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Sick mouse... need advice

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:18 am

If you worry about her scratching, you can rub some cortaid on her scabs. It has antihistamine properties, so it should alleviate itching. Neosporine plus is good for pain relief, but in your shoes, I would go with cortaid.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by peas on Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:26 am


Make sure to find the type without any topical pain killers. A few of the "neosporin" brands have versions of lidocaine.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:41 am

Im pretty sure the point to having neosporine plus is pain relief though?

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by FurMommy on Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:23 am

So Crunchie is looking better and better, and my 2 girls are getting along better every day. Though... still through the safety of the cage bars. My bratty girl, Munchie, actually looked like she was trying to groom Crunchie today!

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by FurMommy on Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:32 am

There was a second part to my last post, but it disappeared lol!

In a few days, I'm going to try re-introducing the 2 girls. If all goes well, at what point do you consider it safe enough to leave them alone together unsupervised? Should I put them together for a little while each day, and let them slowly get used to one another? Or if all goes well, then leave them be? My bratty girl, Munchie, has always been so aggressive towards Crunchie, to the point of chasing after her, even in neutral territory. I just want to make sure I do this right and not make the situation worse, or get one of them hurt. These mice are my first, so I have no idea how to properly introduce them. I've done tons of research, but nothing compares to the advice of those with experience. Thank you guys!

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:46 am

All you need to do is set up neutral territory, perhaps a bathtub with a blanket laid down (no toys), and put them in. If they get along for half an hour, then move them to a COMPLETELY CLEAN ten gallon tank empty of everything except a food bowl and water bottle and don't touch them at all. You'll see fighting; this is 100% normal, so don't stress. They're just trying to figure things out. Even if they're tackling each other, it's fine. Only separate them if you see blood, which means they are no longer trying to establish dominance and are now trying to hurt each other. It's even a good idea to leave the room and just check in on then every so often if you can't handle watching them argue. Leave the tank empty until they've been getting along fine for an hour or so, and then reintroduce a CLEAN wheel. If they fight over it, remove and try again when things calm down again. If they're good, then wait a while longer and give them another toy. Keep doing this gradually until they have a complete tank and aren't fighting. And remember, you want nothing they interact with that day to smell like either mouse.

Don't introduce and then separate them if no blood is drawn. It will make things worse by confusing them. Just do the first introduction and leave them unless you see blood. And I would even stop letting them play through bars and just introduce them. At this point it's not helping anything.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by FurMommy on Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:07 am

Ok... it's been a while, so I wanted to give an update on my girl, Crunchie, for anyone who is interested, but ultimately I need some more advice...

So Crunchie has healed beautifully! Within 2 weeks of her first mite treatment, she was almost good as new. Her scratches were just about gone, and the horrible cuts on her neck and leg where she was chewing herself, were healing more and more each day. She did start to scratch at her ears more, and ended up scratching a hole through both ears. I could actually see clear through the hole! Even that has healed now. Fortunately, she didn't seem to have any OCD issues. At least, not too bad anyway. I did take precautions, just in case, and switched her routine up a bit and gave her some new toys. I think I said in an earlier post that in desperation to distract her from scratching one night, I put together a paper towel tube that I poked holes in and then stuffed the holes with treats wrapped in tissue. She loved it! Just that alone occupied her for days. So I think the distraction along with the mite treatment really made a difference.

I have also re-introduced the 2 girls, and I am sooo happy to say that it went absolutely perfect! I did just as Cinnamon Pearl had suggested and followed the instructions to the letter. I thought for sure there would be a little scuffle or two at first, based off of previous attempts, but none at all. They ran up to each other, stopped and sniffed for a half a second, and then took off exploring their new environment together. Within a few minutes, they were in the corner grooming each other. They didn't fight as I added a food bowl and water bottle, and wheels and hides. They were running on the wheel together, side by side lol. I decided to take a chance and give them some of their favorite treats, just to see if they would fight over them, and they were fine. I got worried when the more dominant one, Munchie, took the treat right out of Crunchie's mouth, and then Crunchie stole it back. Even that was no problem. They get along like they've been together forever!

Now for the problem... Crunchie has developed a fairly large mass in the last 2-3 weeks. It started out about the size of a pea, on her back just above her tail. It has since grown pretty fast. She was at the vet 2 days ago to have it checked, and they said she has gained 10 grams in weight since her last visit about a month ago. Some of which they think is just weight gained from her not being as active. She pretty much stopped running in her wheels altogether about 2 weeks ago, so she's not getting as much exercise. Since she has been with Munchie, she has seemed to perk up a bit and runs in her wheels for a few minutes. I'm assuming that the weight of the mass and where it is located makes it a little difficult for her to run like she used to. Otherwise, she seems happy to have a friend. Now, the vet did not do any tests on the mass, so I don't know for certain that it's a tumor, or what kind. They said they would do a biopsy if I wanted, but it wouldn't really make a difference on the outcome. Either way, they don't recommend surgery to have it removed since it has grown so quickly, and they don't have any therapy options. They said her mobility is still good enough that her quality of life isn't a concern just yet. But in the future, she may lose the ability to go to the bathroom normally and keep herself clean. What they mean by that exactly? I don't know. I was digesting so much info that I didn't think to ask for clarification at the time. I don't know if they meant she just won't be able to control when she goes to the bathroom, or if she won't be able to go at all. They did give me an anti-inflammatory to give her once a day. They said it would help with inflammation and pain, and said that it can act as a chemo-therapy and slow the progression. I've never heard of such a thing... an anti-inflammatory acting as chemo-therapy. The medication is called Metacam, and she gets 0.04 ml per day.

So I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with a similar situation? Has anyone used this medication? Are there other medications or treatments that might help? Should I have a biopsy done? Should I take her for a second opinion, or push for surgery?

Thank you guys!!! I appreciate you all so much!!!

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:36 am

So glad to hear all is going well! But I'm sorry about this mass. Feel the mass. Is it squishy and easily movable or hard and rooted in place? Once you tell us that, we can tell you what it is and recommend a course of action.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by FurMommy on Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:04 pm

I didn't want to push on her too hard and hurt her, but as far as I can tell... it's fairly hard. Not rock hard, but slightly squishy. It doesn't feel like it can be moved around easily. Again, I didn't want to hurt her, so I didn't try moving it around too much. I also noticed that the skin covering the mass is bright red, and it feels warm. Not sure if that really means anything.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:57 pm

Hmm... I can't really make an estimate if you don't know exactly if it's rooted in place. And fairly hard but slightly squishy doesn't give me too much to go on. I'm not sure what to think about the red skin and heat, unfortunately. That's a question for your vet, because I'm sure it's significant. Do you mind trying to see if you can move the lump? It's important.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by Peachy on Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:35 pm

I'm glad things improved, aside from this new trouble.

Evaluating mousey health yourself can be difficult if you've never had to deal with anything like it. I would try to take her to another vet just so you can know for sure what it is.

It may be something that can be treated and cleared up (with antibiotics, perhaps). But if it's a tumor, it's correct that surgery isn't often recommend. Many of us just spoil mice with tumors, offering pain medication if needed, until it's time to let them go. With such short life spans, the recovery time often isn't seen as worth the trouble... and tumors have been known to just grow right back, which means the surgery, money, and recovery time was all a waste. My best to you and your girl. Good vibes
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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by FurMommy on Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:14 am

That's pretty much the gist of what the vet was saying... that if it is a tumor, they don't recommend surgery because the time needed for recovery, and she would most likely be in more pain from surgery, and the tumor would most likely grow back anyway. Which I completely understand. I don't want to put her through any of it if the outcome will be the same either way. I'd rather keep her as comfortable and as happy as I can, for whatever time she has left. It just breaks my heart watching this mass grow larger and larger, and knowing there's not much I can do for her. I am one of those people though that always thinks "what if". What if it's not a tumor, but something that can be resolved... What if there is a treatment, and I just don't know about it... all those questions that haunt you.

I tried feeling around a bit more to get a better idea if it's hard and rooted. It does not move around freely. It's pretty much anchored that spot. The best I can explain about whether it is hard or soft, is to say that it feels kind of like a soft rubber ball. When I push on it, it is not hard and solid, like if I was pushing on bone. It gives a little when I push on it. Also, it doesnt appear to be symmetrical. It has an odd shape, where one side doesn't protrude as much as the other side. From what I can see of it through her hair, it looks like a cluster of different size balls. I hope that makes sense! I only mentioned that the skin was red and warm to the touch because I remembered reading somewhere that that could be an indication of infection, or an abscess, rather than tumor. I originally ruled that out because I figured if it was some type of infection, she was on antibiotics already for her scratches, so that should have helped. But I suppose it's possible that the antibiotic wasn't the right one to treat that type of infection, or maybe the dose wasn't strong enough. I am expecting the worst though, and assuming that it is a tumor.

There is one other vet in the area that I know treats mice, so I could take her there for a second opinion, if for no other reason than just to help ease my mind. I have had problems with this vet though. They mistakenly gave penicillin to a guinea pig I had years ago, and the poor thing suffered and died as a result. Then years later, they nearly cost my dog her leg because they wrapped a cast on her broken leg so tight that she lost circulation. Fortunately, I realized something was wrong soon enough that we were able to save her leg, but that situation was a mess! I swore I would never go back to them, but they're the only other vet I know in the area that treats mice.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:47 am

It sounds like a tumor. Hard, rooted in place, and asymmetrical. I don't believe there's anything to be done. You could take her to that other vet but it seems pretty likely they would end up killing her by mistake. I personally wouldn't bother. Keep her comfortable, get pain medications when you need them, and wait. And also I would look into getting another girl or two to introduce to your other girl when it's time. Depression for her is a big risk.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by CallaLily on Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:53 am

@Peachy wrote:I'm glad things improved, aside from this new trouble.

Evaluating mousey health yourself can be difficult if you've never had to deal with anything like it. I would try to take her to another vet just so you can know for sure what it is.

It may be something that can be treated and cleared up (with antibiotics, perhaps). But if it's a tumor, it's correct that surgery isn't often recommend. Many of us just spoil mice with tumors, offering pain medication if needed, until it's time to let them go. With such short life spans, the recovery time often isn't seen as worth the trouble... and tumors have been known to just grow right back, which means the surgery, money, and recovery time was all a waste. My best to you and your girl. Good vibes

This. I tried typing up something similar yesterday but couldn't put the words together right. Though it sounds like your other vet option isn't a good one.

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Re: Sick mouse... need advice

Post by FurMommy on Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:37 am

I just had Crunchie out playing for a little while, and I noticed that the skin all around the lump is BRIGHT red. Even more so than the other day when I mentioned it. Also, it feels warmer than it did. This has me very concerned since all I keep reading is that those 2 things usually indicate an abscess. Also, the lump does not feel as hard as I would expect if it were a tumor. It feels more squishy, like a fluid filled ball that's ready to pop, rather than solid and hard. I could be wrong, maybe that's what a tumor feels like. Would a tumor grow that fast, though? I don't know if this helps, but she weighed 39 grams a month ago at her first vet visit, before this lump showed up. Now, she weighs 49 grams. That just seems like sooo much to me! In just one month, she gained 1/4 of her body weight! Is that normal? For a tumor to grow that large in such a short amount of time? I know these are all questions I should ask the vet, but she can be hard to reach since she only works part time hours, and this has me stressing and worrying at 430 in the morning! I am going to try to get a hold of her tomorrow and hopefully get some answers. Another question though... does anyone know of a pain medication that would help her? She gets 0.04 ml of Metacam, once a day. That may be good enough, but I was wondering if anyone knows of something better. I'd like to keep her as comfortable as possible, if nothing else.

Thanks again everyone! Especially for taking the time to answer my millions of questions, and for helping me to be able to help her!

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