What could these symptoms mean?

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What could these symptoms mean?

Post by DVirginiana on Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:38 pm

Sir Spam is not feeling well at all. I'm scheduling a vet appointment as soon as possible, but wanted to know if any of you guys have seen anything like this.

So, his eyes seem to be bulging a bit, he is scratching excessively causing skin irritation (seems to be a response to itching rather than over grooming), his pens seems somewhat distended but not prolapsed, and he is urinating more frequently than normal. He also seems to be breathing a bit hard from the discomfort more so than from any respiratory problems.
These symptoms were very gradual in their onset.

He is a brindle, so he's quite obese. I was wondering if this could be some sort of thyroid problem? Do you guys have any idea what the vet is likely to recommend? I'm pretty worried about my little guy...
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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by scaredymouse on Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:42 pm

First off, hi!! How are you?

How old is he?

As you know, it's so hard to really know what's going on with them without proper tests. But reading through the symptoms and taking his obesity into consideration...i can't help but think heart failure. It sounds like he has fluid volume overload. It would explain the distention, increase urination, difficulty breathing if there is fluid in the lungs, and I would think the building eyes is either from swelling or due to difficulty getting enough air.

If that is the case, the vert can prescribe diuretics which may help and they could buy him some time where he can still enjoy life. I couldn't even venture a guess as to how much time though.

You can go read about heart failure symptoms in people and see if that resonates with you. You might want to discuss it with your vet if they don't mention it or don't know what's wrong with him.

Sorry to hear about your guy Sad

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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by DVirginiana on Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:29 am

I'm doing good, thanks for asking Smile Been meaning to get back into the animal forums lately, but life with two jobs and a small zoo is kind of crazy lol (the most recent addition is a gecko with no eyes, so that's added a fair bit of extra work getting him fed and shedded and everything)

Sir Spam is right at 6 months... If it's something like heart failure that has to be treated long term if the cost is feasible I think I'm going to ask the vet for a week or two of meds and see how that works, then go from there... He's not suffering horribly right now, but it wouldn't be a good life to live long term. He doesn't do much since this started (about two weeks ago was when I really started to suspect something was wrong, and only two days since things got serious) and clearly feels pretty bad, but he still loves to grab his treats out of my hand and cuddle.

It sounds like it could be heart failure, you're right. Regardless it seems like it's definitely something systemic like heart or thyroid problems (the skin issue and bulging eyes remind me of thyroid disorders, and that also seems possible with his weight).

I figured since I realized he had the brindle obesity problem he would probably have a shortened life, but I didn't think it'd start causing serious problems this soon. It's really depressing, because he's such a calm, sweet little guy. He has really been such a good buddy since Agent Bauer passed (if you remember, he was the one that had severe OCD and only really got 100% comfortable with handling shortly before his death).
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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by DVirginiana on Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:48 am

Quick update: The vet visit went semi-well. They said he likely has some sort of organ failure but at his age (I think I may have said six months earlier, but it's actually about 9, I've just had him for six) diagnostic tests would be difficult on him. So they prescribed meds for mites and mycoplasma that they think he's probably been carrying his whole life without them causing problems but only just now started causing issues.
His breathing and itching symptoms have gotten a lot better and, after passing what I think may have been a sperm plug, or some sort of buildup from an infection (it was a very large blockage whatever it was) from his penile area, Spam is urinating normally again.

He has a follow up in a few days, and I'm feeling good about things. I know his time is limited, but as long as he doesn't seem to be uncomfortable that's the important thing.
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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by scaredymouse on Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:04 am

I'm sorry, I was afraid it was something like heart failure. I'm glad he's urinating better though. Mite flares are really common in sick mice. Healthy mice can carry them but as soon as they get sick, their immune system stops being able to fight them.

If I think of anything helpful, I'll let you know. There are lots of foods that are natural diuretics and that support kidney function. And I can't think of any of them at the moment. I have a horrible headache. But let me think about it and I'll post later (so check back in!)

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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by scaredymouse on Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:05 am

If he likes fresh foods, give him parsley, kale, spinach, cucumber, carrots, and bananas. These foods have diuretic properties and may help him feel at least a little better. Plus, he'll probably really them Smile

I'm sorry your fella isn't doing well... he is far too young to this. I'm glad he doesn't seem to be too bothered by it.

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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by DVirginiana on Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:37 am

Thanks for the advice! I'll do that. He's always been a bit hit or miss with fresh foods, but I'll try some new things (didn't want to introduce anything that might make his issues worse).

Considering the vast improvement he's made in just a few days (weight gain, no breathing issues, mites almost totally gone, urination completely back to normal, eyes less buggy) I'm wondering if he's even going into actual organ failure. I agreed with the vet that doing diagnostics would have put him through unnecessary turmoil, but it seems like he's bounced back rather amazingly. Appetite still isn't 100%, but I wouldn't expect it to be on antibiotics.
I realize there's a decent chance that it's actually organ failure, so I'm not getting my hopes up, but him starting the medication coincided with him passing that sperm plug or whatever it was... And it was of a size that my first thought was legitimately 'holy crap, did his penis just fall off?'. I'm wondering if that may have gotten so severe his kidneys started to have serious problems. Again, not getting my hopes up, but it's just one of those gut feelings that makes me question things.

Regardless, he'll enjoy the fresh foods! (I know my rats and turtle will too, since one mouse can't eat an entire banana lol)
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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by scaredymouse on Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:28 am

It's totally possible, I would imagine. However sometimes organ failure can be a chronic thing that has occasional acute flares. That said, I'm glad he's doing better! He's just a baby! Play and eat little baby Smile

Was the thing he passed soft? Could it have been a kidney stone? Goose had something like that once, it was weird and enormous.

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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by DVirginiana on Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:15 am

I'm sorry to report that Sir Spam died shortly after that last post was written. I just haven't really had the wherewithal to write about it until now. He went to his recheck, where the vet said he thought the myco had caused scarring on his lungs. Then during the exam he got extremely freaked out and essentially coded there on the exam table.
I scooped him into my hands and held him till he was gone. It was pretty rough.

I thought about adopting another mouse, but I eventually decided I'm going to take a break from mice for a bit. The continual heartache of losing them after such a short time is really rough.
I have since adopted a hamster from my job who I've raised from birth, and his name is Tater Tot. I had a few weeks off, and when I got back, I immediately noticed a pregnant female in an enclosure with four males (I had been gone for the whole 21 day gestation period). I isolated her, and she'd had the babies by the next morning... So I've been invested in that litter since they were born, and those babies couldn't be sold, so they needed homes.

Even though I don't have a mouse right now, I'll probably still lurk around and post on here a bit. I do still encounter quite a few at my job, and I still really love them. I just get so attached, and they're such short-lived little guys, I needed a little break from that part of it after looking into Spam's eyes as he passed.
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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:30 am

I'm so sorry... I've seen you lose a few in what seems like such a short time. That's rough. And little Spam was far too young. I'm glad you plan to stick around. Some of us have hamsters, myself included, so you're welcome to post hamster pics and questions in the members lounge. It's so fun knowing them from birth. I recently got a pregnant mouse and it has been amazing having these babies.

Again, I'm so, so sorry for your loss. That sounds like a really traumatic experience for you. But I'm glad little Spam had you by his side.

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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by MesaMouse on Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:49 am

So sorry for your loss, DVirginiana, and you're right: mice just don't live long enough, at least in our eyes. We love our meecers so much, maybe because they have such short lives. Glad you're staying with us, though. As Scaredymouse said, many of us have hamsters and share their stories here. I lost my last mouse in September and swore "No more mice" as I was tired of the heartbreak of losing them and always trying to keep at least a trio of ladies going so, in October, I adopted a Syrian hamster as I simply couldn't be rodentless. I've stayed on as an active member and love to read the stories and see the pics of other members' mice -- maybe someday I'll get another mouse (a boy this time!) as it just doesn't seem like home without one.

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Re: What could these symptoms mean?

Post by DVirginiana on Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:47 am

Thanks.

Yeah, I have had rather bad luck with mice... Even though logically I know I'm not doing anything wrong, it still kind of feels that way. Admittedly, I tend to gravitate towards special needs critters (a month ago I adopted a crested gecko that had both eyes removed bc I have other blind reptiles and I was the only one that could really get him to eat well).
So getting Tater Tot was a compromise since he couldn't be sold but is also totally normal and healthy as far as I know. I'll be sure to share my hamster stories on here though! He's already learning how to ride in my sleeves, and I'm really enjoying buying him all the cute hamster toys they make lol
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