Sudden Illness, loss of balance

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Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by vulgaris on Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:39 pm

Hey Guys

I have had my female mouse for a little over two years, she has been with me throughout my entire time at graduate school and has always been healthy, apart from a minor skin problem on her one ear.

Today I noticed she wasn't moving much, and when I took her out, she couldn't seem to balance. She splays her legs out like a drunk person falling over. Her eyes and coat are still shiny and she seems alert, but this behavior is very disturbing to me.

Here is a photo of her currently. I am worried this will be fatal. Can anyone suggest possible causes or treatments?
I am prepared to find a vet for her tomorrow but am worried she won't make it overnight.

Thanks much
-V


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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by AnonONIagent on Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:33 pm

Sounds to me like it could be an ear infection. Regardless, you should take her to the vet. Two years is a long time for a mouse to live, especially for a lone female. It could simply be her time.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by scaredymouse on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:01 pm

I disagree... That looks like a stroke. Unfortunately, there isn't anything a vet can do for stroke. But... Often mice will recover enough to have a decent quality of life. However, they are prone to more strokes. Good news is that other than being scared, she is likely not in any pain. And she may not even be scared. Mice kinda just take what life throws at them, much better than we do.

Of course its possible is an ear infection, but at her age and how suddenly it came on...my money is on stroke. So if you see a vet and they want to give you antibiotics for a possible infection, it won't hurt her. But I really don't think they will help her either.

Is she able to eat, drink, pee/poop? For tonight, just make sure everything is nearby... Nest, water, food, with everything low to the ground so she can't fall. Give he low of lovin', that will be a comfort to her. I'm very sorry I don't have better news. I've had several pets that have had strokes and they have all surprised me. Of course death always wins, but we got extra time. Two is pretty old for a mouse but she looks otherwise healthy. Let's hope she recovers a bit! It can take up to a week to see the full recovery. The quicker she shows signs of progress, the better the outcome.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by vulgaris on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:24 pm

Thank you both for your replies.

I saw her eating a bit of food earlier but she wouldn't take water and has been laying in a corner since then. I was wondering if she could have eaten something that poisoned her, although I can't imagine what. She usually gets ~15 min partially supervised free time to run around my apartment. I read that rodents all lack the ability to vomit and so eating something toxic is usually deadly.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by scaredymouse on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:43 pm

You are correct, they cannot vomit. Her symptoms however don't really match poison. The thing about strokes, is that they can impair the ability to eat/drink. So she may be having difficulty swallowing. What you can try is giving her some fresh food that has a high water content like cucumber, cantaloupe, I'm drawing a blank on more suggestions but you get the idea.

If she has indeed had a stroke, she is very dizzy, has trouble with her vision, may have difficulty swallowing, has a headache, and weakness/paralysis on one side of her body. Just keep that in mind when interacting with her. All my stroke mice always want to snuggle. It makes them feel safer. Also, one of my girls could stand to reach the water bottle, so i would have to hold the water bottle up to her mouth for her to drink. But she was better the next day and do it herself.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by AnonONIagent on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:46 pm

vulgaris wrote:Thank you both for your replies.

I saw her eating a bit of food earlier but she wouldn't take water and has been laying in a corner since then. I was wondering if she could have eaten something that poisoned her, although I can't imagine what. She usually gets ~15 min partially supervised free time to run around my apartment. I read that rodents all lack the ability to vomit and so eating something toxic is usually deadly.
It is highly unlikely that she ate something toxic. The loss of balance points to something neurological.

It is imperative that you do not allow her to become dehydrated. If you have a syringe available, fill it with water and forcefeed it to her like you are giving her medicine.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by scaredymouse on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:09 pm

A word of caution about forcing water... if she has had a stroke, she may have difficulty swallowing. She could easily aspirate water if you force it. So, if you do use a syringe to give her water, be very careful and only give a tiny bit at a time. Preferably, hold her on her side, that way if she can't swallow, the water will just fall out of her mouth.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by CallaLily on Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:16 am

I agree that it could be an ear infection or a stroke. The way she's holding herself in that pic reminds me a lot of when my Cheeseburger had a bad ear infection. When she set still she would look like that, but when she was more panicky and trying to get around she would circle or sometimes roll. She was fine one day and like that the next morning, so it did happen quickly. The vet didn't have much hope - he really was leaning towards stroke or brain tumor - but gave her a steroid shot and prescribed antibiotics just in case. And it did turn out to be an ear infection. She improved a lot very quickly with the meds but had a head tilt the rest of her life - though not as bad as at first. She was a lot younger though.

Honestly, I would consult a vet. Like Scaredy said, I don't think there's anything they could do for a stroke but if it is an ear infection, antibiotics will help.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by vulgaris on Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:59 pm

Luckily she was able to eat and drink on her own and survived the night, but is still not back to normal. I am making a vet appointment for her early this week.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by scaredymouse on Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:59 pm

Please let us know how things go, I hope things improve.

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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by vulgaris on Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:54 pm

After calling many local vets, nobody would see her for what I feel is a reasonable price. She seems to be fine, however she hasn't regained her normal habit of running everywhere. In fact she doesn't really run now, she prefers to walk. Unfortunately I think part of that is a sign of her age and not just the issue she had with balance Sad When mice turn old they seem to do it very quickly.


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Re: Sudden Illness, loss of balance

Post by scaredymouse on Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:32 pm

Other than preferring not to run, it sounds like she made a pretty good recovery all things considered.

Poor sweetie is just getting old... It's natural but that doesn't make it any less terrible.

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