I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

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I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by Iri4810 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:36 am

Just a warning...Poppi's death was really shocking. I am still pretty shocked and terrified myself...

Anyway. Hello. I have had three mice for about 6-7 months. I loved them all so much; They're all sweet lovely babies.  

As of now, I have two pet mice, Tansy (Female)  and HamHam (male, in a different cage). Earlier today, there was one other female (Poppi) with Tansy. I had purchased Tansy and Poppi together, they were sisters. I love all of my mice quite a lot, and so it (obviously) came as a horrendous shock when I saw Poppi today. Tansy and Poppi had been living together for the entire time Ive had them, in the same (rather large, used to house 4 mice large..) cage. They were always around each other, seemed to be fond of each other, etc.

Today, at around 7pm, I went in to say hello and give them dinner. I noticed that Poppi was in the corner of the cage, huddled and shaking. I called out to her, expecting her to perhaps raise her head and come running over for food. This is not what happened. She started shaking even more violently, so I tried reaching in to let her climb on my hand, when I got the shock of my life. Poppi jumped into the air, about 6 inches (I am not exaggerating), away from me, and scurried back and forth. I then noticed that she had a large chunk of her nose missing. I have never seen this in my life, nor do I ever want to see such a thing again. I so badly wanted to take her out, wrap her in a warm cloth and take her to the vet. However, the vets were closed at this hour. I was even more horrified to see that she had started jumping even more frantically. It seemed like a ghostly hand was picking her up and tossing her around. I have never seen a mouse jump so high. I quickly took Tansy out, who seemed to be getting freaked out, and left her on my desk with some peanut butter to distract her.

Turning back to Poppi, she was then throwing herself at the walls of the cage. Again, it was so unnatural as to how high she was bouncing. She started rolling over on her back to writhe, and so on. She soon went into this shaking fit/shock. So honestly, I felt so terrible but I did the only thing I felt I should have done to help her out. Using baking soda and vinegar, I quickly put her to sleep. It was very very quick for which I am relieved, but I cannot tell you how devastating it felt to lose Poppi. Im hoping to get her cremated as I cannot bear to just dump her body in some dumpster (nor do I have anywhere to bury her.).

My question here is...I know that she was in obvious pain...But has anyone ever had an experience like this? I cannot describe how horrifying it was to see her jumping as she was; It was as if she were possessed. I have no idea as to what went wrong, I am so confused and saddened by the loss as I loved Pop quite a bit. Why would she be jumping around like so? This cannot be normal for mice in pain...or is it?

I dont know what else I could have done; She would not let me near her at all. I feel so terrible that I could not have helped her, so awful that she is gone.

Im so sorry Poppi baby, Love you lots
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Re: I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by scaredymouse on Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:08 pm

Oh my goodness, that sounds absolutely awful. I'm so sorry for your loss and your terrible experience.

I'm on my phone, so forgive any typos or if I don't answers something. Just ask again.

First off, mice can jump straight at least a foot. Its not uncommon when they are scared. The writhing around sounds like she was maybe having a seizure. And if that's the case, she was not aware of what was going on at that point. You did the right thing putting her to sleep humanely at home. I'm afraid I can't even begin to speculate what caused that to happen but I can tell you that an injury like that between females who what been living together harmoniously is rare. I would be more inclined to think it was self inflicted. I'm afraid I can't tell you why, though.

She was jumping because she was scared and/or not in he right mind... All the mice I have ever seen in pain just sit there stoic, with their ears pinned back. Fyi, even happy mice will jump to. I used to have a boy mouse who would bounce around like a flea when he wanted to be picked up. If I were to speculate wildly, I'd say she maybe had something like a brain tumor which caused seizures/behavior changes and the pressure/pain made her claw at her face. Did you notice any change in behavior before this happened? Sleeping more, not wanting to play, anything?

Any more questions, don't hesitate. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.

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Re: I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by Iri4810 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:03 am

Hello scaredymouse. Thank you for taking the time to reply and all the support/help... I truly appreciate it. ^^

Now that you mention it...She was usually sleeping; Much more so than Tansy; she had always gone back to bed after greeting, running around in her ball, and eating (gosh, I miss how much she ate...) so I did not think there was anything unusual about that...

The one unusual thing I did notice was that that perhaps a week and a half ago, her face was slightly puffy around her nose and right eye (not enough to be obvious, only if one was looking closely..) Im always rubbing their noses, but I had not seen the swelling early in the morning. It was only at night did I notice the puffiness.
I kept a close eye on her (put her in a different aquarium with fresh bedding and a bed), didn't notice any scratches or anything either....but it went down after two days or so, so I put her back in with Tansy.  I did call the vet when I first noticed it, but he merely said to keep an eye on her and to call him if it kept swelling...

Unfortunately she was definitely not stoic; anything but really. I would have preferred it that way, it was so hard to see her like so. Good to know that happy mice will jump as well though, not sure what I would have done if I had seen Tansy jump the way Poppi did..

I haven't been able to dispose of her body. I don't have much money and its $90 to cremate her. My mother told me "Its just a mouse, you can get 9 more of her for the price of cremation!!". I dont think she understands. I put Poppi's box in the bin outside...then ran back out to get her. I can't seem to part with her. I also live in an apartment next to a park filled with homeless, so theres really nowhere nice to bury her(the grass is all yellow and gross...). I feel so terrible, but at the moment she's in the freezer wrapped in bedding and plastic bags till I can afford to cremate her. It feels so terrible knowing she's in there, and Im hoping that I'll be able to get her cremated ASAP...But does anyone know how long she'll be alright in there? I hope she'll forgive me, I know she loved to stay warm...

By the way... (I do apologize for how long this is by the way..)
Im rather worried about Tansy. Now that Poppi is gone... While Tansy was never particularly nice to her, (i.e shoving her out of the way for her water bottle, stealing her food, etc...) Ive noticed that Tansy has been hiding more than usual now. She's been burrowing under the bedding, and doesn't like to come out, even with the temptation of peanut butter. Im worried as...At the moment, Im not sure if Im ready to get yet another mouse. I know females need to have a friend, lest they get depressed. I'll definitely get another friend if thats whats will be best for Tansy, but Id rather wait to find a mouse that clicks rather than rush/pick (we only have a Petco in town that sells mice, and they restock every thursday...)
Will she be okay for a bit? Maybe a week or so?

Thank you so much again...
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Re: I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:44 am

Oh, yes, she will definitely be fine for a while by herself. Just give her lots of lovin and if she doesn't want it... then just sit by the tank and talk to her so she's not alone. When introducing new mice, especially from Petco, you should put them through a 3 week quarantine in their own tank to make sure they aren't sick or pregnant. And so you can tame them up which makes introductions go smoother.

Based on your description of the events leading up to this, I really think she had a terrible illness that stayed hidden until the last minute. There is nothing you could have done, even if you knew she was sick. To answer your question, she can stay in the freezer indefinitely. There was a time when I really struggled with what to do with them after they died. I mean, obviously they are gone... and it doesn't really matter anymore... but it just seemed so important to honor their body. If cremating soothes your soul, by all means. But you might feel just as good going on a hike somewhere with a little gardening shovel and burying her in a nice box off the beaten path. If you are anything like me though, that probably doesn't seem great either out there by herself. Trust me, I know. The first mouse I buried, I cried all night because it rained and it was about 40 degrees outside. My heart thought she was cold and alone. I guess what I'm saying is that unfortunately, it's all going to be a real big bummer. Do you have some kind of balcony or deck in your apartment where you could keep outdoor plants? Some people bury critters in pots and then put plants on top.

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Re: I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by Iri4810 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:35 am

Ahh thats great to know she'll be okay for a bit! Thank you so much, it does ease my mind a little hah ^^' She definitely wants the attention (and food!) I'll keep an eye out for a friend; Thank you for the suggestion/warning about mice from Petco~ I'll have a quarantine tank set up soon just incase I find one, thank you!

Thank you so much for your knowledge and understanding; It definitely is hard to get rid of the body even though I know she's...not here anymore. I actually wanted to bury her near a tree by the apartment...But i'll be leaving this place in a few years and it would be so awful to leave her behind...

Thank you so very much again scaredymouse, youve been wonderful and I really appreciate it, especially at this time~

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Re: I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:54 am

You are very welcome. I'm glad I could help.

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Re: I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by CallaLily on Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:54 am

I think Scaredy covered it all but I just wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss. hugs

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Re: I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by MesaMouse on Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:24 am

So sorry to read your story, Iri. I had one mouse behave very similarly to your Poppi, leaping as though being zapped with an electrical charge, bouncing off walls, etc, just before she passed. Prior to the night before, Carmen was perfectly fine (or seemed so) but the night before she was not herself, seeming agitated and talkative. As it turned out, the leaping and bouncing was a seizure, as Scaredymouse suggested. I've had mice pass from cancer, heart attacks, old age but have never witnessed anything like Carmen's seizure again, thank heaven.

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Re: I cannot believe this...What a strange and awful death...?

Post by Iri4810 on Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:06 am

Thank you both CallaLilly and MessaMouse for the kind words, I do really appreciate it..

@MesaMouse Ahh well thank you for helping me narrow the causes down along with Scaredymouse. Im rather relieved to hear that its rather rare, as I dont ever want to see it happen again...OTL But aye, what youve described sounds exactly the same as what happened. Im terribly sorry that it happened to you as well; It was such a nightmare and I hope you (or anyone else) won't have to deal with it~ :{

Thank you both again so much for your kind words ^^'

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