Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

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Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 5:46 pm

The content on this page was first posted on The Fun Mouse forum by WeemaNerang and has been reposted with permission. Please do not reproduce in any way.



A few months ago on one of my pet shop trips for mouse toys I decided to take a look at what mice there were for sale. Upon checking out the males tank I was shocked at what I saw. There were only two bucks in the tank together and they had obviously been fighting. Although they appeared to be friends and snuggled up sleeping together, the petshop owner informed me that there hadn't been any other male mice in with them. They were brothers and had been bred by the owner and were approximatley 7-8 weeks old.

I bought the mice in the hope of saving them and took them home for some TLC.

Stanley is a Black Eyed White and Byron is a Cream Sable. Stanley's injuries were more widespread than Byron's. He had little bite marks all over him, some larger than others but his whole body was covered in them, my vet examined and treated him and found that he had a deep laceration to his left elbow area and infection had set in. He was also suffering from an URI.
Byron didn't have as many injuries in number, he had a small wound on his rump which was healing but on his left elbow he had a very deep nasty wound. The photo's were taken before my vet cleaned the wounds. When Byron's wound was cleaned and the infected tissue removed, he had exposed bone. It was decided that if Byron could fight off the infection with the help of medication he may well live but his front leg may have to be amputated because of significant muscle/nerve damage.

It took time, patience, lots of love and a really good vet to get these boys healthy again but they are both now fine and enjoying life. Byron did not have to have his leg amputated but he walks with a permanent limp now. My vet has assured me that if I hadn't found these boys and got them to a vet 'pronto' they would have died from their wounds which had become infected.

The reason for my post was to show the 'raw proof' that male mice should not be housed together. I see post by people who truly do not understand the dynamics of male mice and territory. It doesn't matter if they're brothers (as are Byron & Stanley), if they've been together for life, if they never fight or if they sleep together. Male mice claim territory and they do not have human emotions so they don't distinguish between wrong and right the way humans do. They may live together in harmony for months and then 'boom', one of them wants to claim the cage as their own, and the other one suffers for it.

So please before you consider housing your bucks together put your mouse in Byron or Stanley's place. Is it really worth the risk?

WARNING, GRAPHIC!





Last edited by CallaLily on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 2:37 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 5:47 pm

BarbaraFunMouse wrote:Thank you WeemaNerang, for posting this. While heartbreaking, it's valuable information for those with untracked lines who think it is okay to house bucks together.

I want to also add that sometimes housing males together is okay BUT only if they are from GOOD breeders (truly reputable breeders, not just someone that calls them self a breeder, no matter how many years they claim to breed... you can breed 50 years and have no knowledge or ethics). There are parts of the world where males from reputable breeders are also more likely to live together. These countries have had mice domesticated a lot longer than other countries. Domestication and selection are the key. NEVER HOUSE MALES TOGETHER from lines other than those from reputable breeders who have had 100% success with their lines and even then there are special precautions that need to be taken! Also never house males together, even from reputable lines, if you-yourself don't have a lot of knowledge in doing so! It's NOT WORTH IT otherwise! These are little lives we are talking about, NOT TOYS! Don't play with their lives. Show you love them and house them in the best possible environment. Males can live happily alone. There's absolutely no reason to risk their lives. Like WeemaNerang stated, it can happen THAT fast. The boys can literally be snuggled together one second and dead the next. People have no idea how fast it happens. You will NOT have time to separate them. You will likely NOT have any idea it is coming.

If you absolutely insist that males need a companion even though they live fine alone as long as you give them attention and enrichment, look into neutering (including the dangers) and house one male with a group of females (even housing neutered males together is a risk, no matter when it is done, and it is irresponsible to risk). There is a Neutering section on the main site for more info.

Lastly, any posts that *promote* males living together will be deleted from *this* thread. We will absolutely not promote risky "caregiving" here when it is so easy just to keep them separated. We all take different risks, even keeping domestic mice at all is a risk. However, some risks are absolutely not worth it in any way what so ever. There is no reason to take this risk and we will have none of it here. We don't like to delete posts, including (and especially!) those that disagree with how many of us feel (there is a wide variety of feelings on caregiving here, in other threads). However, this is a sticky thread and we will not allow it to be brought down by well meaning but misguided individuals. Thank you for your understanding pertaining to this thread. For clarification, this is for *this* thread only. We don't silence opinions (with the exception of those from trolls), but we will govern where they are posted on a rare occasion, when needed.

Also, we are not coming down on those that make mistakes or it is out of their control, like the case presented here. This thread is for raising awareness.

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 5:55 pm

Neurozool wrote:I have 4 boys at a vet right now that I have rescued. I wish I could say those pictures were worse. Not only will boys keep fighting, making wounds worse, but those wounds get infected, and then the mouse (if he lives) is * permanently* deformed. 3 have deformed feet- one has both feet so badly deformed that he cannot use his hind feet at all. I will add pics after they get released, although they will look better then (I hope) with their wounds cleaned. I am *so* glad you posted this! The idea that boys (especially petshoppers) can be kept together is absurd! These mice were also siblings that were never apart, and rather young (under 6 months) so the theory that you can keep young male sibs together is a fallacy!

Neurozool wrote:OK- the images are very poor, but this is Artamis the day after his infected dead tissue/scab fell off. This infection was a result of an unattended bite from other male mice. He is on oral antibiotics, pain meds, and soothing cream. He is under the care of a vet who is *not* recommending that he be put to sleep. I say all of this because I have the feeling that when people look at these photos, they will simply say that he should be put out of his misery, but he will survive. I only believe in that option when there is *no* way that the mouse will have a good life. In about a week he should be on the road to a full recovery, and within the month, he should be all better. I have 3 other mice that are also recovering, one, Porthos, is also *very* bad. I will post images of him later.








Last edited by CallaLily on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 2:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 5:59 pm

Reece's_Crew wrote:I've been meaning to ask something about this. I had read somewhere that people had had luck keeping docile males together under certain circumstances. They would need a huge tank, (at least 75-120 Gal), separate hiding spots to get away from each other if they want, separate wheels, etc. This allows them to have their own large areas, but allows them to cuddle together if they wish. Is this true?

It seems rather risky still, to me. I mean, what if one wants to cuddle and the other one doesn't want him near his territory. Wouldn't a fight break out? Does that amount of room lower the severity if there are fights, allowing them to get away to their own side?

Now, I don't have a docile male and haven't the slightest doubt that Bandit would kill anything in the same cage or tank as him, despite the amount of room. However, if you have well bred, docile, siblings, would this be more or less likely to work long term?

Again, don't worry. I wasn't thinking of trying this. Bandit is very bold and highly cage aggressive, (actually animal aggressive outside his cage as well). I don't even have the option of well bred mice, just pet stores. Also, it still sounds too risky to me. I just wondered if anyone's ever heard of this working.

BarbaraFunMouse wrote:I've seen that recommended on a few sites and there's a few things I have to say about it. First, most of these sites that state that are well intended but very misinformed individuals (just like most of the mouse information out there). Some (few) of these sites are from breeders from other areas of the world where their males have a 'better chance' (which is far from any type of guarantee what so ever and NEVER when it comes to pet shop mice) of being able to live together because their mice have been domesticated longer (such as Europe who have had domestic mice for at least a century longer than us). This means that they've bred more of the "wild" (instincts) out of the mice. Breeding the wild out of a critter is what domestication is. We are not anywhere near where they are. It doesn't make our mice inferior, just different. Sadly domestication also has consequences, but that's a different topic all together. Unfortunately most of the sites that state males can live together neglect to tell people that it is unique either among their -extremely well tracked lines- or their part of the world (based on domestication, as I stated). Even in areas of the world where males have a better chance of living together it should not be taken lightly. We still hear of PLENTY of horrible stories from those areas of the world too.

The other thing that I find curious about such advice is that it contradicts all lab studies I've ever found. Lab studies clearly show that if you give males LESS space they have a much higher chance of living together than when you give them more space. The reason is because if they have more space and separate 'things' (food, water, hut, etc) they claim THEIR space as their own, which actually almost instigates them to fight with one another over THEIR space. It doesn't make it so they are content with their own space, it makes them fight over boundaries MORE than if they were forced to share space. I've also see this to be true with my own mice, in reference to brothers. All breeders know when their lines start to fight (some as early as 2.5 weeks!) and most breeders have tried different things to get them to get along as best as possible, especially before weaning. I have absolutely found that my experience with several unrelated lines (which come from different areas of the world mind you) do better with less space, exactly as lab studies show. That's brothers btw, not introducing individual males.

Individual experiences will vary, but in my experience and with everything I've read from lab studies, more is NOT better when it comes to males living together.

Of course this is in NO way a recommendation to try such things. Housing males together is dangerous, especially for a novice. It's not worth playing with their lives. As GOOD breeders we try to better the species and in doing so we breed for temperament and try to give them the best possible chance at nurture also being a positive influence, hence why breeders try different things and therefore have a basis of their opinions.

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 6:00 pm

BarbaraFunMouse wrote:I forgot to mention something in my last post..
People think more is better because they think the mice will then have their own space among it all (which is also silly because then why not just separate them into space that is actually theirs and be safe?). Wild males have *huge* boundaries that they claim as there own. Humans can not possibly give them enough space to accommodate this. Thus they will always fight over space, no matter how much you give them. This makes the "more space is better" idea completely bunk imo (that, along with the other things I perviously mentioned). Even our "big" is still small to them, which makes it pointless. How much "more" space is necessary to make a difference? Miles. Think of it this way: if it takes 12 inches to tie an intricate knot and I give you either 3 inches (comparable to a "small" space for bucks) or 6 inches (comparable to "more" space for bucks) it is still inadequate and you can't make the knot.

@Norman's Mom wrote:t's a combination of nature and nurture that males can live together.

Poorly bred males, of males from lines that are not tracked whatsoever, pose a serious risk when put together. Yes, a well socialized male helps, as does being siblings, but if their genes are not picked carefully and bred wisely, because personality is not necessarily inherited but influenced by being well bred, that can up your chances of being able to successfully house males together. It is not something a novice should try, as the signs of aggression are subtle, and humans are far to slow to stop it when they turn, it is generally best, especially in the United States, to keep your males separately.

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 6:06 pm

@Frizzle wrote:Has anyone touched upon how you *can* keep ASFs as companions to male mice? It varies by the individual animal, so I'm not recomending it for everyone/beginers, but it can be successfully done. They can't interbreed, so no surgerys necessary.

@Norman's Mom wrote:Frizzle, actually this has come up before, but for many, many reasons, and housing differing species together it is NOT something we advocate whatsoever.

ASF's are unpredictable, and newly "domesticated", meaning they are still fairly "wild" as pets go. Putting differing species of animals together is dangerous, most do kill or maim each other, especially ones where their breeding has not nearly been advanced enough to have weeded out territorial instinct and wild habits. This is asking for disaster. Second, ASF's need a vastly higher protein intake, different environment and care than what mice need to be healthy. Putting two different species together that have such different needs means one goes without the proper nutrition and environmental needs, which causes suffering and serious health problems. Them breeding, even though they can't, is the very least of the worries here. It is not fair to keep two animals together without knowing the risks, and in this case, the risk is far too high and not necessary. There is no reason to put a male mouse's, or the ASF for that matter, life at risk to try something like this.

Mouse Pirate wrote:Oh my god. Why they dont take they out be safe. I was work in SPCA, I always check all Males make sure alright and no harm. Sometime they was injury bite back by fights, I always take out and put single cage and I put some med would not get infection. When they hired me and I notice Mice are worse ill and infection. I was fix of them and better about 100 mice was suffers. Today there only 10 mice was hot spot by food allergies I do changer the food for them.

That's why I save Kei was very bad injury and adopted him:
Before


Now Kei is heal complete, Kei was lost half tail was turn dead. Today is health 100%.


Last edited by CallaLily on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 6:12 pm

I Love Mice! wrote:i nearly had this happen to one of my mice, rocky was always very violent, loved solitude, so he never really lived with other mice. well, one day two cages, one containing rocky, the other containing hamlet; rockys' brother, got pushed together. hamlet, who was kind, and never fought, had a cagemate... two actually, bob, and rocky and hamlets' brother; pellet. so hamlet went to sniff through the cage bars, he was climbing the bars when rocky jumps up, grabs hamlets' foot through the bars and starts pulling! i split it up since i was sitting, watching the whole thing. you'd think this means rocky is a violent psychopath, but with people, and females; he was sweet and fluffy and kind. too much testosterone i think was the problem.

@Norman's Mom wrote:i love mice.....the territorial aggressiveness that is particular to male mice have nothing to do with "too much testoserone". It has to do with instinct and their genes. Instinctually, male mice are genetically told to defend territory and protect/mantain a colony of females, while procreating his genetically superior offspring as much as possible to ensure survival of his genes, and of his lines, and of the species.

Male mice from untracked lines, where they are genetically bred to be much more accepting of male company using a genetic map is the *only* way to combat this issue. If males come from unknown genetic heritage and lines, they should never, ever be housed together. Additionally, male mice who are known to be aggressive should never be bred in the first place.

Jenny_Summers wrote:I know this thread was started a fair while ago but I thought I would add my experiences of males housed together, my and my husbands first mouse was a rescue boy. He came to us after an acquaintance who owned a pet shop had let it slip to my mother-in-law that she intended to leave him in a box in a cupboard to die as he was 'un-sellable'. Well my husbands entire family are animal lovers and of the 20+ pets my mother-in-law had at the time a good 80% were rescues and hard luck cases, so she said she would take him in the hopes of giving him a better life.

He was a sorry state when he arrived, cowering in the corner of a 9x6x7ins terrarium which contained a layer of substrate, a small piece of cucumber and a lot of poo and wee. The entire of his back was one giant scab and his tail was very badly damaged, she off-handedly informed us all that he was the 'weakling' in a tank of boys she'd had for sale and they'd been picking on him for ages and even thought it somehow funny that the alpha male in the tank had been biting at his testicles! (In a group of males, particularly ones housed in close proximity to females the alpha will attempt to castrate other males so that only they may impregnate the female/s, this is a behavior seen in males of other small animal species as-well, for example rabbits).

It took several costly vet trips and a lot of time and effort on our part to nurse the poor guy back to health and begin to overcome the psychological issues he had as a result of his ordeal. Despite making a good recovery, his tail was badly damaged and remained kinked and he always had a very nervous disposition. We loved him dearly and wouldn't have changed him for the world, skitz (named by I believe my husbands young cousin) was very much a part of our family and lived out the rest of his long life- 3 years+ in the comfort of a 6ft x 2ft tank.

Knowing the dangers and still keeping pet shop males together is just the same as doing anything else for the wrong reasons like knowingly keeping pets in unsuitable cages or feeding the wrong foods particularly ones you consider 'treats'. It is done for your benefit and yours alone. Keeping pets is a privilege not a right and this fact should be remembered when you see 2 cute males in a pet shop but don't have the room/money for 2 decent sized homes for them, their lives are in your hands and you should base your decisions regarding their care on their needs and wants rather than your own!

@MousePirate wrote:I found other male mice attack him. Now he is single cage and will come back normal skin




Last edited by CallaLily on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 6:24 pm

AnimalLover2013 wrote:Ok, I understand what you're saying, but I have a question...Why do pet stores house their mice together?

Neffaniee wrote:Pet stores main goal is to make a profit. Having multiple cages for boys in a pet store is going to cost a lot (cages, more bedding, more toys etc) and less room for other products.
For them, housing bucks alone will decrease their chance of making a profit.

October wrote:Mice at pet stores are almost always sold as food for other animals. They are crowded together like the crickets and the feeder goldfish. They are intended to spend very little time at the store.


@DVirginiana wrote:Wow... I literally lecture people EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. on why co-habiting certain animals IS NOT recommended. And regardless of what animal it is, there's always someone who, compared to the people giving the advice, isn't a very experienced keeper and has somehow had good luck and thinks that they know best because of it. I've seen the results of this too many times to count, and it's always gruesome.

Aggressive potential with any animal is nothing to play around and experiment with. You have to remember that in the case of mice, they are not as domesticated as dogs and cats, and when they have a spat they're playing for keeps. When male mice fight, they're fighting as if their lives--their ability to find food and mates-- depend on it. I've worked with a LOT of wild and not-so-domesticated animals, and I can definitely see those tendencies in my solitary buck and the way he interacts with the world. Just seeing how he attacks his stuffed mouse when I put them both in neutral territory (he treats it as an inanimate object inside the tank) is enough to deter me from ever putting him around another mouse.

The social benefits aren't worth any of that. Pretend you're talking about dogs. Are dog owners who work during the day and can only spend time with their dogs after work horrible, abusive people? If you don't think so, then you should be able to understand that keeping males solitary really can be a fulfilling life so long as you're willing to put in the time and effort to be their 'colony' just like you would to be a dog's 'pack'.

I'm new to mice, but the mods on here aren't. I don't always like and agree with what they say or how they say it, but THEY KNOW MICE and if one of them tells me I'm doing something wrong, you'd better believe I change it. You've got good advice, just take it!

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 6:27 pm

I only moved over replies that I felt included important info or questions. If I've missed any that you feel should be saved, let me know or feel free to moved them over. Smile

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by scaredymouse on Wed 04 May 2016, 7:56 pm

Thanks for bringing this over from TFM, CallaLily

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Wed 04 May 2016, 8:04 pm

No problem! Smile

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by Brynne on Wed 04 May 2016, 10:08 pm

Wow, thanks for your work on this, CallaLily! The photos have much more impact when they are all on one page!

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Thu 05 May 2016, 6:58 am

Yes, they are pretty gruesome pics that clearly show the risk. They may be cute and sweet but they sure do play for keeps. Definitely not worth it.

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CinnamonPearl on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 9:58 am

I'd like to add my two cents to this! Obviously I would never think about housing males together, but a recent experience has only strengthened that resolve in me.

I have two boys now, shy little Henry and Monster the monster, and I keep them on two separate desks in my room. I was doing some work on Monster's desk, but it was Henry's turn to come out and play, so I took him out on that desk. After a while of me working and Henry running around, Henry decided to climb up onto Monster's tank. After all, he's used to getting to meet nice girls whenever he climbs onto a tank that isn't his. I know that boys fight, but there was metal screen in between them. I figured I would leave him and take him down in a few minutes.

Well, my mistake. In the few seconds Henry was up there, Monster climbed up to the tallest tower in his tank and bit the nail of one of Henry's toes clean off! They weren't even in the same space; this was through screen mesh. I pulled Henry down and put him back on the desk. I knew he had a cut, but I didn't realize how bad it was, so I figured the bleeding would stop on its own as usual with mouse cuts. But when Henry started holding his foot up in pain, I took him into the bathroom, whipped out the first aid kit, and started putting styptic powder on it. It didn't work. So I had to rush to the ER vet hospital at 12 midnight just because I let two boys get even remotely close to each other. Thank goodness Henry stopped bleeding along the way, and he's doing perfectly fine, but I intend to never make the same mistake again! >:3

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Re: Males Living Together **WARNING Graphic Photos**

Post by CallaLily on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 10:22 am

Oh my! I'm so glad Henry is ok. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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