I had the answers.

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by Peachy on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 11:16 am

I was just wondering what the nutritional value generally is. lol Like if they have a lot of protein, maybe the high protein content would be what causes problems? It says somewhere that plant based proteins can be more problematic for mice than meat based proteins.

I'd guess it became recommended for all pet shop mice (mice from responsible breeders are supposed to have tumor/illness/allergy/etc susceptibility bred out) because scratching can turn into such a devastating habit and allergies can change up.
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Re: Allergies with food

Post by CallaLily on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 11:26 am

Here's the % from a bag of just stripe sunflower seeds:
Ingredients:
100% Striped Sunflower Seeds

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein 15.0%
Crude Fat 25.0%
Crude Fiber 30.0%

http://www.petsmart.com/bird/supplies/wild-birds/food/all-living-things-striped-sunflower-seed-wild-bird-food-5148672.html?src=search&searchterm=stripe%20sunflower%20seeds&ps=false

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by CallaLily on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 11:30 am

Whole peanuts:

Ingredients: Whole Peanuts.

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min) 18%, Crude Fat (min) 30%, Crude Fiber (max) 25%, Moisture (max) 12%.

http://www.petsmart.com/bird/supplies/wild-birds/food/grreat-choice-whole-in-shell-peanuts-wildlife-food-3254.html

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by CallaLily on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 11:33 am

But keep in mind when they're in a mix labeled with an acceptable GA, that's what they get (provided your not allowing selective feeding). It's all balanced together to come to those percentages.


Edit to add: I'm not necessarily arguing that these foods should be given. My main concern is altering the mix when these are removed. But I know it's difficult to find a mouse food without them, which I think is why many turn to parakeet mixes. But that's a whole other concern of mine.


Last edited by CallaLily on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Allergies with food

Post by Artistwolf on Thu 24 Nov 2016, 11:37 am

That's actually a really good point, Calla. Is it always the best thing to be taking food out of mixes? I think the goal needs to really be to get four without those things in it.
I agree... as much as I liked TFM, this forum seems a lot more relaxed, friendly... and just more comfortable to be in.

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